All Mountain helmets have come a long way from the days of XC lids and dirtjump shells, and we’ve seen a new crop of helmet designs that have been introduced that are more optimized for more aggressive all mountain riding. We’ve tried and tested quite a number of different helmets since the new design surfaced back in late 2013, and the feedback that we’ve heard and read has been nothing but positive. More coverage is always better when you’re bombing down your favourite lines in BeeTee, Butterfly and Ubin.
The change from traditional XC (Cross-Country) helmets into aggressive all mountain territory is primarily at the back of the helmet, which if often left neglected and compromised for more airflow. Visors are a must now too. Instead of big visors that were stuck on as an afterthought, the new visors are more integrated into the design and are adjustable. Retention systems have also been greatly improved over the years and it’s now easier than ever to get the perfect fit for long hours (or days) on the saddle. Overall, the aesthetics of modern aggressive helmets are so much better too.
We recently got hold of the new Bontrager Rally helmet, which was just recently released and made available to the public after being shown for the first time in Trek World last year (Trek World is Trek’s annual event where the brand showcases upcoming bikes and products from it’s companies). Aimed squarely on the Enduro & All mountain crowd, it’s a true off-road design, and this lightweight lid comes with some really brilliant features. Available in 4 colors, the Bontrager Rally has the right shape and and a healthy number of air vents to keep head temperatures on the low side.
The back of the helmet was the first thing that we noticed when we first took the helmet out. It has an impressive amount of coverage for the back of your head with 7 air vents that lets your hair breathe. If you ride with goggles, there’s plenty of room at the back of the helmet for the strap too. Out of the box, the Bontrager Rally features;
- In-mold composite skeleton allows a greater variation of vent shape and size
- Headmaster – One-handed fit system adjustable by height and circumference
- FormFit – Flexible head-conforming brow band improves comfort and ventilation
- FlatLock Strap Dividers – Strap management made simple with a fixed position fit
- Internal, recessed channels manage airflow through the helmet and over the head
- Drop-in Coverage – Coverage below traditional bottom edge for more protection
- Total of 22 air vents
- Claimed Weight: 330g for size Small, 360g for Medium and 400g for Large
The visor is attached via a thumbscrew on each side and it features a curved slot which allows you to simply push the visor up or down to adjust it’s angle, and with the visor pushed all the way up, there’s room for you to rest your goggles on the front of the helmet.
The huge front air intake vents is perfect for creating that apres ride helmet hair, and for keeping your head cool underneath our equator sun. We also love the broad visor up front, enough to keep the sun of out your eyes which staying away from your line of sight.
The internal pads of the helmet is moulded and there are also 2 pads located near the back of the helmet for a perfect fit. All of the pads are attached via velcros and removable for that all important stink removing wash. One thing to highlight is the 3 air channels at the brow of the helmet, that can direct air flow just above the rider’s eyebrows.
The helmet’s retention system is called the Headmaster, a one-handed fit system adjustable by height and circumference with a simple twist of the dial shown above. Wearing the helmet for the first time, we found the fit system easy to use and found our sweet spot just by twisting the Headmaster dial.
On the trails, the Bontrager Rally feels really good and the coverage is confidence-inspiring. It wraps around your head, rather than perching on top like a mushroom, and it’s very secure. We couldn’t feel any hotspots and there was absolutely no movement from the helmet from the get-go. The ﬁt for us was excellent, and the close, deep coverage felt like a deep seated comfortable hat that you could wear all day long. Even though the helmet has a deep wrap around your head, the generous number of large air vents was excellent in pushing fresh cool air straight in. The helmet’s ventilation was excellent and so was the foam pads near the brows. We didn’t have any issues with sweat dripping into our eyes even though it was soaked after a couple of hours.
The internal shape of the helmet a more oval than round and while we didn’t have any fit problems with the helmet, it’s always important to try on a helmet before buying. Almost all helmet manufacturers have different internal shapes and just like everyone else, there are some brand of helmets that we just couldn’t wear because of it’s internal shape.
So what’s our verdict? The Bontrager Rally is an awesome aggressive all mountain helmet that gives great value, comfort, fit, and it’s a perfect buy if you’re looking to replace your existing helmet. While the helmet lacks other desirable features like integrated GoPro mounts, given the fit, padding, retention and good aesthetics of this helmet, to us it’s still is a winner.
The Bontrager Rally helmet is now available at the Treknology 3 bikes Mega Showroom and it’s retailing for SGD$125. Visit their website or Facebook page for more information about opening hours and size availability.
Treknology 3 Mega Showroom
14 Jalan Kilang Barat Singapore 159356