Crash tested: Shark Race-R PRO Carbon helmet review

Ye ye, so it's got a five star SHARP rating. But how does it actually hold up in a spill?

IF I HAD to judge the effectiveness of a helmet from a SHARP safety rating or a real-world test, it probably comes as little surprise that I’d go for the latter every time.

A five-star SHARP rating is comforting, but in my opinion, there’s just no replacement for coming off the bike, landing upside-down on your head, and then rolling arse over tits a couple of times at high speed.

That’s what happened to me, and in a strange sense I’m glad that it did. I actively trust my helmet now. In fact, a replacement of the same model is already on its way to me, which probably speaks volumes.

Whilst I’m not any smarter than before, my head is still in one piece and I suffered no concussion, bruising or marking of any sort. I think I even came out of the crash with a higher notion of self-preservation that wasn’t present before, which could be useful.

But let’s be honest, whilst crashes do happen, we spend more time riding upright than sliding down the road. So what’s it like to wear?

I used to own a Shark RSI PRO Splinter in medium. It was comfortable for the most part but gave me a slight ache on the top of my head if I secured the D-ring too tightly.  The Race-R PRO Carbon is nothing like that.

First off, the helmet shape is entirely different. I opted for a large shell size instead of medium, and then changed the cheek pads for a perfect fit. Shark stock a variety of different liners to help make things as comfortable as they ought to be.

On a less positive note, my biggest gripe with the Carbon is a high-pitched whistle that seems to emanate from the air vents near the forehead, only when the visor is open. Over 40mph it becomes unbearable, to the point where you’re forced to ride with earplugs in or to simply leave the visor shut, which is frustrating on a hot day. I’d like to think it’s an easy fix and in fairness I’ve spoken to a number of other riders with the same helmet who don’t experience any whistling.

However - all clouds have a silver lining and all that - the vents are very effective. Flip open the adjustable vent on the chin piece and it feels like somebody is aiming a leaf blower at you, in a good way of course.

Changing visor is quick and easy too, and there's a small bolt on each side of the lid to alter the amount of pressure required to flip it open once fitted.

At £479.99 the PRO Carbon may be deemed expensive, but it’s certainly not overpriced. Your money gets you a top of the range helmet with various designs that show off deep paint and a gorgeous strip of carbon fibre weave. Weighing only 1250g it’s noticeably lighter than most helmets too and if SHARP ratings are your thing, you’ll be pleased to know it gets the full five stars.

Buying the best helmet you can afford is stupid, said nobody ever.

Contact: SHARK