Used review: Shark Speed-R Texas helmet

Footballs are round, my head isn’t

Used review: Shark Speed-R Texas helmet

I'M not altogether sure what the difference between a £300 and £500 helmet is.

This one, at £299.99, does little to demystify the problem.

It feels just as expensive as £500 lids I’ve owned, and scores four out of five stars in Government Sharp safety tests. There are plenty of more expensive helmets that do worse.

It’s got a nice, simple double-D chin strap, it’s well ventilated yet reasonably quiet, and the visor accepts a Pinlock film insert which stops it steaming up.

At 1,590g, it's about 100g lighter than my old Arai Tour-X3

Best of all, it’s got an integral dark visor, so you can instantly go from clear to black by sliding a lever on the top. The external visor has a quick-release system but the internal dark one does away with most of the need to swap it anyway.

And I think the graphics look great.

Unfortunately I do have one complaint, and it’s a significant one. This helmet is the wrong shape for my head.

My head isn’t a very weird shape. I don’t think people say to themselves, ‘My God, look at his head!’ But it is oval-shaped when viewed from the above, and the helmet is too round for it.

It places pressure on the back and front of my head, which becomes painful after an hour or so on the bike. At first it didn’t seem too bad but the problem became worse during a couple of months' use, until I found myself in pain by the end of my 40-minute ride to work.

I asked Shark if there was an alternative lining that might remedy the problem, perhaps with more padding at the sides so the weight might be distributed more evenly around my head. They sent a lining that affords more space all around. Now I don’t get pain at the front and back – but the helmet is just too big.

If you’ve got a roundish head, maybe it will work for you. Try it on before buying, and bear in mind that pressure on any particular area can feel like Chinese water torture on a long ride.

I can’t change the shape of my head so I think I’ll have to change my brand of helmet. 

Price: £299.99


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