Raleigh's Extreme Pro helmet, tested here in its Black and Blue guise, is an okay option if you want a budget lid for pootling around town or fitness riding, but even compared with others at this price point it's a bit weighty and doesn't have the best venting for quicker riding.
- Pros: Meets the same safety standards as helmets five times the price, easily adjustable fit
- Cons: Bulky, can get hot
One of the main comments or questions we see about helmet prices is, 'What's the point in spending hundreds on a helmet when a cheap one will do the same job?'
True, all helmets to be sold in the UK need to pass the same safety standard, EN1078, so in the event of a crash your bonce is still going to be protected to the same degree. But the Raleigh here highlights what the benefits can be in buying a more expensive lid: you can get lighter – some even half the weight – and much better controlled airflow through the vents.
At 362g the Extreme Pro is noticeably heavy when you wear it – you can feel it on your head and the transfer of weight as you tilt your head or lean the bike. Okay, for the price it's not completely over the top – the recently tested Specialized Align tipped the scales at 338g – but B'Twin's 500 is a claimed 270g in medium (we tested an older version, then called the 700, which was 282g for a large), and Oxford's Raven is 255g for a tenner more; Dave was pretty impressed with its venting, too.
The Raleigh has 22 vents dotted around the helmet so I was expecting it to be much cooler than it actually is. There is no real cohesion between the vents to create airflow from the front to the rear, so if pushing on a bit I actually found some aero helmets cooler.
If you are looking at dropping just 30 quid on a helmet, though, these things are probably not at the top of your wishlist, and I'd say the Extreme Pro is best suited to those who likes to take things a little easier.
It has a simple adjustment system by way of a ratchet at the rear – you just push the tabs to release it to make the helmet larger or push them together to make for a tighter fit.
You get plenty of padding, which is all removable for washing, and the straps are easily adjustable to get the best fit under your chin.
It also comes with a visor which clips into the front of the helmet and provides protection from the sun or rain, plus will help if you fancy a bit of a foray onto the tracks and trails.
This large model covers 58-61cm, but there is also a medium which covers 54-58cm. There are other colour choices available too.
Overall, the Extreme Pro is a decent enough helmet for what it is, but it does look and feel quite bulky in use. I'd take the Specialized I mentioned earlier – it's a much smaller looking helmet which looks more like its expensive models too.
Not bad for the money, but too hot for performance riding and quite heavy even for the fitness market
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Raleigh Extreme Pro Helmet
Size tested: 58-61
Tell us what the product is for
Raleigh says, "Helmets are an essential safety feature for every rider, no matter their age or the terrain they ride on. Raleigh offers a comprehensive range of helmets suitable for a multitude of riding styles whether you're looking for your little one's first helmet or venturing into the world of Enduro racing with our lightweight top of the range adult helmets which play host to the latest technologies Raleigh has a perfect solution for you.
"All of our helmets follow rigorous safety procedures and boast a vast range of key features and benefits to ensure the highest levels of safety and comfort. Across our ranges Raleigh helmets feature everything from soft touch webbing and sealed inner pads to micro shell constructions and cone head technology so that you'll be in the best of hands with Raleigh helmets no matter where your adventures take you."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Full in-mould construction
22 airflow vents for full 360 degree venting
Soft touch webbing
Nexus chin buckle
Detox fitting system
Sealed inner pads
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
As a fitness or cruising around town helmet it works fine.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's passed the same standards as the big money helmets.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay for pootling about.
Would you consider buying the product? No, I'd go for the Specialized mentioned in the review.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Depends what type of riding they did, but I'd probably recommend something lighter.
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a decent enough basic helmet for the money, but is bulky and heavy compared to some of the opposition.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed
With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for road.cc back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!