The Carrera Radius helmet is the top-of-the-range model from specialist manufacturer Carrera. It's pretty light, claims good aero credentials, and has an adjustable set of straps at the back to hold it firmly on your head.
The Radius is made from expanded polystyrene with a polycarbonate outer shell – just like most bike helmets – but also has an internal aluminium 'skeleton'. It's not clear if this makes the helmet any stronger (the Carrera website makes no such claim), but Carrera says it means there's less polystyrene, which means the helmet is slightly smaller, which means less drag.
We compared the Radius to a few other helmets here on the shelf at the road.cc office and although the Radius is indeed neat and compact, there are helmets from other brands with very similar dimensions.
The relatively smaller size may also help save weight, although on the road.cc scales our test model (size 54-57cm) weighs in at 260g – which is pretty light, but there are several helmets from other brands which are lighter.
Comfort is good. As well as the usual fabric straps that come down in an inverted V on either side of the ears to join and then clip under the chin, there's also a thin plastic strap round the back of the head with two silicon pads for grip and comfort, plus a ratchet-dial to adjust the size so it fits perfectly. The plastic strap is joined to the helmet only at the sides, meaning it can go up or down at the back, which in turn means the helmet is held more firmly in position, without being any tighter on your head. Carrera call this feature the Flex Control System.
As well as providing a close fit, the Flex Control System means the helmet can be adjusted to fit just about any shaped head. It's also handy if you sport a large ponytail.
The Radius comes in various colours. We're testing the white and grey variety, which Carerra describe as Grey Silver Matte. Other options include black and yellow, white and red – as worn last year by the Katusha team – red, white and blue (nicely patriotic if you're British, or Russian) and a multi-hued combo of red, white, light blue and yellow.
The recommended retail price for the Radiius is a penny under £130, but you can find this helmet for nearer a hundred quid at your local bike shop, and for well under £80 at some on-line stores.
A comfortable and close-fitting helmet for putting in serious miles.
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Make and model: Carrera Radius
Size tested: Small
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This product is a helmet for road cycling, aimed at racers but also suitable for riders taking part in sportives. The Carrera website says "RADIUS revolutionises the pro helmet. Developed using the innovate "ATF" (Aluminium Tech Frame) system, Radius offers the best aerodynamic penetration which is synonymous of optimised internal ventilation and less frontal air resistance."
The website goes on to list the following features:
Developed in Wind Tunnel
Thermodynamic Air Channels
Flex Control System
Extra Light Straps
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Under the tchnical pages on the Carrera website, we find this information:
"Carrera helmets feature air vents that allow the hot and humid air to circulate out of the helmet and be constantly replaced by fresh and dry air, maintaining the constant inner temperature.
In-moulding technology consists of inspecting polystyrene shell with the polycarbonate outer shell. Such technology guarantees extreme lightness, capacity to absorb the impact energy protecting the cyclist's head.
The Total fitting system assures the right fit tensioning for the best comfort and stability."
afrer a few hundred miles of test-riding, construction seems good. The plastic straps that go round the back of the head feel a bit fimsy, but we have no evidence they're any weaker or stronger than the rest of the strapping.
Performance is good. The helmet is comfortable, even on long rides of several hours, and the strap system means it stays firmly in place.
At 260g, the weight of this helmet is OK but there are lighter options available from other brands.
The helmet is comfortable, even on long rides of several hours, and the strap system means it stays firmly in place.
At its recommend retail price of £130, this helmet is not good value, though on a par with various top-end options from other brands. At around £100 it's fair value, and if you can find it for nearer £80 you're getting a bargain. At the time of writing the Edinburgh Cycle Coop is selling the Carerra Radius for £65. The price includes a storage/carrying bag as well.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Comfort. Close fit.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?
Overall, this helmet is very good, but to be brutally frank there's nothing exceptional about it. At its recommended price, value is not good, which would contribute an overall score of 7, but the various bargains available make it an affordable option with an overal score of 8.
Age: 51 Height: 5ft 10 / 178cm Weight: 11 stone / 70kg
I usually ride: an old Marin Alp, or an old steel classic My best bike is: an old Giant Cadex (can you see a theme here?)
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: A few times a week I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,