At road.cc every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.
Good scores are more common than bad, because fortunately good products are more common than bad.
The Abus Macator is a decent entry-level helmet that isn't limited to road riding. It offers good venting and has a couple of neat additions that I'd like to see on more expensive helmets, and the weight isn't too bad either.
Many entry-level helmets can be a bit on the heavy side, but this Macator is just 278g for a size medium, without the peak added. We're only talking 60 or 70g lighter, but it is noticeable when you stick it on your head, adding to the overall comfort of the Abus.
I found the shape gave a good fit all the way around and it's easily adjustable at the rear both in height and circumference. A little thumbwheel on the back of the cradle means you can adjust it easily on the fly too.
There are three sizes available which overlap each other a little. The small fits heads from 51-55cm, medium is 52-58cm and the large covers 58-62cm, all in available in a choice of 10 colours.
With 13 vents in total, the Macator is airy enough for most styles of steady riding. If you are really pushing on then it isn't as good as a top-end race helmet for letting the wind blow through, but that's not a major criticism as the target is more sports market than competitive. On all but the hottest days through April, the only time I found the Macator started to heat up was on long climbs.
One thing I do like is that Abus has added bug mesh to the front three central vents. This is something that I would like to see on more expensive helmets as it barely affects airflow and stops you ending up with an angry wasp trapped next to your bonce.
While not directly in the frontal flow of air, the two side vents don't have the mesh, which is a shame as bugs can still make their way in there.
When it comes to construction, it's the usual polycarbonate shell covering an expanded polystyrene (EPS) core. Unlike more expensive models, the EPS is left on display at the base of the helmet, but the two have been bonded together neatly.
The padding is plenty thick enough and is also removable for washing.
Another neat addition is the bit of padding that sits between your skin and the strap clasp, which prevents irritation and the risk of you nipping your neck.
Priced at £44.99, it is a pretty good all-round package. It stacks up well against similar helmets like the Giant Rev Comp for airflow and weight, and is a fiver cheaper.
The Catlike Tako also offers similar performance for £49.99.
Overall, if you want a simple yet effective helmet for not a lot of money, the Abus Macator is a good choice, buoyed by some neat extra details.
Light and comfortable helmet with decent airflow for everyone but the racers
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Abus Macator Helmet
Size tested: Medium 52-58
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?
Abus says, "The Macator is a sporty entry-level helmet for cyclists looking for an outstanding all-round helmet.
"The Macator has not only a comfortable padding but also offers an excellent ventilation, and it comes in a variety of bright, highly-visible colours."
I think for the money it delivers pretty much everything you need for an entry-level helmet.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
In-Mold: Lightweight, durable helmet with a long-lasting combination of EPS core and Polycarbonate shell
Bug mesh: Full protection from insects
Ponytail compatibility: Perfect fit for people with long hair
Full-ring: Adjustable ring connected to adjustment system enclosing all of the head
Excellent ventilation with 5 air inlets and 8 air outlets
Zoom Ace: Finely adjustable adjustment system with handy adjustment wheel for customisable fit
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For an entry-level helmet it delivers on all the aspects it should, creating a neat little package.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It's comfortable, with plenty of adjustment.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It can get a little warm when riding hard or uphill.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
Going by its weight and other technical details, it is good value compared with similar helmets from Catlike and Giant.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
The Abus is a good all-round package that delivers plenty of comfort and airflow at a good price.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 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!