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The Bollé Avio Mips is its latest top-end road helmet, and as well as being very light it also offers impressive cooling and an easily adjustable fit. MIPS is included too, as you can guess from the name. Compared with some models it looks a little on the bulky side, though it doesn't feel it when on your head, but if you like a minimalist 'stack' height then it might not be for you.
Check out more options in our guide to the best cycling helmets.
The Avio is light at 255g for this medium 55-59cm size (it's also available in small and large, covering 52cm to 62cm), so once it is on your head you can barely feel it.
It has quite a round shape to it internally; I usually prefer something a little more elongated, but on the whole I found the Avio comfortable.
Adjustment is taken care of by a dial at the rear, which adjusts a thin strip around about 80 per cent of the helmet rather than just a few ratchet clicks at the rear. The only place where you can't tweak the fit is right at the front, but as for the rest of the helmet you can get things to fit snugly with nothing in the way of pressure points.
On freezing cold days I was using the Avio with a winter hat underneath and it remained comfortable then, too.
The rear of the cradle is designed to accept a ponytail passing through, although there is no vertical adjustment for it like there is on quite a few helmets. It's not something I ever really play around with, but if your head shape requires it, you might miss it.
Compared with something like the Specialized S-Works Prevail 3, which I tested last year and still wear a lot, the Avio feels a little more on the bulky side, and sits quite a bit higher than the Spesh. Helmet fit is very subjective, though, and the Avio might work absolutely fine for you.
Mips, if you haven't come across it before, is a low-friction layer that sits between the padding and the EPS (expanded polystyrene) of the helmet and allows movement of 10-15mm, which can lower rotational forces found on impact. The Avio uses Mips' lightest Air system and is completely unobtrusive, and you'll never know it's there when wearing the helmet. You can read more about it in our feature All you need to know about Mips.
We see it on much cheaper helmets these days, so it is almost expected at this price point.
Compared with some helmets, the Avio doesn't have a huge number of vents, but they are quite large, which makes up for it. The bulk of the openings use rib sections to bridge the gaps and make sure that strength and integrity is maintained.
Airflow is quite well controlled. I could feel the wind being directed over all sections of my head while riding, which bodes well for the summer as there shouldn't be any hotspots. Even on the climbs airflow doesn't feel restricted, and because of the size of the vents heat escapes quickly.
I mentioned the S-Works Prevail earlier, and though the Avio isn't cheap, at £235, it is still £40 less than the Prevail. It's also £45 less than the Met Trenta 3K Carbon Mips, which Jamie reviewed last year and thought was excellent.
Those two rivals both use various materials in their construction, though – carbon fibre in the Met and aramid in the Specialized, which might go some way to justifying the price. The Avio looks to be a standard EPS shell with a polycarbonate cover over the top, so seems a bit expensive in comparison.
Overall, if the shape fits you then the Avio is a comfortable and breathable helmet. The price is steep, but as you can see by the opposition, this sort of cost isn't exactly unheard of.
Well finished, comfortable and with good airflow, though the price is high
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bolle Avio Mips
Size tested: Medium
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?
Bollé says, "The AVIO is Bollé's ultimate high-performance road helmet. The fastest cycling helmet ever designed by the brand has it all. Ultra-lightweight thanks to its EPS design, lightweight in-molded components and optimized fit system, it features MIPS® AIR, MIPS®'s most lightweight brain protection system. Super ventilated, the AVIO is designed to align both deep internal channeling and large front vents with small exhaust ports that create low pressure at the rear of the helmet for extra air circulation. Developed to make you faster with cutting-edge aerodynamics, the AVIO has an optimized low-profile shape and is equipped with the AVID Aero Progressive EPS to direct airflows and manage impact energy. Conceived to reduce drag thanks to its Kamm Tail at the rear, the AVIO is all about details with an Opti-Dock designed to securely hold all-sized sunglasses and even a ponytail compatibility. A new generation of helmets with no compromise."
It's a lightweight helmet that is well made and offers good airflow.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Sizes: S- 52-55cm, M- 55-59cm, L- 59-62cm
Product Material: EPS shell, polycarbonate outer
Technologies: 360° Fit System / AVID Aero Progressive EPS / MIPS Brain Protection System / Optidock / Roll Cage
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
The weight makes it barely noticeable on your head, and it has good airflow.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It sits quite high on the head for me.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's at the upper end of the price range, but alongside others of a similar weight and design.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes, on the whole.
Would you consider buying the product? It's not really my ideal shape.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's light and comfortable, but there isn't anything massively groundbreaking in its construction for a helmet of this 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,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!