Without a doubt, the most recognisable helmet in the professional peloton is that worn by the guys in the Movistar team. With its distinctive Gaudi-esque vents and slightly bulbous shape, the Catlike Mixino looks like an object made by nature. It's superbly ventilated, fits well and few helmets weigh less.
The reason the helmet has this unique shape is thanks to its aramid skeleton, which sits underneath the 'foam' of the helmet. It's reinforced with graphene to enable it to have a significant number of vents (39 in total) and a very light weight (227g) without impacting on safety in the event of a crash.
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Fit is crucial with any helmet, and in the case of the Mixino it's done through the Catlike MPS eVo fitting system. This is essentially a regular looking dial at the rear of the helmet, two adjustable pads underneath this dial, and a pad on either side of the head. It's simple to create a fit that is both comfortable and firm enough to feel secure.
The straps are also easy to use, with dividers on each side and an easy-to-use clip. The only downside I found was that they would sometimes be twisted when you put the helmet on without you realising, as the base of the straps are hidden behind the pads; it just meant a quick adjustment to sort out, though.
The fit itself is very good, and having tried other helmets in a similar price range (the Lazer Z1, for instance) it is comparable, although for me the fit of the Z1 is slightly better.
The pads in the helmet are a nice touch, with two versions of different thicknesses provided, making it even more adjustable. They are good at soaking up sweat without becoming saturated too quickly and also didn't smell after a couple of sweaty rides. This is helped by the use of Outlast Padding, which Catlike claims helps to moderate the temperature of your head. I never found that my head particularly overheated when wearing the helmet, so it seemed to work.
As the number of vents may suggest, this helmet is designed with ventilation very much at the forefront, and it really excels. I can honestly say I have never used a better-ventilated helmet. Thanks to these 39 vents and, according to Catlike, the scientifically placed channels, you can genuinely feel the air passing over your head. This should keep you as cool as possible; testing it at around 20 degrees in southern Italy it was impressive, and I reckon I'd be happy to wear it in the hottest conditions.
Another added bonus of having this many vents is that finding a place to store glasses is incredibly easy, either at the back or front of the head.
The helmet comes in 12 varieties of colours and either matt or gloss finishes. I can't say I liked the colour I was reviewing particularly, but having seen other colours on the road that look great it's likely you will find something you like.
As well as helping to create the helmet's unique shape, the graphene-reinforced aramid skeleton also makes the helmet very light, coming in at 227g (220g claimed) on the road.cc Scales of Truth. This puts it lighter than the Lazer Z1 and Kask Protone and only a few grams heavier than the Giro Synthe. This, and the superb ventilation, actually had me reaching up a few times to check that I hadn't forgotten to put it on – which is really saying something.
I didn't test the impact protection of the helmet, but Catlike says it uses its Crash Energy Splitter system, which spreads the impact on a helmet across a wider area, meaning less impact on your head. Having seen some of the crashes that the Movistar team have walked away from while wearing this helmet, I assume it's a system that works well.
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The helmet has an RRP of £179.99, although it can be found for slightly less than that if you shop around. Compared with others, this is a fairly good price, with the Giro Synthe, POC Octal and Lazer Z1 all around £199.99 or more. The Assos Jingo and Kask Protone are around the same price.
All in all, the Mixino fares well among other helmets at this level and excels in ventilation and weight. The fit is good, with wide ranging adjustability, even if the straps can sometimes be a pain when putting it on. It is fairly priced compared with others with similar attributes, and it certainly has a unique look that will get you noticed on the road.
A very good helmet, especially if you are looking for maximum ventilation
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Make and model: Catlike Mixino
Size tested: Medium, Black/Fluor Pink
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?
It is an elite road helmet designed for those who want exceptional ventilation and a light weight.
Catlike says: "The new Mixino is the latest evolution of Catlike design philosophy. It is the first cycling helmet on incorporate Graphene nanofibers on its inner aramid skeleton. Thanks to the use of this revolutionary material we have created a super light and ventilated helmet."
The helmet is both light and very well ventilated. It's also comfortable to wear for several hours out on the road.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
ARC(aramid roll cage)
CES (crash energy splitter)
DUAL FLOW Ventilation
PADDING in OUTLAST
MPS eVo fitting system
39 Air Intakes
Rate the product for quality of construction:
It is very light yet feels sturdy. The graphene definitely gives it some added stiffness which really finishes it off well.
Rate the product for performance:
Ventilation and weight (aside from the protective qualities) are two of the most important things for an elite helmet, and this excels in both areas.
Rate the product for durability:
Seems well made and given the lack of seams to catch on the outer lid, it is unlikely that it will become particularly scuffed or damage from regular use.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Good fit compared with others at this price, but for me it doesn't beat the Lazer Z1.
Rate the product for value:
With an RRP of £179.99 it sits at around the same price as its main competitors, although like most of them you can get it for significantly less if you shop around.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well. I didn't test it for protection, but in terms of weight and ventilation it is one of the best helmets I have used.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ventilation is easily the best I have used, with air flowing across the top of my head making it the closest I have come to feeling like I'm not wearing a helmet whilst still wearing one.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
With the strap origins hidden behind the pads, they were often twisted without me knowing, so I'd have to take the helmet off, untwist them and put it back on again.
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 score
It excels in ventilation and weight. Although the fit for me isn't the absolute best I've found, it is still challenging for this given its large number of adjustable options.
Age: 27 Height: 6 ft Weight:
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
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