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Bollé's The One is a hard thing to review. It's not a bad helmet, and there's much to be praised about its versatility, but it doesn't quite deliver as a fast-riding lid, and that's what Bollé says it is. If you genuinely need the amount of options you get here then there aren't, that I know of, any other options off-the-shelf. It's versatile, but overall it feels like a bit of a compromise.
The basic premise is two hats for the price of one, or possibly three, or four. Or five. It depends on what, for you, makes it into something different. The helmet has 31 vents but the majority of these can be covered using three removable plastic shells for when you want to be aero. So you can have an aero race helmet, and a non-aero normal helmet, with a bunch of extra kit thrown in for commuting, and mountain biking, and winter riding. More on that later.
So, the aero-ness. Does it work? From a saving energy point of view, it seems to. We went up to the local closed road circuit and did some measured laps with and without the covers, then gave the data to a proper scientist (rather than trying to work it out ourselves) to crunch the numbers. His findings? 8W of saving at 40km/h, and 20W at 50km/h. So if you're going fast, you'll do less work.
That would be all well and good, but the One doesn't really function that well when all the vents are covered. It's too hot in use; there isn't enough residual venting when the panels are on to get good airflow over your head. Also, the sweat seems to condense on the covers and pool, and drip back down again, sometimes into your eyes. If you want to use the One as an aero race lid, I can't say I'd recommend it over other dedicated bongo hats such as the Giant Rivet or the Uvex ED Aero I'm currently testing.
But then again, you have the versatilty of being able to ride it vented. Or half vented. And the versatility doesn't stop there. You get a winter liner with ear covers. You get an LED light that slots into a port at the back. You get a peak. You even get a QR sticker that you can link to your medical details. There's a lot in the box.
The One also has a sunglasses garage (two vents specifically designed to hold the arms of your sunnies) and that works very well. The retention system is decent; although I didn't find the Bollé the most comfortable, that's mostly down to personal preference and head shape. I would say that the rear cradle could do with sitting a bit lower, though.
So if you want one helmet for winter riding, summer riding, racing, commuting, going to the shops, mountain biking, whatever, you get everything you need in the box. Given that versatility, the £109 price tag doesn't seem too steep, especially as it's very much at the value end of the aero helmet spectrum. Bollé is marketing it primarily as a race lid, though, and I was a bit disappointed with the fast-riding performance. For fast riding and racing, other lids are better.
Lots of versatility but fast-ride performance is a bit compromised
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bolle The One Road Premium
Size tested: 54-58cm
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: "Fantastically ventilated with 31 inlets, and completely aerodynamic with its removable aero shells, The One® is also perfectly designed to hold your sunglasses in its 'Sunglasses Garage' if you remove them during the race. With a focus on safety, The One® features a Bollé exclusive SAFETY QR Code and a specially-designed BOLLÉ LED. Its Click-to-Fit™ System ensures a perfect adjustable fit and its interchangeable winter and summer linings allow for year-round use. Complete with a detachable visor for mountain biking, The One® offers you everything you need in a cycling helmet."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
REMOVABLE AERO SHELLS
SAFETY QR CODE
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It was a bit of a mixed bag, to be honest. Lots of plus points for versatility but venting is an issue when covered, and it's not the most comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Jack of all trades helmet.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Master of none, though.
Did you enjoy using the product? It wasn't my favourite helmet.
Would you consider buying the product? I don't think so.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe. It would depend on what they were looking for.
Use this box to explain your score
Hard to score. If you genuinely need the chop-and-change versatility then there aren't any other options, really. But it doesn't quite make the cut as a fast-riding hat, and that's where it's aimed.
About the tester
I usually ride: whatever I'm testing... My best bike is: Kinesis Tripster ATR, Kinesis Aithein
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, time trialling, cyclo-cross, commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling, track
Dave is a founding father of road.cc, having previously worked on Cycling Plus and What Mountain Bike magazines back in the day. He also writes about e-bikes for our sister publication ebiketips. He's won three mountain bike bog snorkelling World Championships, and races at the back of the third cats.