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The Madison Tour is a mostly forgettable – in the best possible way – budget, everyday helmet ideal for a short commute or occasional longer rides. Very light and comfortable, it lets you forget you're actually wearing a helmet and allows you to push on and enjoy the ride.
It's a minimalist bit of kit with no frills, and consequently little to go wrong. At home I have an old favourite, expensive and now unworn helmet. Once, its gel-filled cushioning caressed the cranium and held it firm – until the lining split and dribbled sticky gunk down my face. That was replaceable. What wasn't is the integral spider's web of fiendishly clever cables and cogs that could be tweaked minutely; great while it all worked, hopeless when a thin cable snapped irreparably, leaving the helmet bouncing around uselessly and unsafely. It's destined to become an unusual garden feature.
So, simplicity is what I like about the Madison Tour. I also like the glaring Flash Yellow colour – other shades are available – for its visibility when you need to mingle with the traffic (it also has a wide reflective strip across the back). It's a slim and flattering shape and I particularly enjoy its spiky rocket fins at the back that make me feel like Billy Whizz, the fastest boy alive. (Ask your parents/grandparents...)
Its 19 vents have provided adequate cooling this summer, although when the sun has actually shone there's some noticeable heat up top. The padding inside and around the forehead and temple is bit minimalist; the helmet fits snugly enough, but could probably benefit from some personal bespoke foam additions.
The rear cradle can slide up or down to fit, while the ratchet dial has a slightly clunky and wide action that doesn't allow much fine-tuning. But its solid teeth do weld the lid to your bonce where, once attached, it's going nowhere when you're jolting over potholes or towpaths.
Some niggles do emerge on longer rides, particularly the helmet strap material and fastener. The straps are thick and rather inflexible and can start to irritate after a while, and the fastener didn't sit flat or particularly comfortably under the chin. But adjustments are quick and simple to make, and stay in place.
So, the Madison Tour is, mostly, positively and favourably, forgettable in nearly every way. At £40 it's hard to grumble.
Ticks a lot of boxes as an affordable, everyday helmet that's light, comfortable and sporty-looking
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Madison Tour Flash Yellow
Size tested: Large 54-61 cm, Flash Yellow
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?
Madison says: "With 19 air vents and plenty of comfort features, the Tour helmet is perfect for everyday riding."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
In-moulded polycarbonate impact shell maximizes strength, while keeping weight to a minimum
Pro fit system is simple and easy to adjust to give you the perfect fit
Discreet reflective detailing to help with visibility
19 air ventilation ports to keep you cool
Height adjustable fitting cradle for the perfect fit
Brushed internal padding for increased comfort
Size: Small/Medium 50-57cm, Medium/Large 54-61 cm
Weight: 227grams Medium/Large
Full CE certification
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Light, comfortable and a go-to helmet for the daily commute. It didn't create too extreme helmet hair either when arriving at the office.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its weight, fit, comfort and just how ordinary it is.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The clunky rear dial that doesn't allow for fine-tuning.
Did you enjoy using the product? Absolutely
Would you consider buying the product? Indeed – good value.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
It's a good, solid, unpretentious and nice-looking helmet that's just the job for the daily grind.
About the tester
I usually ride: Eastway My best bike is: Cannondale Synapse
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Novice
I regularly do the following types of riding: