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The Bollé Eco React Mips is an urban cycling helmet with safety and sustainability at the forefront of its design. I found it good to wear on my urban commutes, and if that's the extent of your cycling then it's worth a look, though I'm not fully sold on the need for a specific commuter lid. Check out our guide to the best cycling helmets for more options.
Looking at the marketing information for the Eco React Mips, it's very clear that sustainability is one of its key selling points. Bollé says, 'The same qualities that make our helmet lightweight, comfortable, and safe also make it eco-friendly.' The steps Bollé has taken to make it more environmentally friendly include using recycled plastic (40% of the shell is recycled), cork in the EPS layer (20%) and plant-based nylon, along with bamboo fibre lining, though only some plastics and petroleum products are able to be replaced.
Using this for urban city commuting, I found it did a great job. It's easy to get on and off, with its 'Click-To-Fit' retention system with a large dial, and a buckle that isn't too small and fiddly, as some can be.
The peak – made from cork – is a real winner for me, too. On my commutes, where I'm often not wearing sunglasses as I would on a long road ride, it did a good job of keeping wind and rain out of my eyes.
The Eco React Mips sits in Bollé's Urban Biking range, and wasn't so successful when I tried it for longer outings. Having taken the removable peak off for a road ride, it felt much wider, heavier and just more cumbersome than the road helmets I'm used to. There's nothing especially wrong with it, it just doesn't offer the same lightweight, aerodynamic features of a road helmet. (And didn't work well with my sunglasses.)
For urban riding, though, I like its style and design. I like the freckled look of the cork in the EPS foam, and the colour of the helmet I tested, which Bollé calls 'Dark Green Matte' but looks like matt black to me, pretty universally matches any clothing. It's also available in a 'Blue Matte', which does actually look blue.
They both come in three sizes, S 52-55, M 55-59 and L 59-62; oddly, the small size in the green (black) is £25 less than the others.
No surprises given its name, the helmet includes Mips safety technology, which allows movement between the Mips layer and the helmet, reducing the level of shock transferred to the head by rotational forces in the event of an accident.
Looking at rivals, to compare value, there are few cycling helmets that boast similar sustainable credentials, but there are a number of urban helmets we have tested recently around this price. The CHPT3 Barrivell Mips is a little cheaper at £130 and has a similar design including a peak; George thought it was very good, scoring it 8/10.
You can spend more: the HJC Calido Plus is £165, and Caroline wasn't overly impressed. In comparison, the Bollé at £140 doesn't seem unreasonable.
That said, there are other helmets out there that offer a more all-round performance at a lower price, such as the Kask Sintesi for £90, which Lara thought was excellent, and wouldn't look out of place on road or commuter rides.
In summary, the Bollé Eco React Mips performs well in the urban situations it's designed for. I liked using it for my commutes and it was good to see sustainability considered in its manufacture. However, I'm not totally sold on the idea of spending £140 on a commuter-specific helmet that isn't that great when used on other types of ride; there are cheaper options that do both well.
Good urban helmet, with eco-friendly credentials, though not the most versatile
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Bolle Eco React Mips
Size tested: 55-59 cms
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?
The Bollé Eco React is aimed at urban cyclists, especially those who value sustainability.
Bollé says: "The same qualities that make our helmet lightweight, comfortable, and safe also make it eco-friendly. With the ECO REACT MIPS®, we are challenging the traditional way to make helmets, replacing some plastic and petroleum products by organic materials to reduce the environmental impact. We have added cork to the EPS, used recycled plastics for the shell, and natural fibers such as cotton webbing and bamboo fiber lining, It's our first step to respond to the needs of cyclists who want to pursue an active lifestyle in the city while doing their part for the planet."
It's good to see Bollé making an effort, but clearly not all of the helmet is using 'green' materials, and I'm not sure it's different enough to really sway my buying decision.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Tested model Dark Green Matte*
*I detected absolutely no green on this helmet; it looks matt black to me...
360° Fit System
AVID Progressive EPS
MIPS Brain Protection System
Good for what it's aimed at: urban cycling. Performance isn't so strong for longer road rides.
No obvious deterioration over the two months of testing.
There are lighter helmets available.
It's a tenner more than similar lids we've tested, though a lot cheaper than the HJC Calido Plus. But you can buy more versatile lids for less; I'd expect it to be more versatile for the £140 price tag.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
For urban rides, it performed really well. The peak is a good addition and the helmet is easy to get on and off.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I liked the design of the helmet, particuarly the colour.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
That it's not more versatile; I just wouldn't use this as a road cycling helmet – it felt very wide and heavier than others.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
We've tested a few urban-focused helmets. It's a tenner more than both the CHPT3 Barrivell Mips, which is similar in design, including a peak, and the Abus Hud-Y (but that doesn't have Mips). But the HJC Calido Plus is £165 and didn't score very well in our test.
There are cheaper helmets out there that offer a more all-round performance, though, such as the excellent Kask Sintesi at £90, which is good for road rides or commuting.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
It's a good helmet, with Mips safety tech and a nice design for urban cycling.
About the tester
I usually ride: S-Works Tarmac My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, club rides, Gravel on a CX bike