Shark Speed R, £289.99
Time tested: One year/3000 miles
What's good? I loved the look of the Shark Speed R from the moment I first saw it online… and knew I had to have one. I love the simple design and no-nonsense lines. I'm not one for garish colours and look-at-me styling so the Shark fitted the bill. I'm normally a mid-sized helmet – size 58 - but the Shark initially felt a little snug.
The built-in sun visor causes a few sniggers from others in the office, but I find it really useful. Most of the time I'm happy to simply use a clear visor, but when it gets really bright or there's sun shining straight into my eyes, a quick slide of the lever on top of the lid, brings the visor in place and it works well. Maybe it does look a little 'old man biker' but I don't care and it saves messing about changing to a tinted visor during the day and then back to a clear visor at night.
I've worn the helmet for long trips, short trips and on track and it's always delivered… to the point I almost forget I'm wearing it! There are plenty of vents and it's not a noisy helmet. Although it’s not exactly cheap I do think it's a reasonable price for what you get and after a year, there are no faults with it and it's still in very good condition.
What's not? Due to the helmet feeling too tight at first I was left with a nasty red mark across my forehead for the first few weeks. Funny for the rest of the office, not quite so hilarious for me! But the padding soon gave a little and now it’s a perfect fit. Tight enough that it never moves once secured in place and yet perfectly comfortable. I've also has issues lifting the visor from its closed and 'clicked-in' position. This has eased slightly with use but it’s still an issue when wearing thick, winter gloves. You have to get your thumb in exactly the right position to release it properly. I've tried other people's Speed Rs and it's not an issue so I just think I may just have an over-strong join.
Quality rating: 3/5
Value rating: 4/5