Shark Speed R Carbon Skin, £330
Time tested: Four months/ 2500miles
What’s good? This carbon-shelled helmet is noticeably lighter than the standard fiberglass-shelled Speed R and the benefit is worth the extra £50 in my opinion, especially as the price is impressive for the specification. This is the first Shark I’ve tested and generally I am impressed. The fit is good and there are nice touches like a dropdown sun visor with a smooth and easy-to-use top-mounted slider. The ventilation is good, the visor aperture is wide and the visor release mechanism is easy to use. With the standard Pinlock anti-mist visor insert in combination with the dropdown sun visor this is a helmet that can be used all year.
What’s not? I would like to get hold of the person who designed the visor closing tab and explain to them just what a hateful and hopeless design it is. The problem is with the way the plastic of the visor tab is bent in towards the shell of the helmet, making it impossible to open while wearing winter gloves. The first time I slowed down in town I panicked as I couldn’t crack the visor open to let in cool air. I felt trapped and a little claustrophobic and had to stop to sort it out. Even with familiarity is hasn’t become easier. There was a pressure point right at the top of my forehead which was bruised by the foam to start with but I smoothed it down a little with my nail and it no longer bothers me.
Quality rating: 5/5
Value rating: 5/5