So many helmets, only one melon. And, you know what, I want to keep mine intact. I’m not going to get into the virtues of MIPS or Kolroyd technology with this review. I’ve tried so, so many helmets over the last few years and the conclusion I’ve arrived upon is this: We all have very, very different shaped noggins and different lids suits different folk
Ever since those folk over at CRC first discounted the IXS Trail RS and a large percentage of the GXSyndicate gave them a go, I’ve been a fan of the brand. We’ve had helmets (I’m on my third Trail RS) and we’ve had knee guards and they’ve all served us well. The great thing about the Trail RS is that they are really light yet feel very snug when new. Like anything else that we use regularly though, they change over time. I’ve been able to extend the life of mine by buying £8 worth of padding every now and again but you can’t overlook a crash.
That brings me to the IXS Trigger AM. I’d managed to smack my bonce on a nice big rock and thought that it might be worth taking the advice of those that know and replace my lid. Instinct immediately directed me to the sales and an inevitable bargain on another Trail RS but my attention was drawn, like a moth to a naked and rather tantalising flame, to the new Trigger AM. I did the usual read of every single review on the internet and decided to buy one. In the end, the best price was actually from Amazon, somewhat surprisingly, and (being Amazon) after ordering the colour I quite fancied and a bit of “hit and hope” on the sizing, it was with me the very next day. Who doesn’t love a new bike stuff in the post?
So… beyond the nice brown, almost makes you feel like you’re being eco-friendly, packaging, the helmet looks like a helmet. A nice helmet though. It’s got that US Navy Seal meets Buck Rodgers sort of styling which looks rather swish and an adjustable visor which is all the rage in places that see the sun [???]. It’s also nicely sculpted so goggles don’t go pinging off at the first sign of a bit of gravel. Useful!
The colour options are nice. Muted pastel colours that don’t scream twat but do work with numerous jersey options are available. Putting the Trigger AM on is where it all makes sense though. The helmet can be tightened to fit snuggly but also, has vertical adjustment that allows the lid to sit higher, or lower, on your head. It’s a really simple affair with a press-stud type adjustment and takes seconds to try all three options. Once sorted it really does feel very snug and planted and not in the slightest bit weighty.
The straps are easy to adjust around your ears via a simple clip-lock on each side and the Fidlock ™ fastner is magnetic (about time) and, once you have practised three or four times, is so easy to fasten it becomes a point of smugly showing off to your riding buddies that don’t have this feature. Even with gloves on, it’s a doddle.
So, there has to be a downside, right? Well actually yes, there is. The fit is great, the pads are well placed and provide real comfort, the adjustment allows for a very tailored fit and the fastener is, dare I say it, revolutionary. So what’s the issue???
For me, it’s the vents. The Trigger has 18 vents where as the Trail RS has 21. The trigger weighs in at 405 grams (size M-L as tested) and the Trail at 380 gms (as tested). They are very different helmets though so the weight difference, as small as it is, is to be expected. The vents are a slightly bigger issue though. On the outside of the helmet they seem large and practical. Look from the inside though and you’ll see that the internal apertures are actually tiny, really tiny.
Whether this matters to you as an individual comes down to a couple of things. What/how you ride and if you are a sweaty mess in the time it takes you to get out of the car park and to the trail.
The Trail RS is definitely a lighter feeling lid with wider vents and great for those “all day in the saddle” occasions. The Trigger AM feels so comfortable and solid and I’m loving riding in it but I’ve found that on really long rides, or ones with lots of climbing, I overheat somewhat. It’s great for the typical late Autumn, Winter, early Spring in the UK and anywhere where I get an uplift but I can’t see it being my go-to lid in summer when things are warmer.
I guess I’ll be buying another Trail RS for that.
Overall score: 8/10
Pros: A great fitting lid, really adjustable, almost magical fastener, adjustable visor, great colours, not twatish.
Cons: A tiny bit heavier, the vents are too small on the inside
Price: circa £100 (can be found cheaper if shopping round)