Garneau Asset Road Cycling Helmet – Review
By Sam Walsh
Well-styled road helmet from Canadian ex-pro Louis Garneau…
Out on test today, the exact model: Garneau Asset Road Helmet, size Large (59-62cm), retail price around £54.99 (but you can snap them up, discounted at around £32.99 online).
The first new helmet I’ve worn in around two-years, and also the first new helmet brand I’ve tried for maybe five-years. With that in mind, I was keen to give the Garneau a good first outing on a 2hr+ ride around Yorkshire.
Straight out of the box, I quite like the shape and style of the Asset model. It’s a nod in the direction of ‘aero’ road helmets which are very much in vogue these days, but with its ample air vents, you won’t be struggling for ventilation with this one.
The predominantly black colour scheme is something I wasn’t sure I’d like. I usually pick plain white helmets out of choice, but it’s quickly grown on me. I think the black helmet look might be more for winter riding months for some people. I’m not sure a black helmet would be too great come summer when the sun is beating down. But we’re in winter now, and that also means potentially treacherous road conditions and low visibility, and that’s where this colour scheme offers more.
The front, top and mid sections are all black, but along the underside and then across the rear is a large block section of bright fluorescent yellow. With the recent increase in concern for cycling safety, this really is a valuable safety feature of the Asset. While a lot of cyclists do love to wear dark, highly-styled kit from their favourite brands, dull colours really aren’t very visible. Fluorescent yellow might not be everyone’s favourite colour (it isn’t mine), but the understated use of it here on the Garneau Asset is very easy to live with, and makes you more visible to vehicles approaching from behind.
I wasn’t sure quite how this would go, but straight out of the box and onto my head, I only needed to loosen the internal head restraint / strap using the dial at the back, and the Asset went on very easy.
With the strap loosened, it was actually a really good fit and felt ‘solid’ in the way it slotted onto my head and fit around the front, sides and rear. It feels like it sits quite deep, but that’s quite comforting and I certainly felt like my head was ‘well in there’ and encased with good coverage all round. For comparison, my usual training and racing helmet is a higher-end Rudy Project (retail at over £100), and that feels like it sits higher, with less coverage down the sides or rear of my head.
The two things I did notice where the Asset was maybe lacking were in the padding department. Inside the helmet the usual strips of padding only ran across the front and middle of the interior, with none at the back. And then on the chinstraps I noted a lack of any padding here too (which I’m used to from my Rudy Project helmet).
So the straps were left feeling a little basic, but they did the job. Once on, it was very much a case of ‘fit and forget’ and while out on the test ride I didn’t notice any issue from a lack of padding on the straps or inside of the helmet.
Throughout the ride the Asset felt very comfortable, and I always knew it was firmly in place. I had no issues with it, and didn’t need to adjust it once. The ‘boa’ style circular dial at the back which tightens the plastic ‘cage’ type restraint inside the helmet – these are great, they’re very easy to adjust while on the move, and I often find I’ll loosen them a notch when my hair grows longer, or if I ride with a ‘skull cap’ or casquette under the helmet.
Overall, a solid piece of kit and I think it’ll become my helmet of choice now for the winter months.
Did You Know?
Louis Garneau, the Canadian ex-pro Road and Track Cyclist and Olympian, is famous for an incident in which he broke etiquette by putting his arm round the shoulder of the Queen while posing for a picture with her. Must’ve been quite amusing to watch the shock of onlookers at that one!
HIGHS: Good fit. Excellent wrap-around coverage of head. High-visibility from rear with large fluorescent yellow section at back.
LOWS: Some might not like the black and fluoro colour way. Basic straps with no padding.
BUY IF: You want ample amounts of coverage around back and sides of your head, and the extra visibility of a semi fluorescent colour scheme.
VERDICT: Great entry-to-mid level helmet with added benefit of high-visibility colour way.
The Louis Garneau Asset Helmet was supplied for review by Evans Cycles and is available from £32.99 – £54.99 from evanscycles.com