- Affordable, entry-level gravel helmet
- 11 point crash safety system – Smartshock Rotational Protective System
- 14 large vents to keep your head cool during long days in the saddle
- Single rear dial for one-handed fit adjustments
- Expanded coverage for extra crash protection
- Washable, moisture-wicking anti-microbial pads
- When tightening the fitment system, it pulled my hair
- Grouping of sizes (e.g., S/M, L/XL) make it harder to fit some heads
- No visor option for this model
Price: $100 MSRP
Sizes: XS/S, S/M, L/XL
Colors: White, Tan, Black, Camo, Grey
Safety Feature: Smartshock Rotational Protective System
Weight: 330g (S/M)
Materials: High-Density EPS foam injection molded with polycarbonate
# of vents:14
Closure: Nexus push release snap-buckle
How Obtained: Company sample
Availability: Online and Retail
RBR Advertiser: No
Entry-level Gravel Helmet with More than Entry-level Features
Last month, 100% (that is their brand name) released Altis, an entry-level gravel helmet. At a $100 price point and Smartshock Rotational System suspension for added safety, this is a good choice for someone getting into gravel riding.
Smartshock uses 11 elastomers that move independently from the helmet’s shell. According to the company, the system improves the protection of the rider’s head by immediately compressing and absorbing direct impacts. Like similar safety systems (e.g., MIPS or WaveCel), Smartshock features work together to reduce energy transfer to the brain over a wide range of speeds and impact types.
100% produced a short video demonstrating the system.
Smartshock elastomers move independently from the helmet’s shell.
Colors, Comfort, and Style
Choose from five colorways, white, black, grey, tan, or even camo; You’ll be sure to find one to compliment your bike.
For the long warm days of gravel riding, 14 large vents keep air circulating and your head cool. The helmet pads are made from anti-microbial material to reduce odor and are removable when washing is necessary. At 330 grams (S/M), the weight of the Altis is in line with other helmets in this class. However, this model of the Altis does not come with a visor, which would be an excellent option if 100Percent could still offer the $100 price point. Or sell the visor as an add-on option.
Size Groupings Can be an Issue with Altis’ Fit
100% groups the Altis helmet sizes XS/S, S/M, and L/XL. For some people, this sizing works, but for me, the helmet was just too big. I always wear a small helmet, and the company sent a S/M test sample. Even after ratcheting down the fitment system as tight as it would go, the helmet was loose. Also, while tightening, the fitment system pulled on my hair, which was painful, as you can imagine. Due to the helmet not fitting correctly, the brim would continuously hit my sunglasses on bumpy gravel trails.
My boyfriend, who wears a medium helmet and has a more rounded head, had a better experience with the fit. He opened the fitment system completely for a comfortable fit. He noted the design of the helmet’s brim is such that it wasn’t in his line of sight and did not press down on his prescription glasses.
The helmet’s side straps have an adjustment slider which aid with fitting and help keep the straps flat against your face. A Nexus push release lock keeps the chin strap secure.
The 100% Altis Gravel helmet is priced right for an entry-level rider. You can’t beat the $100 price tag, which gets you a helmet with additional head coverage, plus the Smartshock Rotational System. I highly recommend you try the helmet on for fit before purchasing. The grouping of sizes can be an issue depending on the shape of your head. If you’re a size small in other brands, you may find the S/M too big and need to go down to an XS/S.
Sheri Rosenbaum regularly contributes articles and reviews products for RBR. She’s an avid recreational roadie who lives in the Chicago area and a major advocate for women’s cycling, serving on the board of directors and volunteering with the Dare2tri Paratriathlon Club. Click to read Sheri’s full bio or visit her web site sunflowersandpedals.com.