Cost: $279 online and retail stores
Colors: available in various color schemes
How obtained: sample from company
RBR sponsor: No
Time tested: Several hundred miles
Sizes / Weight:
SM/ 52-54cm / 210gr
MD/ 55-57cm / 220gr
LG/ 58-60cm / 240gr
Catlike Mixino is a Standout Helmet Across the Board
If you watched the Tour or any other pro race recently, you may have noticed the distinctive helmet atop the Spanish team Movistar. The lid is Catlike’s top-of-the-line Mixino model, and it stands out in part for its shape (a bit higher on the top “corners” than most helmets), but mostly for its one-of-a-kind ovoid air intakes — all 39 of them.
It’s a standout in other ways, too, and I’ll get to those in a minute. First, though, I want to address the looks and the air flow enabled by those 39 intakes. In short, I’ve seldom got so much positive feedback on any single piece of gear. (That is, other than from my 13-year-old son, who told me I looked like a giant mushroom when I first put on the matte black helmet!) Because pretty much every other helmet out there uses a system of elongated slots to enable air flow, the egg-shaped intakes on this helmet are truly unique and eye-catching.
They’re arrayed in what Catlike calls a “dual flow” system in which air flows in the frontal holes and out the side and rear holes. In fact, one of the first things I noticed on a late afternoon ride wearing the helmet (with the sun at my back) was that the sun shone directly through the holes from back to front. Across the top and side of the helmet, the holes do indeed line up. And the resulting air flow is good. Because of the numerous holes across the top of the helmet, in fact, you can actually tilt your head down and feel the flow on top of your head — a nice touch for those of us with not much hair getting in the way!
Lightweight Impact Protection
The Mixino is also noticeably lightweight, with the Large size (58-60 cm) I tested coming in at 240g (the Small drops down another 30g). Catlike claims the helmet “improves safety by the use of an Aramid roll cage which provides high impact protection.” (Aramid fibers are lightweight, super-strong fibers known principally by the trademark name Kevlar.)
Catlike also employs what it calls Crash Energy Splitter technology, “a design based on the concrete location of the air intakes, so that any impact will ??_ [split] the crash energy among many points and [absorb] it in the most efficient way.” The design allows for the use of less material in the helmets, keeping them lightweight.
[Let’s face it, all helmets are required by law to provide protection again skull fractures and related head trauma, and most do a fine job of that type of protection. So That’s typically not a point of great differentiation between lids. Some newer helmets — mostly MTB helmets at this point — are introducing new technology designed to also help protect against concussions. We’ll surely see more of that in the future, as the awareness grows of such injuries in bike crashes, and their long-term effects.]
Customizable Fit Is the Best of All Features
What really distinguishes the Mixino, though — even more than its looks, air flow and safety features — is its customizable, 4-way fitting system. Catlike calls it MPS eVo (the evolution of its Multi-Positioning System). The Mixino can be adjusted for:
- width and tightness around your head (using the micro-metric dial on the back of the helmet that tightens or loosens the perimeter band in 1-mm increments)
- placement on the rear of your head (using two rear supports that move horizontally to relieve pressure from the middle of the back of your head)
- height of the aft retention system (using 2 different positions available by clicking the aft part of the head band up or down in slots inside the helmet)
- ergonomic wing padding thickness (the Mixino comes with 3 different thicknesses of “wing” padding that supports thehelmet on the side of your head; you use the thickness that best matches your head shape)
The sum of these adjustments is the best-fitting helmet I’ve ever worn. And the easiest and quickest to get dialed in to the perfect fit. It took me mere minutes sitting on the couch to adjust the helmet just so. And it’s the only time I’ve never had to tinker with the fit of a helmet afterward — not even once.
It fits my head so well, in fact, that even without the straps buckled, I can rock and pull on the helmet — and it stays snugly in place on my head.
The Bottom Line
The only even slightly negative thing I can say about the functionality of the Mixino is that I wish the padding around the forehead were thicker. I am a notorious head-sweater, and a thicker pad there would absorb more sweat. (Yes, I always wear a headband, too.) But from a comfort perspective, the thin pad is perfectly fine.
The price is the only other drawback. It is at the upper end of the price spectrum for top-end helmets, to be sure.
Overall, though, the Catlike Mixino is an absolute standout helmet across the board.
John Marsh is the editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of “less than podium” talent, he sees himself as RBR’s Ringmaster, guiding the real talent (RBR’s great coaches, contributors and authors) in bringing our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That’s what we’re all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John’s full bio.