- Five-star crash test rating from IIHS and Virginia Tech
- Outstanding price for MIPS helmet
- 14 large vents keep you cool
- Spiderlock 4D fit and Spiderlock Pro MTB for one-handed adjustments
- Tri Glide PRO strap system for easy adjustments and tangle- free straps
- Easily removable and pivoting visor for added sun protection
- Limited colors available
- Noticeable contact points when visor is removed – not aesthetically pleasing
Price: $99.99 MSRP with MIPS
Colors: Black, Orange/Red, Yellow
Sizes: Small (52-56 cm), Medium (56-59 cm), Large (59-62 cm)
Available: Online, retail, Garneau website
Source: Company sample
RBR Advertiser: No
Weight: 11.1 oz / 315 g
Tested: 200+ miles (road and trail)
If you’re on social media you must have seen the countless posts regarding a new crash test for bicycle helmets. The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) teamed up with researchers at Virginia Tech’s helmet test lab to test and rate cycling helmets. IIHS is the same group that publish crash test rating for vehicles and VT researchers have been extensively testing football helmets.
Their testing attempted to replicate a variety of impact scenarios including when a helmet hits the ground at an angle. They tested 30 helmet models in all, 24 scored good or very good. But only 4 received a 5-star rating – the highest safety rating. What all 4 helmets had in common was MIPS.
What is MIPS?
See previous helmet review “What is MIPS?” section.
Does 5-star Crash Test Rating = Comfort?
It’s all well and good if a helmet receives a 5-star crash test rating, but if it isn’t comfortable most riders won’t wear it. As I looked at the 4 top rated helmets, I selected to test Garneau’s Raid with MIPS. Why? First, the price. At $99.99 that is a great price for a 5-star crash test rated MIPS helmet. Second, I’ve never wore a Garneau helmet and figured this would be the perfect opportunity.
Out of the box the Raid helmet was easy to adjust. The side straps use a Tri Glide PRO system which lets you easily adjust the position and it also keeps the straps from getting twisted. The straps lay flat against my face and perfectly centered under my ears. The Spiderlock 4D fit system and Spiderlock Pro MTB wheel in the back of the helmet allow for one-handed adjustments for proper fit. You’ll notice that this helmet provides more coverage on the back of the head, which is especially needed when trail riding.
I tested the helmet on both road and trail rides, in a variety of temperatures, including some over 90 degrees and with rain on two occasions. The Raid helmet may only have 14 vents, but they are very large and with the evacuation channels airflow was superior to any helmet I’ve tried. I never felt like my head was overheating and could definitely feel the air flowing through the helmet.
The Raid helmet comes with a detachable visor. The visor serves several purposes including protection from sun exposure, trail foliage, and rain. This is the first helmet I’ve tested with a visor and I had mixed feelings. I really liked the fact that the 3-position visor gave me protection from the sun. I have had MOHS surgery for basal cells and it’s important for me to reduce the amount of sun exposure. It also was nice to have when I got caught in the rain as it helped keep the rain off my face. On trail rides the visor aided in keeping branches away from my eyes.
The down side is the visor is not aerodynamic and I felt the drag on road ride. It is very easy to remove the visor, but it left a small unattractive area of the helmet exposed, and you lost the clean lines and aesthetics of the helmet.
Garneau offers their Raid helmet in just 3 colors – black, yellow and orange/red. This can be limiting for those riders that want to match their helmet to their bikes. I tested the yellow and it was highly visible to drivers and other riders.
You can’t beat a 5-star crash test rated MIPS helmet that is also comfortable to wear both for trail or road. Garneau’s Raid MIPS helmet keeps you safe, cool and comfortable at a great price of only $99 MSRP.
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.