By Colin Dennis
XS – M1 (53 – 57cm) 250g
M2 – XL (58 – 61cm) 270g
Size tested: XS – M1
Any slogan that boasts, ‘hand made in Italy’ is guaranteed to set a cyclist’s heart fluttering, and in true Latin style, the all-new, 100% Italian-made, Shalimar Helmet from SH+ is beautifully engineered, extremely comfortable to wear and screams - race me!
With a look resembling an Italian sports car front grill, the aggressive sharks teeth fins of the top of the line, Shalimar Helmet belies it's comfortable fit. This front section of the helmet is designed so that air is 'rammed' through the vents and pushed out the back, bit like a jet engine then? So, does the SH+ Shalimar Helmet make you go any faster?
In so much as the comfort level and snug fit of the Shalimar Helmet affords, if you feel safe and secure in your kit, then yes, you probably ride with greater confidence and therefore, dare I say it – faster?
The Shalimar sits atop of your head with what I can only describe as a cushioning effect that I haven’t come across in other helmets. It feels incredibly padded, but without feeling divorced from your head. And with at least 10 colourways available, there's enough choice for the most choosey of consumers to be happy.
Adjusting the helmet via the Speed Turn dial on the back is a simple enough affair. There is very little pressure put around the head at all thanks to the cage that sits completely around your head. It feels almost as if it doesn’t want to tighten, but this isn’t the case – It just fits snuggly without any undue effort sense of over tightening.
I had to check several times for tightness before I got used to the lack of any sense of pressure. Once fitted, the Shalimar is forgotten and you get on with pedalling away as fast as you can.
SH+ probably isn’t the first name to roll off the tongue when it comes to helmets in the UK, but with over thirty years’ experience of producing helmets and accessories in their homeland, SH+ have now crafted a helmet in the newly released Shalimar, a lid that’s equally at home on the dirt as it is on the road.
Designed using wind tunnel technology to enhance its aero capabilities, and tested at the highest levels of both cross country mountain biking and road racing, the versatility of the Shalimar makes it perfect for year-round riding, whatever your poison.
The soft chin strap is certainly worth mentioning in itself. Bar-none this is the most comfortable chin strap that I have yet to come across. The velvet-like material that covers the strap is soft, yet remains firmly in place and covers the majority of the strap up and around the jaw.
The internal, laser-cut padding also acts as a bug net to keep any unwanted nasty flying beasties at bay and is fully washable and anti-allergic. The padding sits up around your forehead to soak up the sweat and thankfully, dries out pretty quickly too without leaving any damp smells.
At 250g for the smaller version, and only 20g heavier for the large lid, the SH+ Shalimar definatley ranks as competitive as far as weight goes for a performance-orientated helmet.
In summary: fit-and-forget comfort levels and true Italian styling are equal to its distinctive looks. The SH+ Shalimar is a safe bet when it comes to purchasing a new helmet, be it on or off road for clubman or pro riders alike