MET Roam Helmet – Long Term Review
No matter how good you may think you are at riding you definitely need a helmet. Protecting you cranium is important, even if your head is full of cats doing adorable things and phone numbers for takeaway places. The evidence that hitting your head repeatedly is, well… bad, continues to grow, as do the links between serious crashes and serious mental health issues, often later in life. With all that in mind, it is worth making sure you have something of good quality protecting your noggin.
Recently I have been trying out a new helmet, the MET Roam. It is clear that MET created this helmet with the enduro market in mind. Currently, you can find the helmet for about £130 (with MIPS) or £110 (without MIPS), and given the price difference it would seem pretty sensible to go with the MIPS option. If you search hard, you can find the helmets reduced down to around £80-90. The price seems put this helmet around mid-pack, if not slightly on the higher side of the spectrum, but the helmet comes with extra gadgets that the cheaper ones often do not, plus MET is a well-established brand when it comes to bike protection.
The Roam comes in a variety of different flavours from pure black to highlighter yellow, with my favourite being the white and mint version I have been testing in medium (matches my Giro Jacket shoes, of course). It comes in sizes S-L (52cm – 62cm). The great thing about the sizing is that every shell has actually a different mould, rather than adjustable padding, thus making the shell actually fit your head, or as far as I can tell. I must admit I haven’t managed to get my hands/head(s) on the entire range, I need to find a bunch of friends with conveniently varied sized heads. Weight wise, the helmet is similarly mid-pack at 335g without MIPS and 360g with MIPS. The helmet comes in a little lighter than similar offerings from competitors, like the Sweet Protection Bushwacker or the Fox Flux MIPS.
The Roam I tried was pretty comfortable and had good coverage for the back of your head in true enduro style, but it didn’t feel like it was digging to my cranium like some other helmets I’ve tried previously. Though Mr Betty did find that it dug into the back of his (oversized) melon, perhaps an unfair observation as he’s normally a large or extra large in helmets. Made of an EPS and polycarbonate shell, it is nice and light and comes with 22 vents to keep your head cool when summer eventually reappears, or making it easier to get really wet in the Winter time. As well as the decent number of vents, there are internal channels connecting the vents and helping to circulate the air, apparently. The principle, according to MET, is that if a vent sits against the rider’s head, it will close the circuit. Raised vents and channels allow for the air to circulate, which seems eminently sensible if a little difficult to prove without talcum powder and a hairdryer, though not for lack of trying! It definitely feels better ventilated in comparison to my old Fox Flux or recently acquired Giro Montaro MIPS, however I would say it sits on par with the Sweet Protection Bushwacker MIPS I also use. My crazy obsession with good ventilation doesn’t compromise how solid the helmet feels and I have put that to the test a bit already, with a few light knocks which it has taken well. Don’t worry they were small and I’ve checked the helmet over before continuing.
My favourite feature is the three position indexed visor, that allows you to store your goggles/glasses on your helmet when climbing, and the sides of the visor have a goggle specific flap, that allows the straps to stay in place. The only problem you might find is that when you wear the goggles on the helmet, you are covering up parts of the ingenious vent system. However, as a cautionary trail tale, beware of leaving the visor position in the highest setting, it will leave you open to much derision out on the trails.
There are two well-spaced vents towards your temples, which can hold the arms of glasses for storage without them poking into your head, a skill I picked up from our roadie cousins. Also, the visor is elastic enough to absorb impact when involved in a crash, but not bendy enough to flap around when riding descents. I have probably spent too long thinking about the visor now. The retention system on the helmet is adjustable with a fairly wide range of size. The first models have been mentioned to have a system that gave way and there was a selection of riders that complained, however my current version has no issues and hopefully it will stay that way.
The finish of the helmet is top notch. The straps can be adjusted and changed, and the clasp system at the back allows different sized heads to fit in fine to the helmet. Some reviews in the past mentioned that the helmet retention system giving way every now and then, however it seems that the latest versions have this problem solved, so far!
Overall, MET is a clever and robust helmet for the all mountain and enduro rider looking for somewhere to store their goggles or glasses when not powering down the trail, plus the choice of jazzy colours isn’t bad. There are lighter helmets, there are tougher helmets but if you are thinking of a new lid, give MET Roam some thought, it is a solid and smart all-rounder.
January 21, 2019