Sunday 13 May 2018

A New Roof

My son's ever growing head meant that his Shark Raw helmet has gotten too small.  He tried out my Desmo the other day and liked it, so I started thinking about a second French lid.  Thanks to some excellent service by ChromeBurner, I've now got a new Roof!

Rather than go with a Desmo again, I thought I'd go for the classic Boxer.  This helmet feels a bit more old school than the Desmo.  The chin guard latches snap on to lock it down and the visor and chin guard mechanism seems much simpler.  The Desmo works on two different cams and the mechanisms to raise the visor and chin guard swing on two seperate arcs; it's a complicated thing.  The Boxer chin guard swings on the same hinge as the visor, both on a single pivot.

The Boxer is lighter, probably due to that simplicity.  It's spacious and the visor feels as big as the one on the Desmo, which is one of my favourite things about Roof mechanical helmets, you never feel like you're looking through a letter-box opening.  Even when they're closed they feel spacious and the view is first class.

I miss the one touch chin opening on the Desmo.  The two button Boxer design is fiddly and nothing like as smooth and easy to use, though once I get used to it, switching between open and closed while in motion shouldn't be too hard.

The best thing about the Boxer is the visor I got with it.  The less fiddly hinge means switching visors is much less complex than in the Desmo, and this iridium visor with it's layered tint and reflective surface is a joy to look through.

I spent ten minutes looking for a fancy tool like the Desmo requires to change visors only to discover the Boxer's visor snaps in.  Riding into the sun is easily manageable thanks to the range of tint across the visor, but the tint is so light  you can still see well in shadowy areas too.  I suspect it'll be easier to see through than the dark smoked visor I have on the Desmo.

I enjoyed my ride today with the Boxer.  It's an eye catching helmet that got a lot of looks.  The view out of it is expansive and I think it ventilates better than the Desmo - I never once got fog on the visor, a constant thing with the Desmo which I often ride with cracked open.  It's comfortable, light and at least as quiet as the old Desmo.  It seems to have the same aerodynamic qualities too with no tugging or turbulence and, like the Desmo, seems impervious to cross winds.

All of this has me wondering what the new RO32 Desmo and Boxer Carbon are like.  The RO32 promises a quieter, more comfortable experience, which would make my favourite helmet even better.  The orange and black one looks fantastic, and even offers the iridium reflective visor now that I'm enjoying so much on the Boxer.  The Carbon Boxer is even more astonishingly lighter and looks to have a more complex locking mechanism and a higher level of finish than the regular Boxer.

Closer than ever to living my Jo Sinnott dream...
Chromeburner, based in the Netherlands, got the Roof to me here in Canada within ten days of ordering and the whole process was very transparent, letting me know exactly where it is at any time.  When I contacted them, customer service was accurate and immediate, international shipping was free and duties paid were cheaper than I expected; I'll happily use Chromeburner again.

I'm in the process of selling off some old helmets that don't fit or get used much, which means the new Roof cost even less.  All in with taxes, duties and shipping, the Boxer with iridium visor cost less than $550 Canadian.  There are no equivalent helmets for sale in Canada.  Most modular/flip up helmets only rise to the forehead, meaning they are very uncomfortable if ridden open at any speed as they catch the wind like a sail.  They also tend to be much heavier than the Roof options.  The Roof chinbar rotates to the back of the helmet, out of the wind blast.  In open/jet mode, you often forget it's there until you need it.  No buffeting or awkward weight distribution to worry about.    Next time my son and I are out two-up, we'll both be in Roofs.

I'd love a Carbon Boxer, but it's an expensive proposition.  I suspect a new-model Desmo will be next on my lid-wishlist.  It's nice to have found a helmet that is light, comfortable and meets my picky needs around large viewing area, the flexibility to work as an open or close faced helmet and manages to do all that while still meeting full face safety standards.  The fact that I love the aeronautical look of these things is a nice bonus.  I just wish I had a chance to try out the new Desmo and Carbon Boxer.

It was a nice ride up and down the banks of the Grand River today.  You don't get to see
any of that because the craptastic Samsung Gear360 I'm stuck with at the moment didn't
film any of it because I couldn't see the pointlessly small and useless LEDs on it.
I miss my Ricoh Theta!  Add a ThetaV to my Boxer Carbon and Desmo RO32 wishlist.