Catlike Mixino helmet - review - Road Cycling UK

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Catlike Mixino helmet – review

Lightweight and well-ventilated lid ideal for hot weather riding

You’ll probably have spotted this distinctive Catlike Mixino lid on the noggins of Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde in recent years thanks to the Spanish brand’s domestic tie-up with WorldTour team Movistar. With both being climbers-extraordinaire, it’s for the svelteness and ventilation that they choose to don the Mixino in the high season of the Grand Tours.

Sure, aero has its place, but when you’re out on a long, hot ride, it’s maximum ventilation and light weight that’s probably going to win the day over marginal aero gains.

Let’s start with the ventilation, then, which comes via 39 air vents. Yes, you read that right: 39 of them. It’s this that gives the Mixino its distinctive honeycomb looks, and give rise to something call a ‘Dual Flow’ ventilation system which directs air not only over the top of the head and out of the top-rear vent channels, but around the head through the side channels and out the low-rear exhausts.

The Catlike Mixino helmet – as used by Movistar – features 39 vents in all

Of course, all these cut-outs lead to a very lightweight construction, tipping the scales at 210g for the medium on test. In fact, that’s so light that you may be wondering if the helmet is as safe as it can be.

Worry not, though. Catlike have developed an ‘amarid roll cage’ made from new wonder substance graphene – a skeletal structure that’s designed to improve the helmet’s ability to absorb impact forces. Catlike say the combination of amarid and graphene means maximum safety can be achieved with the minimum of bulk added to the carcass.

Catlike say the aforementioned honeycomb structure isn’t just for ventilation, either, as it’s designed to form what they call a ‘crash energy splitter’, in effect sharing the loading forces around the structure in the event of an impact. Naturally, I stopped short of actually having a crash in order to test these features, but it’s an indication that the Mixino is one of the most up-to-date lids out there, even if it doesn’t have MIPS technology.

Ventilation and comfort is certainly something I can comment on, however. In the recent warm spell that definitively marked the arrival of spring in the UK, the Mixino has proven a super-cool lid, easily rivalling the Kask Mojito and Giro Aeon helmets that I’ve owned and primarily used in recent years. Moreover, it feels like air is being pulled through the helmet – Aeon-esque – at speed, which can only hint at good things for when the really hot weather arrives.

An amarid roll cage, crafted from new wonder substance graphene, means ventilation doesn’t come at the cost of safety
  • Specification

  • Price: £199.99
  • Sizes: S-L
  • Size tested: Medium
  • Colours: Various, plus custom options
  • Website: Catlike
  • UK distributor: i-ride

Catlike also make a bit of noise about the ‘multi position system’, which they can be adjusted at four different points. Central to this is the wheel at the rear of the helmet; much like many other similar systems on the market, it allows the inner structure to cocoon your head by pulling in or out to the base of the skull.

The actual adjustment wheel isn’t attached to the helmet structure like most, however, which also means it can mould flexibly upwards or downward in relation to your head shape without the need for an extra adjustment point. Simple, yet clever thinking that allows Catlike to keep weight to a minimum.

The other two points are situated in the temple regions, with sliding side wings on either side that can be moved to the most comfortable position. While I’m a fan of this in terms of retention, there’s no doubt the overall fit of the helmet is a little slimmer than my Kask or Giro comparators. It meant that, although not truly uncomfortable, the sides of my head always felt a little more compressed than I’d ultimately choose – even when using the smallest of the supplied padding (you can use the 2mm pre-installed as I did, or opt for extra with 4mm and 6mm thick wings).

The adjustment wheel isn’t attached to the helmet structure

So, for those with narrow heads the Catlike is going to provide a pretty natural fit, while riders who like feeling (more) securely cocooned within their lid will also probably find it agreeable too. Those with wider heads might need to look elsewhere, though.

Finally, the padding is adequate given the limited area inside to fit it (there are only two bits, both not as plush as seen in the Kask Mojito), and the straps are lightweight and adjustable via two clasps to customise the fit under the ears, complete with a pull-through length adjustor.

Conclusion

Catlike have positioned the Mixino helmet towards those who like a lightweight, highly-ventilated lid, and it’s clear to see why the likes of Quintana and Valverde opt for it. The Mixino is a fantastically well-ventilated lid, extremely lightweight with some nice safety features despite the lack of MIPS, and is perfectly suited to hot summer rides and mountain climbing. Just be aware of the helmet’s generally narrow profile if you have an especially wide head.

Pros

  • Well ventilated
  • Very lightweight
  • Four-way adjustable fit system

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Narrow fit

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