Limar Ultralight+ helmet - review
There’s light, and then there’s the Limar Ultralight
In the past year or two, it seems helmet brands have been focussed on reaching an optimum balance of aerodynamics, cooling and lightweight in their helmet designs, alongside, of course, safety. The Limar Ultralight+ lid bucks this trend slightly, with a strong focus on low weight - and it really shows.
From the moment you pick up the helmet, it’s clear that this is one of, if not the, lightest helmets in the world. Limar says as much, with a claimed 175g weight (we weighed our medium sample at 180g), which has been achieved using the Italian firm’s ‘Ultralight’ technology. To you and me, that means shaving unnecessary bulk in the moulded EPS foam, and has led to a particularly svelte design on the head.
In terms of profile, it comes closest to mimicking the Kask Mojito lid, which also sits relatively high and narrowly on the head compared to competitors. The Ultralight+ takes it a half step further – it leaves so much of your forehead exposed, and a completely clear range of vision when in a riding position, that you genuinely can forget that it’s on your head.
That’s after you’ve become used to the slightly narrow fit inside, which on me gently squeezes the sides of my head. It’s noticeable to start with, but after a few rides I’d filtered it out and by the end of the test period it feels completely normal; certainly not uncomfortable. In fact, it helps to add to the feeling of security given that there’s inherently less bulk and size.
- Price: £189.99
- Weight: 180g (medium, weighed)
- Sizes: Medium, large
- Size tested: Medium
- Colours: Various
- Website: Limar
- UK distributor: NRG4 Cycling
Limar’s ‘Competition+’ fit system is very much like any click-wheel mechanism you’ll find on a top-line helmet these days – height adjustable and able to pull the helmet into a secure position on the head while distributing tension evenly. That means what little weight there is remains practically unnoticeable, especially if you’re used to a helmet which is significantly heavier.
Cooling is also excellent given the 22 vents placed over the lid, and there’s no need to push this number higher or install big gaping exhaust vents at the rear thanks to the lightweight design. Your head feels cooler at lower speeds because the helmet feels particularly light and airy with a sense of low mass pushing down on your head. While air isn’t exactly forced through the vents, it’s good enough because your head doesn’t feel obstructed in any way. However, when you get some speed up, it begins to really work the airflow very well.
Otherwise, you’ll find a mesh bug guard underneath seven of the vents across the main frontal region. If it has any impact on airflow then it’s imperceptible, which only leaves the benefits of having a shield against anything trying to get into the helmet. I tested this in winter, where flying bugs are less of an issue, but come next spring and summer it will become more relevant.
The straps are soft and high quality, and there’s an additional chin pad that takes care of dangling material while providing a comfortable cushion against the skin. The pad/strap tidy is great except, I found, when I had around three days of stubble growth – it snagged sharply on occasion when turning my head side to side. Maybe that’s a sign I should look at my daily grooming regime, but nevertheless it might affect others with fledgling beards too. It didn’t happen when cleaner shaven, however, nor would I expect it to happen to those with full beards (although I can’t testify to that).
However, it doesn’t detract from a very positive overall experience with the Ultralight+ lid. On top of that, it comes with a removable three-setting LED blinker that fits over the adjustment dial - a neat added extra should you want to boost visibility on the bike. At £189.99 (including the LED light), it’s on a par with other high-spec lids out there, but not cheap by any definition. Finally, the lid is available in a range of colours, including Direct Energie and Astana replicas.
The lightweight helmet of choice for the Astana and Direct Energie pro cycling teams is certainly one that should be on your shortlist if you’re after one of the most featherweight lids on the market. Moreover, it gives good cooling performance, and features added extras such as a bug net and LED rear safety light as well a great field of vision.
- Very light
- Good fit system
- Rear safety light
- Bug net
- Narrow fit
- Quite expensive