Evolution Carbon Nouveau Review
For 2010 the Evolution carbon helmet goes Fast Times at Ridgemont High (80s retro movie for you youngsters). Think checkered Vans, OP shorts and lightning bolt polos. Hey dude, let’s party!
The new paint scheme is a sharp departure from the 09 model where it was more like tribal organic lines meets hotrod pin striping. This paint scheme is a throwback to the 80s graphic style done in a new and improved fresh look. I dig it.
The design of the helmet from 09 to 10 has not changed. Still easy on the eyes with it’s elegant curves and edges at the back of the helmet. Vent holes are all in the same places and provide adequate ventilation. It’s offered in 2 paint schemes, black/grey/cyan and if you’re bold enough, go for the black/purple/pink version – just make sure you have matching pink gloves and shoes to complete the look.
The padding can be removed for washing like most helmets these days. A good tip I’ve come across to avoid washing is to wear a skull cap. Essentially, this is a sock for your head.
FIT & COMFORT
It goes without saying that fit is important and for two very good reasons. 1. You don’t want it to move on you while riding because it’ll effect how you can see out of the helmet. 2. Safety. If it doesn’t fit, it won’t protect you. Depending on the shape of your head, helmets fit differently so it’s always smart to try them on at a local bike shop if you decide to buy one online (that’s where the best deals are).
I have tried on 5 brands. Giro, Troy Lee, Bell, THE and 661. All good quality helmets. I really wanted the TLD but my head would not fit in one of those. My head is round and wide, out of the five brands, the Bell, THE and 661 offered the best fit. If you have a long oval-shaped head (meaning long and narrow), any of the brands would work. But if you have a round and wide head like mine, you’ll be limited.
When you think about comfort in a helmet, most of them use really nice materials inside. This helmet has soft and supple lining. I almost dreaded the fact that I was going to sweat in it. What I like about this helmet is that it has an all around good fit without any weird pressure points. Even with my wide face, I didn’t feel like my cheeks were being pushed in. Just like a shoe, you want to make sure you get the right width or you’ll feel like there’s a vice on your head.
FUNCTION & DURABILITY
The main thing with a full face is how quickly can you put it on and take it off without thinking about it. It should be like putting on a t-shirt; this is what I like about this helmet. Even with gloves on, I can easily toss it on, put the chin strap through the double metal loops and secure the loose end to a snap button. As mundane as this action is, I’ve had other helmets that required a little more effort to don. The visor is easy to tilt up and down by loosening the center bolt under the visor. I suggest once you find a good position, tighten it down good and use a quarter to tighten the outer screws on each side of the visor to prevent it from moving.
My biggest fear with using a carbon helmet is it shattering or splintering during a fall that would render it useless. This may be true to some extent but the upside is weight savings and a killer look. If you’re wondering if carbon fiber is a tough material, look no further than armor jackets that cops wear or airplanes you fly on — that’s right, they use carbon fiber. You don’t need to lose any sleep wondering if it’ll hold up. In fact, I’ve had two crashes with this helmet, other than a few cosmetic scuffs, the integrity of the helmet has not been compromised.
When you buy a full face helmet, it’s understood that one day, you’re going to go down and you’ll be one happy buckaroo knowing you were wearing one – and feeling pretty smart you got one to begin with. That’s where I think sixsixone is such a great buy, because they have one of the best crash replacement programs. You can get a new one and will be back out on the trail in no time. Take it from me, I’m a happy benefactor of it. You can find them on the web at sixsixone.com or call toll free 888.520.4888.
GOOD: Sleek, elegant design. Quality materials throughout. Comfortable and tough. Crash replacement program is incredible.
BAD: Crashing and ruining the shiny finish. Area of improvement would be to reduce the overall outer diameter size, it’s bigger like a moto helmet so the swing weight could be less.
Reviewed by Qwan Pham