Look fast, go fast, on a modest budget!
Scott are known for their bikes, but the Swiss cycling giant have an immense range of gear. From clothing, to backpacks, shoes and helmets. Far from being items added to their range to meet the needs of Scott dealers and fans of the brand, the helmets go through a lengthy design period to make sure they meet the strict demands of the part of the sport they are targeted at.
The Fuga PLUS helmet has been designed as a cross-country or road racing helmet, as it looks just as good without the visor. The helmet features five massive vents at the front, split only by a small piece of a reinforcing cage. There are two further vents, one on each side, plus five at the back - although only three of these will really see air flow over the top of your head and out the back.
The rear section of the top of the helmet is closed, aiding aerodynamics. The shell is in-moulded which is standard for almost any helmet not bought at a supermarket, but it helps with long-term durability by keeping the hard shell attached to the foam.
Inside, the MIPS system is there to aid safety by reducing shear forces in the event of a crash, and Scott’s retention system, called HALO, allows easy fit adjustment within the three helmet sizes. My ‘usually medium’ head was a perfect fit in a medium with the HALO system moved low. The straps needed minimal adjustment and the small visor (which isn’t adjustable) sat out of my field of view.
On the trail
It sounds boring to say it – but I never thought about the helmet when wearing it. At 350g it neither feels ‘barely there’ or too heavy. It vents well, the X-Static pads soaked up sweat until they were drenched, and it was never too hot. The straps can’t be truly adjusted for how far below your ears they sit, but this wasn’t a bother for me, and meant it was one less thing to think about adjusting periodically.
The visor is removable and if you are looking for a helmet that you could use for cross-country racing and general trail riding without making a fashion faux pas then this could well be it. Given the shape and forward facing vents it would be a great road helmet as well, and the vents do work better at speed thanks to the design.
The Scott Fuga PLUS is a nice and compact helmet, not as large as something like the Giro Chronicle I tested earlier this year but also without the slightly increased protection at the rear.
Helmets should be about safety, not style and to be sold in Australia helmets have to meet certain standards. Clearly the Fuga PLUS does that, and with MIPS as well there’s an added element of safety. It does come down to fit, though, and with three sizes most people should find one that goes on as snugly as their hair.
This is an excellent mountain bike helmet that is aimed squarely at the cross-country and trail end of the market. If you need something with a bigger visor or a little more protection, then look elsewhere in their range. But whatever you choose, make sure you do it at your local shop so you can try your helmet on and make sure it fits well so it is safe.
|- Compact light design||none|
|- Great ventilation|
|- Very secure, and with MIPS|
|FROM: Sheppards Cycles|
Words: Mike Blewitt Photos: Matt Staggs