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Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics Helmet Review: No Need of a Spare Visor

Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

The photochromatic visor is not the only party trick that makes the SA-1 Aeronautics special.

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Anirudh SK

A motorcycle rider often visualizes Steelbird as an ideal brand that makes commuter and pocket-friendly helmets in the country. The company is popular for having a wide range of options when it comes to good-quality affordable helmets. However, lately it has diversified into helmets that is not bound by money, a strong example of the same was the SBA-1 HF that had a rather quirky trick under its sleeve…music. We used the helmet here at CNN News18 for a while and came out mighty impressed with its practicality and usability.

But, without dwelling on the past much, we have now added the latest offering from the company that falls under the same category, the SA-1 Aeronautics. The helmet, as Steelbird says, has been designed in Italy, and has been carefully crafted to optimize the airflow and provide the best aerodynamics (as the name suggests). While the SBA-1 HF could play music with an aux cord, the Aeronautics has a rather useful feature, photochromatic visors. However, that does not make up for all the things that the helmet has to offer, so let’s dive right into it.

Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)
Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

How comfortable is it?

The SA-1 manages to find the sweet spot between comfort and security. The padding is not exactly snug but offers good protection. The interiors can be removed for washing but doing the same was a bit of a hassle as it took two from our team to put it back. The helmet, however, lacks a chin pad leaving the area vulnerable in case of a crash.

Steelbird firmly holds ground when it comes to helmets that are intended for short city commutes. However, the Aeronautics goes a step further by being completely friendly on long rides. A major reason for the same is the four vents that allow continuous circulation of air, therefore dehumidifying the interior efficiently. We were, however, not impressed with the front vent on the chin that opens facing upwards. Close the vent and we didn’t seem to find much difference.

Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)
Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

On wide-open roads, the helmet is a brilliant companion unless you limit your speed to double-digits. A bit north of it, we felt all the aerodynamics work against its favour.

The Party Piece

As mentioned earlier, the helmet can be bought with a photochromatic visor, which we loved. An addition such as these goes a long way especially for people who ride motorcycles in the day as well as in the dark. The visor gets a smoked tint when exposed to sunlight and returns back to clear when used in the dark and how it works well.

Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)
Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

Build Quality and Design

On the outside, the SA-1 gets impressive build quality with an edge-to-edge fit and finish. We found no panel gaps both when the visor was open and closed. However, if one chooses to buy a non-photochromatic visor, changing the same is a hassle as requires immense pressure, feeling as if it is just about to break.

Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)
Steelbird SA-1 Aeronautics. (Image courtesy: Anirudh Sunilkumar/News18.com)

The SA-1 excels in the design department with an aggressive stance. The flap at the rear that houses the exhaust vents add to the overall sharp silhouette of the helmet. This in addition with the sharp creases along the jaw makes the helmet look sharp and sporty.

Verdict

The SBA-1 Aeronautics has all the brownie points to make it a potent competitor in the premium helmet arena. However, at Rs 2,999 we could’ve asked for a bit more like a chin guard and a wind deflector or a cut out in the padding for Bluetooth connectivity. But keep all the knit-picking aside and what you have is a helmet that is miles away from being bothersome on the road. And of course, there’s always the photochromatic visor to brag about.


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