One of the necessities for riding a bike is to have the proper gear with you to ensure complete safety and the best riding experience. One such riding gear which ranks top on this mandate list is a Helmet. Now with so many varied options available in the market, it can be a bit tricky to close in on the Helmet which best suits your need.
Steelbird came up with the SB42 Airborne Steelbird Helmet last year. The helmet is a cross between the types that the Motocross riders wear and something that you can use for your daily commute. Hows does it perform on a real ride? Let’s find out.Steelbird SB 42 Airborne Helmet. (Image: News18.com/ Siddharth Safaya)
Just like any other Motocross helmet, the SB42 comes with a jazzy design. This design is coupled with a splash of colours on a black base. The Black and Orange colour combination in which we received the helmet is a treat to look at and matches the colour combination of a range of bikes.
True to its motocross nature, the SB42 Airborne has a protruding extension in the front. At the back, the helmet is shaped in a neat and edgy design. This, combined with a peak on the top gives the helmet quite a modern look. The entire helmet is covered with bold graphics and the overall effect is sure to grab some attention on the road.
Based upon the design, the peak of the Steelbird SB 42 is placed at much height over its visor and is angled upwards instead of going straight. This gives an extra field of view while riding, which is always a good thing.
The SB42 Airborne Steelbird comes with a front vent built into the nose protector, ensuring that a good airflow is maintained for the rider to stay comfortable during long rides. This also helps a lot in scorching heat in the summer months.
The biggest USP of the Steelbird SB 42 is its dual visors. While the primary visor is a full-length transparent visor that ensures full protection from the oncoming wind, the secondary visor acts only as sunglasses. The secondary visor is a black shade, sunglasses shaped visor that covers only the rider’s eyes. The visor is quite effective against direct sunlight but it plays no role in stopping the wind from entering the eyes.
While the primary visor has to be controlled directly, there is a simple mechanical switch located on the left side of the helmet while wearing that toggles the secondary visor on or off.
On the inside, the SB 42 Airborne Steelbird includes a chin-guard lining that is comfortable and protective at the same time. The chin strap is of good quality too and the best part about it is a little red pull-tag that is used to open the strap while taking the helmet off. As opposed to the conventional chin strap buckles, the tag makes it easier to remove the helmet even when you are wearing riding gloves.
Steelbird played a smart move by making the inner lining of the helmet removable. This means that you can take it off the helmet, wash it and then re-attach it for further use. This leaves no chances of sweat odour being trapped inside the helmet after repeated use.Steelbird SB 42 Airborne Helmet - Extended Chin Protector. (Image: News18.com/ Siddharth Safaya)
What’s not so cool?
Though the design of the helmet is good to look at, the aerodynamics involved have not been at par. The very first undesirable factor is the constant swishing sound of the wind inside the helmet even when the ventilation ports and the visor are closed. Though the helmet gives a protective feel, it does not provide an air-tight enclosure to the rider.
This problem also meddles with the extended chin protector in the front. At high-speeds, it does not maintain a steady position always. A light nudge to any of the sides will pull the helmet more in that direction. As you experience it, you tend to realize that it is because of the front extension which takes the full impact of the wind as soon as it nudges from a centrally aligned position.
The helmet does not look too promising on its build quality. This doesn’t mean that its bad, just that it could have been better, especially in the elongated chin protector.Steelbird SB 42 Airborne Helmet-Rear. (Image: News18.com/ Siddharth Safaya)
The Steelbird SB 42 Airborne helmet is available for Rs 2,299 and weighs around 1.5 kgs. At this price range, it faces a lot of competition by brands like Vega, Studds and even Gliders with almost all of them a bit lower on the price.
Now it might not be the best in the market but it ranks right up there at the given price range. The Helmet is sturdy, comfortable, ventilated and comes with dual visors. Anything with that and a classy, stand-out design is certainly aces in my book.