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Limar F111

By John Stevenson

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With no less than 36 vents[1] Limar's top-of-the-line F111 helmet is clearly designed to be cooler than a polar bear wearing sunglasses and lounging on an iceberg.

An this is indeed what we find. On warm days, the F111 feels as close as it gets to not wearing a helmet -- air flows through, sweat evaporates off your head, it feels good. On cooler days it's necessary to add some protection against the breeze in the form of a bandana or like that to keep the chill off. Full marks, then for cooling.

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The F111 also has the full complement of modern helmet features: an adjustable Grabby Thing to stabilise the helmet by cradling the back of your head; a removable peak to keep the sun out of your eyes and easily adjustable strapping with a removeable cover to stop the chinstrap from irritating your skin.

As far as fit and shape goes, the F111shape is on the 'round' end of the range rather than the 'elliptical' end. If you prefer a more elliptical fit, as I do (no jokes about pointy heads, please) then you'll find the F111 is a bit gappy at the sides. However, the head cradle does a great job of holding the F111 steady even if there's a bit of spare space, so the gaps just end up adding to the available ventilation.

Exit only
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The head cradle adjustment is particularly simple: it can be tightened with one hand, though it takes two to loosen it. Getting the F111 snug is therefore a snap. However, the cradle is attached to the inside of the helmet by just a couple of Velcro patches. This works, but it's hardly sophisticated, and I found it fiddly to adjust the angle of the cradle to get it to sit correctly under the bump on the back of my head.

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A peak has become an essential accessory since the off-road crowd started using them to look as much like moto-crossers as possible, and a fairly deep one is undeniably useful, keeping low sun out of your eyes at dawn and dusk and the rain off your glassses in poorer weather. However, the F111's peak is so minimal it's almost more a fashion accessory than a practical addition. I do a lot of early-morning riding and found that the peak was just too short to be a practical sunshade unless I was willing to give up being able to see the traffic. Once the sun gets a bit higher, it's fine, though.

Quibbles aside, this is a very good lid. It's extraordinarily well-ventilated, easy to adjust and very comfortable. And Limar sponsors Erik Zabel -- what more could you want?

Plenty vents
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[1] We counted 36, Limar claims 37, which is odd since there are two down the centreline of the helmet and it's otherwise symmetrical...

Price guide: $150-170 (USA)
Sizes: S-M (54-57cm), L-XL (58-62cm)
Pro: Lots of ventilation, comfortable, easy to adjust
Con: Shallow peak, cradle angle adjustment
More information: Limar's website
Cyclingnews Rating: Click for key to ratings

What do you think of the Limar F111? Let us know

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