French internet clothing company Ekoi, sent us some of their products to try out over the summer. First up were their top of the range R2 shoes, which I was impressed with, next up is the Ekcel Magnetic helmet.
Ekoi’s Ekcel Magnetic helmet sits at the top of their five model, standard road range, there is also a full aero helmet available. The Ekcel Magnetic came with a soft bag and a carry case, which are very nice touches to keep your helmet in good condition. The carry case is of the soft type, it wont protect it if you are dropping it from a great height, but is great for chucking in your kit bag for an event.
We also got the optional clip on aero cover. This simple bit of plastic covers the top of the helmet, creating a more aerodynamic shape. It’s also handy in cold and wet weather to keep you warm! The aero cover is pretty flimsy and Ekoi recommend you handle it carefully. I found it a bit awkward to get on and off, but it’s not the kind of thing you are going to be trying in a rush or while on the bike, so shouldn’t be an issue. Again you have various options as to what design you have on your cover.
Going back to the helmet itself, the Ekcel Magnetic has twenty-seven vents, with the rear vents being large enough to guarantee plenty of through draft. It’s manufactured from High Density EPS, using a Full In Mould method, in other words the shell and main body are bonded together in the mould, so no glue or tapes. Ekoi have the Ekcel Magnetic down as 245g for the large model, ours came in at 240g.
Removable, washable Coolmax pads are used, which makes for a nicer smelling helmet over the summer, not a performance aid, but no one likes a stinky head! A rear mounted wheel helps fine tune the fit and the straps have a soft cover to stop any rubbing and keep the loose ends in place, they can also be removed for cleaning, always a nice touch.
It’s the straps, or the way they fasten that has given the Ekcel Magnetic it’s name. Rather than the standard ‘click’ together fastening, Ekoi have produced a magnetic fastener. You simply bring the two ends together and they leap together, no more fumbling around trying to find the opening, you can happily connect one handed. To release the catch you just slide them apart, simple.
And as with so much of Ekoi’s product, you can customise the look of your helmet by specifying colours and graphics. This is a great option, you have to pay for each addition, but you do come away with a personalised helmet. I chose a royal blue base colour, to match an old Italian steel frame and added in some orange (club colours), a Portuguese flag (family connections) and club name.
The Ekcel Magnetic is a nice solid feeling helmet, that’s down to the In Mould construction method, no more ‘beer can’ effect when you handle it from unglued areas. The pads did a good job absorbing any sweat and when I used the clip on cover in a hundred mile UCI road race, there was no problem with excess heat build up. That’s probably down to those huge rear vents still working to pull air through.
Overall I found the Ekcel Magnetic to be a great helmet, it fitted me well and had plenty of adjustment. The magnetic closure is a nice touch, easy to use and stayed in place. The clip on aero cover is a useful addition, if you want it, especially if you suffer in the cold and wet! Pricing for the Ekcel Magnetic is £129, but customisation will add to that. It’s worth keeping an eye on their site, as they often have special offers available. The Ekoi Magnetic comes in two sizes; S/M (54/58cm) and L/XL (58/62cm) and has a CE