Ekoi AR14 Review
The Ekoi AR14 is a good looking aero lid, available at a very competitive price
Ekoi have certainly gone for a “less-is-more” approach to this helmet. The padding is minimal, the straps are see-through and the whole thing feels really light. And yet, to my slight surprise, I really like the Ekoi AR14.
Firstly, it’s a surprisingly roomy fit. I’ve got the large, listed as 59-61cm. My head is right in the middle of the range at 60cm. But I had to tighten all the straps up a lot, leaving me wondering if I’d fit a medium (for context, I’ve never fitted a medium helmet!). I’d always suggest trying a helmet on for size, but if you’re close to the “sizing line”, go for the smaller option.
Comparing closely to my trusty Giro Vanquish Aero helmet (also a large), the Ekoi AR14 does seem slightly wider. However, once the cradle was adjusted it sat on my head fine, with no wobble. The helmet came with extra pads which look like they might be marginally thicker, but I haven’t needed them.
I’m less pleased with the chin strap, which after tightening has left a lot of spare strap doubled back on itself. Not ideal, and frankly, I struggle to imagine there’s a human being out there whose face is long enough to use it all! Also, the strap is only adjustable on one side, so the magnetic clasp (which is very handy, BTW) is left under my chin. I’d much prefer it off to one side.
Gripes about the strap aside, the helmet fits well once adjusted. And I’m quite fussy on helmet fit. I have a shaved head, so any discomfort from a poor fitting helmet is magnified (in my opinion!). I’ve found Giro and Lazer helmets fit my head best, but Ekoi is now on that list.
Even though I’m meant to be reviewing it, I often forgot I was wearing it! The ports let air flow through at a good rate, enough to keep my head cool, even when I put some harder effort in. Granted, this was during September and October in the UK, so over-heating is not likely. However my instinct is it will do well in summer as well.
I don’t have a wind tunnel to hand to test the aerodynamic properties, I’m afraid. For what it’s worth, it feels fast! And it looks good on my head, not at all “mushroom” like as many helmets do. Neatly sits above my sunglasses, either my Oakley Jawbreakers or my Ekoi shades
Oh, and the vents double as a good place to store those sunglasses as well. I did twenty miles with my shades stuck into my helmet after the weather turned, and they held firm.
Cards on table: I haven’t conducted any crash testing on this. I’m just not that dedicated. What I will point out is that the AR14 does not have MIPS, or a similar system. How important this is, is up to each rider.
The nominal RRP of £170 seems a bit steep – and it’s even more for special edition colour schemes! However, the AR14 is often on sale at a much lower price, making it somewhat of a bargain for a pro-level helmet. At the moment you can get the Ekoi AR14 in black for £70.72; a very attractive price.
Ekoi AR14 Summary:
- Comfortable – Consider sizing down if you’re between sizes
- Light – Very minimal design
- Looks Good – even on me!
- Several pro teams are using it, so hopefully the aero benefits are real.
- Excess strap is annoying
- No MIPS. Ultimately, if you want MIPS, you won’t buy this helmet. But if that’s not a priority for you, this should be on your short list