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HJC Valeco MT GL Helmet

280g Red/Black L 58-63cm £125 (at time of writing discounted to £62.50)

Te HJC Valeco MT GL Helmet is a performance road helmet suitable for many road disciplines and, I’d suggest, mixed surface touring, too. The weight and finish are attractive features, and the range of colours available will be an attraction to others. With three sizes available, there should be a good fit. Sitting in between HJC’s entry level and flagship models, it has become a bit of a favourite of mine. It strikes me as a performance level helmet for the multi-road discipline enthusiast. 


Pros: neatly finished, light, good sizing, good adjustment.


Cons: no MIPS, not so easy to mount safety lighting/helmet camera effectively.

test review seven ay cyclist hjc helmet cycling

Spec and materials

In-mould EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) inner – with its own internal frame – and a PC (Polycarbonate) shell combine to offer great strength and a neat finish. Meeting all relevant safety standards and looking good is the least you’d expect at this price point, however the HJC Valeco MT GL Helmet has a number of other features to offer, some you’d expect, others are a bit different to most other helmets I have worn. The helmet does not have any special mitigation for rotational forces, such as MIPS. That might be worth noting, although some suggest that the gain can be quite small. The inner has an antimicrobial fabric, for freshness.

cycling helmet hjc reiew test
test review cycling helmet hjc

HJC state that their experience in the MotoGP business has enabled them to reach a really good compromise between aerodynamics and ventilation, whilst keeping the helmet “super lightweight.” Well, it is lighter than other helmets I have used, although I have never really gone full-on weight-weenie.


There are twelve vents, although the two smallest at the front are effectively a part of two larger ones. The vents on top are more deeply angled, longer, and wider than is the case with many other helmets. This aims to offer greater ventilation and create three channels to take air in at the front, over the head, and out of the back.


The pattern – and this is a deliberate consequence - of the vents means that there are fewer pads inside – a blessing after washing or replacing when worn out – especially for cack-handed folk, such as I. The cradle aims to curve around the occipital bone and is adjustable by the familiar wheel at the rear of the helmet.

tst review helmet cycling bike

The straps have large buckles that should fit just below the ear. There is no locking system, but that should not be a problem. The straps are textured and the buckles hold them firmly in place.


There is plenty of choice when it comes to colour.

Size and fit 4.25/5

There are three sizes; small (51-56cm), medium (55-59cm), and large (58-63).


I have an officially big head, so I went for the large option. On examining the helmet, I got it into my head that the cradle was quite small. Putting it on, with the adjuster at max, the helmet slipped on, but I wondered if I’d get a skull cap underneath – the temperature was below freezing. I was happily surprised to find that it went on without protest. The same with my Showers Pass Elite Cycling Cap. It felt like the perfect fit. Things felt even better after a visit to the barber on the way home! Any initial concerns about sizing were allayed.

By chance, the straps were perfectly adjusted on arrival. However, they are the usual design, so a little care should get the helmet secure and comfortable in readiness to, hopefully, never be called into action.

cycling helmet test review hjc avelco

Care and durability 4/5

Special helmet cleaning solutions and sprays are available, but being a road helmet there’s been no need for anything other than a damp cloth to rid the outer of dirt. So far, the inner has not needed a spray, which suggests that the fabric freshener works.


The main threat to the helmet on my regular rides is masonry on low canal bridges. Apart from that the quality of the build of all elements suggests longevity – provided it is not dropped or, worse, called into real action.


Rather nicely there’s a cotton bag for carrying the helmet when it is not in use or for longer term storage.

test review hjc cycling helmet

Performance 4.25/5

Let’s start with the “super lightweight” factor. Well, it does feel lighter in the hand than other helmets I have used. This was immediately noticeable when taking it out of the box. It feels lighter on the head, too. Frankly, the impact is hard to evaluate, but, as we know, marginal gains can make a significant difference on a long or fast ride – even for the enthusiast rather than the competitor.


Ventilation is very good. Even in cold weather – and the testing period has seen temperatures of -5C to 14C (that is a UK December for you) – ventilation stops the build-up of sweat that causes discomfort on long descents, for example, or when stopping. At the warmer end of the testing temperature scale, good climbs did not become overheated. Who knows what summer will bring, but I’m looking forward to finding out. I’m confident that things will feel good.

Climate control is, of course, enhanced by under helmet skull cap, cap, or helmet cover. The Raval Helmet Cover has combined very well in low temperatures, but that is true of other helmets, too. Universal sized head garments seem to fit well. The cradle adjustment is pretty good and as easy as any. The occipital curve requires more frequent adjustment than I’m used to with other helmet cradles. Hardly a problem, I have found the snugness quite reassuring.


The straps have barely needed and adjustment, except for evening-up the lengths. I guess those buckles are highly effective.


Overall, this feels like a solidly built helmet. Despite being in the middle of their range of road performance helmets, the concept is a good and execution are successfully carried out successfully.


I sometimes use the Brightside Topside Safety Light. Now, this is not a deal-breaker, but the vent pattern makes it harder to use this effectively, especially if riding on drops or hoods rather than flat bars. The same could be true of helmet mounted cameras, depending on the mount.

Value 3.5/5

Well, this is not the proverbial five-pound helmet for a five-pound head. Far from it, but I’ve seen it discounted on-line, which makes it very, very good value. The RRP might seem high and there are numerous rivals, but there’s a lot to like about it.


I’ve used the Kali Therapy Road Helmet on a regular basis for the last couple of years. At £94.99 (although I have seen it significantly discounted) I like it a lot, but the HJC is a neater build and has, in my opinion, a better cradle and better ventilation.


For those with even bigger heads than mine, the Bontrager Starvos WaveCel goes up to a whopping 66cm circumference and comes in at a little over £100, but is heftier. Reports reckon ventilation is very good.


Price-wise it seems relatively competitive. Giro Synthe MIPS II Roa Helmet is aimed at road and gravel audiences, features MIPS technology, and is, at the time of writing, offered at £132.99 (reduced from £189.99). Then there's Specdialized's S Works Evade II. The Bell Formula is arguably a contender for riders on a budget, or wanting a second lid for everyday/general.


The HJC Ibex 2.0, their “flagship” road model comes in at over £200 RRP, but I have seen incredible discounts on-line. It is probably more of a model for the speedster and endurance rider where weight and comfort are crucial.


However, I’m more than happy to say that I think the HJC Avelco is fair value at RRP, but if you can find it at a discount, you may well have an absolute bargain.


Clearly road orientated, the HJC Avelco will suit enthusiasts for all the main road disciplines, although more serious competitors may seek an even higher spec. I’ve used it on mixed surface rides, although serious off-roading is off limits. The low weight, comfortable cradle, and anti-bacterial fabric make this a good touring helmet, too. Mind you, there’s a lot of competition at the recommended retail price point.

Verdict 4/5 Well-built, highly effective, light-weight: very likeable road-orientated helmet.


Steve Dyster





Ryton On Dunsmore

Coventry  CV8 3FH


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