OXFORD PRODUCTS METRO V HELMET
291g S/M (52-59cm) Matt Blue (as tested) £34.99
The Oxford Products Metro V Cycle Helmet is a general purpose lid with some distinctive touches. In the everyday sense, it has performed pretty competently and works well with civilian and riding wardrobes alike.
An adaptable streak runs through the Metro V Cycle Helmet - civvies or uniform - and the matt blue finish gives it a distinctly urban feel. Michael describes it as the love child consequence of a road, skate and cross country mtb lid having a lusty tryst.
Joking aside, I can see where he’s coming from. The subtle peak and angular styling have that sort of flavour, while 19 vents keep things reasonably airy on the open road. Matt finishes have an edgy cool. Keeping them clean in the longer run requires dedicated matt polish, whereas a glossy lid retains its lustre with a deft flick of a furniture polish cloth.
There’s no inlet, or outlet technology here and I’ve had a sticky scalp when sustaining 20 odd mph along the open road and with the mercury creeping past 25 degrees. Wind noise can be a problem with some helmets, although I’ve had no problems maintaining conversation, or staying alert around town.
The relatively flat, top profile provides excellent anchor points for action cams-if you don’t mind the telly tubby aesthetic, or lights.
Talking of which, there’s an integral three mode triangular rear light too. It’s not in retina tickling territory, or road legal on its own but useful enough in the tertiary sense. Better than we’ve come to expect from most, especially sub £50.
Powered by a CR2032 button cell, the switch is easy enough to command in full-finger gloves but resists unwanted engagement. Besides, these batteries are pretty ubiquitous, so replacements shouldn’t be a problem.
Compliance with CE1078 and “in-mould” construction (Where EPS liner and shell are formed simultaneously, saving weight, improving strength and keeping cost down) are pretty much a given these days.
Build quality and attention to detail is, in the main, reassuringly good. That said; we’d be inclined to pay just a couple of quid more for a shell that covered the rim since this leaves it vulnerable - in principle to the sort of everyday knocks associated with commuting/utility runs.
This leads me on to the subject of sizing. Ours was the small/medium, which not only fitted me handsomely (Large is my default) but also the rest of my tribe, meaning it tended to get pinched! The rear fitting thumbwheel adjuster is intuitive to use and easily tweaked mid ride, say if conditions dictate a buff/cap/similar garment. That said; try a couple of sizes with your default winter headwear, a quick double check confirmed I would need to go a size larger with a beanie type hat.
This one’s a suitably subtle peak, so doesn’t look out of place when you’re riding a crosser/gravel bike, or more traditional tourer but it will also detach if required. It offers reasonable protection from strong sunlight and blustery winds. There’s some potential for moderate trail work. Think mixed terrain touring, not XC race-pace.
I’ve found the Metro V very easy to live with and I like the genre blurring style. We’ve seen it discounted online too. Likeable though it is, the metro faces stiff competition from store branded models with shells that encompass the rim and offer marginally better detailing.
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