Cycling without the option of listening to your favourite tracks or answering a – potentially important – call can become a battle of wills. However if music or conversation compromise safety then I’ll simply go without. But what if they don’t?
There are many solutions on the market, but what immediately set the COROS SafeSound Road Smart helmet apart for me is that, for something inbuilt with thoughtful tech it actually looks better than most road helmets! The no-nonsense polycarbonate shell is sleek and aerodynamic, and although it’s not the lightest lid on the market, (the medium weighs 320g) it is COROS’s most lightweight model. Although the Road Smart is comfy enough, you are aware of it, just as you are aware of the world around you wearing it, but that’s the point; personally I find extreme comfort just a little too numbing, I much prefer to have my senses firing on all cylinders when I’m on a bike.
With the helmet, you’ll find a charging cable, extra pads, and fixture for the bar-mounted remote, which is reassuringly tight, and the Smart remote itself. The controls are simple and not at all distracting, with five buttons in all for audio (playlist and calls), tail light, and tracking modes. The inbuilt mic is wind (and weather!) resistant, so those all important calls for help (or in my case, pizza) come through loud and clear, presuming you’re not out of signal. If you’re as forgetful as me, you’ll be reassured by the audible ‘light on/off’, so you know you are well lit, or not, if you forget to light up at the start of your ride.
Although the EOSS directional Bluetooth speakers won’t rival your home sound system, they do deliver clear sound quality without eliminating essential road noise. But this helmet wasn’t built just for pleasure; safety and functionality are key, and this is where the COROS app comes into play. With the app, which tracks your location, you can link your helmet to your chosen emergency contacts, who will be notified automatically on impact detection, meanwhile an SOS signal is transmitted from the LED tail light. 10 hours’ battery life could see you through a week’s commutes or a couple of weekend rides, but if you need a top-up the rear charging port is easily accessible and a doddle, so you really have no excuse if you run out of charge!
Simple, clear controls
Does not block road noise
Urban and MTB options also available
Does not block wind noise
4 stars out of 5