Now Helmets was founded in Southern California in 2014 to build cycling helmets for everything from urban to road riding. Its newest venture is in the mountain bike world with the new XFlow helmet. While the company may be young, the founder of Now has more than 12 years of design experience in the motorcycle helmet world, working with companies like HarleyDavidson, Fox, Scott and more. Now brings that experience to the cycling world to push R&D and protection technology to keep riders safe.
Tech info: The XFlow helmet is Now’s first (and currently only) mountain bike helmet. It’s an in-molded EPS model with what Now calls its “Microshell” outer. The helmet comes with a spiderweb airflow channel system that uses 26 vents and a series of channels inside to keep the air flowing and the rider cool. The XFlow also comes with a detachable visor that has two preset adjustable angles, a quick-dial fitting system and an anti-bacterial cooling liner that’s washable. The XFlow is available in five different colors and two different sizes. We tested the larger “large/extra-large” size, and our test helmet weighed 323 grams. All Now helmets are available through local bike shops, as well as directly through www.nowhelmet.com. The XFlow retails for $128.
Once dialed, the helmet stayed in place very well. We took the Now helmet out on a hot day and were immediately impressed with the ventilation, especially compared to some other enduro or trail helmets we’ve tested. The shape is on the large end of the spectrum, but not to the point where it bothered us or we felt like bobblehead dolls on the trail. We’re guessing the ventilation channel system required this slightly larger profile, and if it keeps us more comfortable, the trade-off is well worth it.
Fortunately, the helmet does not come down quite as low as many other trail helmets, which means it was compatible with every pair of glasses we tried with it. Those big vents also make for a very angular shape that some may not like, but we’re not here to make your fashion decisions for you. The XFlow comes with solid aesthetics and functions very well. The only piece of the puzzle missing seems to be the inclusion of additional coverage for low-speed or rotational impacts. Helmet technology has improved by leaps and bounds in the past few years with innovations like MIPS that work to prevent concussions in the case of smaller impacts. The XFlow does not have those features. That said, these technologies cost more, and with this helmet priced at $128, Now certainly has some room for the second-generation XFlow to include an option for a MIPS-type system.
Bottom line, this is a very refined helmet, especially for the price. The comfort and ventilation are top-notch, and it is a better value than many other helmets. The addition of a low-speed or rotational impact protection system would be welcome, but that may be available soon. For $128, you’d be hard-pressed to find a helmet with more or better features than the Now XFlow.
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS TO GET ELECTRIC BIKE ACTION
In print, from the Apple newsstand, or on your Android device, from Google.
For more subscription information contact (800) 767-0345
Got something on your mind? Let us know at email@example.com