This aero shell helmet from a historic name blends tradition and technology
Brooks is quickly expanding its repertoire from its famous leather saddles into other bike and rider gear. You can now buy Brooks-branded cycling bags and backpacks, tools, lights and clothing – as well as cycle helmets.
Sadly its helmets are not made of vintage leather. There are three options: the urban-focussed Island, the folding Carrera and the Harrier, which is Brooks’s most performance-oriented design. It’s a classic in-mould helmet with an expanded polystyrene core covered with a plastic shell and comes in white or teal (a blue-green colour) as well as matt black.
Look inside the Harrier and its label says it’s made by Kask, Team Sky’s favourite helmet-maker. In a concession to modernity, it’s an aero design with deep longitudinal ribs connected by skinny lateral ones, reducing the frontal profile and channelling air effectively over the head.
There are large rear ports too, to let that air out. They sit above a hinged plastic rear retainer with an easy-to-use adjustment dial.
Inside, there’s more padding than in many helmets. It runs across the brow, from the front to the rear of the ribs and along the sides of the retainer. This means that there are very few potential pressure points. I found the Harrier comfortable and it’s a helmet that is likely to suit a range of head shapes. It did sit quite high on my head though, and all that padding reduces airflow a little on hotter rides.
Watch: Helmet buyer’s guide
One of the few concessions to a retro look is the straps, which are made of a rather coarser webbing than most helmets and do not have under-ear adjusters. They’re comfortable despite this and fit closely to the head so they don’t flap.
At over 300g for the size large, the Harrier is a bit heavier and a bit more enclosed than some other helmets, particularly at the sides. But if you like the retro aesthetic, this is probably as close as you’ll get in a modern cycling helmet to the classic leather ‘hairnet’.
The Brooks Harrier is a modern aero design by Kask, with some retro flourishes. It’s aero, comfortable, adjustable and well padded if a bit heavier than some other options.