Abus AirBreaker helmet review

Movistar’s favourite helmet is light and comfortable, although it doesn’t have a MIPS option

Cycling Weekly Verdict

A top notch vented helmet with aero credentials, the Abus AirBreaker has a quality feel, good fit and ventilation and is lightweight, although there’s no MIPS option available.

Reasons to buy
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  • +

    Very good air circulation

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    Aero design

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Reasons to avoid
  • -

    No MIPS option

When Movistar are putting the hammer down in the grand tours, their headgear of choice is usually the Abus AirBreaker helmet.

Abus, which previously only made commuting numbers, has upped its game in the helmet arena since it took over from Cateye as the provider to Movistar. Its first high end helmet was the aero road GameChanger helmet.

>>> Abus Viantor helmet review

The AirBreaker majors on ventilation, with a less enclosed design than the GameChanger, so it’s ideal for when Quintana and Valverde are making a charge in the hot mountains of the Vuelta or the Tour. There are deep longitudinal vents and thin lateral ribs that do a very good job of funnelling airflow over the top of the head. Plus the wide forehead vent directs air over the forehead well, to keep sweat away.

Abus Airbreaker

Deep channels and large rear vents aid air circulation

But Abus says that the AirBreaker also offers good aerodynamics in faster races, like Stage 17 of the 2019 Vuelta a Espana, where Quintana took over 5 minutes on his GC rivals. The leading edges of the forward straps have a folded structure, designed to avoid flapping and improve their aerodynamics.

Nairo Quintana stole a march on his rivals on Stage 17 of the Vuelta, while wearing his AirBreaker helmet (Photo : Yuzuru Sunada)
(Image credit: Yuzuru SUNADA)

As with the GameChanger, there’s no adjustability to where the straps meet under the ears, although I found the fit just fine nevertheless. The rear straps fit especially close to the head, unlike some helmets, where they’re prone to loop out. The rear cradle fits close and comfortably too.

At 230g for a size large, the Abus AirBreaker is amongst the lightest helmets I’ve tested. It’s also very comfortable, with the fit working well for me, without pressure points. That lack of weight is partly down to an absence of a MIPS option, with MIPS typically adding around 20 to 30g to a helmet’s weight.

>>> Buy now: Abus AirBreaker helmet from Tredz for £229.99

But the company hasn’t skimped on the Abus AirBreaker’s finish. The high gloss outer shell wraps neatly around most of the polystyrene body. That’s something I like to see, as it protects the helmet from gouges during day to day use and keeps it looking better for longer.

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Paul Norman

Paul started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2015, covering cycling tech, new bikes and product testing. Since then, he’s reviewed hundreds of bikes and thousands of other pieces of cycling equipment for the magazine and the Cycling Weekly website.

He’s been cycling for a lot longer than that though and his travels by bike have taken him all around Europe and to California. He’s been riding gravel since before gravel bikes existed too, riding a cyclocross bike through the Chilterns and along the South Downs.