Abus' GameChanges has been well thought out. Though difficult to prove, optimising for changing head positions is smart, and the cooling system works well. The straps and retention dial are a little rough, but then this helmet does beat competitors on price.
Retention system not smooth
No MIPS option
You can trust Cycling Weekly. Our team of experts put in hard miles testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!
Thank you for signing up to The Pick. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.
Since your head represents a sizeable portion of frontal area, and the human body makes up most of the drag that holds the bike/rider unit back, then choosing an aero road helmet seems like a very sensible idea.
In the past, resistance has been based on concerns around overheating. There's no point saving 20 watts if you're so distracted by forehead sweat that you're pushing out 50 less. However, most brands have now managed in incorporate adequate venting to overcome this - the Abus GameChanger included.
Seen adorning the heads of Movistar pro team riders, the GameChanger is an aero lid which promises a "multi position design" - the aim being to provide a drop in drag, even with the rider's head tilted downwards or to the side in the traditional breakaway grimace, and regardless of wind direction. It's hard to quantify this claim without a windtunnel, but it certainly seems like a sensible objective to have.
To combat overhearing, Abus has used its own 'Forced Air Cooling Technology ' - this sucks the air in at the front, encourages the cooling effect to travel over the head, before being pushed out of the exhaust style vents at the rear.
I've worn this helmet to climb mountains under the sun, during track races on London's indoor velodrome as well as when trundling out long miles under a blanket of winter cloud and rain. I've never felt my head was overheating, and the closed off vents provide good additional protection on wet days.
The retention system is Abus' 'Zoom Ace', there's a dial at the rear and this created a close fit, without creating pressure spots - even on my smaller than average noggin. The dial closes and releases in incremental adjustments, however, it's not as smooth as some higher end versions.
Externally, the Abus has a slimlined profile, and whilst aesthetics are personal, again this worked well on my fairly petite facial features.
Ponytail compatibility is built in, though I've yet to find a helmet that doesn't allow space to feed through my mane.
Inside, a soft padding is used, with a strip running alongside the forehead area which works well for mopping up some sweat if required, albeit purpose designed as some brands offer. There's space for glasses storage via the vents, and I always found these provided a firm hold and were easy to locate whilst riding.
The straps are designed to sit close, offering a "flutter free" profile. They're made from a fairly course fabric - this is common in more entry level helmets, and the Abus does come in at a lower price point than competitors with similar aero designs.
The GameChanger in a size small, weighed in a 256g - that's 21g heavier than the £200 Specialized Evade II I tested in the same size (both without MIPS), placing it well within competitive range, even if not the lightest. Unfortunately, there is no anti-rotational safety system, such as a MIPS layer - which could be a game changer for some.
Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Join now for unlimited access
Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
Michelle Arthurs-Brennan is a traditional journalist by trade, having begun her career working for a local newspaper, where highlights included interviewing a very irate Freddie Star (and an even more irate theatre owner), as well as 'the one about the stolen chickens'.
Previous to joining the Cycling Weekly team, Michelle was Editor at Total Women's Cycling. She joined CW as an 'SEO Analyst', but couldn't keep her nose out of journalism and in the spreadsheets, eventually taking on the role of Tech Editor before her latest appointment as Digital Editor.
Michelle is a road racer who also enjoys track riding and the occasional time trial, though dabbles in off-road riding too (either on a mountain bike, or a 'gravel bike'). She is passionate about supporting grassroots women's racing and founded the women's road race team 1904rt.
Back from bankruptcy, Mavic opens new facility in Vermont, teases new product
In addition to re-establishing sales in North America, the historic brand will release new wheels in the coming months
By Anne-Marije Rook Published
Neilson Powless on Saving Road Racing in America, Polka Dots and Parenthood
American Neilson Powless talks us through his 2023 Tour de France, preparing for parenthood and his goals for next season and beyond
By Tyler Boucher Published
Shimano recalls 760,000 cranks after reports of failures resulting in injury
760,000 Hollowtech road cranks recalled in USA and Canada; the programme is expected to be expanded globally
By Adam Becket Published