The Abus Macator has a comfortable fit, but lost marks for its bulky size. It's an entry level option, and this shows in some areas - for example the adjustment dial, but the value for money affords it these shortcuts without losing marks.
Two adjustable straps
Vertical retention system very sticky
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Priced at £44.99, the Abus Macator is squared at the value end of the market and the helmet is provided with a removable visor for the gravel or mountain bike user looking for extra glare protection (and the all important aesthetic). It's a good budget bike helmet and also one of the best commuter bike helmet options.
It's an in-mould construction which binds an EPS core to a polycarbonate shell, which is typical at this price point. It's a big, bulky helmet that encapsulates your head and sits low down your brow. My size small test helmet is big enough to make my head look tiny, and weighs 278g (this is lighter than the 305g that the helmet states).
Fortunately its fit and retention is good enough to stop that added heft from rolling around the top of my head and I haven't had any lopsided helmet moments out on the road. Abus' Zoom Ace Urban retention system offers up a surprisingly minute amount of adjustment, giving a great level of tension around the head. Its vertical adjustment is less good, however, with the system sticking rendering on-the-fly alterations largely impossible. However, at this price point it's important to remember that value is high on the agenda and the fit was good without making changes.
There are 5 vents across the front which act as air inlets to help with head cooling and there are a trio of 'exhaust ports' at the rear and in the recent hot spell I've found the Macator's venting to be reasonable. Three of the front five vents have a bug mesh across them. If you've even been unfortunate enough to have a wasp or bee fly into your helmet, you'll see the use on this - but the downside is, being used to using vents as a glasses port, I came close to breaking it every time I tried to place my shades on my head.
The helmet is supplied with added liner on the chin clasp to protect from rubbing, although having removed it I haven't had any discomfort. The helmet benefits from two adjustable straps (often only one is adjustable at this price), allowing you to get a snug fit around the ears.
Despite its bulk I've found it to be an altogether better offering than the Van Rysel Aerofit 900 from Decathlon, which suffered from the opposite problem, sizing up small and perching on top of my head. In that review I mentioned how people would find themselves wanting to upgrade for a helmet with a better fit, whereas the Abus Macator nails this first time round.
The Abus Macator is available in six different colours and with 3 different levels of sizing, fitting heads from 51cm through to 62cm.
It's not as feature packed as some of the high end offerings we've had in to test, but at £44.99 it is a fraction of the price and represents a good entry level choice.
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