The Hexr helmet delivers an incredibly comfortable fit from a fascinating manufacturing process. Unfortunately, the retention system doesn’t hold the helmet quite as solidly on your head as those from other brands. If you’ve got an averagely shaped head, you’ll likely find better performance from more traditional helmets – particularly for the price. But if you’re struggling to find a lid with the perfect fit, the personlisation Hexr offers may well solve your problems.
Sustainable construction process
Retention system isn’t so secure
Heavier than other helmets at this price
By Stefan Abram
If you haven’t found a helmet that’s the perfect match for you, perhaps there is hope yet. Hexr is a British company which 3D prints helmets to match the exact curvature of its customers’ heads – with the intention of providing a personalised, and perfect, fit.
In order for your Hexr helmet to be made, a detailed scan first has to be taken of your head. For this, a special cap is sent out in the post and there’s an app you need to download onto an iOS device (unfortunately there isn’t an Android version). Then, you just need to enlist the help of a willing friend to take a scan of you wearing that hat.
This is then sent off to Hexr and the matter of constructing your helmet can begin. The whole process has some quite strong sustainable credentials – as Hexr helmets are made to order, there’s no inventory sat on shelfs gathering dust, and the raw material used to create the helmets is 100 percent renewable and produced from castor oil.
Although the material and honeycomb structure are quite different to the EPS foam more commonly used in helmets, bold claims are made about its effectiveness and safety. From independent testing at the University of Strasbourg, the Hexr helmet was shown to be “over 30% more likely to reduce brain injury than other helmets on the market.”
Inside the helmet there is a padded liner and although the helmets are custom fitted, there is still a retention system which hooks under the occipital bone at the back of the head to make the fit a bit more snug. This is removeable, though.
Also removeable is the outer shell, which reveals the striking honeycomb structure underneath when taken off. With the outer shell on, data produced by TotalSim showed the helmet saves “approximately 7 seconds over a 40 km time trial when compared to both the Giro Aether and the Kask Protone.”
Putting the Hexr helmet on for the first time, the fit was quite incredible. It did genuinely map exactly to my head, distributing its pressure evenly over the whole surface – almost feeling like a little hug and markedly different from other helmets.
My partner and I both take the same size of helmet, but with the Hexr, although the fit for me was perfect and snug, it was too wide and short for her to the extent she couldn’t even put it on properly. We’ll leave the question of whose head shape is the outlier – the point is that the fit really is completely personal.
Tipping the scales at 303g, it’s actually 27g lighter than the claimed weight. This is a fair bit heavier than the lightest of helmets, which can nudge 200g, but I didn’t find it was so heavy as to provide a distraction in anyway.
There are ports for stowing sunglasses away in the helmet. These took me a little while to find, but they are there and do work well for retaining straight-armed sunglasses. Worth noting that they are a bit more prominent in your field of vision compared to most helmets, where the vents hold them a little higher up.
In riding, the comfort of the helmet was flawless, with no pinch points or hotspots developing at all. However, I found that on rougher roads and on the trails, the retention system wasn’t sufficient for keeping the helmet in place so securely and it would move about distractingly.
To clarify, I don’t mean that the helmet was in danger of falling off at all, but rather that it would knock on my glasses and that the motion made the presence of the helmet a lot more noticeable than a helmet which stays rock solidity in place.
I think this is likely down to how the retention system clips in at the back of the helmet, rather than wrapping all the way round as you get on most other helmets. This would probably add extra weight as well as complexity to the manufacturing process, but it does feel like a necessity.
At £299, the Hexr helmet is very much at the top of the price bracket. It’s £30 more expensive than the POC Ventral SPIN helmet, which has a great retention system and an excellent sunglasses storing system. It’s also £30 more expensive than our favourite road helmet, the Giro Aether MIPS, which is much lighter than the Hexr helmet, highly breathable and has a great fit.
For people with quite ordinarily shaped heads, either of those two option would be much better value. But if you’ve been through a few helmets and are struggling to find a decent fit, the Hexr helmet is a far better punt than persevering with mass market options.
The Hexr helmet is really quite unique and has a fascinating manufacturing process and science behind it. Its fit is incredibly comfortable, but the lacklustre retention system means that for people with average shaped heads, you’ll find better performance from more traditional helmets – especially for the price.
But, if you’ve been through a number of helmets and are still struggling to find a good fit, Hexr’s manufacturing process offers a genuinely personalised fit which may well solve your safety related woes.
|Weight||303g (56cm, measured)|
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