Bolle’ “The ONE Premium” Helmet: Quick Review

Bolle’ “The ONE Premium” Helmet: Quick Review- by Guitar Ted & Grannygear

Helmets are required equipment that riders must wear for almost any bicycling event out there. (Yes- there are some that do not require helmet usage.) So, you probably own a helmet and most of you reading this probably wear a helmet for most every ride. Of all the accessory items we wear, the helmet is likely the most ubiquitous accessory of them all. So, it is no wonder that there are many brands of helmets to choose from.  Add to this that there are road helmets, mountain bike helmets, and helmets for aero, Winter use, or for commuting. How many helmets does one need to own these days?

Well, Bolle’ would have us believe that you likely only need one versatile helmet that can do most anything. In fact, they have a model called “The ONE” and we have it on review for you today. Let’s take a look here……..

Bolle'

The Bolle’ company is also known for eye wear, but today we are looking at their aero helmet offering.

What It Is: The Bolle’ The ONE Premium is a helmet designed to be aero, versatile, and safe. Features include an LED rear flashing light which is detachable, detachable aero panels, and a Winter liner for cold weather riding. You also get a peak for a mtb look which is removable. Here is a feature set which you can find on the webpage for The ONE Premium:

Technologies:

  • REMOVABLE AERO SHELLS
  • SUNGLASSES GARAGE
  • REMOVABLE VISOR
  • CLICK-TO-FIT™ SYSTEM
  • SAFETY LED
  • WINTER LINING
Bolle'

The ONE Premium has a lot of vents, but channeling and contouring is not present here.

The ONE Premium also comes in five colorways and three size ranges. We got in the Carbon/Black helmet in Large.  The weight is 376g with the shields and pad liners in place, 300g without the aero panels. The Winter liner itself weighs 45g.  Retail seems to be around the $85.00 to $100.00 range on the open internet. NOTE: MSRP is $169.00.

First Impressions: The fit for my super-sized cranium was close to no-go territory, but it worked. I have a 63cm circumference head and the Bolle The ONE Premium says it will fit up to a 62cm head. My head is also oblong, but the Bolle’ The ONE Premium seemed to fit as well, maybe a bit better, than my tried and true Bell Helmet selections over the years. I did note that with the rear adjusting wheel I was able to keep this helmet on my head without the strap on even when bending over. That’s a first for me. You will note that in the image to the right I pulled out all the helmet pads to make this helmet fit my head.

Grannygear, who has a differently shaped head than I, did not find this helmet to his liking: First of all, the fit is not right for me. The helmet is very oblong in its inner shape, or so it seems. Maybe my head is round like a baseball…dunno…but I have used Mavic, Specialized, Bell, and Scott branded helmets the last few years and all of them fit pretty well. Specialized is my fav fit so far.  So, hopefully that helps you sort out whether or not this helmet fits you. Like Grannygear says, “Fit is individual“.

I’ve never had an aero helmet before so I was curious as to whether or not the helmet would be too hot with all the aero panels in place. I noted that I have a friend with an aero helmet and that he never complains of being too hot. Grannygear, who briefly tried this very helmet before shipping it out my way, said he roasted inside this helmet while riding. Hmm…..

Bolle'

The all black helmet doesn’t look super weird like some roadie helmets do.

The helmet looked great in the Carbon.Black scheme. The feature set seemed rather interesting, and I liked the fact that it ships with a blinky light which can be removed. Obviously, the Winter liner wasn’t tested at this point, it being Summer and all. I did think the Winter liner was well made, had great coverage, and felt nice on the head. I imagine that in Winter, with the aero panels in place, this helmet would be very wind proof and probably pretty warm as a result.

The helmet has really easy to adjust straps and I had it fitted very quickly. The mtb peak/visor deal was not really very appealing to me, so I didn’t test the helmet with it. The aero panels are easily removed and you have three options- No panels for full air flow through all 31 vents, One aero panel for partial venting, or both aero panels installed for maximum aero effect. I chose to run the ONE Premium with full aero panels for most of this test.

Bolle'

Here you can see the optional light installed and the rear aero panel removed.

Ride Performance: With full aero panels installed The ONE Premium was ridden during a few 80+ degree days with high humidity. Just the sort of weather you’d expect the helmet to fail in, as far as keeping you cool. I did this several times and found that, for me, it wasn’t much hotter than without the aero panels. It may actually have been a touch cooler. I’ve no way of measuring this for certain, but my impressions were that I was as comfortable as I was in my Bell helmet. It is worth noting that I always wear a cycling cap to prevent gravel, Sun, and insects from contacting my noggin, so this may play into the results a bit here.

I noted a lot of air moving through the helmet along the sides with both aero panels installed. With a hand just behind the upper portion of the helmet, I could feel warmer air exiting the helmet. Curiously, the effect of the air on the sides of the head disappeared when ridden with the rear aero panel removed and I thought the helmet was no cooler. I never got around to trying it with no aero panels, because I was more interested in gaining an aero effect. Why have an aero helmet if you do not take advantage of it? Otherwise it was comfortable enough and didn’t cause me any issues on longer rides in regard to fit.

That said, I felt that the air vents could have been better. Grannygear agreed saying, “Even on cooler days, I found the helmet struggled to move air, even without the panels in place.”  So it seems that even with no aero panels installed the air flow is less than desirable.

A couple of curious side effects of using the ONE Premium with the full compliment of aero panels were noted. One was that I heard several rocks ping off the helmet while riding. I also noticed insects were pinging off the aero panels and not getting into the vents as they would on a typical helmet. You’ll have to decide if these unintended results were benefits or not.

Bolle'

Here it is with no aero panels installed

At The Finish: With all the promises of versatility and aero-ness, the Bolle’ The ONE Premium seems, well, average. I absolutely love the idea of the helmet blinky but the soft touch switch is finicky and hard to use. That said, this is a feature I think helmets should feature more often. The sunglasses “garage” was amongst the best I’ve ever used. VERY secure and easy to use with any brand of eye wear I tried. While the straps are easily adjusted and comfortable, the snap clips which release or hold adjustments were too easily opened. I had to re-adjust the helmet numerous times during the test period due to this.

Otherwise the ONE Premium was okay. Neither awful or really all that great. Grannygear and I thought the air flow was hindered by the rather pedestrian under structure. The ONE Premium looks no different “under the hood” than any sub-one hundred dollar helmet and certainly no better than most other aero helmet offerings I’ve perused on-line. That said, the full aero panel set up seemed to create a decent Venturi effect which pulled air across the sides of the helmet rather well. Grannygear had a great observation though when he brought up this point, “If you start out on a bad weather day and the weather improves, and you have the cover panels installed, where do you store them when it heats up?” 

The ONE Premium carries a MSRP of $169.00 and you get the Winter liner, the mtb peak, and the blinky light in that price. (You seem to be able to spend a lot less if you search the internet though.) If you make use of all these things one could say the helmet is a decent value. It could be your commuter, roadie, and off road helmet. But taken as an aero helmet for road/gravel at this price, Grannygear and I both feel that The One Premium is not quite living up to the “premium” label here. We’d like to see more sophisticated channeling in the vents, a real switch on the blinky light, more secure strap buckles, and if you offer a mtb visor, at least make it long enough that it sticks out in front of the edge of the helmet. The Bolle’ helmet looks the part, works all right, but leaves one feeling that it could be a lot better.

Note: Bolle’ sent over The ONE Premium helmet at no cost for test and review. We were not bribed nor paid for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.


ResoluteAbout The Author: Grannygear hails from SoCal and spent most of his cycling days as a mountain biker from the formative years of mountain biking all the way up to the present day. His day job is in the tech sector, but he has spent time writing about off road 4X4’s, 29″ mountain bikes, and cycling in general. Grannygear and Guitar Ted have worked off and on together since 2009 after a chance meeting at Interbike. With gravel cycling on the rise, Grannygear has been exploring how this genre’ works in SoCal and now does guest pieces for RidingGravel.com in his spare time.


 

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by Riding Gravel 2014