Louis Garneau Diamond II Helmet - $161.45

It's true, we're starting to see an industry trend that's leading away from helmet ventilation in favor of aerodynamics. However, the question begs to be asked, 'what are you willing to give up for marginal gains'' And while we're a fan of free speed and innovation, in our books, ventilation is king. Not surprisingly, Louis Garneau agrees, and its new Diamond II Helmet takes this idea and rides away with it. In fact, we detect a slight hint of one-upsmanship. While the industry overkill of ventilation has for years been dominated by the Whisper Plus' 39 vents, the Diamond II features 40 and weighs in around a svelte 285 grams. And on top of this, the Diamond II met all North American certifications right out of the gate. So, you can be assured that increasing safety is still the paramount feature of this helmet. So, how did Garneau do it' Its patented Super MSB (Monocoque Structural Base) and EXI technologies, of course. Basically, these two designs work in unison to eliminate the commonality of rib construction in helmets. As Garneau puts it, the prior means of manufacturing adds weight and minimizes the amount of potential ventilation, all the while without increasing safety. And while all of that sounds pointless and archaic, the solution was complicated from engineering standpoint. The path to the Diamond II took a few steps. The Super MSB structure is basically a supportive base that's akin to an exoskeleton. It has a polycarbonate, monocoque construction, meaning that it's formed in one piece. This reinforces the perimeter of the helmet, while supporting the EXI-insert with confidence -- and this is where the rib-replacement comes into play. Together, the two systems position two polycarbonate bars within the helmet structure, with an additional nine carbon fiber bridge inserts. The system provides targeted structural support to the helmet in the case of collision. For further reinforcement, the entire structure is created with In-Mold construction. - $161.45