Sleek, well ventilated construction with 20 clima vents for optimal cooling. Alutex reinforced for optimal strength and ventilation. Removable, lightweight visor and plugs for road and Cross-country use
- Ergo Fit Pro Pad
- Ergo Hold Retention System
- Ergo Protec Alutex
- Ergo Shape
- Clima Ride Hot Ride
- Reflective Highlights
- Removable Visor
- Tested size Medium
- Weight – 323 g (11.4 oz)
- Retail – $180
The Mavic Plasma Helmet is the second of several reviews of different items from Mavic. The first was the Huez shoes, an extremely lightweight road cycling shoe for climbers. Mavic is a French company that has been in the cycling business for over 100 years. Their main focus has been wheels but in 2008, they launched their first line of clothing and soft goods. Since this launch, Mavic has been seeing good growth in this segment and items like the Plasma Helmet look to push them further.
The Plasma helmet is made for both road and off-road riding. It has a removable visor for off-road riding. I tested the helmet on about 85% roads and 15% trails as that is about my normal mix during the summer. We have fortunately had a great summer here in Bend so temperatures ranged from 55 degrees on cool mornings to 95 degrees on the hottest days. I was not able to test the helmet in any adverse conditions as we did not have any. My rides varied from 25 – 100 miles.
The Mavic Plasma Helmet is made for a variety of rides. Designed for the rider who wants one helmet rather than one for each discipline. Their effort has been directed at making this an extremely comfortable helmet. Mavic used cranial mapping to identify pressure points and homogenous contours smoothly following anatomy. This is what Mavic calls their Ergo Shape, an optimized head shape which closely matches head shapes. The Plasma has a low-volume construction for lower weight and smaller volume for a sleeker profile. Sleeker is good; nobody wants to look like a mushroom, or so I think. The Plasma uses Mavic’s Ergo Hold retention System. This system has optimal adjustability, comfort, and 6 mm of size adjustment to the head hold mechanism. These adjustments can be made on the fly with the ergonomically designed, dual density high grip dial. The straps are similar to other helmets and can also be adjusted for a proper fit. To improve the comfort of the Plasma, there are Ergo Fit Pro Pads inside. This progressive padding provides a no-pressure head hold. The pads are low density open-cell foam that sits close to the skin to pull moisture away and higher-density foam nearer the shell provides support.
The Plasma uses another technology called Ergo Protec Alutex. This is a reinforcement technology that makes it possible for them to create huge vents in the front while not compromising any of the protection you need. The aggressive shape of the helmet paired with these large vents directs air through the helmet and keeps your head cool. The helmet can be used both with and without the included visor depending on your preference and the type of ride you are on. It plugs into the front of the helmet and has plugs for the holes when not in use. The Plasma has also been given reflective highlights for better visibility for low light riding. The helmet comes in three color schemes and three sizes.
The ultimate goal of any helmet is of course to protect your head. As with every helmet now sold, it has to pass all the appropriate tests before it can be sold. Not to worry, the Plasma has been certified and has the stickers inside the helmet to prove it. Looking at the helmet, I was not able to get any information on the actual materials used in making it. The website is also devoid of any corporate initiatives that relate to sustainability. For this reason, I gave the Plasma Helmet a zero rating.
Head Sizing (25%)
Strap Comfort (20%)
The Mavic Plasma Helmet I tested was a medium. I used the size chart from Mavic and found that my head measures around 58 cm, so I was at the higher end of the medium range. This has been about perfect; I have worn the helmet both with and without a hat and had no issues with the size. The retention system is easy to use and adjust. I really like the wheel type retention systems on helmets as you can adjust them with one hand. It makes a clicking noise when adjusting so you know when it is getting tighter. The rear retention system can be adjusted vertically as there are three settings. I liked to wear it lower on my head. The helmet is a low profile fit so my head does not fit as deep into the helmet as some others I have tested.
The Plasma helmet has quite a few pads throughout. The front half of the helmet is entirely padded. There is also one on the back adjuster and this creates a great feeling helmet. The pads are dual density for better feel and to pull moisture away from your skin. The helmet has a standard setup when it comes to the straps. They are 1/2 wide webbing and can be adjusted by movable clips. The straps connect under the chin by a plastic buckle.
Ease of Use (15%)
The Mavic Plasma Helmet is a solid performer. It is on the heavier side but with that, there are a lot of features that make the helmet very comfortable. All the pads not only cushion the head, but they did seem to pull moisture away while I rode. They did not seem to soak up sweat as much as others do.
The Plasma has large front vents that allow lots of air to flow over your head. This keeps your head nice and cool. I also tested the white helmet which I am sure is slightly cooler than the black one. I primarily used the helmet as a road helmet, but it can also be used on the trail. The plugs are easy to pop out, and the visor connects easily. All the parts of the helmet are simple to use and adjust. You can make the needed adjustments quickly and then get on with your ride. The Plasma does sit a bit higher on my head and therefore, does not offer as much protection as a couple of others I have used. This is not to mean that it will not protect your head, it has passed all the tests and should be great. I did not crash with it to test it. The helmet has two reflective stickers down each side to offer some good reflectivity. Most helmets do not offer this, so I was pleased to see it on this one.
Overall, I am a big fan of the Plasma Helmet. IT is not the lightest helmet but it makes up for it in comfort. This is one of the most comfortable helmets I have ever used. Even on my century rides the Plasma kept my head comfortable and cool. Not only is the helmet comfortable but it can be easily adjusted to fit you head. The retention has both vertical adjustment and a retention wheel in the back that is able to be adjusted with one hand. The Plasma comes with a removable visor so it is a good option for not only road cycling but mountain biking as well. The helmet is a bit lower profile which ends up meaning it covers a little bit less of your head, mainly in the back. It still passes all the tests and should protect your head if you ever need it to. If you are looking for a do everything helmet that is very comfortable then this is a great option. The Mavic Plasma Helmet retails for $180 which I find to be a fair price for what you get. Definitely a highly recommended helmet but I hope you never need one. As always, your mileage may vary.
Pros [field name=iFrame]
- Large Vents in the Front
- Lots of Padding
- Retention System Offers Great Adjustability
- Easy to Use All Parts
- Removable Visor
- A Little Less Protection for the Lower Back of the Head
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