Motorsports goes eco-sports
Suomy is probably best known for their motorsports helmets sporting loud graphics with Italian quality and heritage. In 2013 the company sold the motorsports side of the business to further grow the brand into the cycling, skiing and horseback markets. Then, in 2015, the cycling world saw the Lampre-Merida team take the company’s first cycling helmet to over 24 wins. With acceptance and victory on their side, they released the Sfera helmet in 2016.
The first thing you notice with the Sfera is the horizontal vents that dominate the front of the helmet, which allow a large amount of airflow to enter the helmet and rush over the rider’s head. The air is directed through the helmet in molded channels that carry it through to 12 openings in the rear that vent air out quickly. The top of the helmet does have four openings, and the two on the sides are also directionally cut to capture more air as it moves over the helmet, plus they are specifically placed and shaped to securely hold your glasses. Finally, the two larger and longer openings near the top center of the helmet allow for heat to vent out quickly when riding speeds are low.
The retention system is light and secure with many vertical positions to get it to sit just right on the back of the head. We also like the fact that these adjustments are not on a slide; instead, there are five set points. This is nice, so when you take the helmet off and set it down, this adjustment is not affected. The turn dial makes it easy to get the desired tension with a very precise and audible click. The strap webbing is substantial and rests nicely on every face profile. The pads are fairly thick but still well placed to deliver comfortable contact points. They are also anti-microbial and removable for easy cleaning. The helmet currently is offered in two sizes—XS–M (54–58cm) and L–XXL (59 – 61cm)—with 11 colors to choose from.
The Sfera has a round form on the interior and the exterior and fit our head great. The styling is unique but purpose-built to keep the direct sun off the head and to keep the airflow moving through the helmet. The way the interior channels are laid out with the pillow-like pads, the helmet feels like it almost floats on the head. This is a good feeling, as the helmet also feels very secure thanks to the retention system. Our test helmet is an eye-popping matte orange with a bit of gloss black in the rear that stands out in a group of any size. This would also be nice when riding solo, as the color is bound to draw attention to a rider.
The helmet did an amazing job of keeping our head cool even in the harsh Southern California sun. The straps were very soft and comfortable with easy adjustments. The way the strap is laced through the helmet was nice and didn’t leave you with two different-length ends that needed trimming.
While we aren’t sure if the style is our favorite, the function and fit of the Sfera are impressive. There is a very evident feeling that the designers and technicians have the experience and passion for helmets. The attention to detail is evident with the molded hard-shell exterior that wraps all the way under and around the entire edge to minimize damage to the foam when taken off and placed on a hard surface. The fact that there is no cutting or trimming of the straps while the extra is securely held in place by a substantial rubber grommet is a nice touch as well.
- Well-constructed and thought-out design.
- Unique styling
- Attention to detail
- Price: $139.99
- Weight: 263 grams