Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

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RecumbentRide
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Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by RecumbentRide »

I made a Youtube video link below please watch:

https://youtu.be/g_88o3gUnBQ

I subscribed to a Kickstarter for the above helmet and during the campaign helmet color and size were selected through a survey via email. They asked various questions regarding head circumference and shape, mine being 60cm and oval (US & Euro being generally oval and Asian generally round). After many delays the helmet arrived this week and I was thrilled to finally have it. It was nicely packaged and looked great. But that quickly changed when I put it on and tightened the retention system, the fit seemed way off and I thought how can this be happening when I'd told them my what my head shape was. Had they sent me the wrong helmet. There was no indication that they were going to try and produce only one helmet to fit all shapes. Afterall why bother asking what my head shape was I thought.

The helmet I had on was pressing very uncomfortably against my forehead when the MIPs retention band was tightened. I couldn't believe it. After all I don't particularly have a big head or a long narrow head. My existing helmet, a Bell Sixer 'L' size (Fasthouse) which is kitted out with Bontrager Ion & Flare cube lights (BTW fantastically bright day or night) is a great fit and goes up to 62cm and works with skull caps in winter.

So if my Bell Sixer 'L' (58-62cm) model can fit my head why can't the Unit 1 Aura 'L' which is (59-62cm)!! So I got my camera out took a photo and with a wavy hand sketched out the shape and measured. While I'm no helmet designer it's clear to me anyway the Aura seems to be designed with a bias for the Asian market. And then I noticed the retention system is designed differently to my Bell Sixer. In the Bell Sixer the tightening band tightens around my head i.e. sides and back whereas in the Aura it only tightens around the back of my head and as it does it forces my forehead uncomfortably against the shell but it's not tight against the sides.

Am I expecting too much from the desginers. Why on earth pin the retention system to the sides of the helmet?! I'd love to know what you think?
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Pinhead
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by Pinhead »

WHO! would buy a cycle helmet without a fitting in real life
AUTISTIC and proud
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pjclinch
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by pjclinch »

Pinhead wrote: 29 May 2024, 9:10am WHO! would buy a cycle helmet without a fitting in real life
People who don't have easy access to a range of helmets (or shoes, or jackets, or trousers, or bikes, or whatever) except by mail order.

But this is what refund and return law covers. If it doesn't fit you send it back and get a refund.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...
RecumbentRide
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by RecumbentRide »

pjclinch wrote: 29 May 2024, 5:19pm
Pinhead wrote: 29 May 2024, 9:10am WHO! would buy a cycle helmet without a fitting in real life
People who don't have easy access to a range of helmets (or shoes, or jackets, or trousers, or bikes, or whatever) except by mail order.

But this is what refund and return law covers. If it doesn't fit you send it back and get a refund.

Pete.
Unfortunately the demise of the High Street or/and when you do find a shop then there is the problem of choice or lack of it hence why many shop online.

But I was hoping to hear about helmet design and in particular the design decisions taken by Unit 1.
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pjclinch
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by pjclinch »

Not so much a comment on the helmet design as on Kickstarter campaigns. Mass production is a different game to prototyping, and prototyping is a different game to the drawing board/ideas stage.
The nature of Kickstarters is they generally haven't got to the mass production phase yet so things are likely to change between the concept and the realisation, be that further development, cost overruns, realising only 3 people out of 10,000 want the lime green and beige option, etc. Sometimes for the better, but others not.

It's also the case that small outfits contracting out manufacturing are sometimes rather at the whim of the folk actually building them. Asked why the door design on the Crux Storm tent model had changed the designer noted it hadn't but the "new" version was what the factory had "interpreted" in the latest batch from China and while not his preference it worked adequately and he was pretty much stuck with it if he wanted anything to sell 🤷‍♂️

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...
RecumbentRide
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by RecumbentRide »

Yes Pete you may very well be right but Unit 1 haven't mentioned any problems with manufacturers. This isn't their first rodeo though they do have a small suite of products so do have some experience with manufacturers. I sympathise with the difficulties of bringing a product to market and designing a helmet I don't think for one minute it's an easy task at all. What baffles me is why design the MIPs retention system the way they have as I demonstrated in the video!
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pjclinch
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by pjclinch »

Now back from a trip so I can look at the video and compare and contrast our helmets here...

Both my cheap 'n' cheerful Lidl helmet and My wife's Kask (considerably less cheap than mine, but she races in it so wanted more comfort) are somewhere between your two examples, not having a 360 degree cradle but attaching to the sides but further forwards, about at the temples.

I think it demonstrates the degree to which a basic right size to start with is important, and the adjustment is for fine tuning. There's not much obviously lost if the front of the helmet is part of the reasonably-tight-to-the-head part of the cradle if the basic shape/size is right, but if it isn't it won't work. Perhaps worth noting my cheaper one used to be my wife's and she changed after trying the Kask and finding it much better, even though the Lidl one had seen her fine for a while. Small differences can make significant comfort change where a rigid shell is part of the fit.

I would say not comfy is not fit for purpose so they owe you a refund, but it seems their design isn't particularly off-piste, even if not especially good.

Pete.
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Kask helmet showing adjustment cradle
Kask helmet showing adjustment cradle
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RecumbentRide
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by RecumbentRide »

Thank you checking out my video. I just thought how they desgined the helmet was peculiar and maybe limits the shape of rider's head it can fit comfortably after all if they'd gone down the route of Bell I feel it would have been a more universal fit. Bells implementation is a 360 cradle instead with the Aura they are pushing your head into the helmet shell at the front, which if it's not the right shape you are screwed and end up with an uncomfortable fit.
I wish I could return it but becase they are a Kickstarter project I don't believe you can :(
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pjclinch
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Re: Unit 1 Aura, for you helmet experts out there

Post by pjclinch »

I'm not a lawyer and don't know to what degree distance selling law can be circumvented with careful terms and conditions, but I'd start at least dropping some relevant search terms in to a search engine.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...
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