Tested | Mavic Notch Helmet Review
Let’s turn back time for a moment, to the mid 2000s; a time well before dropper posts, 1 by 11 drivetrains and a choice of wheel sizes. A period when air sprung DH bikes were in the prototype stage and handlebars were just nudging over the 700mm mark.
Hard hitting bikes were mostly overbuilt and burly. Short, upright and heavy. Freeride, All-mountain, heck even ‘Freeride-lite’ were all marketing terms thrown around to sell both bikes and kit.
Then things started to change and change for the better. Instead of these burly, bloated bikes getting better, the ‘trail bike’ and its purpose evolved. Geometry matured, stems shortened and bars grew in width. We silenced the transmission, dropped the saddle and got a charge on. A new lease of life…
We now had bikes that opened up new territory allowing us to cover longer distances yet take in challenging, technical descents and flowing trails. Fast forward to 2015 and we have a word for it…
Dec 2008, Dirt 82: What’s the alternative? A new breed of mountainbike races
Sept 2010, Dirt 103: The fastest trail bikes on the planet.
Enough said. Times had moved on and we needed the kit to go with the bikes, to match the terrain. Let’s take a look at helmets and the Mavic Notch helmet.
The Giro Xen and Fox Flux were there early on the scene. We needed more protection, lighter weight with good ventilation. Most rides took in climbs and the helmet stayed on. The ‘piss pot’ style was too heavy and basic then only when uplifting would you consider a full face helmet. A deeper back with a full in-mold shell was required for added protection and security in the same breath this allowed the fit to improve too. A new standard was set. Leave your XC lid at home…
Mavic’s only real mountain bike helmet has been developed to cater for both the trail rider and enduro competitor. The back of this helmet is deep, but not as deep as other brands’ equivalent models. POC’s Trabec and the Bell Super are two examples. A well finished shell protects the structure from minor damage, 18 deep vents keep the rider cool in the hotter months and a fixed peak shades the sun and fends off rain. At 310g (for a medium) the weight is competitive too.
The Notch is available in four sizes sizes and four colours to suit most riders out there. Mavic have paid attention to the shape of the Notch with a deliberate ‘low volume construction’ to keep things light.’Cranial mapping’ to identify key pressure points also aids comfort and fit for most riders.
The rear Ergohold SL retention cradle is light and minimal too, a theme Mavic focus on with this helmet which broadens it’s appeal. With 6cm of adjustment from a small, neat, high quality dial we had no trouble in getting comfortable. This rear cradle is height adjustable in three settings too which is getting to be a standard on lids of this quality and price.
So a great choice of sizes and a good range of adjustment; a comfortable helmet from the start…
The first comment we made when riding with the Notch in the depths of winter is just how well ventilated it is. We have been in lids like a Giro Feature; a light helmet with a basic retention system but fewer vents. Not a real problem in all but the hottest days but we just got used to it. This Notch helmet really is a lot cooler, definitely a consideration if racing stage events or Enduros, especially in a hot European summer.
Stability was great too. The micro adjust dial was easy to tweak with gloved hands and was a noticeable improvement over the Giro Feature. There was no discomfort from the retention cradle or the chin straps either.
The fixed peak would normal put us off, being able to fit goggles under the peak or adjust things for different conditions is handy. Anyway, it sits in a spot on position (for us) so all is well.
Mavic have a sorted helmet with the Notch. It has a great blend of XC venting with trail protection and style. The styling and colours are appealing with great attention to detail for the price. Try for sizing and suitability before you buy (as with all helmets) as this is a lid you will be wearing a lot…
Weight: 310g (Medium)
Sizes: S, M, L, L Maxi.
Colours: White, Black, Blue, Yellow