Preview: Mavic Notch Helmet

Ride impressions from Bike’s upcoming Bible of Bike Tests

MavicNotch

By Vernon Felton

Mavic Notch
Price: $110

This past winter Mavic debuted their “Notch” line of apparel, aimed squarely at the “enduro” market. As with most products that get slapped with the “enduro” tag these days, the Notch helmet seeks to find that ideal balance between light weight, all-day comfort and a bit more ruggedness and coverage than you’d find in a lightweight cross-country lid.

Seb Kemp wrote a full review on the Notch line at the time of its release. This, however, was my first dance with Mavic’s lid. On the whole, it’s an impressive debut. At 310 grams, it’s noticeably lighter than most of the competitors in this segment (Bell Super, POC Trabec and Troy Lee Designs A1, for starters). Then again, the Notch offers a bit less rear coverage as well, which explains part of the weight savings. The Notch’s helmet retention system (dubbed Ergo Hold SL) is also scaled down, ostensibly to cut down on grams.

The retention system does a good job of keeping the Notch in place during rocky descents, but the small straps  focused pressure along the sides of my head in a way that I wasn't too crazy about. Not a deal breaker, but it could be improved. I'd opt for a few more grams if that meant a more comfortable system.

The retention system does a good job of keeping the Notch in place during rocky descents, but the small straps focused pressure along the sides of my head in a way that I wasn’t too crazy about. Not a deal breaker, but it could be improved. I’d opt for a few more grams if that meant a more comfortable system.

So, yeah, it’s light for a helmet aimed at aggressive riders. I found the Notch reasonably comfortable—not as comfy as the Troy Lee Designs A1 or the Bell Super (both of which are outstanding in that respect), but the fit is quite good. The small straps on the Ergo Hold SL work well, but also seemed to focus tension around the back of my head, which was annoying at times. Ventilation is good—above average thanks to its 18 vents–though not top of the game. I’d also have like to see a more sophisticated visor system (the visor can not be tilted and the attachment system itself amounts to nothing more than a few holes that the visor snaps into.

If you aren't digging the Notch in its yellow version, Mavic also offers it in this sleek black and a pretty cool white and black option.

If you aren’t digging the Notch in its yellow version, Mavic also offers it in this sleek black and a pretty cool white and black option.

Still, I’m impressed that Mavic put out such a strong player in its first round of helmet making—the Notch fits well, is easy to adjust and is reasonably priced for a helmet of this caliber.

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