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GXT Helmet: 17,000kms down the road

Kibo150, once bitten twice…
21 June 2020
Sonic is back
1 July 2020
 

By Morris Njue

I remember the day clearly, though the date and year are as hazy as that day i smoked some bad....wait...there are children amongst us...☺️ On this day, i had been invited by a boisterous neighborhood buddy to go a try out a fairly legendary swimming spot in their river. Being Kirinyaga County, all swimming is taught the hard way; in the torrential rivers. If you die, you die. πŸ™ƒ

So i jumped at the opportunity to experience this new river amidst warnings about how treacherous the place was. I wasn't fazed...i had a fair amount of experience in rivers to know how to handle chaos. It was a whirl pool kinda swimming spot- smallish looking water fall, with a laundry machine spin cycle in the middle, and black slippery rocks on the side.

He has gathered up his village boys to come show me the ropes and lead the way. They threw themselves in first and i observed....it was my turn. When i launched myself from the slippery rock platform, i hadn't taken into account the velocity of the above above, relative to the undertow... That caught me by surprise! I was spun like a rag doll immediately my legs hit the water. I was taken under on the first spin; this is where experience took over. I just held my breathe, spread my arms and loosened up while i observed from below the depths the manner in which the water flowed. 10secs later, i kicked hard in the same direction as the current and sailed right up, enjoying the flow and grabbed onto a rock ledge, climbed up and was winded for a minute or two before jumping back in for more!! πŸ˜ƒ

Basically, that πŸ‘†πŸ‘† is how I CHOSE this GXT helmet: I needed a fairly affordable, fairly good/safe helmet and fairy good looking too. I did a little light search and found it appealing, and bought it. Don't judge me! πŸ˜ƒ It has been an adventure!

 

SIZE, FIT AND ERGONOMICS
If you have watched MegaMind the animation, or have seen large boulders in landslides, or have seen the rear wheel of an F1 car, then you have a good idea of the size of my head! It causes eclipses.

The GXT helmet fits well. During the first few weeks, it was snug. But down the road, i think my head compromised the sponges in there or the quality of sponges is questionable. It fits fairly snug, but nowadays, at speed, i can hear all the gossip the wind has to offer kilometer after kilometer. It is not pleasant... The wind speaks in monotone.

It's modular nature means that it lifts the whole front face with the visor. They designed it to have a button/switch right up the chin for opening it up. It has been easy to operate except, nowadays, the hinge that holds it up no longer has the strength to keep it up...as the saying goes... 😏


The chin strap locks by way of a very military grade like ratchet that feels and sounds like you have secured some precious gem stones in a safe! With gloves, it takes practice to get the hang of how to release it, but, one gets it eventually.

 

Because the designers had an eagle in mind when they designed the front, if you strap a backpack forward, you cannot bend your head down to look at the speedo or any other instruments, let alone how fast your petrol is dwindling into the next check point.

STRENGTH, DURABILITY, BUILD QUALITY

The visor has survived a few drops and hits. Bugs and other soft flying objects bounce off it after a generous splattering of their inards before disappearing into the past. It does not let in rain and is rather warm when the weather outside becomes arctic.

I am still trying to figure out what those "melt" looking marks on its top came about... I am guessing my 3yr old has something to do with it...there is a wisdom brethren, that, "for as long as a product has not been tested against a 3yrs old, it is not worth its price tag"

The inner linings and pads are removable and washable... I discovered this when after riding long in the hot and humid coastal summers, your sweat behaves like a putrid soup as you perspirate into hot cauldron you call a helmet, making it stink of death and decay after every long ride.

I also discovered that it is made outa Styrofoam...or a substance like it, on the inside... Now, am not sure how DOT Certification works but i felt cheated. It has been dropped a couple of times from distances as high as a 6 foot man to the ground in rocks. It will not break and feel structurally compromised later.

The sun visor works well though i wish the switch mechanism didn't feel sooooo...wonky! You can literally push back the sun visor with your finger without bothering with the switch on the left side of the helmet! Am not sure if that was intentional.

 

GENERAL CONCLUSION:

Since there is no identifiable website that points out to a manufacturer, it raises many eyebrows and questions about its existence, certification and safety.

It has been working for me mostly to fight off bugs and bad weather. It hasn't encountered a heavy crash...not that i would want that for myself...but,then again, its crash tests are missing conspicuously. So how can i be sure that it is better than the dreaded YELLOW bowl of doom!? I may never know. All i know is, i would like to spend a little bit more on a helmet. On a product that has verified reviews and justifiable certification, but for now, better safe than sorry.

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