Though Bontrager has been offering helmets for years now, their lids usually aren't the ones that first come to mind when most people go looking for a new brain bucket. It's not a Bell or POC or Troy Lee or Giro. It's, you know, Bontrager
--the Trek brand. That might change, though, if the Bontrager Lithos MIPS is any indication. This is not a knock-off helmet--not a "We walked into a factory in Taiwan, pointed to a helmet and told them to put our label on it" kind of me-too product. Of course, at $174.99 (USD) it shouldn't
be. That's a decent chunk of change. bontrager.com On Trail
The Lithos fits within the same niche as the Troy Lee Designs A1 or Bell Super or POC Trabec—half shell helmets that place more emphasis on protection than on ventilation. To that end, the Lithos sports a healthy dose of EPS foam at the rear.
The visor tilts up and out of the way—a plus for anyone who brings goggles to the party and needs to stow them somewhere on the climbs. Helmet fit is easily tweaked with the twist of the large dial. The rubberized knob is easy to manipulate, even when you are wearing thicker gloves and it provides a good range of adjustment.
Helmet fit is always a supremely subjective thing—we all have differently shaped melons, so take this with a grain of salt, but I found the Lithos sits a bit higher on my head than some competing helmets. It’s easy to adjust the Lithos—it has that nailed down—but there are a few helmets that have more of a hand-in-glove feel when I strap them on. Again, this is a totally personal matter, but I point it out simply because it raises a point: You should never buy a helmet because some jackass reviewer says it fits great. Go and try one out for yourself at your local bike shop.
If you’re a fan of POV cameras, the Lithos is outfitted with Blendr—a particularly crafty, integrated camera/headlamp mount that’s compatible with GoPro and Bontrager’s Ion lights. It takes about a nanosecond to mount a camera or light to the helmet and there’s no janky straps to fuss with. Nice.
What could be improved? Ventilation is decent. Not great. Not bad. Middle of the pack. Weight. There’s no getting around this one, the Lithos MIPS is a pretty heavy brain bucket. 450 grams kind of heavy. The Specialized Ambush, by contrast, weighs in at about 310 grams. Admittedly, that particular helmet lacks the MIPS slip plane, but still. Okay, here’s a more apples-to-apples kind of comparison: The Giro Montaro weighs 390 grams, includes MIPS and offers a similar amount of coverage. Pinkbike's Take:
|The Bontrager Lithos MIPS is a well executed helmet with all the bells and whistles. Though Bontrager may not be famous for its brain buckets, it's clear that they've done their homework here. That said, I'd like to see Bontrager lop some weight from this model. The Lithos MIPS is competing against a tough field that's loaded with equally-smart lids that have similar price tags, yet often weigh less. - Vernon Felton|