The Octal might be intended for road use, but its lightweight and well-ventilated design could make it ideal for cross-country riders, especially those who live and ride in warm climates.
With twenty large openings and a unique appearance, the Octal doesn't look anything like most helmets on the market.
The Octal employs a rather simple looking adjustable retention system that features a single dial to make changes, meaning that it should be pretty easy to use while on the move.
Massive vents and minimal internal padding make it one of the airiest looking helmets on the market.
|Helmet fit isn't really something that you can apply a rating to given that my noggin is different from your noggin, which is different than your buddy's noggin. But, at least in terms of comparisons, the Octal didn't feel like anything out of the ordinary compared to a helmet from Giro, Bell, or anyone else. That's to say that there are no strange hotspots to speak of, even when talking about the retention system at the back of the head, and I can't really come up with anything to complain about in regards to shell shape either. The lightweight, airy design certainly doesn't hurt, and while the bright orange colour isn't exactly subtle, it felt nearly invisible on my head. The Octal's forward facing vents allow an enormous amount of air to run through the helmet, much more than any traditional mountain bike helmets out there, and it kept my head noticeably cooler when the rest of me felt like I was sweating hard enough that I needed to be hooked up to an high-flow IV drip. It might be pretty obvious that the Octal is going to run cool given how vented it is, but one thing that I didn't really expect was for the two sticky 'Eye Garage' glasses holders to actually work. They did exactly that, however, keeping a rather expensive pair of riding glasses from falling out during plenty of fast, rough descents that I'm pretty sure would have seen them hit the ground had I stashed them in the vents of any other helmet. That's pretty cool because I could easily slip them into the helmet when on the move rather than stop to jam them into pocket. So, great fit, mega light, and a unique appearance, but what doesn't work about the Octal? Only one gripe when it comes to the helmet's function: I didn't really get on with the Octal's straps, with them being anything but invisible next to my skin. They do sit flat, unlike some other helmet straps out there, but they were just a bit too noticeable for me. I've also had the Octal for quite awhile now, long enough to notice that its bright orange colour is fading after nearly a full year's worth of riding - that's not ideal for a helmet that costs nearly $300 USD.|
The Octal is a different sort of helmet compared to the more protective trail / enduro lids that many riders are preferring these days, which is something that, along with it lacking a visor, is going to rule it out for a lot of people. Having said that, it's going to be a cross-country rider's wet dream, or ideal for someone who can live with a more minimalist approach. - Mike Levy
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