Uvex worked for over a year with multi-time four-cross world champion and enduro pro Michal Prokop to develop a convertible full-face helmet that was truly DH worthy and, at the same time, well ventilated and lightweight enough to meet trail bike standards. The result is the Jakkyl Hde - a well-constructed helmet that combines the classic half-shell's multi-port plastic shell and in-molded foam liner with a downhill-style molded fiberglass chin bar. The two pieces are joined with a metal clasp at the upper attachment points and with plastic twist-locks at the lower attachment points.
• Purpose: freeride, trail enduro
• Construction: Molded plastic liner, EPS shell, detachable fiberglass chin bar, 14 vents
• Adjustable push-button chin-strap fastener
• 360-degree Boa tension band
• Goggle clip on rear of helmet
• Tilt-up visor to stow goggles when not in use
• Passes European EN, and both US ASTM downhill and CPSC standards
• Colors: Black, red, and blue
• Sizes: X-small/medium and medium/X-large (52-57, 56-61)
• Weight: X/S, M - 630g (claimed), M, XL - 680g (measured)
• MSRP: $229 USD
• Contact: Uvex Sports
Two shell sizes (X-small/medium and medium/X-large) are offered with a band-style Boa closure that is said to fit almost any head shape securely. In addition to the Boa adjustment, the webbing straps have locking-lever type adjustment buckles, and the closure is a push-button arrangement with an indexing tongue that allows the chin strap to be easily tensioned on-the-fly. The Jakkyl Hde passes EN European helmet standards, and is also certified for CPSC, and ASTM downhill standards in North America. Weight for the X-small/medium size is said to be 630 grams, while the medium/X-large helmet in this review weighed in at 680 grams. MSRP for the Jakkyl Hde is $229 USD. Ride Impressions
Operating the latching mechanism is simple enough. To remove the chin bar, flip up the hinged tabs of the plastic fasteners on either side of the bar and twist them 90 degrees. Pull the T-shaped locks free of the helmet and then push the chin bar forward to slide the metal hooks that anchor the front of the bar from their slots, and it will detach. Detaching and reassembling the chin bar can be done with gloved hands with ease. That said, replicating those simple tasks while the helmet was on my head required some practice.
Full-Face: Riding the Jakkyl Hde in the full-face configuration was, for the most part, a great deal more comfortable than wearing any conventional DH helmet I have sampled in the past. It is much lighter, for starters, and the deeply tunneled EPS foam liner makes good use of the helmet's 14 vents by making sure that a good deal of cooling air is passing by your head, even at singletrack or climbing speeds.
I never thought I would say this, but the Jakkyl Hde in the full-face mode is cool enough that I wouldn't bother converting it to a half shell unless I was climbing in weather that was too foolishly hot for sensible people to be riding in anyway.
Uvex says that the helmet should never be worn as a full face without the cheek pads in place. The pads perform two functions: primarily, the snug fitting pads serve to stabilize the helmet, so it won't be bouncing around while you and the bike are. The second function is to add some side impact protection near the jaw line, which is a good thing.
I rode the Jakkyl Hde full-face wearing goggles and glasses and can happily report that the shape of the opening plays well with both - and there was enough clearance around the sides so (unlike some full-faces do) the helmet was not trying to indent the ear pieces of my glasses into my skull. The built-in goggle retainer on the rear of the Jakkyl Hde apparently works, because I had no issues with the strap.
One issue that I did have, however, was that the upper edge of the Jakkyl Hde was always in my line of sight. The Boa mechanism has three adjustment holes in the EPS liner to set the angle of the helmet in relation to your head. I had it set at the highest angle and was wishing for one more position. Peripheral vision, however, was spot on.
I found the Boa closure and the half-shell style chin straps to be a bother when using the Jakkyl Hde as a full-face. The webbing can easily twist around while donning the helmet, and the Boa dial and band apparatus does not always cooperate. When it is all in place, the band offers up a snug fit that secures the helmet without constricting the skull, and the webbing feels cooler and less restricting than the padded D-ring chin-strap of a downhill lid. When it didn't go as planned, the no-hassle fit and feel of a proper DH helmet was sorely missed. The key to success was to loosen the Boa most of the way out, take my time to slip the band over my head, and to keep my ears between the webbing as I slid the helmet on. It became easier with time.
Riding with the full-face option is more comfortable less claustrophobic, and far cooler than any downhill helmet I have experienced. I could hear better, so I was more aware of my surroundings and less of my breathing, which is accentuated by the hush of most full-face DH lids.
Half-Shell: Riding the Jakkyl Hde in the half-shell option feels less confining, primarily because the view is better and less so because removing the chin bar affords more direct ventilation. I regularly ride with a Kali Maya or a Troy Lee A1 helmet, and both feel lighter on the head. The Jakkyl Hde has about the same visibility as the A1, with similar restriction in the field of view under the brim, while the Maya is superior to both in that respect. The Jakkyl Hde, however, is better ventilated than both. Also, the Jakyll Hde manages moisture better, I had little or no issues with sweat in my eyes.
Uvex provides a pair of plastic panels that snap into the spaces left by the absent chin bar, They are simple to install and enhance the look of the helmet, but I doubt that most riders who actually use the helmet as it was intended - converting it to a full-face before major descents - will bother to bring them along. They could easily be lost or misplaced, and serve no purpose beyond aesthetics, or to prevent mud from packing into the interlock ports.
Judged upon its merits as a half-shell, the Jakkyl Hde would not be my first choice. There are lighter weight and better looking options available that I would reach for. However, it has all the right stuff to perform well on the climbs and also as an everyday trail lid. Considering it in the role of a convertible helmet, I can excuse its extra weight and slightly oversize profile - especially so, knowing that it is certified for downhill in the full-face mode.
|Uvex checks all of the boxes that a convertible full-face helmet needs to protect a rider who is willing to muscle up extended climbs in search of high-speed and technical descents. The Jakkyl Hde's removable chin-bar is far easier to stash in a hydration pack than a full-face helmet, much lighter weight, and the ventilation in both the full-face and half-shell modes is top-of-class. I'll go on record saying that I would never choose the multi-color styling of the helmet reviewed here, but Uvex does offer more subdued blue and black colorways. That said, I'd recommend it to anyone interested in a convertible lid, and would go further, saying that the Jakkyl Hde is comfortable enough that some riders will opt to wear it solely as a full-face for all riding modes. I do question, however, why Uvex chose not to include some form of rotational impact protection in an otherwise cutting-edge helmet design? Customers will have to make that call, but as is, the Jakkyl Hde is well worth considering. - RC|