MET launched their latest Roam helmet back in May
and it has been available on the shelves since Eurobike. The classic Italian brand is now in its 30th year and has not tried to re-invent the half-face helmet to celebrate, but have been meticulous when it comes to the features and details, leveraging their EWS athletes to try and perfect the helmet for enduro racing. The Roam is priced at €150 / $170 USD or €170 / $200 USD with Mips.
MET Roam Details
• Intended use: enduro / trail
• EPS and polycarbonate shell
• Flexible visor, adjustable to accommodate glasses and goggles
• Three sizes to fit 52–62cm
• Seven colorways
• SAFE-T Orbital retention system
• 22 vents and internal air channeling
• Claimed weight: 335 grams, medium, 360 grams with Mips
• MSRP: €150€, 170€ (Mips) / $170 / $200 (Mips) USD
• CE - CPSC - AS/NZ certified
Construction is based on an EPS foam liner, molded in-situ with three polycarbonate outer shells that protect all of the soft polystyrene from incoming objects, or when the helmet is rolling around in the back of your truck. To suit more extreme mountain biking situations, the sides and back of the helmet are extended to increase coverage and the vents are shaped to prevent branches sneaking through, kind of like archer's windows on castles of old.
Riders can choose from three sizes, and unlike some brands, the Roam has a different shell size for each, not just using the removable pads to make it fit. This means that pilots who are in-between sizes don't end up with a larger, bulkier shell that is filled out with padding which can affect fit and safety. Retention is taken care of by MET's Safe-T Orbital system; their latest retention system works 360º around the head for a secure fit. It is flexible, and the height can be adjusted by three positions at the rear to cup the back of the head.
Other features include the visor that is designed to help absorb shocks in a crash, but is not too flexible that it can bounce around or vibrate on rough trails. For half-lid and goggle wearing enduro-ists, this visor also has three indexed positions, the highest of which provides space to store goggles or glasses. The final touch is at the visor's lateral mounting points, where you'll find an additional plastic flap that retains goggle straps in place.
Venting is taken care of by 22 vents. MET designed the internal channels to connect the vents and keep air moving. Met is adamant that simply adding more vents doesn't increase airflow if they sit flat against the riders head, closing the flow circuit. Raising the vents and channels from the skull allows air to circulate. There are three main airflow channels through the middle of the helmet, plus extra space at the sides of the helmet to let air to flow above the ears.
Despite being one of the lightest lids in its class at 335 grams, the Roam conforms to all CE, CPSC, and AS/NZ standards.
Commenting on a helmet's performance is always a difficult one as the main factor comes down to the fit, and this is something that can only be decided by the customer and their head's shape. But the Roam does have a few key features that prompted me to write this review.
The main feature is the peak and the way it can be used to store goggles. We know that the goggle/half face look isn't for everyone, but for those that do require this feature, the MET is one of the best. The split ends of the peak retain the goggle strap well, and I even forgot on a few rides that my goggles were stored there, thinking I had lost them for a brief moment. Two downsides of this same feature are that you can easily to leave the peak in the high-position, which is a no-no if the fashion police are trailside. Secondly, leaving the goggles on the Roam does block 8 of the 22 vents, which cuts down on the airflow.
There are two well-spaced vents towards the rider's temples, which receives the arms of glasses for storage without them poking into your head.
Fit wise, the retention system that works in 360º should provide a good solution for most riders and allows the tension to be torqued up without increasing pressure on one spot, though one test-rider reported the front of the helmet did pressure his forehead more than others - I did not have this issue.
Airflow works well and their marketing spiel translates to the trail; this is truly one of the few helmets where I can feel the air flowing even at low speeds. Finally, the matte-black and red finish wore really well, cleaned easily and doesn't easily scuff like some gloss finishes.