uvex hawk helmet

For at least a month, I was totally addicted to ChainLove.com, checking the site at least ten times every day. Finally there was a super sweet deal I couldn’t resist – an Uvex Hawk mountain bike helmet for $9.

With shipping and handling, the total was close to $16, but that was still a pretty sweet deal. (Even though the retail value on the helmet was only $30, it looked cooler than any other low-end helmet.)

At the very least, it was a good way to test Uvex quality and comfort before shelling out the cash for one of their $100 helmets (which look even cooler!)

uvex hawk helmet mesh

While this is a basic helmet, it shares some cool features with the nicer Uvex helmets.

For example, the bug mesh. The front vents of the helmet are covered in mesh, which lets the air in but keeps the bugs out. If you’ve ever had a bee sting you in the forehead, you’ll welcome this feature.

The only downside is that you can’t carry your sunglasses on the helmet, since you can’t stick the arms down into the helmet vents.

My favorite feature is the dial wheel for the retention system. Instead of having to squeeze anything together, you can tighten the helmet with a simple twist of a dial. This is easily done one-handed.

uvex hawk retention system

My other favorite feature is the padded chin strap – a luxury I can’t believe I lived without! This way you can cinch down the strap like you are supposed to, but without the pain of a plastic buckle cutting into your neck.

The internal padding doesn’t look like much, but it turned out to be comfortable. It was convenient, too, since the padding was already in place and you didn’t have to put extra pads in (like with my Giro Eclipse.)

Other features include vents, a black/charcoal checkered pattern, and a visor.

One thing I noticed is that the helmet is very large. It offers a lot of coverage. When you put it on, you feel it actually cover your head. It makes most lightweight road helmets, even my Giro Eclipse, feel like a hat sitting on top of your head.

The plastic shell isn’t connected that well, though. It’s not actually a problem, but a few spots seemed to stick up a bit (ie, I could push it down with my fingers and it would pop back up.)

wearing uvex hawk

On cheaper helmets like this, the outer shell is just glued or taped down in certain spots. On expensive helmets, the outer shell is fully glued or molded onto the styrofoam. The cheap helmets are just as safe, though – it’s not like the shell is going to fly off while you’re riding.

What did bother me though is how the temple area dips down low enough to hit my sunglasses and make them uncomfortable. In all fairness, my sunglasses flare out and upward at the temple. But I bet other cycling sunglasses do the same thing.

So the full coverage does hinder your use of sunglasses. I found if you tilt the helmet back a bit and then pull it back down once your glasses are on, it’s not so bad. However, that makes it difficult to remove your glasses later.

In use, the helmet is actually very comfortable. The padding was nice and soft, and the dial wheel worked marvelously for “on the fly” adjustments. The straps have been nice and comfy since day one.

wearing uvex hawk

The only problem, as I mentioned, was the sunglasses issue. Even if you managed to get them on, the sunglasses were pinned down against your face, since the helmet was so “full coverage” oriented. So you couldn’t adjust the glasses while riding.

If you’re not wearing sunglasses, it’s very comfortable. With sunglasses, unfortunately, it’s very annoying.

One last note… When it comes to ChainLove.com, I’m quite pleased. I ordered on October 2, the helmet shipped October 3, and it got here October 10. Not bad for standard shipping.

My final verdict is…

Overall, this is an unbeatable helmet for $9. It’s good quality, solid, has lots of coverage, and has cool little features not found on other helmets. (Making it a good $30 helmet, too.)

Just try it on first and make sure it doesn’t interfere with your sunglasses. I won’t be wearing this helmet very often due to the sunglasses compatibility issue, since eye protection is very important safety equipment.

I still think it’s a cool helmet though. So, whenever I need a new road helmet, I’ll definitely be looking at the high-end Uvex line.

Official website: www.UvexSports.com

Product Review Details
Company: Uvex
Product: Uvex Hawk Bike Helmet
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.8 out of 5
Date last updated: 2009-01-17
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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