Saturday, February 25, 2017

Bontrager Ballista MIPS

My first ride with the Ballista wasn't the best test ride for the aero quality because of the conditions, but I did get the feel of the helmet during a near five hour ride this morning. During the ride I was hit by hard gusts of wind from about every direction. 

What I consider to be some of the best equipment, gear and clothing that I have purchased in the past years are the ones that I do not notice. It is typically the items that cause little or great annoyances that gets your attention while the ones that do a better job seem to melt into the background. 

During this ride I actually had to stop whatever I was thinking about to concentrate on the attributes of the helmet. Was it comfortable? Yep! Because it was just there playing its role and not impeding my pleasure of cycling. Was it aero? I trust that it is or so says some of the more technical reviews. (Bike Radar Test) It was cool enough and it was light enough on this ride. However, I will have to wait for the hot Georgia summer to see how it works in that sort of heat. Other reviewers have said that it is no worse than a well vented road helmet in the heat.

What about sizing? When I visited Free-Flite they did not have a MIPS version in small at that time, but the regular version seemed to feel good so I had them order a small black MIPS. I have to admit that when I first tried it on it seemed a little tighter than the regular version and with a skull cap on I was a bit nervous that I got the wrong size for MIPS. However, with today's ride it felt good throughout the 85 mile ride. Aero? I can't say for sure, but I did finish this ride faster than I have done in quite a while. New helmet and a new KMC chain with the Molten Speed Wax treatment and things got a little faster.

What about cost? Looking at other aero road helmets the price was well below other comparable models. Even the MIPS Ballista was cheaper than some without MIPS. 

I am very pleased with the purchase and this will be my go to helmet going forward.

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