Review By – Chris Hyde
It was a pleasure to meet up with Nick Robins, one of the directors of HardnutZ. There were 2 reasons for this, firstly because of his enthusiasm towards the company he and business partner Mark Dickinson started a few years ago but secondly because it was in a cafe less than 2 miles from my house.
HardnutZ are a local company from Southend-On-Sea who, on the face of it, have a product range to rival some of the big boys when it comes to helmets for all ages and across several disciplines (road/MTB/street/snow).
Prior to meeting Nick, I had a quick look at the website www.hardnutz.com and was pleasantly surprised by the good range of colours and designs available, what also struck me straight away was the price. Road/MTB helmets come in at a very reasonable £49.99 and their Street counterparts at a wallet friendly £29.99. This is significantly cheaper than many rivals but obviously only supported by them being any good.
So – Are they any good ?
A couple of days after meeting Nick, he dropped a couple of helmets off for me to test, one Road/MTB in Black Carbon Fibre and a Street Helmet in my favourite Matt Black.
Let’s start with the Road/MTB helmet as this is the one I have used and will continue to use most (street helmet test coming soon). Opening the nice, well branded box, confronts me with the Black Carbon fibre design which is of course not real carbon fibre but a high definition printed design on the shell of the helmet. I must admit I really like this design but even if you don’t there are loads to choose from for all tastes. High Vis Yellow being a sensible choice or how about Italia for something different. What I also like is the overall design of the helmet with the flowing look of the vents and holes.
Adjustment of the helmet for size (from 54-62cm) is achieved via a dial-fit system which simply and very effectively expands and contracts the head band by rotating a big dial at the back. The dial had to be all the way out for my big head but none the less was a comfortable fit. The straps however are a bit of a more fussy affair and it took me a while to get the right fit below and around my ears and under my chin. This achieved however, the helmet feels nicely fitted and comfortable.
Safety and comfort wise, the helmet feels snug once adjusted correctly and has just the right amount of padding in for me. All of HardnutZ’s helmets conform to the relevant EU safety regulations and also have a really neat feature in the application of Scotchlite reflective stripes. These stripes are virtually the same colour as the helmet so are almost invisible during the day, at night however they are highly reflective ensuring you are always seen. In addition, the visor is removable on all of the helmets giving you the option to convert it for road use so as none of your roadie friends will laugh at you.
The 2 pictures below are of the same helmet showing how the reflective tape works.
There is not much more to say about the HardnutZ Road/MTB helmet other than they are a comfortable, cost effective option for anyone looking into getting a new lid. There are adult and youth versions with plenty of designs and colours to choose from and you can feel good for supporting a local business if you choose to buy one.
The only other test for any helmet is how it handles a crash. I hope not to have to report on that but thanks to the strict EU certification process I can feel confident this MTB’ers head will fair just fine.
HardnutZ are offering 20% discount to all Hadleigh MTB Club members for purchases made through their website, check the members forums on the website for discount codes.