By Stan Portus – 11 December 2019

The Valeco is the first of HJC's helmets to arrive at Saddleback, bringing with it 50 years of industry expertise. 

Renowned for creating some of the world’s best motorcycling helmets, South Korean helmet manufacturer HJC has entered the cycling market and the Valeco is the first model to land at Saddleback HQ.

Founded in 1971 and bringing close to 50 years’ knowledge and expertise, as well as state-of-the-art in-house testing facilities, HJC has already established itself as a forerunner in the world of cycling helmets. The brand has had repeat success in Grand Tours thanks to Lotto-Soudal and in the velodrome too with Victor Campanaerts’ UCI Hour Record in April 2019.

The new Valeco helmet from HJC is testament to the HJC team’s quality and expertise, with a myriad of features that have led to a super lightweight and extremely well-ventilated lid. The Valeco sits in the middle of HJC’s range above the entry-level Atara and just below the brand’s pro-level offerings – the semi-aero Furion 2.0 and the ultra-cool Ibex 2.0.

At 220g the Valeco weighs just 20g more than the Ibex and doesn’t compromise on performance in a wide range of conditions. Like the Ibex, the Valeco has been tested in HJC’s own, bespoke wind tunnel facility. It is rare for helmet manufacturers to have their own wind tunnel, but with it HJC’s team of dedicated cyclists and engineers are able to easily test their designs, helping them advance aerodynamics, cooling, and protection.

One of the most notable features of the Valeco is its 12 ventilation holes, offering excellent airflow for the hottest of conditions – whether that be in the humid climate of South Korea, riding in the Alps at the peak of summer or even in what can feel like the often fleeting British summer. 

As well as wind tunnel testing, HJC uses 3D laser-scanning to optimise fit. By laser-scanning the head profiles of a wide variety of people, HJC has been able to optimise fit across three different sizes that are universal and unisex. The Selfit self-adjusting fitting system, that is unique to HJC, also aids fit and comfort by automatically adjusting to provide consistent fitting and comfort whilst riding.

With in-house manufacturing HJC is able to ensure that all the advancements and breakthroughs made by the team during research are carried through to the final product. Rapid prototyping facilities also mean that HJC’s turnaround from idea, to research, to designed product is lightening quick. 

HJC has been the official helmet supplier to the Lotto Soudal UCI Pro Tour team since the beginning of the 2018 season, showing the brand is bringing the same vision and commitment to its cycling helmets as showcased in its motorcycling equipment, where HJC has established itself as the number one helmet manufacturer in the world for over 18 years. Lotto Soudal’s UCI pro men’s team, women’s team, and U23 team all wear HJC’s helmets, providing that all-important pro insight that ultimately feeds back into the products available here at Saddleback.

With a sleek and modern look, available in nine colours, the Valeco is the first of HJC’s premium performance cycling helmets to land at Saddleback with the rest of the range arriving soon. 

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