Limited Edition HJC Ibex 2.0 Vintage White Helmet Launches
15 September 2021
By Nicki Giles
Clean and stylish, the HJC Ibex 2.0 Vintage White harks back to the traditional EPS helmets of the 1980s, without compromising on modern performance.
Cyclists who live to pair fashion with functionality will be delighted by the minimalist, limited edition HJC Ibex 2.0 Vintage White helmet. It’s special, impactful and won’t be found on the heads of every other road cycling fanatic, plus it has all the features required to keep you cool, safe and comfortable during your ride. Here’s how HJC pays homage to the history of cycling and embraces the future of the industry in one glorious helmet.
A short history of bike helmets
Many cyclists on the road won’t remember a time before cycling helmets, so it’s strange to think that they’re a comparatively modern invention. After early experiments with pedal-powered machines, the invention of the safety bicycle in 1885 saw cycling become a widespread activity. Yet it wasn’t until the 1970s, nearly a century later, that the real danger of head injuries from cycling began to dawn on the public.
Helmets began to filter onto the market in the mid-’70s, mostly in the form of simple hard-shells until, in 1974, MSR invented the first cushioned cycling helmet, an adapted polycarbonate climbing helmet with an EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam ring. They later added more EPS inserts, finding that this material absorbed impact better than the thick plastic.
Then, in 1975, the first fully EPS-lined cycling helmet came to market – the 485g Bell Biker, with its hard Lexan shell coating. Come the ’80s, Bell dropped the coating altogether and started producing lighter all-EPS helmets, originally intended for toddlers. It was a move that other designers soon followed, sometimes with a mesh cover to hold the EPS together but not much else. Helmet testing also became more common around this time, allowing cyclists to choose their headwear with confidence.
Still, cycling helmet use remained sporadic until a 1989 study by Thompson, Rivara and Thompson found that wearing one helped to reduce the risk of head injury by 85% and brain injury by 88%. Even then, the UCI didn’t make helmet use compulsory in the pro-peloton until 2003.
Harking to the past with the HJC Ibex 2.0 Vintage White
It’s the 1980s era of helmet style that the HJC Vintage White emulates, the traditional white EPS standing proud before shells were re-introduced in the ’90s. Since these helmets had no liner and were essentially all over polystyrene, white inside and out was the look that everyone was proud to model.
The limited-edition Ibex 2.0 adopts the same minimalist, unadorned visage, but modern cyclists will be relieved to hear that its pure-white finish is a cosmetic illusion. This helmet’s construction is very far from dated and simple – much like James Bond’s Aston Martin, it conceals a whole box of clever tricks.
The ‘mod cons’ of an HJC cycling helmet
It’s safe to say that polystyrene isn’t designed with breathability in mind, but the Ibex 2.0 Vintage White not only has 16 vents, it also incorporates HJC’s patented CoolPath system. Taking the place of standard inner padding, this light, comfortable system doesn’t just allow air to flow efficiently from the front to the back of the helmet, but lets it circulate around the scalp.
The fact that the Ibex 2.0 is ventilated enough to climb mountains in is supported by its status as the helmet of choice for AG2R Citroen and Israel Start-Up Nation in the latest Tour de France.
It’s also much more compact than the bulky protective layer that made late ’80s cyclists resemble the mushroom-headed Toad from the Super Mario franchise – something the children of the time probably loved. A slimmer, closer fit means improved aerodynamics, and since HJC’s helmets are wind-tunnel tested in the brand’s own facility, you can trust them to handle the full gamut of cycling conditions.
A good fit is also ensured, thanks to HJC’s wide-range strap and 3D analysis-based Selfit design. Rather than a dial at the back, the Ibex 2.0 has a spring-loaded system that, once you’ve clipped the cradle into one of five positions before your first ride, will mean you never have to tinker with your helmet again. Minor movements of the helmet due to changing position on the bike or looking back at the friends you’ve dropped in your latest charging attack will automatically be accommodated.
Finally, let’s not forget what cycling helmets were designed for – safety. Like the helmets of the ’90s, the Ibex 2.0 Vintage White combines a hard outer shell with a foam inner. Unlike with those vintage lids, HJC has employed the latest technology with a polycarbonate shell that’s light, breathable and composed of several intertwined pieces for added strength and rigidity.Meanwhile, the EPS layer is carefully moulded to dissipate the force of any crash, not to mention reinforced with a skeletal frame to add robustness and hold it firmly together.
Limited edition Ibex 2.0 blends the best of old and new
The Ibex 2.0 Vintage White combines the bold, iconic look of late ’80s helmets, in a rather sleeker form, with the comfort and safety of a modern helmet.
Remember, the Ibex 2.0 was awarded 4.5 stars on review by Cyclist Weekly, and gained a place in its 2020 Editor's Choice Awards, with the magazine calling it, "a great looking top-flite road helmet that puts comfort, airflow and weight at the top of its priorities" and "one of the most comfortable helmets I have ever tested".
This model is unique and won’t be around for long, so if you’re into road biking fashion, act now to get hold of yours before they go!
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