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The stylish and safer urban helmet


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Source: Cycling News

Date: February 3, 2023
As the popularity of E-bikes and scooters increases, more riders are riding at higher speeds. XNITO saw this as an opportunity to develop a cycling helmet that not only meets standard CPSC or CE requirements but also the higher speed Dutch NTA-8776 certification. With the NTA-8776 certification, the XNITO is claimed to be a safer helmet that’s designed for Class 3 E-bikes, scooters or even electric skateboards and OneWheels. The helmet retails for $150 and is offered in a variety of color schemes from the creative Valkyrie we have in this review or standard matte finishes. XNITO offers the helmet in a variety of creative graphic color schemes and include a 90 lumen integrated headlight and taillight for additional visibility. Additional features include a magnetic Fidlock buckle, reflective side straps, and a removable fabric bill.

UNBOXING

The XNITO comes in a simple cardboard box with black and orange colors and a transparent window to see the helmet inside the box. Inside the box you’ll find:

  • XNITO helmet
  • Fabric visor
  • USB-C charging cable
  • User manual

There is no fabric carrying bag included with the helmet but XNITO does offer a separate winter liner for $25.

FIT & FINISH

Visually, the XNITO helmet has a classic urban profile with a dome shape and extended rear for additional protection. XNITO currently offers the helmet in seven colorways from solid matte finishes to more unique options like the Valkyrie we have in this review. It’s an unusual design that incorporates gold wing graphics on each side of the helmet with a matte red finish on the rest of the helmet. Branding is limited to the XNITO logo on the rear of the helmet and flush mounted light panels on both the front and rear. The rear taillight housing has a clear appearance and turns bright red once the lights are turned on.

Unlike other smart helmets like the Unit 1 Faro or Coros SafeSound which feature separate apps for customizing and controlling the helmet, the XNITO is controlled via a single button interface on the helmet. It’s a simple design that uses a single button press to turn on and cycle through the three available modes. There is no mode memory as you always have to cycle through all three modes to shut the lights off (i.e. there is no long press to power off). The button itself is well sized and has nice tactile touch which makes it easy to use with gloves on. While the helmet may lack smart features and customization options other smart helmets have, the XNITO is a lighter helmet that is more comfortable for longer rides. We were also happy to see the USB-C charging port located below the power button which allows you to reuse your existing cables.

Inside the helmet, you’ll notice the outer shell extends around the rim of the helmet for a polished finish. The only exposed foam with the helmet is the interior in the sections not covered by the plush velcro attached padding. XNITO includes a removable fabric bill for the front of the helmet which can be swapped out for the forehead padding. Despite the emphasis on safety, the XNITO helmet does not include MIPS or alternatives such as Bontrager’s WaveCell or Lazer’s KinetiCore technologies. Instead, the inside of the helmet has slightly thicker EPS foam with air channels cut around the vents to help direct air through the helmet.

ON THE ROAD

XNITO has incorporated three light output modes into the helmet. In all the modes, the front light is at constant brightness while the taillight varies. There is flash (a constant on and off), constant and a wavy mode (animates upward and downward) to choose from. XNITO doesn’t publish the lumen and runtimes for each of the modes but claim the helmet has 90 lumen output and up to 10 hour runtime. While the helmet isn’t daytime bright, it’s visible on shaded paths and good for nighttime riding. You’ll still need a headlight if you want to see the road ahead of you, and we’d still recommend a standard taillight mounted on your bike for extra visibility.

The high position of the XNITO lights ensure you’re always visible even over cars or other obstructions that might hide handlebar and seatpost lights. Although the lights aren’t as customizable as the Unit 1 Faro, they’re great for additional visibility and help you stay safe in low visibility conditions. One negative of the light setup is that they aren’t as wide as we like, which means they aren’t visible directly from the side. Hopefully future versions will integrate more uniform COB LEDs and wider housing for full 360° visibility. Otherwise, we were impressed with the ventilation and relative light weight of the XNITO helmet. It’s comfortable for long rides and even warmer weather, which is usually a weak point for urban helmets.

THE VERDICT

Overall, we found the XNITO helmet to be a well constructed and attractive helmet. Despite having a high-speed NTA-8776 crash certification and integrated lights, the XNITO helmet is relatively light and well ventilated. The 10 vents in the helmet help funnel air through and keep you comfortable in warmer climates or longer rides. We were impressed with the modern features such as the Fidlock magnetic buckle and USB-C charging port for the lights. The combination of the flush mounted lights and unique color schemes give the helmet a unique appearance and help it stand out in an otherwise crowded market. As far as things we would improve, we’d like to see COB LED lights for more uniform illumination, a multi-level battery status to keep track of the battery, and some sort of rotational protection system built into the helmet. That said, if you’re looking for a well priced urban helmet that’s rated for higher speeds and night time riding, the XNITO is a compelling option.

Disclaimer: The product for this review was provided by XNITO. The views expressed on this website are solely those of the authors and are here to help people make an informed choice before a purchase. The authors or the blog itself does not get any monetary compensation from the product manufacturer or third-party websites/vendor links that are posted here.

Author: Eliana Bustamante



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