Bluegrass Eagle Golden Eyes 2016 Mountain Bike Review

Bluegrass Eagle Golden Eyes 2016

Reviews / Helmets

Bluegrass 33,620

At a Glance

For me, the mention of Golden Eyes reminds me instantly of either the 90's Bond film or hours wasted playing the Nintendo 64 game of the same name (yes, I know it's not exactly the same name). This helmet however, has very little to do with Pierce Brosnan or the Bond franchise, other than perhaps plenty of neat features and technology, so if you happen to hit the ejector seat button, your head should be well looked after. Enough of my 90's nostalgia, this is a thoroughly modern trail/enduro helmet, featuring an on-trend shape with coverage further down the back and sides of the head. Other technological highlights include 'Homothetic Embedded Skeleton'  which by partially embedding two shells they claim can reduce the weight and increase the safety factor. Other features include a goggle strap, adjustable visor, kevlar straps and a removable camera mount.

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On The Trail

I initially dispatched this helmet to New Zealand on the head of a racer competing in the Trans NZ Enduro race. Hoping for epic photos of rad-ness in the new helmet, I would be disappointed, but instead he gave the lid the ultimate test by smashing it into the ground on the first day of racing. A big off and a head first collision with the hard stuff left him dazed and confused and the helmet written off, but at least we can confirm it's been tested to destruction! It's hard to know how another helmet would have compared, but the collision was with the side of the helmet and with the lower coverage it surely helped to save his precious bonce.

Back home, another test helmet was sent out for some more standard testing on the trails, and hopefully without incident. The Golden Eyes has a very distinctive look, which divides opinion, but seems to fit a lot of heads. The retention system is simple and effective, fitting low around the head and with a reassuring loud click on the ratchet. The kevlar straps have adjustable sliders to adapt to the size of your ears, and keep things light and cool with a thinner mesh central section. The gel pad on the forehead isn't as sweaty as I thought it would be, and won't soak up sweat before dripping it down into your eyes.

The rear of the helmet has an Angry Birds look about it, but also has a large and easy to use goggle strap. Combining this strap with the adjustable visor means there is no excuse not to go 'full enduro', and if you wear goggles then this is a very good system.  There are twelve vents, which help keep things cool, but coverage and protection are a key priority here. The removable camera mount bolts into the central vent and gives a flat surface to mount any action camera you choose.

Comfort has been excellent, and the extra coverage coming over the temples and the back of your head feels confidence inspiring. Once tightened, even without the chinstrap done up, it's pretty hard to get off your head without loosening the cradle, giving a locked in fit. There is no getting round the fact that this is a big helmet, and it can make your head look pretty large, but this just adds to the feeling of indestructibility and security.

Overall

Great coverage and solid, functional features define the Golden Eyes helmet. The style may divide opinion and the name may confuse, but the fit and protection offered are very good. Having tested one to destruction, we know it works, and proves itself to be a robust and comfortable all-mountain and enduro helmet.

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By Ewen Turner
Ewen Turner is a self-confessed bike geek from Kendal in the Lake District of England. He runs a coaching and guiding business up there and has a plethora of knowledge about bikes with an analytical approach to testing. His passion for bicycles is infectious, and he’s a ripper on the trails who prefers to fit his working life around his time on the bike.

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