While browsing online a few weeks ago, I came across Schuberth’s new C3W Modular Helmet. At first glance, it’s a standard flip-up helmet, just like those I’ve seen before. What initially caught my eye about the C3W was that this helmet was engineered for women. Traditionally, a woman’s helmet has been a man’s basic helmet with feminine colors and graphics. There’s never been any changes made to the fit, except maybe they made it in an extra small. I wondered, was this just a marketing ploy or did Schuberth really incorporate technology to make the helmet’s fit on a woman better? Black Girls Ride reached out to Schuberth to request a review and they offered us the opportunity to come and test out the C3W for our readers.
So, I set out for a beautiful ride to their offices, located just off the 405 in Orange County. Their marketing manager, Sarah Schilke, who is also a rider, walked me through their company’s vast helmet making history. Schuberth is a german-based manufacturer with a rich history in helmet design. Best known for their Formula 1 racing helmets, Schuberth actually made the very first helmet for motorcycle riding in 1954. Already a household name in Europe, Schuberth established their North American Headquarters in 2010 and now offer full support for all of their products in the US. I had done a bit of basic research on the brand, but had no idea how much of an industry leader they are in helmet technology. In fact, when it comes to helmets, they are actually the innovators of many features we’ve come to know and love.
Meet the C3:
After the company introduction, we talked about the C3 Helmet, their crown jewel. At $699, it’s important to show our readers why this helmet does not come cheap. Here’s what you get for the money:
• Lightest Weight Flip-Up Helmet
• Most Stable Modular at High Speeds
• World’s Quietest Flip Up Helmet, period.
• 5 year warranty – wreck it and replace it for just 30% of the cost.
The safety standards for this helmet is well above what you’ll find in any other brand. The C3 is made with their proprietary S.T.R.O.N.G. materials, using 2 molds and constructed to fit just as snug as a fitted ball cap. Most helmets secure your head with a singular chin strap. The C3 goes a step further and incorporates an Anti-Roll System with duel straps that attach to the back of the helmet. This gives additional support to your jaw, neck, and chin, insuring that it stays on during impact. When you’re moving *ahem* fast, you want to be sure your helmet moves with your head, and not without it. On the ride home, there was a noticeable lack of high speed jitters and oscillation.
My Other flip-ups often catch wind at faster speeds. Along with wind, comes wind noise. I hate wind noise. As the only helmet manufacturer with their own in-house wind tunnel for engineering and testing (how cool is that?), they’ve soundproofed this helmet 10dbs more than any other. A key component in soundproofing is their unique neck roll, which blocks air from coming into the bottom of helmet as you ride. What does this mean to you as a rider? Wind noise is almost eliminated, making this the quietest helmet ever. And I don’t know about you, but eliminating ear fatigue is a pretty great feature to me. Other cool notable features are the internal flip down sun-visor, the pin-lock system that keeps the visor fog free and the great quick release system for easy visor cleaning.
The C3W, For the Ladies:
The C3 offered great technology, but I was interested in the C3W and what exactly made it a woman’s helmet. The answer is in the fit. Have you ever tried on a man’s helmet and felt like a bobble head doll? Even after sizing down, it may fit better, but it’s still not as snug as it could be. The fit is often heavy and clunky. Here’s why… After obtaining research from a leading cosmetics company noting how much smaller a woman’s facial structure is than her male counterpart, Schuberth engineered the C3W to incorporate their research. The C3W provides a better ergonomic fit for a woman’s slimmer face and a little extra room at the top of the helmet for those who ride with a pony tail. The helmet liner and cheek pads have all been adjusted to accomodate our smaller facial features. The helmet also includes a jersey cotton hypoallergenic liner, which is better on our skin and easier to clean for those of us who wear make up when we ride.
Bonus: The Schuberth SRC Bluetooth System
The Schuberth SRC Bluetooth System is agreat add on for the C3W helmet. This OEM system integrates the Cardo G4 system into the neck collar of the helmet, so there’s no bulky external unit hanging off your head. The system allows for multiple connectivity, which means I can hook up my phone, ipod, GPS device all at once. You can communicate using the intercom system with anyone else that has a cardo comms device. And, How many times have you been on a ride and your MP3 player died on you. Up until now, you had to suffer in silence. Now, you can have an FM radio with 6 channel presets. AN FM RADIO OEM INTEGRATED INTO A MOTORCYCLE HELMET! OK, ok… I’m a geek. It’s still a cool feature though.
The Bottom Line:
The folks at Schuberth provided me with a C3W and Bluetooth System to take home and tryout for myself. After testing all of the features and functionality, I found the Schuberth C3W to be a great helmet when you need a top of the line touring modular. At $699 for the helmet and $399 for the Bluetooth System, it’s not for those whose only idea of a ride is up the block to bike night. For those of you riding from state to state or even up to the bay with subpar helmets, give this one a try. You’ll thank me later. I’ve got a ride from LA to Arizona planned next week, and the C3W is definitely the helmet I’ll reach for. The feel of the helmet is solid and doesn’t feel like it’s made with cheap plastic pieces that may not protect you when you need it the most. It’s the perfect touring helmet for long rides, fast speeds and a snug, ergonomic fit. Most of all, you’ll love how they paid attention to detail to get the perfect fit for a woman.
Check me out at Schuberth’s North American Headquarters…
*updated to include correct historical notes…