The Spark is a modern style, clean looking, trail helmet, with ample coverage over your head and an integral visor. There is a MIPS liner equipped version available further up the range, but this non-MIPS version offers a great helmet for not much money.
The helmet gets a polycarbonate outer shell bonded to the EPS foam liner which helps it feel solid and well put together for a budget lid. The outer shell doesn't extend all the way around the base of the helmet, which leave foam inside to get knocked or marked if not treated well, however.
It's got 13 large rectangular vents spaced over the helmet, all of a decent size to allow a fairly good amount of air flow effective cooling. The vents on the sides which means there's no central one for a head mounted night light if you need that.
The helmet is secured by ‘No-TwistTri-Glides’ widgets which keep the straps flat and well placed - there was no tangling when I used the lid. The straps were easy to adjust and set in place and stayed put well.
The Spark is a one size fits all numer - well almost all. It was a push to fit a riding mate's head, with noticeable pressure points, which is worth considering if you are larger or smaller of skull.
It fitted my usually medium size head just fine and feels quite a surrounding fit when on, its definitely feels like a helmet that covers you well. The straps are a good width and comfortable, and the clip is a standard type that you find on most helmets, and worked with no problem.
You can cinch the helmet to the exact point you want, with a simple one-handed dial that just tightens the liner down. It has good, well positioned padded areas, which only lack enough cushioning at the upper limits the size.
There's also only adjustment around the circumference of your head, with no way to increase how high the brim sits on your head. I think riders at the limit of the helmet sizing may find issues with how the helmet sits and fits. The shape is quite low, and as I’m medium, it didn't create any fit issues, but I can see smaller heads having issues with movement and it consequently feeling a touch loose.
Out riding I found that, despite that the padding being aimed at channelling sweat away from your brow and eyes, it did sort of pool up in the centre and leak at times. The thickness of the pads, whilst adding comfort, meant it held more moisture and this is what led to the pooling.
I don’t usually have much issues with this and I think the large areas on the forehead, make the helmet warm and condense the sweat. At higher speeds, it was less of an issue, but on longer climbs and technical trails with more effort, I’d find it occurring more.
I used it on bike park days, some trail centres and also local single track, so while it's more than capable and offers decent protection - despite being not as fully covered as more ‘enduro’ style lids - it offers a level that warrants its ‘trail’ title. It also comes in a multitude of colours to match your bike and kit.
Generally, the Spark was a comfortable helmet, and it looks really good for this price point, it features well thought out styling, strap design and an effective if simple retention device. The issue with the padding may not affect everyone, and adding thinner pads helped, but the helmet didn’t feel as comfy with them. It isn't as simple or basic feeling as some lids at this price, benefiting from the trickle-down effect, making it a very decent lid for the money.
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