- Good coverage
- Uncomfortable chin straps
- Oval shape won't suit all
The Bluegrass Eagle Golden Eyes helmet is a unique-looking trail and enduro lid with great coverage and a solid build. The goggle strap-friendly design at the rear is undercut by the unaccommodating peak, however, and the reinforced straps are probably overkill – and definitely uncomfortable.
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The Golden Eyes is a unique-looking trail lid that provides decent coverage at the rear and at the temples. As with most quality designs, it features 'in-moulding', which means outer shell and the EPS foam inner are created together and bonded in a way that makes them very strong.
There's no MIPS or other rotational impact safety system here. The lid has 13 vents and weighs a low 265g (small), but it can get warm – and bear in mind, we tested this in winter. It's likely to get pretty sweaty in summertime.
Other features include a retention system that's adjustable for height on the back of your skull, and an easy-to-grab ratchet dial for the tension. You also get gel-like traction pads on the wings of the cradle for grip, and for cushioning at the rear.
The sizing is about right. My 53cm noggin dictates a size Small (52-57cm) and the fit was good with about half the slack winched in on the cradle. The comfort though, at least for me, was lacking.
The Golden Eyes has a fairly oval shape overall, which won't suit everyone – it puts slight but noticeable pressure on the front and back of my head. It doesn't cause me any real discomfort though – that comes from the straps.
Bluegrass says the helmet chin straps are reinforced with Kevlar, though arguably if you're crashing hard enough to tear regular webbing straps you've probably got other problems too.
That Kevlar means the straps are thicker and stiffer than average and just don't lie flat to your face. Instead they twist the big adjustable buckles under your ears, sticking them into the side of your face – nasty. There's also a huge excess of chin strap which can't be tucked away as the keeper is not stretchy and you can't double it back through. Oh, and the strap has a plastic ring on the end, which just flaps around.
Inside the shell, the pads are quite thin and not very secure, so their ends tend to migrate from the ridge they're supposed to cover and leave them bare. The pads are all removable, washable and replaceable, though.
The visor is adjustable to a degree – not enough to fit goggles underneath, but enough to tweak it to your liking. You could remove the top bolt and push the peak up further but, with no ratchet system to guide it, it'll come back down wonky.
There's a clip for goggle straps at the rear, to stop them sliding down off the helmet. It works, but you'll likely only want to use goggles if you adjust the peak as above!
At £90 the Bluegrass Golden Eyes is at the higher end of the scale, but it's fairly light for all that coverage and it's well-built. It does features a few neat design choices, but it's arguably not enough – especially given the discomfort from those over-the-top straps.