- Effective vents
- Low weight
- Retention adjuster needs improving
- Quite garish colourways won't suit all
The Catlike Leaf 2C is a unique and modern looking, mid-value lid with a slightly more trail or 'enduro' focussed low neck protection. The venting is effective, but the retention system is a letdown and the colourways won't suit those that prefer an understated look.
- Buyer's guide to mountain bike helmets: get the best bike helmet for you
- The best mountain bikes you can buy for under £1,500 - full sus and hardtails
- Your complete guide to the Fox Shox fork range
First impressions out the box are of a light, yet well-protecting helmet - a good middle ground between all-out XC style and the heavier, burlier looking lids. It feels quite 'flat' when first put on, and is pretty comfortable. Comfortable, despite the minimal padding, which is effective as it is well placed - and additional thickness can be added.
It had no noticeable tight spots or pressure points on my head. It is quite a wide lid, with not much forward/aft movement but a lot of side to side, until the retention is done up, but I think it'll suit most people as there are enough adjustment options on it to dial it in.
Out on the trail, the Leaf 2C is a comfortable helmet with excellent cooling properties, but is let down by the slightly awkward MPS EVO retention band that nearly always needs positioning correctly when putting the helmet on, I haven't found this issue with other Catlike helmets, and whilst its not affecting the helmet in use, the band and padding area often needs pulling down from between helmet and back of the head. It's a slightly annoying quirk that I couldn't seem to stop or reduce, even if I extended the drop of the retention ratchet right down. If you have long hair in a pony tail, it could be an issue.
During those few months of proper hot weather, I found the Leaf 2Cs large vents worked well at channelling air into the interior - with short hair, you can really feel the air flow, and the odd bug flying through at times. The retention band can be a bit of a sore spot after prolonged, warmer riding, but no more than most other lids. The strap and adjustment are pretty standard, with the usual clip found with most lids, and jaw placed adjustment tabs as well, which allowed for getting it set just so.
The Leaf 2C is built from a 100% recyclable material, which is claimed to be light, antibacterial and capable of withstanding multiple impacts without damage - personally, if I have a proper off and my helmet takes a clout, I replace it, as the point of damage is nearly impossible to determine - that said, it means this helmet should be ok taking the usual back of car/van/bag knocks quite happily.
The Leaf 2C is a perfectly adequate helmet but doesn't shine or offer anything particularly different. The issues of the retention adjuster moving or being caught when putting it on, whilst annoying isn't a deal breaker - it just needs sorting out to not be mildly irritating, some may find it a real problem. The black and fluoro yellow colourway tested is (oddly) one of the more understated colourways, and its matt finish is quite good in keeping the lid looking good for longer.