Gear Reviews Part 1

So this last week I was able to test out a good deal of gear that I havent used much or havent been able to test to the extremes.    This is the first round of items:

1. Shoei Neotec Helmet –  I replaced my Shoei Multitec helmet this summer with the Neotec.  The Neotec is an evolution off the Multitec design, fixing many of the design flaws or oversights in it.

The Multitec had a horrible habit of fogging up in even the every so slightly cool day. This was caused by the chin area being very tight and ventilation being bad.   The Neotec fixed this completely.  I rode in pouring 45F rain, and in 31F dry weather without even a hint of fogging.  Air is directed perfectly toward the visor from the chin vent, and air is pulled out the back by the spoiler vent out back.  The helmet comes with a Pinlock visor to help keep fogging from happening even better.

Speaking of riding in the rain, I found the Multitec helmet to not be excellent at keeping water out around the visor, or sealing issues around the perimeter.   The Neotec fixed this with a new visor, new locking mechanism, and dual seals.   

Noise is greatly reduced from the Multitec as well, and it is comfortable for all day rides in the searing heat or bitter cold (although in the bitter cold I would highly recommend a gator or something as the chin area does get quite cold.)

2. Sena SMH-10 Bluetooth Comm system – This is the first Bluetooth setup I have ever used.   I used it on this trip primarily to listen to music in the helmet, and place calls when I needed in a hurry.   Previously i would run a headphone wire into my tank bag and listen to my music that way.  I found the BT system in the helmet to be much easier to remember and use.   I can control the entire iPhone or MP3 player from the jog dial on the side of the helmet.  Very easy to use!

I had to use the phone a couple times to ask Kate to check the weather I was riding into and check for warnings, and once book a hotel for me when I knew mid ride I wouldn’t be camping and didn’t want to burn more time trying to find the hotel number, calling, etc…    One of those calls happened while I was riding into a rain storm on the freeway, the process of placing the call via voice was very unobtrusive and not distracting.   Kate couldn’t even tell I was on the bike the call quality was that clear.

The unit worked in the pouring ice cold rain all day without issue, and worked in the searing sun without issue the other days.  For $160 this unit is a steal!   I am shocked it took me this long to get one of these units!  And if you ride in a group and others have this unit, you can talk via intercom with a simple tap of the jog dial or VoX.

More reviews to come – 

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