AM Helmet: Casco Viper MX review- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    AM Helmet: Casco Viper MX review

    After 4 weeks of waiting for package, two helmets finally arrived from Germany (more about this later) and friend and I took them on the Mammoth Mountain trip for the ride. So here is my impression on this piece of fine (and costly) equipment.

    1. Look and overall feel.
    Look is a killer and was a main reason to select Casco vs. MET Parachute.
    With faceguard detached, the helmet look no different then regular XC lid. Overall quality seems top notch, inner headring and padding attached by special clips and can be taken out to replace/clean. The outer plastic shell looks twice thicker compare to Giro XC lids I have used. The faceguard attached through 2 cuts with clip-in mechanizm. The attachment feels solid with no movements between parts.
    The padding on the helmet pretty much consist of headring with two thin foam strips underneath it in the middle of helmet. The faceguard is molded around of what looks like composite base, externaly covered by same plastic as helmet itself and padded with 2mm dense foam. The weight of complete helmet (including faceguard) is rougly 450g while faceguard is about 100g.

    2. Fit and comfort.
    With head size 54cm, I went for the Medium size. The fit feels tight at first specially compare to medium sized Giro Havoc I used. After attaching the faceguard however, I realized the need for the tight fit. With headband propertly adjusted, frontal push on the faceguard transfer pressure on the forehead first and only after come in contact with the chin. I do think however, that factory recommendation for the size could be too conservative and as it was mentioned in some reviews, if your size on the boundary you may pick the larger size.
    Ventilation is excellent. Due to headband construction, which forms netted cap, helmet shell doesn't get in contact with head, but rather elevates by 1/4". Being on the MM first time we had to climb a good share because of missed turn and such, and there was no need to get faceguard off.
    One thing to note is that by pushing helmet around I feel "hot spot" right on the top of my head. Turned the small velcro patches, that held foam stripes are sticking out. After small reassambly and pushing relatively soft shell in few places gave anough space for the velcros. My friend however didn't had such problems, the helmet fit him right out of the box.

    3. Detachable faceguard.
    Clip-in mechanizm is perfect. It may need to get used at first, but later it takes roughly 10 sec to attach or detach the faceguard. We were taking it off for the shuttle or gandola rides instead of taking full helmet off. There is plenty of space to breath and I didn't felt any backfire effect while climbing in already oxigen sparce environment. Drinking out of camelback however takes some time to get use to.

    4. Buying experience
    Since these things are not available in US, we looked at few options. First chainreaction.com had them, but the price with delivery would be around $230. Second I looked up on German Ebay and found shop that ships overseas (bikebar.de), with combined shipping for 2 helmets we ended up with $190 per piece. The drawback was however waiting period. The local (to Germany) parcel service didn't provided online traking tools, but rather paid phone number ($0.12/min + call to Germany). The Germany postoffice then ships it through USPS and at this point the my tracking number get bugged. The day USPS recommended to start international investigation, the packaged thanksfully arrived. It's took them 4 weeks versus 3 weeks estimated.
    For those who interested in exploring German websites and don't poses the language, babelfish.yahoo.com is your friend.

    I know no thread is worthy untill some photos are posted, so I will attach few once I get home.
    Happy riding.

  2. #2
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    Few photos taken on Shotgun and BeachCruiser X-zone
    Attached Images Attached Images

  3. #3
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    Its good to hear a good review of the Viper as I'm heading to the post office to pick mine up today. I ordered one of Chain Reaction, along with some Cannondale shorts and some new gloves. Came to $400 AUS all up (around $70 for postage, $90 for shorts), bit expensive but cheaper than a trip to the dentist. It has taken a total of 6 working days to get from Belfast to Townsville in Australia, so a b ig thumbs up on that. Will post more info and photos when I pick it up today.

  4. #4

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    Viper Is Good

    Quote Originally Posted by JDBAUS
    Its good to hear a good review of the Viper as I'm heading to the post office to pick mine up today. I ordered one of Chain Reaction, along with some Cannondale shorts and some new gloves. Came to $400 AUS all up (around $70 for postage, $90 for shorts), bit expensive but cheaper than a trip to the dentist. It has taken a total of 6 working days to get from Belfast to Townsville in Australia, so a b ig thumbs up on that. Will post more info and photos when I pick it up today.

    I have had a Viper for a year now and think its an excellent quality item the best compromise helmet i have seen and top quality ....also for those thinking of buying out side the UK Chainreaction is a top rate supplier of all things Biking there service is secound to none

  5. #5
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    I've had my Viper for over a year too and it's an excellent compromise for AM riding. I recently compared it to the Spesh Deviant, which I thought was much more Freeride oriented.

    My wife has a Met Parachute, which is also pretty good. The chin guard on the Viper is much better (padded, lighter and easier to fit/remove), but I think the Met has a better headband adjuster.

    I wouldn't use either the Viper or Parachute for FR/DH though. They're strictly XC/AM helmets offering a little more protection than a conventional lid. I think the Deviant offers the next level of protection, but with both a weight and comfort penalty.
    Remember, there is no black magic or witchcraft, it's only a machine

  6. #6
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    ... and if we just ... Abra Cadabra!

    Wow!!!
    So you pull up with a Nomad and by the time you land its become an Enduro!!
    What were you whispering?!?!? Is that whisper patented by Specialized or can you share?

    Xzone1.JPG
    ]Xzone2.JPG

  7. #7
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    I also swapped a helmet along with few other parts and lost 20 pounds

  8. #8
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    What a great helmet The build quality is excellent and the helmet feels really sturdy and strong, but light and well ventilated. The chin guard is very easy to remove and feels strong and light like the rest of the helmet. Iíve got now doubt that it would help out in face plants. My jaw is a bit on the big side, but I still find I have room with the chin guard on, but there is a little bit of rebreathing. But since the chin guard is so easy to remove I can take it off for long climbs and click it onto my camel back, then just slip it in place when I want to have some fun. It seems like the best compromise helmet I've found so far, fine for the 30degC+ trail rides I get up to down south.

    I would recommend this helmet to anyone wanting a little more protection for their All Mountain riding. The price is a little steep, but when it comes to protection your head, whatís a few extra dollars. Oh yeah and Chainreaction were the best on-line shop I've dealt with so far

    Pics to come this weekend.

  9. #9
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    I'll add my $.02

    I just got it, and rode with it once. My last helmet was a '02 Giro Exodus, fairly high end at the time.

    Fit: the system works well, the helmet feels firmly in place. The sizing does run small, I have a 61 cm head, and the max for a large is 62. If youre head is 62cm, it could be uncomfortably small. You can see in the pics how close the faceguard is to my face, which is good because there isn't all that padding a traditional full face has. There is a pic of me with my Bellistic on for comparison.

    Initial Impressions:
    - This is no DH helmet. It's a single use xc helmet. Just so you know...
    - You can buy the faceguard and helmet seperately
    - Quality is on par or a little better than Giro or Bell
    - It has an aluminum reinforcement on top of the helmet running front to back
    - Faceguard feels solid when clipped into place
    - It is lightweight, on par with any xc helmet
    - There is not enough room for goggles, sunglasses fit in there just fine
    - The coverage is pretty good, it rides low on the forehead like it should
    - It is German, and they tend to have high standards for this kind of thing

    All good so far The last pic is the Bellistic.












  10. #10
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    Davec:

    I think you look a lot like Sean Astin.
    Great reviews guys.
    Stalk, thanks for putting the weight in there. That was my next question.

    Kat
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  11. #11
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    Just an FYI

    Some Casco helmets are now available in Canada at MEC.
    Was at the Toronto store yesterday, and there they were on the wall with the LG and Bell stuff.

    And yes, they do carry the Viper MX - $220.00 Cdn, if memory serves.

  12. #12
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    davec or stalk,


    do you think a pair of ear bud style headphnoes would fit under there comfortably?

    and also...it's hard to tell in the pic...but is that a vent right in front of the mouth area, kind of a triangular shaped one?

    it looks like it would be very dificult to breath on a climb if it's solid right there...
    Last edited by Trail_Header; 11-14-2006 at 10:44 AM.
    if you have to get off your bike, you're doing it wrong.

  13. #13
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    There is vent on the chinguard and the helmet is very breathable overall. I don't bothering taking it off for 10-15min climbs.
    As far as earplugs I'm not sure, the space is tight, but again if they are not sticking out of ear much, then it should fit.
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  14. #14
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    okay i'm getting ready to order one from MEC (thanks mykel) for 195$ US. plus 19$ for shipping. they said it can be here in 3 weeks or so...last question is what color did you select stalk? i'm guessing surf or retro olive...and is davec's a diferent color than yours? it appears to be.
    if you have to get off your bike, you're doing it wrong.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stalk
    There is vent on the chinguard and the helmet is very breathable overall. I don't bothering taking it off for 10-15min climbs.
    As far as earplugs I'm not sure, the space is tight, but again if they are not sticking out of ear much, then it should fit.
    Looks like a great helmet. Does nothing for ankles or legs.
    There are no stupid questions but there are A LOT of inquisitive idiots.


    Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trail_Header
    okay i'm getting ready to order one from MEC (thanks mykel) for 195$ US. plus 19$ for shipping. they said it can be here in 3 weeks or so...last question is what color did you select stalk? i'm guessing surf or retro olive...and is davec's a diferent color than yours? it appears to be.
    mine is "surf olive" or something like that...

    The earbuds might fit if your head is narrow enough. You won't know until you try.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan'ger
    Looks like a great helmet. Does nothing for ankles or legs.
    It may still help you just need 2 extra. Helmet makes good knee pad and the chinguard could be ducttaped around the boot for the extra ankle protection. Wish I could figured that earlier
    I used to run tubes like you are, but then I got thorn in my wheel.

  18. #18
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    Update:

    I have had a Viper for a while now, and have some observations.

    1. My head is too big for a large Viper, it fits ok but is too tight to allow enough breathing room. There isn't enough room for goggles, and this also makes my sunglasses fog up too much. I posted a pic of my Bellistic on, and you can notice how much more room there is between the jawpiece and forehead of the helmets. My head was less than 1/2 an inch smaller than what Casco says is the maximum size for a large.

    2. The interface between the jawpiece and helmet is very fragile. You can't pull out one side without putting too much stress on the clip on the other side, so you have to be really careful taking the jawpiece on and off. The good news is that Casco sells the jawpiece seperately for $50 euro or so. One of my clips actually developed a small crack in the base of the clip and I repaired it by filling in the channel with Devcon High Strength Plastic Weld, a plastic specific epoxy. Its way stronger now than it ever was. Check out the pics.

    I may sell my Viper and my Bellistic and just use the Deviant. I ride an Uzzi on mostly technical trails and do smallish drops and jumps (for now), plus I ride at Keystone.

    Overall it is a good helmet for long rides where you don't need a ff all the time, and its good for big climbs followed by techy descents.









    And the forehead area is a bit uncomfortable, might need a pad thrown in there...


  19. #19
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    My head size is just under 57cm. Do you guys think I should get the medium or step up to the large?

  20. #20
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    I have been riding the Viper MX for more than two years now. And all I can say is that it is a great AM helmet. It is very popular here in Europe, so I know about 20 people who are using it too. And the oppinions are variable. Some love it, some don't. Many of them broke the plastic that attachs the jawpiece to the helmet in a week, but mine has been holding on great for over two years. That is because there is something wrong 2007 or 2008 (don't know which, maybe both) jawpiece production series. The jawpiece doesnt fit into the helmet like my 2006 does. I've heard that if you send a broken jawpiece to Casco, they send you a new one.

    Mine has saved my jaw once, was a pretty ugly fall, crashed with my head into the stones.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by J Donnie F
    I've heard that if you send a broken jawpiece to Casco, they send you a new one.
    thanks for that.... I retired mine not too long after the clip broke.
    Will try sending back to Casco

  22. #22
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    Hmm... That just seems like a little bit of money to spend on a one time use sorta deal.... Also its ugly as sin from that rounded look, although I'd rather look ugly while riding than all the rest of the time from having a messed up face. I'd probably get one if they had a college student friendly price

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