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Bikebiz | For every rider

The Ultimate Swiss Army ADV Lid

Kym Liebig and Ryan Roby

It seems these days with Adventure riding booming, you can’t have a conversation about helmets without the Airoh Commander being raised - and in glowing terms (that’s Airoh pronounced ‘eye row’, by the way…). This is a helmet that sells very strongly at Bikebiz and with good reason - it’s light, has more features than a movie marathon and sets the quality bar very high indeed.

The Airoh Commander is available in two shell sizes and two construction types. There’s a choice of full 3K Carbon, or Airoh’s own High-Performance Composite. As always there are plenty of colours to choose from, so by all means take a look at the Bikebiz website to see them all.

The full 3K Carbon version weighs just under 1400 grams in the smaller sizes, while the High-Performance Composite in the smaller sizes comes in at just over 1400 grams. That’s impressively light for an ADV helmet, which are usually quite a bit heavier than traditional helmets, due in part to extras such as the peak. Don’t discount the benefits - the rough nature of ADV riding means lighter is better, always, as heavy helmets take their toll and add to rider fatigue when things get bumpy

The Airoh Commander features an internal drop-down visor as many helmets do these days, but this one has some smart thinking built in. Operated by a side lever, it takes more effort than most to drop down - with good reason. The last thing you need when riding the rough stuff is for your visor to drop down of its own accord! So while the action on the drop-down is deliberately firm, it flips up very easily. Clever.

The peak on the Commander is mounted separately from the visor (a screw on each side and one at the top), and this is another area where the Airoh R&D team have stayed up late to incorporate some clever ideas that ADV riders will love. The key advantage here is that the separately mounted peak allows the visor to be flipped up much higher than most ADV helmets, opening up lots of space and making it easy to use goggles in the eye port, rather than trying to cram them in under a visor that doesn’t open far enough. More and more adventure riders today are wearing goggles and the Commander offers another benefit here - while wearing goggles, the visor can be closed over them. So if you’re following another rider who hits a puddle, you can drop the visor over the goggles, let the visor cop the splash and then raise it again, having kept your goggles underneath nice and clean. That’s gotta be 10 out of 10 for practicality to Airoh.

The Commander features lots of effective ventilation. There’s a forehead vent with exhausts at the rear/top of the lid. The chin vent is dual-stage and has a very welcome foam filter element included which is a big plus to stop riders eating dust. The filter is easy to remove, wash and reinstall. It makes sense - humans don’t like breathing dust any more than engines do.

If you only want to own one helmet, maybe this is it. The helmet can be worn with any combination of peak or visor, off or on. Removing the peak gives the lid an aggressive, streetfighter look. Retain the peak and remove the visor and you have a helmet that looks a lot like an MX lid. There are rubber bungs included in the spares kit that comes with the Airoh Commander - these are used to blank off the screw holes that are left when the peak is removed.

On the lower left-hand side towards the rear of the helmet there’s a removeable rubber bung that reveals a through - hole for cables such as speaker and microphone routing. Making use of this gives the helmet a far cleaner look. It’s also a much better alternative than running the wiring under the lower edge of the helmet where it can rub when you set the helmet down, causing problems. There’s a rubber grommet (also in the spares kit) to route wiring through - it fits the hole perfectly and protects wiring.

The helmet liner is removable for washing. It’s worth noting that the cheek pads and EPS liners come out as one piece - that’s different from many manufacturers and while it’s not a disadvantage in any way, it’s a good thing to know before you start tearing the lining out of your new lid to fit some comms tech inside. There are foam stoppers included to keep down noise if you choose not to fit speakers

Wearers of neck braces - and there are more - will rejoice in knowing that the lower rear edge of the Commander has been shaped especially to work with a brace.

As far as ‘what’s in the box’ is concerned, there are plenty of spares and extras that come packed with the Airoh Commander. There’s a Pinlock for the visor, so fogging won’t be a problem. There are rubber bungs and grommets for the helmet peak mounting holes and wiring port. But wait, there’s more - action camera mounts! There are two included. One type is designed for use with the peak on - simply remove the blanking plate from the top of the peak and this reveals a snap-fit area to take the mount. If you’re running the helmet without the peak fitted, the second type of camera mount screws into the top screw hole that normally attaches the peak. There are also GoPro specific stick-on mounts included to use on any flat surface. Now you have no excuses not to upload footage of your epic adventure, or possibly just where you went for lunch…

Reports coming back to Bikebiz from owners are that the Airoh Commander is super comfortable but perhaps runs ever so slightly smaller than some lids. If you find a ‘medium’ helmet snug in other brands, you might want to move up to the ‘large’ in the Commander. Of course if you have any concerns, just call in to Bikebiz for an instore fitting or give the Bikebiz team a call and they’ll get you sorted.

Summing up
The Airoh Commander is light, versatile, and could very nearly be the helmet for all rides, configurable as a lid for full dirt use, street riding and most things in between. A lot of thought has gone into practical functionality across all the environments in which it might be used. And it’s a helmet created to cater for an increasingly connected tribe of riders - it’s made to connect your gear without messy compromises.

The Airoh Commander is available now at Bikebiz in store or online starting from $799.90*. The buzz in ADV circles is spot-on…this is a helmet that’s everything smart riders are saying it is.

*Current price at the time of writing this article