Icon Alliance Helmet
Along with the comfort, the styling and the safety, you also get a helmet bag, all for the price of around $150, which is an amazing deal.
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We all know that Shoei and Arai make great helmets but it comes at a hefty price. This begs the question: is there an alternative for those of us with lighter pockets? Well, the answer is yes, although you will typically have to sacrifice some of the high end features to compensate for the lower price tag. While these helmets might not be technically as good as their premium priced counterparts, they can still be very attractive and a lot of manufacturers have a medium-priced model in their range that caters to most needs.
Joining the ever expanding list of manufacturers which offer mid-range full-face helmets is Icon, with one of their best models, named the Alliance. Let’s take a look at it and see how it fares when compared to its competition.
(*) Currently unavailable on Amazon.com, you can shop it from here.
Icon Alliance Helmet – The Basics:
The Icon Alliance helmet comes in two different variations: the “Primary” version, which I tested, and the “Aggressor” version, which, like the name indicates, is a bit flashier and features eye-catching graphics. You can also choose from a range of solid colors which are all the same price. I particularly like the solid red finish, because it just looks strikingly awesome.
The Alliance is Icon’s most technologically advanced polycarbonate helmet yet, but in order to cut down on the production costs they have used a plastic polymer shell which results in helmet that is bit heavier than those high-end ones made out of fiberglass or carbon fiber. Still, on the other hand it’s a lot cheaper too which is great for those of us on a budget.
On the Inside:
I couldn’t help but notice that the Alliance features some of the standard padding used by some of its competition. The interior liner in non-removable, and manufactured out of Nylex, a material which provides a high level of comfort, and yet, the interior doesn’t feel as luxurious as on some of the more high-end helmets.
The Icon Alliance boasts the Snell M2000 certificate and when I took it out on the road, it performed extremely well, but, you might find that it is a bit noisier than the higher-priced helmets. I liked the fact that the cheeks pads never got it the way of my peripheral vision, although the same is only partially true for the brow area, which might interfere with the view ahead somewhat.
For ventilation, the Icon Alliance Helmet employs airflow channels which are molded into the helmet to direct cool air into the helmet and around your head. On the front, there is also a chin vent which channels air inside the helmet and keeps the face-shield from fogging up, accompanied by a breath deflector, which is completely removable. Side exhaust ports use internal switches to open and close, but the dials are there only for cosmetic effect since turning them doesn’t do much.
The View from Within:
You can adjust the face-shield by rotating it upwards, choosing on the seven different positions, which helps you find just the right amount of airflow, but I did find that the face-shield has a hard time staying in the selected position at high speeds. It’s not able to lock in place unfortunately at which point I was reminded that this is a reasonably priced helmet and can’t expect the world.
The face-shield itself is made from very durable plastic, and it has held up very well over time, and when it comes the time for you to change it, it won’t give you any headaches, since it’s easy to swap out and replacements are cheap too. You can choose from three different tints: clear, light or dark tint. If you want more “bling” or “swag” you can also opt for the iridescent ones, which are available in silver, gold and blue.
The Icon Alliance features the snap on the chin strap, which keeps it secure when riding – a feature you don’t always see these days. The paint job is not quite up to the quality of the expensive helmets but just recall the Alliance’s price tag and you will be able to overlook this. The exterior finish does feature a layer of clear coating, which helps a bit by preventing the finish from peeling off. Where the Icon Alliance Helmet truly shines is the comfort. It’s pretty damn comfortable for a moderately-priced helmet and to me that means a lot. I’ll pick out a cheaper comfortable helmet over any overpriced lid when heading on long rides any day.
Along with the comfort, the styling and the safety, you also get a helmet bag, all for the price of around $150, which is an amazing deal. The Icon Alliance Helmet is available in multiple sizes, in five different color combos and seven solids. When you take everything into account, the Icon Alliance gives you an outstanding value for money, and it definitely earns a glowing recommendation from me.