A word up front: I love Prowell helmets. That’s a big L-O-V-E. And that’s since I had my first one an F44-R Raden. That one I forgot on the train to Victoria when I went for my volunteer training in Hyde Park for the Olympics. The excitement was too great. When I got home, I went straight online and got a Phoenix (the red-white-black one) and was extremely excited at the prospect of trying the R66 (the black one).
When I got my first Prowell, I was initially a bit sceptical. I mean, all the other helmet brands have pretty good ones. I was a proud owner of a Giro helmet, but the second I put on the Raden, I was sold. The Giro has never touched my head again. The Phoenix was even comfier and so is the R66. So what makes them so different?!
Prowell helmets are made of EPU (other helmets are mostly made of EPS). What’s the difference? EPS is the styrofoam that packaging material is made of, EPU is what Mercedes bumpers are made of. Essentially, EPU functions like a breadroll (it absorbs shock and doesn’t burst). EPS is more like a sushi roll, it bursts into a thousand pieces at impact. The people at Prowell explain this ever so more eloquently and the pictures make it much more easy to grasp. So for a full description, check here.
There are 2 things I absolutely love about my helmets: light reflecting tape that runs around the helmet and the Shark-fin light. Both give you 360 degree visibility especially in the dark. They’re quite amazing that way and I’ve not seen this on any other bike. The Shark-Fin can also be mounted as a rear light, although I by far prefer the light on top of my helmet.
The fit of the helmets can easily be adjusted to suit your comfort needs. In races, I often have it fit a bit wider when I put the helmet on and as soon as I’m out of transition a quick adjustment via the wheel in the back and it fits nicely and securely on my head. Safety is key, always.
Because of the material and the technology how they’re made, Prowell helmets have a much smaller, flatter profile. No mushroom head. This has also the side effect that no part of the helmet gets into your field of vision at any point.
The beauty about the Prowell helmets is that they are extremely affordable. The R66 is currently available for £39.99 (special offer), the Phoenix for £54.99 and the Raden for £39.99.
R66 vs Phoenix
These are features I have valued in ALL my Prowell helmets so far. So how does the R66 differ from the Phoenix? Which one is BETTER?
To be honest, it is the most impossible question to answer! There’s nothing between them in terms of comfort. The R66 is a little bit skinnier, lighter and ever so slightly better ventilated. I prefer it for racing and riding especially longer distances. I like the Phoenix because it has a better visible colour scheme. Currently the R66 is only available in the UK in solid colours, whereas the Phoenix is available in a wider range of colour schemes. I’ve got a red-white and black one (because it fits with my race bike – hey! I’m a girl, alright).
I have now settled to wear my Phoenix for my commutes to the train station. Mainly because I think that the red/white/black adds some additional safety to the reflective tape and the Shark Fin light which in the dark winter nights tips the scales in its favour. However, I am looking forward to wear the R66 in my races in the coming season, especially because the added ventilation will do nicely in longer distance races.
So, I’m afraid I’m sitting on the fence here. However, if you are looking for a high quality helmet that is comfortable from the first moment of wearing it, at an extremely affordable price, you cannot go wrong with a Prowell helmet.