Cyber Helmets US-97 F-bomb Review

picture of the helmet in question I purchased a Cyber US-97 F-bomb helmet late last week, and took delivery of it two days ago. To date, I've driven about 200 miles of highway while wearing it. Overall, it's a surprisingly good helmet for the price. As the owner of a Shoei RF-800 (now markedly past the use-by date), My expectations were not terribly high.

I dithered about the size a bit, as my head ranges toware the upper limit of the Large size, but is well below the XL size. I ended up going with a Large, which fits pretty well.

The feature list of the helmet is impressive. The paint job is impressive -- nice, high gloss paint, with a striking girlie picture. Reflectors are mounted on the rear of the helmet to aid with visibility when being approached from behind. There are many vents, each fitted with a filter to keep out insects (according to the manual). There is also an integral pair of sunglasses -- just like modern pilot's helmets. The liner is removable for washing, and there is a breath deflector to help keep the screen from fogging.

The integral sunglasses are a great feature. They were one of the deciding factors for me -- I hate having to switch between glasses and sunglasses when I'm on the road. Using a tinted shield is also an option, but it's an even bigger pain to carry a clear and a dark shield with me, and I'd rather not ride with a dark shield at night. That said, my RF800 has a tinted shield on it, and I just ride with the shield open at night. Why aren't all helmets shipping with this?

Road noise is fairly acceptable in the Cyber -- the padding is fairly snug, but it's cranky to get fitted around my ears. If I don't get the liner just right, it lets plenty of roadnoise through. The liner is also so snug above my ears that it's difficult to wear my glasses too. I switched to contact lenses for the first ride with this. I expect that the lining will break in a bit more and allow use of eyeglasses shortly. When I do wrangle my eyeglasses into place, I can still close the sunglass shield easily.

Now, the vents. They seem to work okay, and definitely move some air through the helmet. I feel like the RF800 moves a bit more air, but they're close overall. The vent controls are more intuitive than those of the RF800, though. Despite having owned my Shoei for a decade, I have to routinely remind myself which position is open and which is closed. That's not a problem with the Cyber.

The breath deflector is soft rubber, and appears to be removable. I may have to remove it. I like the IDEA of the thing, but my nose is apparently too long, since the tip of my noise _just_ rubs the end of the deflector and this gets a bit annoying after a couple of hours on the road. I'll also need sunscreen for my nose tip with this helmet -- the sunglasses and breath deflector shield all but the tip of my nose from the sun.

The shield is big, but it is not optically perfect. There are flaws in it, and if this sort of thing bothers you, this shield will drive you insane. I know for a fact that there are plenty of people who do not even notice such things -- years ago I sold sunglasses for a living, and carried several brands plagued by optical flaws. Some customers were greatly annoyed, some customers never even noticed. Even after pointing out the flaws to them, many would say 'you notice that?' I was mildly annoyed, myself.

The sunglasses don't have any discernable flaws, but the manual is adamant that one must not ride with the clear shield open and the dark shield closed. I suspect that the clear shield is impact-rated and the sunglass shield is not. For a full-day ride, I would prefer an optically clear shield. For an all day ride, I would probably go with my RF800 over this helmet, but for around-town helmet, the Cyber F-bomb will be the first one I grab. If I can overcome my annoyance with the flawed shield, it may become my only helmet. The shield can also be locked closed, which is not a feature I've had in a helmet before. I looked behind me, while cruising at 60mph, and instantly learned why the lock was there -- wind passing by my chin and up into the helmet popped my shield open almost immediately.

The Cyber is DOT rated, not Snell rated.

Summary

: $90 shipped, man. I paid $300+ for my Shoei a decade ago, and while it is arguably safer, somewhat quieter, and has a better shield, is it three times the helmet of the Cyber? I don't think it is. This Cyber is the closest thing to the $100 Bieffe BF-5 helmet that I used to wear in the 1980s that I've found yet -- and I LOVED that BF-5. This is an excellent entry-level helmet, or for someone without infinite budget. (Note, price is now up to $96 shipped on amazon)