~ Auto Buzz ~: Alpinestars Supertech M10 Helmet Review

Saturday, 4 August 2018

Alpinestars Supertech M10 Helmet Review




With the release of the all-new Supertech M10 helmet, Alpinestars is now the only manufacturer in the industry to offer complete and comprehensive rider protection from head to toe. The Supertech M10 helmet is the result of over five years of intensive study, development and testing, and after riding in it almost exclusively over the past few weeks, we’re happy to report that Alpinestars definitely did its homework and created an impressive helmet.

Alpinestars Supertech M10

The base of the M10 has been sculpted to give a relief section, where the bottom profile is raised to clear the collarbone. Also, incorporated into the area of the base pad, where it sits over the riders’ collarbone, is an energy absorption pad – a more flexible compound rubber section which allows deflection when it contacts the clavicle.

The first thing you immediately notice about the M10 is its weight. Constructed from a carbon fiber shell, a medium M10 weighs only 1260 grams – that’s 2.78 lbs – and lighter than most other top-end helmets out there. It’s surprisingly light when you pick it up, and you just about forget you’re wearing it once it’s on, which translates to all-day comfort. The cool-max interior liner is really nice, too. California has been battling a heat wave this past month, but that hasn’t stopped us from continuing to ride in 100+ degree weather. When you’re sweating bullets, and the helmet’s interior is wicking it away and soaking it up, sometimes helmet liners can become slightly abrasive once all the moisture dries and leaves behind some salt. We’re happy to report that the M10 doesn’t ever get to that point.

This is largely thanks to its ventilation and how much air it actually flows. Ventilation was an incredibly important focal point in Alpinestars’ design of the M10. This helmet flows a lot of air – noticeably more than other off-road helmets we’ve tested lately. Alpinestars’ heat mapping tests have resulted in specifically designed ducting which produces a positive flow into the helmet over and around the rider’s head, leading to improved comfort while riding and reduced onset of heat stress in extreme conditions.

Alpinestars Supertech M10

The M10 flows plenty of air. Those two triangle-shaped vents channel unrestricted air directly at the rider’s face, and the helmet’s aperture is large enough to accommodate just about any goggles on the market.

The visor design of the M10 is also an integral part of the ventilation system, as it’s profiled to direct airflow and acts as a channel to concentrate and smooth the flow into the shell. The Supertech M10 interior liner design is formed to optimize airflow channeling around the rider’s head before exiting through rear exhaust vents. Often times when taking a break from riding, I would keep the M10 on while I caught my breath. Normally, I’d take my helmet right off to cool down quicker, but with the M10, I wanted to see how substantiated Alpinestars’ cooling/ventilation claims were. Rather than letting my sweat dry out from the heat and sun, I used it to gauge how much airflow the M10 provided once I got moving again – very scientific… By keeping the helmet on, I think I actually cooled down quicker, or just kept cooler overall. The liner, of course, is easily removed and washable to keep it feeling and smelling fresh.

Speaking of the visor design, it features a patented mounting/release system that sits flush with the helmet’s shell. There are no screws keeping it in place. Rather, it snaps in and stays put until the right level of resistance causes it to release and detach from the helmet to mitigate any rotational forces that would otherwise be transmitted to the rider’s head, brain or neck in the event of a crash.

Alpinestars Supertech M10

The M10’s visor mounting/release mechanism is a key part of overall protection performance in the helmet and a major influence on the distinctive, flush design of the outer shell profile. It easily snaps in and stays put until the right amount of impact force causes it to release. This design prevents the visor from digging in or snagging on something and causing unwanted rotational force to the rider’s neck.

The M10’s carbon shell features a multi-composite combination of a 3K, high-density carbon outer layer, a unidirectional carbon composite layer (which gives greater radial strength around the shell, preventing compression but allowing controlled deflection for reducing transmitted impact energy), and an aramid fiber layer that provides critical penetration protection. This multi-compound shell encapsulates an inner four-part multi-density EPS liner which soaks up impact forces dissipated over the outer shell, and it all works in conjunction with its Multi-Directional Impact System, or MIPS for short.

MIPS, and similar technology, is becoming more common these days in helmet construction. If you’re not already familiar with the technology, basically, the system uses a low-friction slip layer between the comfort padding liner and the EPS layer, which allows one to move slightly independently of the other to dampen, redirect and reduce accelerational forces to the brain and neck, helping to reduce the chances of a concussion.

Alpinestars Supertech M10

With Alpinestars’ A-Head system, it’s possible to raise or lower the helmet fit on the rider’s head and also, to tilt the helmet forward, or backwards by using the three snap locations pictured above. There are two more in the rear, but are just outside of the frame. (More pictures in the gallery below.)

Other benefits found within the M10’s shell and EPS liner are a patented A-Head fitting height and adjustment system as well as hydration system compatibility. The A-Head system allows the helmet to be tuned exactly to the riders preference for the height and angle at which the helmet sits on the head. With a micro-adjustable pad that is connected to the helmet’s inner shell, it is possible to raise or lower the helmet fit and also, to tilt the helmet forward, or backwards. It’s easy to use and adjust, but I found that the M10 fit my melon just fine. The hydration pack compatibility is also nice, but we’ve yet to test that out. There’s a channel on either side of the chinbar behind the cheek pads to run a tube from a Camelbak or similar system.

Alpinestars Supertech M10

The M10 features a channel on both the left and right side of the chinbar behind the cheek pad to accommodate a hydration system tube – very thoughtful.

Additionally, each Alpinestars Supertech M10 helmet size comes with its own dedicated carbon shell size and EPS liner construction. This not only ensures that riders have the correct fit and comfort but, most importantly, improves protection performance, the effectiveness of the helmet in an impact while optimizing weight reduction across the size range.

Alpinestars Supertech M10

The M10 is so light, it makes jumping over fallen trees across the trail even easier. Not really, just kidding, but it does help a rider look good while doing it.

The Alpinestars Supertech M10 is both DOT and ECE certified, comes in six different sizes from XS to XXL, and pricing starts at $579.95. We’ve enjoyed the time spent so far in the M10, and we’ll continue wearing it. Testing helmets for a review is one thing, but continually reaching for it every time we ride or race is another – it speaks much more to the helmet’s value in not only terms of comfort and looks, but to the peace of mind that comes with knowing and trusting the protective qualities it provides. Additionally, now that there’s an off-road Alpinestars helmet, we can probably expect an on-road helmet to follow sometime soon.

For more information about the Supertech M10 and how you can get your hands on one, head over to Alpinestars.com by following this link.

 

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