OBE rider Esteban Chaves is in super form and will be aiming for a top General Classification finish at the year's Vuelta which starts on Saturday.

The One and 5th Element

The One
The One is the new cycling helmet from Bollé. They’ve been making ski helmets for several years and have over 40 years’ experience in cycling sunglasses, so the move to bike helmets seems a logical one.

Beyond meeting all Australia safety criteria Bollé has given The One a raft of innovative design and safety features that many cyclists will appreciate.

Firstly the aerodynamic design aims to please those looking for a performance advantage. There are two removable panels that simply clip in to cover more of the 31 vents for when you’re desperately looking for top speed, a warmer ride, or a more colourful look. Or you can remove the panels for extra cooling. There is also a second lining for the helmet included so you have a thicker, warmer one for winter riding.

The sunglasses ‘garage’ makes for easy storage of your specs; a simple port on either side will fit the arms of your glasses and hold them securely. At the rear of the helmet there’s another neat feature; they’ve integrated a removable LED light (steady or flashing) to increase your visibility on the road. It’s a good idea to add a second light at a higher level to augment the light on your seatpost—but it’s not always easy to find an aftermarket light that will neatly fit your helmet, so a factory fitted option is a nice touch.

Bollé has added even more safety benefit by providing a QR code sticker to attach to the helmet. You’ll need to upload your details at the outset of course, but then if you are unfortunate enough to crash, medical staff attending to you can scan the code and access your relevant vital statistics online and notify next of kin.

The helmet is secured with a dial type tensioner at the rear that pulls the lightweight plastic cage up against your skull and makes for a nice snug fit.

This 58-62cm helmet weighs 287 without the aero panels and rear light, and 378 with them attached. It’s available in five colourways: black, red/black, blue/black, white/black/pink, blue/yellow.

For fans of the Bollé brand, choosing The One may be a no brainer. While it’s not the lightest helmet it has a modern aero look and it does incorporate several interesting features that make it worth your consideration when the time comes to replace your current helmet.

5th Element Pro
While the 5th Element shares its name with a mediocre Bruce Willis sci-fi movie it is also a reference to the periodic table of elements. The modern table has Boron as the fifth element but the more salient reference here is in relation to the ancient periodic table which identifies the fifth element as ‘aether’ or ‘ether’. In Greek mythology the ether was thought to be the pure essence that the gods breathed. Some very fancy and light stuff indeed. And hence Bolle’s namesake sunglasses.

The 5th Element Pro lens is said to be lighter than polycarbonate and at just 31g they do feel very light when you put them on. The arms have been designed for comfort by inclusion of a thin rubber buffer on the arms, a second layer where they contact the side of your head. There’s virtually no squeezing pressure here, but they remain in place surprisingly well. Additionally the last 60mm from the tips of the arms is flexible so you can customise the fit, bending the arms in, (or up or down) for an even more secure fit.

Bollé sponsors both Orica Bike Exchange and AG2R la Mondiale with the 5th Element Pro shades, in their own team colours, however the metallic red variant here looks a treat and the photochromic technology lightens and darkens the lens according to available light. There are other lenses available for the option of even greater control over the light levels.

The single frameless lens offers a large field of view; while I could just see the nosepiece I found the hinge and arms were all but out of my peripheral vision, so the glasses provide a much less obtrusive view than traditional semi or fully framed glasses. The nosepiece is flexible and adjustable like the tips of the arms, so you can customise your comfort and fit.

The 5th Element Pros are good looking, comfortable and effective glare reduction with the Bollé pedigree.

The One
RRP: $260
Weight: 378g (incl aero panels)

5th Element Pro
RRP: $250
Weight 31g


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