As a longtime fan of and former product expert at Schuberth motorcycle helmets, I am excited to test the third iteration of the company’s designed-for-women flip-up helmet line. Women Riders Now (WRN) originally reviewed the C3W and C3 PRO Women versions, and now we are excited about the next generation—C4 PRO Women helmet. After many hours riding in the C4 PRO Women, I am reassured that the trusted safety, ventilation, and aerodynamic features remain and the updated comfort, construction and visibility features enhance the ride.
The first response I get when I talk about Schuberth’s designed-for-women helmets is usually an eye-roll followed by, “How is it really designed for women?” The assumption is often that Schuberth is guilty of what some aftermarket product companies do—the “shrink it and pink it” strategy. (Offering a man’s or unisex product in XS and pink and marketing it as a women’s product.) Sure, the lovely “ruby red” color of the lining might lead one to believe that. However, Schuberth engineers’ research findings indicate that women often have a smaller headform with different facial structure than their male counterparts. This generally includes a narrower jaw and more prominent cheekbones.
While the shell and polystyrene protective lining are the same as in the standard C4 PRO, the visible comfort lining is specially contoured to accommodate women’s facial structure. Additionally, the Jazzlight Coolmax lining in the C4 PRO Women is specially selected to protect sensitive skin and disguise residue from cosmetics, and it is easy to wash. Naturally not all women have a narrow jaw or skull/face, but it is the only helmet out there designed to accommodate a ‘narrower than a standard man’s’ face. As with any gear, it’s a matter of fit and personal preference, but it’s good to know this is a well thought out design and not a marketing strategy.
Ok, so of course a snug, comfortable fit is important, but how is the protection? As some would say, just like the pricetag, it is top of the line. Schuberth employs a proprietary outer shell manufacturing method called Direct Fiber Processing (DFP) involving an endless spool of glass fiber being cut into pieces by a robot and blown into a mold of the particular shell size. A precise measurement resin is added to the preform and then compressed at high pressure in a heated mold to create an exceptionally high-strength helmet shell. Because of the precision placement of fibers in the DFP process, there isn’t any extra material where it isn’t needed for maximum impact absorption, which enables the shell to be exceptionally light.
Not all flip-up or modular helmets are alike. Some don’t contain protective properties or secure attachment of the chinbar. Schuberth’s C3 and C4 helmets include the polystyrene protection and a dual metal-clamping locking mechanism in the chinbar and are tested and certified (DOT) as full face helmets. Schuberth’s injection-molded face shield gets an optical clarity 1 rating, meaning it’s distortion-free.
Not only the C4 PRO Women helmet shell, but also the extra lining encircling the neck keeps wind and noise out of the bottom of the helmet. At 3 pounds, 14 ounces, this helmet is on par with other premium flip-up helmets, but I find the helmet feels lighter and my neck less fatigued due to the compact, streamlined size and industry-leading aerodynamics.
Additionally, the face shield contains several aerodynamic elements further adding to the smooth flow of the helmet through the air during a ride. All of this contributes to a reduction in noise giving the C4 PRO Women a low noise rating of 85 dB(A) at 65 mph on a naked motorcycle.
Multi-channel ventilation system allows air to flow around the head with a rear exhaust vent disguised as just part of the lining. Schuberth doesn’t disrupt the aerodynamically quiet nature of the C4 Pro by installing a rear vent. Instead, the protective lining features a series of channels that direct air from the two holes in the top vent around the head through the channels to an exhaust port at the rear base of the helmet.
For an additional $229, Schuberth offers an easy-to-install, SENA-based Bluetooth communication system for the C3 PRO Women, the SC1. The helmet features integrated speakers, antenna, and microphone, so just snap the plug-n-play SC1 into a port at the base of the helmet, the battery into another port, and you’re ready for hours of playtime. The communications system can connect to cell phones and media devices, and it has an integrated radio as well.
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