I have three simple questions when looking for a bike helmet: does it provide good protection, does it fit the size and shape of my head, and does it come in a good colorway? My recent purchase of the Suomy Gunwind ticks off all these boxes perfectly!
Suomy is a company that many of us in the US are not familiar with unless you happen to watch a lot of cyclocross or buy lots of motorcycle gear. The owners worked for many years in the motorcycle industry and after importing other brands, they wanted to focus on producing products that they could proudly make in Italy. The Italian company has been producing top end motorcycle racing helmets since the late 90’s. Only since 2014 have they turned their focus on the other two-wheeled world of cycling, seeking to bring their love of design, advanced technology, and innovation to a product made in Italy. (I will admit, I thought they were a Scandinavian brand at first!)
I first noticed the Suomy helmets atop riders like Wout Van Aert and others, and I liked the distinctive Euro look. I was in the market for a pink helmet. The Suomy Gunwind retails at over $225, so when I saw it for $99 online in pink, I was stoked. The old Lampre Merida colorway just about matches my Campus kit perfectly: pink, white, green, and dark navy that would be better if it was black, but oh well.
There are so many things to like about Suomy Gunwind other than the great deal I found. If I needed a new helmet, I would not hesitate to pay full retail. Good helmets cost $200+, and this is every bit as good as the POC Octal I owned or high-end Giro helmets I have tried on.
The Gunwind is a light helmet at about 225 grams, and it has comfortable padding inside. The suspension technology keeps the helmet off the head in a really nice way. It feels like it is floating and does not even seem to be there. I don’t think I ever really know that it is there, which is a good thing in my opinion.
The small knob on the back is simple and effective, and it provides enough adjustment for me to wear the helmet with or without a cap or skull cap. The band provides a snug fit that isn’t over bearing. As I age, my skin has lost some of its elasticity, and this helmet has not left me with the three-hour long line across my forehead that other helmets seem to do. If you don’t know what I mean, be glad. You’re young and your time is coming.
The Gunwind also provides excellent ventilation. Its 25 vents allow lots of air to flow through the helmet, and work nicely in conjunction with the suspension system to keep you feeling cool. I have been out in some 80 degrees plus weather, and I never felt too bad. The large front vents do make me break out the sunscreen to protect my bald dome from sun getting through those large vents. I have also worn it on cold days, and my balaclava works fine under it. A nice feature is the removeable bug net that will keep flying pests from invading your helmet via any of the 25 vent holes!
The one thing I have noticed is that the straps are a little more robust that many other helmets in its class, but they adjust well and look fine. Reviews elsewhere indicate that the Gunwind is a good quality piece of protective gear, so I will rely on the Suomy helmet making history and ride confidently knowing that they have a good track record of producing safe helmets in both sports.
The Gunwind comes in several colors and patterns, and I would best characterize the overall look as polarizing. You are going to like it or hate it. The Suomy branding is rather bold, and it has become the center point of many a selfie.
Overall, the performance has made this my favorite helmet by a long shot. It’s comfortable, fits my head perfectly, and it matches my gear well. If you are in the search for a new helmet and you want to stand out, the Suomy Gunwind will give you great performance and style all at once.