Friday, August 8, 2014

CO AYR8 wins over CO V8

During the recent Helmet Awareness 20% off sale, I ordered a CO V8. I don't have much time left on my current helmets, both CO AYR8s, so I thought I'd get ahead (haha) of the game.

The fit was great, I got the same size I have in the AYR8. There's zero forehead pressure due to the cutback front vent system that is apparently similar to Samshield. There is a little more pressure on the sides, but was comfortable after wearing it for 5+ mins and busying myself with something else - ie. not focused on it.

I do not like the removable liner at all. It's a great idea, ugly execution. It attached by velcro strips along the edge of the material part of the helmet, right along where the visor starts. So you can see the finishing edge of the liner. Not classy to me. In theory, you could take the liner off completely and ride like a normal helmet, but then you have the pokey part of the velcro strips exposed to grab your hair.

The visor and overall profile of the V8 is also flatter then the AYR8. You can see from the all angles that the visor is flatter, in opposition the shape of my head - as well as the side profile being straighter. Again, not a fan.

I didn't like the clip. It's a plastic casing, but the part you press to unclick is metal. That might seem good for longevity, but it was actually hard for me to press to release. I think it may be be a little smaller too, and it's not like I have fat fingers.

The vents up the middle are smaller (not as long of a cut) and there's less in the front. I didn't appreciate the look of the black gloss finish behind the mesh either. It didn't really make the helmet look blingy, but it definitely has a shine quality.

Overall, the V8 helmet is slightly heavier and just a larger profile then my AYR8. I already feel a little mushroom heady in my AYR8 - but wearable, but the V8 was just worse. I can only imagine the extra volume of the V8 is to provide more protection in a fall. I get that. But bigger isn't necessarily better and it's not like I'm currently riding in a bicycle helmet. I feel good about the safety of what I am wearing.

I know it only takes once, which is why I wear a helmet, but of the 12+ times I've fallen in the last 3 years, I have yet to hit my head. Instead, every time it's been on my right hip... they should make something for that.

For the mushroom head, ugly liner, and clip reasons - the V8 went back to SmartPak.

I'll just be ordering another trusty AYR8 that looks classic and fits great. Bonus that it absorbs all my forehead sweat for me. And honestly, I don't have a problem with smell with my AYR8 even though I'm a sweat-a-holic. Every few months I clean it with CO cleaner and daily hang it in an open helmet bag with 2 Fresh Helmet Sacks inside.

Both helmets have the same safety ratings. So that made me feel good sticking with the AYR8.

Here's a visual comparasion.
In all the following pictures, the V8 is on the left, the AYR8 is on the right.

From the front, around my face, the V8 looks great. But look how much taller it is then the AYR8.
I already have an oval head and LONG neck, don't need help there.

Why is there so much more helmet in the back? I presume to keep me safe, but it's just so much.
You can see the flatter visor very well here. Probably good for sighting, but contributes to mushroom head.

I like the smaller, blacker mesh on the V8.

Not a fan of the wider back of the helmet.

The V8 only has 3 shorter vents in the front, same number but still shorter in the back.
The V8 does have the forehead vent space though.

Decent shot of liner. You can see I don't have it perfectly aligned after taking it out. The velcro sits along that rim underneath. There's like 7-8 little strips. You can also see how much helmet is in the back. I have these lined up at the top equally and the V8 is just longer. It makes the harness in the back sit weird as well. It's probably more secure, etc, but I wasn't a fan. Though not thrilled my AYR8 grommets are pantina now. 


  1. Great comparison! I was interested in the V8 but they don't sell it in my size yet. Honestly I think the front profile if the V8 looked more flattering in the pictures but you know what you like best :) thanks for all the great pictures!

  2. Interesting! The vents on the V8 look really odd.

  3. To me they look exactly the same lol

  4. Love all the side by side comparisons! Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Oh wow, the V8 is a lot bulkier! Great review.

  6. Hmmm, very interesting! Makes me think I should have done a bit more comparison shopping when I bought my new helmet but… who am I kidding. There only seemed to be one or two that fit my head properly! ;-)

    1. I was expecting to be all in with the V8, but I didn't like it right away (liner) and then didn't like the look after trying it on. I figured while I had it, I might as well compare.

  7. This makes me want to go buy a new helmet!