The Grancorso and the Corso road test
The Grancorso and the Corso road test
I have been long undecided whether to lay out the test on the road as a single paragraph or make two of them. The choice, you guess from the title, was to to combine.
They are helmets that have many similarities in the practical, everyday use; but there are some differences.
The first one, which is not felt by wearing them but at the time of the purchase, is the price: just 65 Euros for the Corso, and 140 Euros for the Grancorso.
The rules of good journalism would require that, in front of this price gap, the comparison would be unjust. And in fact, there will be no comparison, we will not have a winner. Also because, each of them for its reasons, they both win in the end.
Let’s start with the Grancorso fitting.
First of all it is comfortable: it transmits an immediate comfort as soon as you wear it. Thanks also to the lightness, which is excellent considering that, to benefit from the NTA 8776 homologation, the helmet must be more extended and the absorption material must be thicker.
As you can see, the forehead and the nape are well covered, the shape for the ears protects, while leaving some room for those who have more “full-bodied” auricles.
The only contraindication, really marginal, is that the helmet- with its extended nape – is not “pony tailed”; it can be a nuisance for the girls, who just need to wrap their ponytail a little bit lower.
The lateral adjustment is precise. I tortured the clip covers for an abundant half hour, mindful of the problem that one of you had with another Met helmet with a similar system. Besides the self-hypnosis in repeating this open/close action an infinite number of times, the clips held perfectly.
The magnetic strap, which, as I wrote earlier, left me doubtful, proved to be a great convenience. It was tortured too, and it doesn’t open, either incidentally or by force.
The release is quick and you just need one hand, even heavily gloved. The coupler is immediate too, because the two parts attract themselves, naturally finding their joint. The extended and soft pad eliminates any contact with the skin, which would be annoying especially with the cold weather.
The adjustment system T the nape is simply perfect; the possibility to choose the height for the rear band allows anyone to find the optimal fit. There is no lack of padding, more than effectively – I would say- substituted by a couple of anti-slip drops on the sides that we saw in the dedicated paragraph.
The fitting of the Corso is almost as comfortable and this, given the price difference, is all to its advantage.
Although not subect to the strict parameters for the NTA 8776 type-approval, the external protection is practically almost identical. The outer shell is slightly smaller, having to accommodate a smaller amount of padding; but even if I tried various systems for an effective measurement, I was not able to obtain reliable results.
Therefore, hoping I’m not writing a nonsense, after several attempts at measuring it, it seems to me that temples and nape are slightly less extended. Just some millimeters. But, again, I could not find a valid and univocal system to measure, just because the different size of the caps. So take it with reservation.
Not even the Corso is a friend of us, old freaks, who tie our hair (that little that remain….) behind the neck.
Another half an hour to open and close the side clips of this Corso and nothing, no problems detected. Except that, after half an hour with the Grancorso and another half an hour with the Corso, then I couldn’t move my thumbs anymore. But it’s not the helmets’ fault, it’s only my pedantry.
It may seem as an excess, but think about it: opening and closing takes three seconds. In a minute there are 20 movements. In thirty minutes there are 600. Someone during the useful life of this helmet could find himself to adjust the straps 600 times? Nope, so, in the end, even my foolish gestures make sense 😀
The interlocking system for closing the chin strap is less refined than the magnetic buckle; here too an extended pad and no annoying contact.
Less refined the adjustment system at the nape. Effective yes, but now I got used to the longitudinal sliding and I missed it. More in a psychological way than in an effective way, since it fits better in the all-closed position, which is practically similar to the strap without adjustment. Suggestion….
But then I remember that the Corso’s price is less than the half of the Grancorso’s price, and instead of complaining, I realize that I’m having even too much in my hands, if I think at the few Euros required.
The internal padding is identical for both helmets: comfortable, pleasant to the touch and adequately breathable.
I know that we are in the winter season, but this is a strange winter, at least where I live. The helmets’ tests coincided with the tests of items dedicated to the urban cycling. This meant going out in some January days where the temperature was close to 20 degrees, practically springtime.
And it was not that bad, as it allowed me to verify the effectiveness of the ventilation system of the Corso and the Grancorso, which has to be lower than that of a sports helmet, and identical between them in the number of intakes, dimensions and layout.
I took advantage of the anomalous heat and of the many climbs presents in my hometown, which is a hill one. Considering that my pace is modest, and so I don’t get so much air while climbing up, I can say that the frontal intakes are clearly felt. A little less the higher ones, but certainly the rear ones, deputed to the ejection, do their duty because there is no annoying accumulations of condensation.
But winter anomalous or not, low temperatures arrived anyway and so I found myself feeling even too much the front air intakes. Going down in speed (because only downhill I can go fast…) and pedaling with external temperatures of 3-4 degrees, you can clearly feel the cold air inlet. It’s better to wear a band or a hat.
I did not even miss the rain. You don’t get we like when wearing a sports helmet, but in the long run the water comes in. The dripping comes from the four upper intakes. Maybe it will seem ridiculous, but I always wonder why companies don’t provide for a waterproof cap for their helmets. Or, for example, some shaped plugs that close the air intakes. Maybe the final price would go up by a couple of Euros, but in return you would have some happier cyclists. For sure some drier cyclists.
The shape is very similar for the two helmets, therefore also the visual field is very similar, with its rigid visor (the same for both models) mounted.
On the bike with an inclination of the back up to 45 degrees or a little less, you are not forced to curve your neck backwards to see far away. You don’t stare only at the front wheel, if you get what I mean.
In any case the visor, which despite its small size protects well from sunlight, is easily removable. I like it better with the visor mounted.
And I really like the soft visor of the Corso, jaunty and youthful like me. No, hum… Ok, I gave it a try…..
Talking about visors, we need to take a break from the joint test and dedicate ourselves to the shield provided only for the Met Helmets Grancorso.
It covers half of your face, practically a screen that blocks air, cold, rain, annoying insects and small debris.
The view is perfect, without distortions. Even handling them without too much care, it’s difficult to scratch them.
These in the pictures are the transparent version and the mirror glace one, i.e. slightly mirrored. The first one has a retail price, shared with the third version in the catalog, the fume, of 29 Euros; the glace one is more expensive, 39 Euros.
Besides the fact that their existence is necessary to obtain the NTA 8776 type-approval, their effectiveness is worth the expense. True that pedaling with my legs I see the 45 km/h only downhill; but it’s true that downhill and in the colder days I thanked many times the Met Helmets in my mind, for sending them to me.
When you don’t need it, just remove it and put it on the helmet. The magnet system works well: you don’t lose the visor either above or below, even jumping on the scariest paved road, the one wher your teeth chatters….
If you wear glasses it is better to remove the visor before putting on the helmet. These shield have a pronounced curvature at the bottom, towards the inside. Which undoubtedly has the merit of such a protection; but it can twist with the lens frame, come off and fall.
There are also some air inlets both above and below the visor; both to avoid fogging (believe me, it’s really adherent to your face), and having a minimum flow of air.
Needless to say I appreciated them in the cold, pedaling on a e-bike. Yeah, I had to get on one of them 😀
I am not a fundamentalist opposed to pedal assisted bikes; I simply do not need it.
Forty kilometers at full throttle (electric) on a particularly windy day: ideal for testing the effectiveness of these wide visors. Perfect protection, no tearing, excellent visibility, no annoying reflections.
Yes, I can promote them. I vote myself down, because I did not realize that the 40 kms had to be a round trip; so I added 40 kms. dragging the 25 kilos e-bike. A smart person.
The helmets are very light and perfectly balanced, so they feel even lighter. And this also contributes to the high level of comfort.
The night visibility is good for the Corso, excellent for the Grancorso.
Both have effective LED lights, standard on the Corso, optional and with the plus of the twilight sensor for the Grancorso; but the latter can boast its wide lower band, practically visible very well from any angle, which is necessarily more effective than the plates on the Corso.
I believe I provided a sufficient description; I should add a crash test but, even if I am faithful to my duty, I would prefer to avoid it…
We can then close this paragraph and move on to the conclusions; especially to answer this question: it is useful a NTA 8776 helmet to those who pedal only with their legs?
Sono Fabio Sergio, giornalista, avvocato e autore.
Vivo e lavoro a Napoli e ho dato vita a questo blog per condividere la passione per la bici e la sua meccanica, senza dogmi e pregiudizi: solo la ricerca delle felicità sui pedali.
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