When NEXX Helmets introduced the XR1R — the company’s premier full-face helmet — it shocked the industry, since the helmet not only matched much of the competition in terms of comfort and styling, but almost blew them out of the water in terms of weight. With the XR1R Carbon though, NEXX has gone one step further and introduced a helmet that combines all the great features of the original XR1R with a new full carbon shell that is even lighter than the tri-composite shell of the original.
Overall finish of the original XR1R was extremely hard to fault, but has been improved on the Carbon iteration thanks to the gold-tone carbon fiber finish that shows through the paint ever so slightly. And while the finish may be different, a number of the features were simply carried over, including the removable/washable liner and cheek pads, large eyeport for increased peripheral vision, padded chin strap and four-position shield with pressure lock system.
In terms of fit, there have been no changes to the oval-shaped XR1R, so it is no surprise that the Carbon model fits exceptionally well. The soft microfiber anti-sweat and anti-allergic lining and cheek pads provide a snug, yet comfortable fit and the feel is only enhanced by the padding’s internal Velcro system, which allows you to custom fit the helmet to your head. The real benefit of NEXX’s internal Velcro system, as we noticed, is that it can be adjusted so that your ears fit perfectly into the pockets. Also aiding in overall fit is the ergo padding system (a foam replacement kit that comes with foam inserts that vary in size, shape and thickness) that comes standard with each helmet and allows the rider to personalize the helmet’s fit according to head shape.
Where the XR1R helmet really sets itself apart from other helmets is in its shape and aerodynamics. Especially noticeable at highway speeds and on the racetrack, there is relatively zero wind buffeting and no lift with the helmet. Also nice is the lack of wind noise that penetrates the helmet thanks to the double padding configuration, and expansive field of view permitted out the large eyeport.
Perhaps the most appealing feature of the XR1R Carbon though is its weight — or lack thereof. As tested, our size medium unit tipped the scales at a measly 2.9 pounds, which is a hair more than the company’s claim of 2.7 pounds, but impressive nonetheless. And the weight of the helmet isn’t just evident when you pick it up either; it is noticeable on long rides as well, where heavier helmets can start to weigh down on your shoulders.
Also much appreciated on long rides and in warmer conditions is the ventilation system of the XR1R Carbon, which is comprised of two inlet air vents, four outlet air vents and a chin vent that does an admirable job of keeping things cool. The doors for the two inlets are easy to open and the airflow to the upper part of your head is on par with the competition. It is important to note however, that the system provides very little airflow to the back of your head, a concern on commutes in warmer weather.
Also a slight concern was our test unit’s tendency to fog up in colder conditions and lack of a quick-change shield system. In all fairness though, the company does sell a Pinlock fog-resistant system separately that should take care of that small concern. As an alternative to spending the extra $35 for the pinlock system, you could always crack the four-position shield when applicable, as we did. And according to NEXX, the reason for sticking with a more simplistic shield mounting system was weight savings, and we will go with that for now although the system — which requires you use a screwdriver for shield swaps — looks a little out of place on a helmet of this caliber.
Available in White/Red, Black/Red and Gray/Black variations, the ECE 22-05 and DOT-rated XR1R Carbon lacks no marks in the looks department either. While the helmet is not exactly cheap, you get what you pay for, and with the XR1R Carbon you get an extremely comfortable and lightweight helmet that is well thought out and well built.
NEXX XR1R Carbon Helmet
Sizes: XS — XXXL