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Coros Frontier - cycle helmet

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Well I've not seen anyone else actually use one so thought I'd post my first impressions.

I purchased a Coros bike helmet at the Noosa Expo the other week (a white one with the red highlights) $229 at the exp - discounted from $249 RRP (but equal to the going rate on the interweb)- bonus t-shirt at the expo though.... The price seems pretty good and cheaper than a premium quality helmet ( which it seems to be)  plus a pair of Bluetooth headphones.

This helmet uses Bluetooth to link to your smartphone and has bone conduction pads fixed to the straps so that they contact your cheekbones just in front of the ears. There is also a microphone tucked inside the lining of the helmet under the pad at the front of the helmet (out of the wind). The combination allows the rider to the hear any output from their device (music, navigation etc as well as make and receive phone-calls (if you have a mate with one then you can purchase a walkie-talkie accessory and enable this functionality from the handle bare remote).

Out of the box: it was well packed and came with a full set of replacement pads plus the adhesive velcro pads to secure them inside the helmet, a manual, a remote control for the handle bars, a charging cord, and a carry bag.

Set up: It took about 100 min for the initial charge (the manual cautions to fully charge before use) but this gave me time to download the app for my iPhone and read the manual, and mount the remote to my handlebars (well I put it on the stem as I'm running out of space on the road bars due to clip on aeros), then a quick nap. After that pairing it to my phone was simple, just follow the user guide.

Use: The bit that matters - fit was very comfortable. Turning the unit on is pretty easy wirth a small button located tucked under the rear peak elicting a reassuring "device paired" announcment (the reverse at the end of the ride).  The sound quality when listening to music stationary was slightly less dynamic than my apple earbuds but that's not really the point of this product. On the move the sound is actually better than having a set of buds in your ears as there is no extra wind noise from wires and turbulence around the ears. But then the joy - with the ears unencumbered you can hear everything around you: cars, pedestrians, cycling buddies, swooping magpies.... Plus no wires, zero, zip - nothing snagged around the back of the head to connect Bluetooth headphones, no cable dangling down the back to jersey pockets (when not getting snagged on your seat at the lights, or impeeding getting the jersey off for that bathroom break (you do all wear bib-nicks right?). And as there is no cable and nothing in your ears - you attract fewer disparaging glances from other road users. 

The handle bar mounted remote means your ever-so-expensive smartphone can stay in a zip-lock bag tucked in your pocket (yes the new ones might be "water-proof" - but at nearly 2k or some of the newer models why risk it? and sweat can be a bit more corrosive that rain water) a couple of butons let you adjust the volume and skip to the next track (but not backwards - sorry to people practicing their karaoke) anothe button to answer calls and one last to activate the (optional) walkie talkie function.

I found I could hear all my tunes at anything up to about 6okph - but I like to keep the volume fairly low. Phone conversations were of an acceptable quality on the move and perfect if stationary. The unit performed better than a number of my other Bluetooth based in/around ear headsets as apart from the restrictions on hearing the outside world and the problems of wind whistling/dropping them etc a particular bugbear has been the signal dropping out when moving to a full tuck position (too much of me blocking the radio path I guess) - no such issues here with no dropouts for the whole ride.

I only rode for about 3.5 hours this morning from (Hervey Bay to Burrum Heads and return - predominantly rural Qld) so the battery was not tested too much (claimed duration is 10hours with a 90 min recharge).

I wonder how TA would respond if I wore one while competing? Now if only a friend would by one so we could try out the walkie talkie....

 More details at the Australian distributor's site:  https://www.iico.com.au/shop

I'll add some more after a couple of months of use. But for now - high recommended.

Edited by trifun
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I stopped to take a phone call once at Noosa once (before TA ruled on mobiles) wife was near term with #3 so it was the least I could do to stay in touch.

PS Many thanks to the trannies who purchased some of my excess tri gear at Noosa and made this (helmet) purchase possible + also taking the boy out for sizzler post-race.

(PPS got a credit on the assignment I was working on in the hotel guest IT lounge)

Edited by trifun
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