I’ve spent many years searching for the perfect combination of helmet and communications system.
Only now do I think I’ve found it.
In the summer, not so much in the winter I concede, I spend a lot of time on the bike travelling around the country visiting importers, distributors, manufacturers, media owners and so on.
I wear earplugs because I don’t want to lose my hearing any sooner than I need to, yet I still value a quiet helmet.
But I also like to be fully wired up.
I know some bikers throw scorn at the idea of using the phone on the bike, but if I didn’t have access to the phone I’d find it hard to justify taking the bike over the car, which these days is more or less an extension of the office.
In the past, I’ve worn Sharks, Shoeis, Arais and Roofs; in fact, just about everything going.
But I’ve had my head turned by the Schuberth C3 and, more recently, by an updated an upgraded version called the C3 Pro.
Now the C3 is the quietest helmet you can buy. This isn’t advertising puff. Or a piece of marketing hype. It’s a fact. Proven.
One of the reasons that the C3 is so quiet is that it’s a flip lid. A flip-lid slides around your neck when you put it on. You don’t have to squeeze it over the widest part of your head, so it can fit more snugly over the cranium, and sit closer to the neck.
In a recent article, some journalist on MCN claimed that full-face helmets were quietest. I’m sorry, he didn’t know what he was on about. He just made it up. He was simply wrong. Baloney.
Of course, some people don’t like flip-lids because they’re worn by the Old Bill. Well, if this is your key objection, get over it.
And okay you won’t find funky, racing graphics on a Schuberth C3, but you can’t have everything.
If you ride in town a lot, you’ll actually find the C3 a godsend. Lift up the chin and you’ve got the air-flow of an open-face helmet, with the added benefit of a drop-down sun visor.
For my comms., I’ve always been a fan of Autocom and, in the past, I’ve had my Autocom system wired into my earplugs. But Schuberth’s own SRC communications system did seem to make a lot of sense. It basically slots into the bottom edge of the C3 helmet. It’s completely integrated; no battery packs, no control units, no lead connecting you to your passenger and so on.
The problem is that the Schuberth SRC system works through a set of speakers that Velcro into the helmet. This meant that I couldn’t wear my earplugs.
Well, that was until I met the guys from Ultimate Ear at the NEC last November.
These guys took an imprint of my ear canal; they also did Sara’s. Into these earplugs they inserted tiny speakers and then created a screw-together connector that allows me to connect them to my Schuberth SRC communications system. Click here to learn more about Ultimate Ear.
This really does present the Perfect Storm, as far as I’m concerned.
The quietest helmet money can buy, custom-fitted earplugs with internal speakers, and a brilliant comms. system. All-in-one very neat package.
Now I can ride around the country, take calls, make calls, hear the Satnav’s. voice commands, and talk with Sara whether she’s on the back of my bike, or on her own.
In truth, one of the only weaknesses of the original C3 was the limited distance over which you could talk to another rider. It was only good for around 50 metres but, with the new C3 Pro, there’s an upgraded SRC communications system that will apparently work over several hundred metres.
If there’s a better option out there, I’d like to hear about it!