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Published on March 12th, 2009 | by Brad

The LAS Istrion

bout a year ago I went down hard on my road bike. Growing up as a mountain biker, I’m no stranger to terra- firma, but this was my first crash on my road bike, and it wasn’t pretty. I used to think that roadies were sissies, now I know better. There’s no such thing as a soft or easy road bike crash. When people go down on the tarmac, they go down hard. Let me digress briefly to talk about crashing terms. Around here, the term for crashing on your mountain bike is “Stacked Up.”

Slightly avant guarde styling, but it fits!

Slightly avant-garde styling, but it fits!

A person stacks up when he/she is put out of control of his/her bicycle and is caused to either make contact with it (i.e. handlebar to the gut, knee to the stem, etc.) or be completely separated from it and make contact with the ground in some uncomfortable fashion. Speeds are generally lower (meaning under 20 miles per hour) and injuries tend to be limited to cuts, scrapes, gashes, and poison oak. On the other hand, when a person crashes on a road bike we like to say he/she “Went Down.” A person goes down when for some unexpected reason make intimate contact with the pavement. Speeds are usually higher (not less than 15 miles per hour) and injuries begin with massive road rash and go all the way to broken bones and stitches. The bike is typically broken in some way also. Roadies tend not to stack up. We tend to go down.

Now that you understand the nature of my crash, you are probably wondering what I broke. Fortunately, broken parts were limited to my front wheel and helmet. My E2, which had served me so well for so many years finally gave up the ghost. Being young and irresponsible, I still wore it for another 12 months (Don’t do this – Bicycle helmets are designed for one impact; if they weren’t we’d all be wearing football helmets). My conscience finally got the best of me so I set out to

Many vents keep the air flowing. Look closely and you can see the netting.

Many vents keep the air flowing. Look closely and you can see the netting.

replace my beloved E2. Unfortunately, Giro no longer makes it. Lame. This was particularly frustrating due to my head shape. I was blessed with a head that more closely resembles a submarine than a sphere of any sort. It took me a long time to find a helmet that fit comfortably in the front and back but didn’t leave so much room in the sides. After trying every Giro, Specialized and Bell helmet on the market I was somewhat frustrated. Then Arts picked up LAS helmets. Being a slightly smaller company I was curious to see if their offering could compete with the big dogs. They definitly do. I settled on the Las Istrion because it just fit really, really well. I was drawn to it’s blatantly European styling and the color options. I like the way the LAS uses the foam color to match the frame.

The Cateyes Retention System simultaneously adjusts both sides of the helmet with a simple twist of the red knob.

The Cateyes Retention System simultaneously adjusts both sides of the helmet with a simple twist of the red knob.

I was also very impressed with the retention system. It adjusts very easily upward and down for a precise fit no matter what funny lumps you have. The Cateyes adjustment system is super user friendly, and is easily adjusted on the fly with one hand.

After putting over 200 miles on the helmet, I am still very impressed. It keeps my head cool and I love the way it looks and fits. I found out that the Rock Racing Cycling Team also prefers this helmet, so there you go. Next time you go helmet shopping, give LAS helmets a look. Arts Cyclery has an extensive line of Bell, Giro, and LAS helmets so check them out.

Hammer on
and don’t take turns too fast

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About the Author

has over a decade of bike shop experience, half of which was spent wrenching. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a BA in Music, his other love. When he's not slaying the mountains, you'll typically find Brad playing his guitar, hanging out with his wife and kids, or discussing the finer points of home coffee roasting with Luke Gamache.

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