NEXX X.t1 Carbon Zero Helmet: So much helmet, so little weight

NEXX X.t1 Carbon Zero Helmet Review | Lightweight Comfort
NEXX X.t1 Carbon Zero

The 2016 NEXX X.t1 Carbon Zero motorcycle helmet packs a range of operational features and does it with a claimed weight of 1450g (3.196 lbs.). If you’re in a helmet riding all day, keeping the weight down makes a huge difference in improved comfort and reduced fatigue.

The Carbon Zero version of the X.t1 full-face helmet is built around a full carbon-fiber shell that meets ECE/22-05, DOT (FMVSS 218) and NBR-7471:2001 safety standards. The NEXX  arrives in three different size configurations: Small Shell (XXS to S); Medium Shell (M to L); Big Shell (XL to XXL). Other versions of the X.t1 except the X.t1 Raptor utilize the X-Matrix composite shell, which combines multiaxial fiberglass, 3D organic fibers, special aramid fibers and carbon reinforcement.

Sizing for me (60 cm) was right on, giving a comfortable fit; donning the X.t1 requires clearing the ample cheek pads and neck roll. It is snug going on, but once in place, fits very well with absolutely no side-to-side or front-to-back slack. The helmet stays where you position it at all speeds. Wind buffeting is minimal whether riding a bike with a windshield or without.

The X.t1 features a quick-on/quick-off “Micro-metric” retention strap buckle, which beats the daylights out of the old double-D ring closure system in common use. A ratcheting mechanism allows you to get the fit snugged up to exactly the point you want by simply pushing the notched tab and buckle together. Releasing the buckle is instantaneous by pulling down on the red tab on the buckle. Both opening and closing the buckle can be done with gloves on. No threading and un-threading a nylon strap through metal D-rings.

The NEXX X.t1 includes quick-release cheek pads designed to allow emergency responders to hook their finger into the red emergency removal strap under each side of the helmet and pull the cheek pads out. That allows easier and safer helmet removal in the aftermath of a crash, when avoiding potential for aggravating possible neck injuries is essential. A red sticker on the left side of the chin bar calls attention to the presence of the emergency removal straps.

Ventilation is handled by a closable chin bar vent and twin closable crown vents that operate with a single control button up top. Four rearward non-closable exhaust vents channel airflow out of the shell. It was the crown vent that gave the only wrinkle in our evaluation.

On a couple of occasions during highway riding, a buzzing sound occurred in the helmet. After taking a look at the crown vent control, I found it stopped the buzzing if I made sure the vent shutter control was either clicked into a fully open or closed position, but not in between. Once that was established, we got along fine. Fully open, the combination of vents channels a generous flow of air into the helmet.

With the vents fully open, there is slightly more wind noise than closed, but not an obtrusive level of wind noise in either case. The helmet includes hefty cheek pads and a chin curtain to help tamp down wind noise. The comfort liner is comprised of hypoallergenic “CoolMax fabric” and is removable and washable. “Ergo” fitting pads are included to enable more precise fit, but in my case, they weren’t necessary.

NEXX X.t1 Carbon Zero Helmet TestThe NEXX X.t1 has a dual visor system that includes a clear Lexan outer shield with a molded-in recess for the addition of a Pinlock shield (not included) and an internally concealed 80-percent tint sun visor. The outer shied has four set positions – five if you include fully locked down.

The visor locking system called “Block ‘N’ Seal” is about the most positive locking closure mechanism I’ve seen on a helmet. It locks down into a spring-loaded hook with an audible click and it stays down until the release button is pressed. That button is directly below the tab on the middle of the outer shield used for lifting the shield. The system works very effectively in sealing the eye port, but the only problem is the release button is very close to the visor tab and is the same height, making it difficult to quickly locate and operate the release button, particularly with gloves on. It gets easier to do with practice, though. The quick-release system to change the outer shield called X-Swift is easy to use with one built-in lever doing the trick—no tools required. A removable breath guard in the chin bar is included.

The sun visor is raised and lowered with a small lever on the left rear side of the helmet adjacent to the exhaust vent. The control tab is easy to find with gloves on and worked smoothly with a light click-lock feeling to it when placing the sun visor fully down for use and up in the retracted position.

The NEXX X.t1 has a capped port on the left side of the helmet for installation of the Nexx X-com Bluetooth communication system, which is sold separately. Overall quality and appearance is excellent, with the carbon fiber matrix visible through the mirror-finish clear gelcoat. Seams and assembly of the comfort liner and external fittings are tight and smooth.

The helmet comes with a cloth carry bag, Ergo pad system, comprehensive owner’s manual and booklet for the two year warranty. The Carbon Zero model has no other color options apart from black, but the X.t1 Raptor also features a carbon-fiber shell and has color options available (check the Nexx North America site for current options.)

NEXX X.t1 Quick Specs:

  • Helmet: Nexx X.t1 Carbon Zero
  • Distribution: Nexx North America—see the website for retail locations: www.nexxnorthamerica.com/
  • Configuration: Full face—non-modular
  • Country of origin: Portugal
  • Shell material: Carbon fiber
  • Available shell sizing: Small Shell XXS to S; Medium Shell M to L; Big Shell XL to XXL
  • Weight (claimed): 1450g (3.196 lbs.)
  • Certifications: ECE/22-05, DOT (FMVSS 218) and NBR-7471:2001
  • Shield/visor: Lexan polycarbonate, clear PinLock ready external shield and 80 percent smoke-tinted retractable internal sun visor; Tinted external shields are also available.
  • Retention system: Padded nylon strap with Micro-metric quick release buckle
  • Quick-release emergency removal cheek pads
  • Prepared for X-COM – NEXX Bluetooth system
  • Includes Ergo Padding System for size adjustment
  • Cloth carrying bag included
  • Warranty: Two years
  • MSRP: $549.95

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