NOW, short for Nonstop on Wheels, is a newcomer to the helmet marketplace. Their sole focus is on helmets for now with a line of three helmets; two for sport riding and one for urban riding. As with all helmets for sale in the United States, their helmets meet the Consumer Product Safety Commission protections standards. Thankfully that means I did not have to test the crash-worthiness of the Furi helmet I tested. But I did put the Now helmet through the paces with a lot of hours with me on my bike and the helmet on top of my head.
The NOW Helmet Out of the Box
The first thing I noticed when I took the Now helmet out of the box is how light it is (the claims are about 250 grams). It is especially light considering how much material it looks like there is – it is billed as an aero helmet, so you expect fewer vents equals more weight. After a long day in the saddle, it may make a difference in neck fatigue, but I do not have a way to measure it. The theory is sound at least.
I put the Furi on my head without adjusting anything to see if the shape would mate well with my shape. It was not ideal. From what I can tell, the helmet will fit a rounder head best. My head is longer and narrower than whatever head shape they used to design the helmet. This meant that there is a bit of extra room on the sides and a slightly tight fit front to back. Like saddles, shoes and handlebars, helmet fit depends on the person trying it. (Read “How to Fit a Bike Helmet“)
The straps on the helmet are relatively lightweight, although not as light as some other top range helmets out there. Something I would like to see NOW change is the redirection point for the straps below the ear. They do not lock in place and therefore can move after taking the helmet on and off a few times. This may be my biggest gripe about the helmet, which all in all is pretty minor.
After a bunch of fiddling with the retention system, which has a dial to adjust the tightness and a vertical adjustment to adjust the contact point of the cradle, I found a position that was as close to ideal as I would find. The straps have moved a bit over time and needed readjustment, but it is not such a huge process. I have not been thinking about the helmet out on the road and that is something you should always have in a helmet. If you forget about it, it is comfortable.
Overall the Furi has a finished quality to it with an in-molded shell and all of the standard fitments of a modern helmet, save the redirecting buckles. The orange color I tried out is stylistically in the movement towards brighter colors out on the road. The shape of the helmet reminded my riding pals of the hats Devo wore in the Whip it video. This is the moment you should step back and think of helmet aesthetics – if you were not a cyclist, you would think they all look silly. At the end of the day it is there to minimize head injuries, not to make you look cool – distinct maybe, but not cool. The final verdict on aesthetics is that the helmet fits into the acceptable range of helmet shapes and styles. Would the design stop me from wearing it? No way.
But it is Actually Cool
Along with weight, this was the second biggest highlight of the Furi. The ventilation is top notch for an aero helmet. This was not ideal for my November and December testing period. I did have great airflow through the helmet – it was quite impressive, even with a wool cap underneath I got a breeze. I was lucky enough to have one day where I did not need a cap of any sort under my helmet and it confirmed that the channeling is great.
The Three Big Things
There are three things that a helmet should do for you: provide safety, fit well and be comfortable. The Furi had me covered on two and half of these measures (again, fit is personal. There are people that will find a perfect fit in this helmet). It is a very nice helmet. Something that would be additionally attractive about the helmet is if NOW would release their wind tunnel data so we could see side by side comparisons to other helmets. This would certainly help their standing in the helmet marketplace. Beyond that, look for their nicely designed and made helmets more and more out on the road and trail.