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Practical Test

Cratoni Commuter

A helmet test/review at SteffsWorld? Sounds a bit like sponsoring. But I can ensure you, my motivation was and is not to have another cool helmet 'for free' on the shelf. As a technical editor in a large industrial company, I'm into safety issues on a daily basis and it's my personal concern to inform you about products that I think really improve safety in cycling.

Especially the head protection is extremely important, because head injuries are the big thing in our sport. When biking, when e-biking, when riding an e-moped. By the way, when riding an electric pedal scooter too. Although the Cratoni Commuter was specially developed for e-bikers, it has so many great features and characteristics that it is also great for biking without an electric drive. I noticed the helmet directly at the Eurobike. Actually the practical test should still take place last season, but then it was somehow too late in the year and such a test report is unfortunately hardly read outside the season.

But what makes the Cratoni Commuter so recommendable?

  • it complies with the pedelec standard NTA 8776
  • it has an innovative folding visor
  • it has an integrated LED rear light

That doesn't look like much when written among each other - but in fact it is a quantum leap in terms of safety for us cyclists. In Germany there is still no general obligation for cyclists to wear helmets. Only with the 45 km/h fast S-Pedelec a helmet is prescribed by the legislator. The question, however, is which one.

Pedelec Standard NTA 8776

The Dutch are well ahead of us with the NTA 8776 standard. Cratoni's Commuter meets this Dutch pedelec standard. Compared to the EU wide valid bicycle helmet standard EN 1078, NTA 8776 certified helmets have a significantly higher energy absorption potential, offer better protection in the back of the head and temple area and have a really safe fastening system. But the best is coming now: When the helmet specialist from Baden-Württemberg with the Italian-sounding name brings a helmet according to NTA 8776 onto the market, I as a customer can simply rely one hundred percent on the helmet reaching or even exceeding the required values. And this is precisely this customer promise that can save lives.

Innovative Folding Visor

Freely speaking out, I love the visor. Standard is 'transparent' but there is also a tinted version as an accessory. No expert knowledge is required for the exchange. Such a folding visor has several advantages. Whether you are travelling at 20, 30 or 45 km/h, who hasn't got a mosquito, fly, bumblebee or whatever in the eye while riding? Ouch that hurts! The visor offers the perfect protection here. For me as a spectacle wearer, the folding visor is even more valuable, because it protects my expensive optical glasses from dirt and damage. Hey, which spectacle wearer has ever been out in the rain? So if I have raindrops on my glasses, I really can't see anything anymore. Wiping off the drops on the lenses while driving? Not possible at all. But with the visor down, the rain loses its horror. What the wind doesn't blow to the side can be wiped off easily with a flat hand. This is a real relief for us spectacle wearers and increases, you suspect, safety. The tinted version is perfect. So you always have your sunglasses with you. Ingenious. How cool would a mirrored version be? That would be awesome! I couldn't measure it, but subjectively the lowered visor also lowers the flow resistance. It just feels that way and that's why I mention it here.

Integrated LED Rear Light

My way to work leads me first on a narrow district road through a wooded area, followed by a few kilometres in the Aichtal valley and finally up a hill to the airport. No, I don't cycle here. I have seen too many accidents with cyclists on the mentioned sections. It is so tragic. Almost all accidents can be traced back to the fact that the car drivers simply overlooked the cyclists. Shot down from behind. I spare you details. But one thing is for sure, there is nothing better than a flashing, bright rear light - at eye level of the car/SUV/Van driver. I say this from my own experience because I am confronted with it almost every day; by day, by night, in the fog. There are cyclists that you almost don't see and there are those that you see in time. The latter are the ones with the flashing rear lights. Best at eye level. No shit.
The integrated LED rear light in the Commuter is therefore for me the safety feature per se. Continuous light, simple flashing or running light flashing can be switched. My request to you: Use it! It is absolutely not uncool but it is a kind of life insurance. I write now what I think: Cycling without a helmet should be forbidden and this kind of lighting should be integrated in every helmet otherwise it may not be sold. That would definitely save lives.

In addition to the three features and characteristics presented in detail, the Commuter offers a very effective ventilation system. To the left and right there are four vents each and in the central head area there is a honeycomb-shaped ventilation structure that can be opened or closed with a slide. Looks good and works perfectly in practice.
The processing quality of the Commuter is also perfect. Material appearance, fitting accuracy, seams, colouring, warning notices, certification stickers - here everything is thought through to the end. With a weight of 508 g for the variant M-L (58-61 cm) the Commuter is not a lightweight, but if you consider the rear light with battery and the hinged visor the value is pretty good. Don't forget, the helmet meets the NTA 8776 standard. There it simply needs a few grams more material. In the practical test I had no problem at all with the weight.

Résumé

For me, the Cratoni Commuter is one of the best and most innovative bicycle helmets on the market. The price is definitely justified; you get a hell of a lot for your money. Fit, locking system, adjustment device - all flawless. The helmet has antibacterial Clean Tex pads, meets the pedelec standard NTA 8776, has a cool folding visor and an integrated LED rear light. Optics are super noble. For me it's not only a helmet for e-bikes but also perfect for city biking and for touring with the fast Gravelbike. I'd like to recommend it to you.

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