I have been using this helmet since the beginning of April (I think) so it has been put through it’s paces; as much as a helmet can be.
My previous helmet was a Kask Rapido and it is still in good nick but I fancied a change to something more…aero.
What with all the marketing lingo and jargon about “aero”…I finally fell for the marketing and bit the bullet. I consulted the internet and looked at the Kask Protone, Specialized Evade, Giro Vanquish (minus the plastic goggles) and the Met Rivale.
I then stumbled across the Carnac Notus on Planet X available at the following link: https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HECANOTEVO/carnac-notus-evo-road-helmet . When I found this I (and my wallet) felt duty bound to purchase and review it.
The Notus, as I’ll now refer to it, was purchased from Planet X and I paid £24.99 for it. I believe on their website it has been seen for £50 or even £75. However, for as long as I’ve noticed it I can’t recall it being above £24.99.
It arrived as expected and as you can see from the picture it has a matte finish. I went for the red and black with white ascents. It is also available in black, green and black, Holdsworth orange, an Astana looking blue and white. From the frontal view, below, there are 5 vents on the front of the helmet and then 4 smaller air intakes on the roof of the helmet.
The Notus also has three vents at the rear to act as exhausts allowing the air to be channelled through the the helmet and out of the exhausts. It aims to do this in the most efficient way possible to reduce the drag that the air flow creates.
In terms of weight the Notus is listed as 300g for the 58cm – 61cm size (large). I purchased the 56cm – 58cm and the weight of that is 277g according to the electronic weighing scales (of truth). Within the helmet it did list a weight of 255g (+/-10g) so it is a touch over the claimed weight. To put that in context; I think the Kask Rapido is around 245g. In real terms that is a negligible weight difference and in all honesty I couldn’t tell the difference when I actually was wearing the helmet.
I used the Notus all through the British Summer, which was surprisingly toasty this year. I found the ventilation to be more than adequate during those balmy 25 – 30 degree C days and wasn’t craving the extra vents that the Rapido has.
The adjustment on the Notus is also very good with an adjustment dial on the rear of the helmet like most major brands and models. This offers around 100mm of travel which should be ample adjustment for just about anyone. The Notus also has anti-bacterial pads as all helmets do these days.
Safety rating wise, the Notus conforms to CE EN 1078 CPSC; which is the standard within the EU I believe. It does not have MIPS as some higher end model helmets do have. However, given the price I would not expect it to come equipped with MIPS and I’m happy with the safety standards it adheres. Given that the UK is still within the EU it could not conform to that standard.
The only negative points I can give is that I like to wear the helmet quite tightly and unlike the Kask Rapido, it can leave a “V” on my forehead due to the pressure exuded on the anti bacterial pads in the front of the helmet. This subsides after about 15 minutes but you would look a little silly if you removed it at a cafe and you appeared with these marks on your head when ordering from the Waiter/Waitress.
As you may notice from the pictures above; the Carnac Notus Evo bears a striking resemblance to the Specialized Evade helmet. It is almost identical. As we all know, imitation is best form of flattery but I can’t imagine that Specialized will have been overly pleased that their design has been so closely replicated.
As has been widely reported the Evade is very aerodynamic. Planet X doesn’t offer any concrete claims of how aerodynamic the Notus is. I also do not have a wind tunnel so cannot test against the Kask Rapido I have. I think it would perhaps be best to err on the side of caution regarding how many watts it may save you. I feel that it is more aerodynamic than the Rapido but could not say with any amount of confidence that it “would save me “x” amount of watts”.
To conclude then, I think the Carnac Notus Evo helmet is great value from Planet X. It conforms to the relevant EU safety standards and there will be some aero gains to be gleaned from using it over a conventional helmet; no matter how small they may be. If you feel you want an alternative to the Evade due to cost then this would be my go to helmet.