Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute

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Review of the Reevu Bicycle Helmet

Summary: The Reevu was a unique helmet, with a built in mirror. The concept is interesting but this model had some problems.

We bought a sample of the Reevu RV LX1 363 in early 2005 to test. It was expensive, but part of that was shipping from England, the only place we could find one.

The Reevu apparently does not meet the US CPSC bicycle helmet standard. We would not recommend it for that reason alone.

The Reevu has an over-the-top mirror system. It has a black plastic housing on the surface. Inside is a piece of polycarbonate with a mirror finish that bounces the image from behind over the helmet and to the section of mirror that hangs just above your normal sight line.

The concept is interesting, but there are some problems. The polycarbonate mirror is not as efficient as a glass mirror, and it has to be bounced two extra times. As a result the image in the Reevu is not as clear or detailed as a glass mirror that bounces the image only once. We noticed right away that the image was a little dimmer, even on a bright day, and becomes hard to use on a cloudy one or in twilight. We also noticed that it did not meet our critical standard for evaluating mirrors--it was not clear enough to check out the anatomy of runners on a trail after passing.

The coverage of the Reevu mirror, on the other hand, is great. It's a wide view of the entire road behind you. But since you rarely need to see the curb, it's probably overkill, and may be contributing to the image quality problem.

The second major problem was alignment of the rectangle that sits just above the eye, where you see the final image. If the helmet is in correct position to see that rectangle, it cuts off your view of the road if you are riding on dropped bars. With upright ("sit up and beg") bars this probably is not a problem. In a bent over riding position it made the mirror unusable. User comments on the Internet indicate that others have found that alignment of the helmet to use the mirror is critical.

The helmet itself is reasonable but not inspiring. It has minimal vents. There is a molded in duck bill in the front required to accommodate the mirror. The housing for the mirror sticks up above the surface, and in the rear it provides a ledge that sticks up enough to classified as a snagging hazard under the CPSC standard. The mirror and housing add 4.6 oz (130 grams) to the total 13.8 oz (390 grams) weight of the helmet. Ours is a nice bright yellow. The buckle is the normal plastic one, and the tri-glides on the side will not hold adjustment despite the cam-lock design.

We are glad that Reevu is pushing the envelope by attempting to add a serious mirror to a bicycle helmet. We look forward to the evolution of better models as time goes on.

Our sample of the Reevu came from Kinetics. It cost us 40 UK pounds plus 15 pounds shipping from Glasgow, or $103.93 US on our credit card.

For more on Reevu's other models, see our review of Helmets for 2005.

As far as we know, the Reevu is no longer available.