Reviewed: ABUS Gamechanger 2.0 Helmet

I was watching the Gent–Wevelgem race this morning while riding the indoor trainer. Without spoiling the ending if you haven’t seen it, Mathieu van der Poel spent most of the day at the sharp end of the race wearing a Canyon branded ABUS Gamechanger.

While scanning the shrinking peloton, it struck me how similar all of the aero road helmets are looking these days. The ABUS Gamechanger 2.0, LAZER Vento, Trek Ballista, Kask Utopia Y, Smith Ignite, and the Limar Air Atlas (among others) are all looking almost indiscernible from each other, especially when white in color. They all have similar aero shells, vent placements, and aero tails on the back. It’s almost as if they are all converging on shared aerodynamic design aspects, which makes sense when wind tunnel performance provides the metrics that carry the day.

So, what makes the ABUS Gamechanger 2.0 stand out in this crowded market? I’ve had one on hand since earlier this winter. While I haven’t had an opportunity to wear it on a ride, I’ll highlight some of the features that I appreciate about this helmet.

Narrow Width

Having nothing to do with safety or performance, I do prefer a helmet that isn’t too wide on my head, which is 59 cm. This ABUS Gamechanger 2.0 is a size large (57-61cm), but it appears as if it is a medium on my head. I can squeeze into other brands that max out their medium in 59cm, but that doesn’t leave much room for me to let my hair grow too long. So, it’s nice that this large ABUS is roomy enough to fit a winter hat but appears to be a medium. When I go to large in other brands it looks way too wide.

The helmet has sunglass docks in the front and the back. The front dock can accommodate both narrow and wide sunglasses. The rear dock is wider and may only fit newer wide sunglasses. I recommend taking your sunglasses with you when trying on the helmet for size.

Stitched Straps

In general, I’m not a fan of stitched straps because the helmet loses adjustability for the sake of saving a few grams. In my view, those few saved grams are more for marketing and don’t have much significance on the bike. I never notice if a helmet is 10-20 grams heavier or lighter. Without adjustability, stitched straps are a gamble. They either fit exactly like they should or they are off just a bit to be annoying.

These stitched straps on the ABUS Gamechanger 2.0 are perfect for me. I lucked out that they fit exactly to where I would adjust them. However, I can’t promise this will be the case for everyone. I always recommend that if you are considering a helmet with stitched straps that you try one on first.

Magnetic Buckle

ABUS is a German company that specializes in security and protection (i.e., locks), but they also have a helmet division for bikes, motos, and equestrian. So, you can say they are in the security business, securing your property and possessions, as well as your noggin. The helmet buckle is unlike any other helmet I’ve come across.

The buckle snaps together magnetically to close and slides apart to open. It does take a little getting used to, but you’ll quickly retrain your brain that you are protecting to slide the buckle apart rather than pull it apart.

Mips Air Node

If you aren’t familiar, Mips is a hairnet (for lack of a better term) attached to the inside of the helmet. The hairnet moves upon impact lessening the rotational forces your head experiences when crashing. The early versions of Mips was a hard plastic hairnet that often interfered with the helmet’s vents and made for a hot helmet.

Mips has evolved into some new designs like the Air Node that does not interfere with the helmet’s vents, and as a result you hardly know that it’s there. In fact, it appears to be no more intrusive than typical thin padding in a comparable helmet.

The Aero Helmet for You?

The Gamechanger 2.0 is made in Italy and expected to hit the US Market sometime this month or later. You can find them on ABUS’ Amazon store for $329.99 with Mips installed. You can also find them branded by Canyon for $231.95 without Mips installed. However, Canyon is currently out of stock of the white.

The United States is not yet included on their list of dealers, but that shouldn’t stop you from asking your local bike shops if they will be carrying ABUS in the future. For the third time, I recommend trying one on before buying. Don’t forget to bring your winter hat and sunglasses when you do.

And one last note, the ABUS Gamechanger 2.0 is ponytail compatible. The rear cage is high enough to fit a ponytail underneath it, but the gap between the adjustment knob and the helmet is big enough for a ponytail to fit through.