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Trail Tested: The Cratoni C-Tracer

July 1, 2014
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4 STAR

 

The name Cratoni might fool you into thinking this helmet is made in Milan, but holding the $120 C-Tracer Helmet reveals the truth. This helmet is all German, with the attention to detail and quality that made BMW, Audi and Porsche famous.

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Tech Features: The C-Tracer has Cratoni’s Light Fit System, a dial-adjustable inner fitting membrane; in-mold construction (the shell and liner are formed in one piece) and a Downshell (the shell wraps around to the inside of the helmet). The helmet is available in M/L or L/XL in black or orange/black. Our L/XL weighed 11.4 ounces.

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Field Test Results: Cratoni almost insults the C-Tracer by calling it a mountain bike/commuter helmet. Sure, Cratoni’s top-of-the-line C-Hawk is twice as expensive, but we couldn’t find anything “entry-level” or “basic” about this impressive helmet. The C-Tracer fits between an enduro-style helmet and a road-race helmet, meaning it doesn’t come down too low (enduro) or seem perched on top of the head (road).

The helmet’s shell and liner are flawless. The retention straps are soft and comfortable. The Light Fit System (an adjustable inner band to keep the helmet steady) is easy to adjust with the twist of a dial and, like the rest of the helmet, is beautifully designed. The Light Fit System offers three positions to set the height of the helmet on the rider.

The shape of the fixed visor is strange from the rider’s perspective. There is a gap in the center of the visor, like the two sides couldn’t quite meet. Also, the longish visor sits too low, and there is no adjustment mechanism to tilt it up. An easy work around, if you don’t mind taking an X-Acto knife to the visor, is to trim it about 1/8 of an inch on each side.

The helmet ventilates well and its fit made it seem even lighter than its weight. This was the most noticeable (or unnoticeable) on rides of more than three hours, where every ounce of a helmet starts to feel heavier. The C-Tracer stays light on the longest of rides.

Star Rating BW

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