Sometimes, for a product to get a great review, it doesn’t need to go above and beyond or be extraordinarily innovative. Often, as I’m thinking back on my experience with a piece of gear, if I can get to the point where I’m ready to review it and haven’t lodged a single meaningful complaint, then the brand has done something right. This has been my experience with the new LEM Spyne helmet.
LEM released the $150 Spyne helmet this spring as a new trail helmet option with their new GelMotion tech, a proprietary rotational impact system and MIPS alternative. While MIPS is getting more commonplace in bike helmets, so have the alternatives, and brands have been developing quite a few of their own systems, many of which look or act quite similarly.
GelMotion is a rubbery strip of ridges that deflects impacts by rotating the helmet along the skull during an impact or compressing slightly to mitigate linear impact. It works similarly to MIPS and other tech in that it allows the helmet to rotate around or along the head during a crash, but I would be surprised if it offered much in the way of linear impact protection before your skull presses into the EPS foam of the helmet. Anyway, it’s a seemingly simple piece of tech that doesn’t add much weight to the helmet, nor does it interfere with the comfort.
The Spyne is lightweight, surrounds the majority of the melon, has 15 vents for maximized cooling, and has a dial in the rear to adjust the fit. There is a claimed three-position visor, but it’s more like two distinct positions, and a third if you push it higher. Lastly, the Spyne gets a Fidlock buckle to make it easier to secure and remove with gloves on.
LEM Spyne helmet fit and feel
I haven’t ridden m/any LEM helmets before. This actually may have been my first one, so I was a blank canvas. Over the past few months I’ve been wearing it on varying spring days in Colorado, with some rides in the 40s and some rides in the 70s. The helmet vents well and even though it’s jet black around the entire thing, it hasn’t felt balmy yet. The fit has been spot on, at least for me and I feel like it’s wrapping around my head instead of just sitting on top. The padding is soft and seems to dry out well.
The straps are a nice, soft fabric and who doesn’t love the Fidlock buckle? They’re always a nice touch and it makes removing the helmet that much easier on the trail or with gloves on.
The aesthetics work well for the Spyne too. The design is, overall, inoffensive. The branding on the helmet are just decals and over time they may start to peel or fade. There are six colorways and three sizes so there should be something for everyone.
There is nothing remarkable about the LEM Spyne helmet. The aesthetics blend in with almost any other lid on the trail and there aren’t really any standout features that set it apart from other helmets. But, it’s comfortable, fits solidly, vents well, and is priced reasonably. Overall there is almost nothing to complain about on the Spyne, and that is enough to make it stand out from other choices.
- Price: $150
- Available from LEM.
- Solid fit
- Vents well
- Reasonable price
Pros and cons of the LEM Spyne
- No real standout features
- Plain design