As soon as I saw this gloss, full-face, carbon-fibre helmet which is exclusive to Sportsbikeshop on the website, I was intrigued. I was looking for a carbon-fibre lid, but hadn’t heard of Dexter, despite them being around in Europe for years.
If I was going to buy a carbon helmet for myself, I couldn’t spend much so would be interested in the Dexter Cronos Carbon. There was little information about it on the internet, and few reviews. I thought it would be great to review, helping others in my position, but I wasn’t compromising on my head, so asked Sportsbikeshop to reserve a few for me to look at.
I visited Sportsbikeshop HQ in Boston and was able to see and handle the Dexter Cronos Carbon as well as the more expensive Scorpion Exo-1400 Air Carbon and X-Lite X-803 Ultra Carbon Puro.
I was pretty surprised at how comparable they were at first glance as I’d wrongly expected the cheapest helmet (the Dexter) to look and feel different to the higher priced and more well-known brands.
As soon as I lifted the Dexter from the box, I was struck by how light it felt. It’s approximately 1200g, which is a world away from my AGV K-3 SV (1470g) and previously reviewed AGV K5-S (1350g).
The next thing I did, after feeling up the other helmets, was to check the SHARP ratings. I know there are massive debates about SHARP ratings, but I believe they are a quick indication, and I like to check them. Unfortunately, there was no SHARP rating for the Dexter, which put me off slightly − until I couldn’t find one for the Scorpion or X-Lite either.
I wanted to know more and the helmet looked pretty good and seemed competitively priced, so it came home with me.
It has pretty comparable specs and features to the other lids I considered; it comes in sizes XS-XL and is packed with features including a multi-density EPS liner, emergency release cheekpads, a double-D chinstrap system and a contoured shell design. I’ve never had a helmet with a double-D chin strap, so initially it took me longer to put my helmet on and off, but I’m a fast learner!
I was impressed with the visor. It’s polycarbonate, anti-scratch and UV-resistant, which is pretty normal, but it comes with an anti-fog Pinlock visor insert and a separate tinted visor included in the box. That saves me some money as I’d buy both visors for every helmet.
The visor can be removed without the use of tools, essentially you push round buttons on each side, which is easy on the clear visor, but a bit difficult on the dark visor. As soon as I had worked out the angle, I was able to change visors like a pro.
There are four front air intakes and two rear exhaust vents, but I can never work out which way the chin vents open and which way is closed even though I’ve had the helmet for months! Having to look in the mirror to check is a bit annoying, but I survive. When I can open them, I can feel the air flowing within the helmet.
I wore this lid through the legendary 2018 summer, where we experienced 30°C heat for days on end. Obviously I was riding my bike in this bliss. Normally, in the height of summer, my head will get a bit hot and I’ll be opening my visor for air. I found this lid to be cool enough with the vents open and warm enough in the cooler nights.
The inside of the helmet had me laughing a bit. I like my helmet to fit nice and snug, but this one gave me record-breaking hamster cheeks. I guess this is a good sign as the pads show very little sign of wear. You can remove and wash the pads, however I don’t dare do this in case they expand even more.
Velvet parts by the cheeks make it nice and soft when you pull the helmet on and off and there’s a breath deflector and chin curtain. The chin curtain is nice and soft and really does the job. On my AGV K-3 SV I have an issue with the chin curtain coming off every time I remove my helmet, but on the Dexter, the chin curtain stays in place and does the job. Hurrah for chin curtains!
Dexter say the Cronos features some funky acoustic foam which aids soundproofing, and I can’t say that I’ve seen the foam but, like the Loch Ness Monster, I believe in its existence! This helmet is noticeably quieter than my AGV K-3 SV.
I love the design of the lid, I think it’s rather attractive and looks more expensive than it is. Imagine glossy carbon-fibre with minimal branding. There’s a small red logo on the front and a larger text logo on the rear. I like that the vents are small and silver. It looks really mean with the tinted visor on, just in case intimidating a granny in a Micra is your thing.
The interior is attractive with loads of red details, red stitching and clear emergency-release parts in red. I found it similar to the inside of the X-Lite, which features lots of green details. I liked the small reflective detail at the bottom by the neck; not sure when people will see it, but I’m glad it’s there just in case.
Unfortunately, along with not being able to tell whether the chin vents were open or closed – possibly user error − the infamous ACU Gold sticker is missing. This meant I couldn’t use the helmet at a trackday. This was quite annoying at the time, but I’m not often on track.
Finally, I need to share the funniest aspect of the lid, which constantly caused me mini heart attacks. I found that when I turned my head in a certain position, I would hear a police siren and look frantically for the police car. Great for keeping my speed down, but also anxiety-provoking!
I couldn’t identify exactly where it was coming from, but it seemed to happen when I had all of the vents open. This would take many more hours of turning my head to find exactly the right position, which I’m not prepared to do… sorry guys and girls.
I love that the lid comes with a two-year warranty from Dexter, though I hope it’s not necessary. The build quality seems good and nothing has gone wrong in the months I’ve been using and abusing it.
I think the lid boasts specs comparable to many lids that cost considerably more. It gives maximum value for money and I have loved my time wearing it, even if I still have hamster cheeks. And the question on all of your lips, did I think about the other helmets while wearing the Dexter? Not once.
Absolutely no issues in this department. My usual tinted visor doesn’t have a Pinlock so it was great to be able to fit one to the Cronos visor.
Loads of vents, loads of options, great airflow but a couple of points deducted for my inability to determine whether the chin vents were open or closed − and for that mysterious police siren following me around.
Fit & Comfort
The helmet is super-comfy, despite giving me Guinness World Record-worthy hamster cheeks!
It seems pretty good − but just in case, there’s that two-year warranty!
The Cronos boasts a good number of features. I love that you get two visors, both Pinlock-ready, and the chin curtain is great.