There’s plenty of snobbery shown towards bike helmets, but this sub-£150 effort shows you don’t have to splash out a fortune to get a decent-quality lid.
The Nexx SX.100 is the Portuguese company’s most basic traditional full-face offering, with a polycarbonate shell to keep the price down.
But it offers higher quality than the pricetag would suggest, with even this basic white design having a shimmering effect and the comfort lining being a cut above many helmets at a similar price.
At the time of review, the SX.100 was £129.99 for plain white, grey or black, £139.99 for high-viz yellow and £159.99 for multi-coloured graphics.
Its quick-release visor swaps easily and securely, and it’s backed with a Pinlock Max Vision insert to keep it free of mist. The pins even have screw adjusters to alter the tension of the insert, which is an upgrade on the cheapest lids on the market.
It fastens with a micrometric slide-ratchet, which is exactly as expected on a helmet of this price.
None of that is a real shock, but the whole picture comes together to create a helmet that is very much worth the outlay.
I found it immediately comfortable; that’s subjective, I know – but my long, square-ish head doesn’t often lend itself to immediate comfort in many helmets. It needed no break-in time with the Nexx, so if your bonce is a similar shape then you can expect a similar head start (if you’ll pardon the pun).
My first stint of miles in the SX.100 was on a Suzuki Burgman 400 scooter, with its tall screen providing plenty of shelter. The Nexx was quiet and draught-free behind this weather protection.
I then switched to a Honda CB1000R+ naked bike and it was a different story on that score, with windflow swirling around and entering the unprotected gap around the chin. This created an unpleasant, eye-watering draught.
At the time of this review, there was no chin curtain included as standard with the SX.100, but adding the £15 accessory option rectified the problem. Thankfully Nexx have since fitted one as standard, so on current-day helmets this won't be an issue.
One area where the Nexx loses out to the competing Nolan N87 is in the sun visor stakes, with the N87’s anti-fog treatment taking it up a notch over the SX.100’s untreated equivalent.
If you’re not a visor-mist kind of rider, and don’t mind a bit of windflow (or have a screen to hide behind) then the SX.100 provides a £50 saving over the popular N87 and has a roomier interior to suit a different head shape.
I’d say the Nexx SX.100 is the best sub-£150 helmet I’ve tried and should be on the list for riders who want to extract maximum value for their outlay.
It comes equipped with a Pinlock Max Vision insert for anti-mist excellence. It doesn’t offer the same width and depth of peripheral vision as the very best lids, but it’s a good performance.
Solid and effective shin and crown vents do a good job and are easy enough to use. It’s not exactly a torrent of fresh air, but it’s good enough.
Fit & Comfort
I took a medium in this helmet, which keeps it in common with the majority of brands. On occasions I need to go up to a large (Scorpion, Schuberth, Shoei), but the Nexx fit me well. The lining is soft and there’s nothing to disrupt comfort.
In common with many helmets in this price range, the hard plastic trium around the base is prone to unsightly scratches. The mark would also be improved with the inclusion of a chin curtain as standard, rather than as a £15 add-on.
It’s a heavier plastic shell and there’s no chin curtain or emergency release cheekpads, but the SX.100 has all the absolute essentials covered.