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7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face Helmet

Vital Rating: (Excellent)
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7iDP Project 23 ABS (Army Green/Dark Green)
 7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face Helmet  7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face Helmet  7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face Helmet  7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face Helmet  7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face Helmet
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Lightweight and Ventilated: 7iDP Project 23 ABS First Ride

The ABS version of the Project 23 is lighter on your head and on your wallet.

Rating: Vital Review
Lightweight and Ventilated: 7iDP Project 23 ABS First Ride

Protection specialist 7iDP has had a few helmets in the line-up over the years, but the Project 23 is by far their most ambitious undertaking in this product category. All the development was done in-house over a period of several years, with the goal of producing a lightweight but downhill-certified helmet that offers good breathability. We tested the carbon version last year with good results, so when the more budget-friendly ABS version became available to us we took the opportunity to check it out as well. After a handful of rides, here are our impressions.

Strengths

Weaknesses

  • Light weight
  • Good ventilation
  • Comfortable fit
  • Dedicated goggle strap placement
  • Snap-off visor
  • ASTM Downhill certification
  • Competitively priced
  • Goggle port may not work well with all goggle types

7iDP Project 23 ABS Highlights

  • ABS shell, D-ring closure strap
  • 23 vents
  • Removable, washable liner and replaceable pads
  • Adjustable padding available for purchase
  • Certification: CE/CPSC/ASNZ/ASTM 1952
  • Drawstring carrying bag
  • CRV (Crash Release Visor) system allows visor to release on impact to help reduce rotational forces
  • TF (Through Flow) Goggle ventilation allows full airflow
  • Sizes: S: 55-56cm, M: 57-58cm, L: 59-60cm, XL: 61-62cm, XXL: 63 - 64cm (3 shell sizes)
  • Colors: ARMY GREEN/DARK GREEN, STORM GREY/FLURO YELLOW, ELECTRIC BLUE/THRUSTER RED, BLACK/GREY
  • Carbon Fiber and Fiberglass versions also available
  • MSRP: $149 USD
  • Weight: 854 grams (size L, verified)

Initial Impressions

The Project 23 has a fairly distinctive look, defined by its relatively imposing profile and angular design language. The helmet feels light when you pick it up, and our scales confirmed the initial impression at just 854 grams for the size L we tested. This is about 70 grams LIGHTER than the top-of-the-line carbon version, not because the ABS shell is lighter in itself but because unlike its pricier carbon and fiberglass brethren, the ABS version does without 7iDP’s “SERT” pads – a set of smart foam pads that help reduce the transmission of both linear and angular impact forces to the head.

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Continuing with the comparisons, the ABS version uses a different set of cheek pads although the main comfort liner is the same as on the carbon and fiberglass versions. The Project 23 comes in three different shell sizes which are sold as six different, actual sizes thanks to the use of liners and cheek pads of varying thickness. 7iDP makes these pads available for sale separately as well so you can go down that route if you want to fine-tune the fit of your helmet. The chin strap buckle is of the simple, clip-in design while the adjustable visor is designed to snap off easily in the event of a crash, to prevent it from snagging and potentially twisting your head.

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On The Trail

The Project 23 really runs true to the measurements given for the different sizes. This tester’s head measures in at 58.5 cms, and the size L proved to be just a little bit on the big side. Perfectly OK for riding, but we imagine the size M would have been perfectly snug. This was confirmed by our findings from testing the carbon version, where a different tester’s 58 cm head was indeed a great fit for the M.

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That initial feeling of lightness we mentioned earlier persisted on the trail. The helmet offers a comfortable fit, and the light weight helps it make itself forgotten in action. The ventilation is very good when compared to “classic” downhill helmets, although it comes up a bit short when compared with the new breed of lightweight full face helmets such as the TLD Stage or the FOX ProFrame. This is quite logical, as the Project 23 does not really belong to the same category of helmet. We think of it more as a particularly light and well-ventilated DH or park helmet, as opposed to the aforementioned super-light options which were explicitly designed for enduro-type applications where climbing with the helmet on is also part of the equation. To be clear, the Project 23 can certainly be worn all day and will work for these enduro-type scenarios as well, with the caveat that if it gets really warm, it won't offer the same amount of airflow as the super-light options. On the flip side, it may be a judicious choice given how rowdy enduro stages are these days...this is ultimately a trade-off that each rider needs to make for themselves.

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A word on goggles: the Project 23 features a frontal opening with a somewhat unique shape, which makes it less well suited to large goggles devoid of “outriggers”. Oakley’s Airbrake, 100%’s Armega and Leatt’s Velocity 6.5 all work well for example, while with other types of designs where the goggle lacks an outrigger we found that the goggle would be lifted off the face a bit by the sides of the frontal opening of the helmet. Something to keep in mind when shopping for eyewear to use with the Project 23. On the plus side, there is a large area around the back of the helmet where no ventilation ports are present, which means that the helmet’s ventilation is not affected by the goggle strap. The visor cannot be moved out of the way enough to allow you to just push up the goggle for climbing, although we were able to store the goggle on the back of the helmet with the strap positioned under the visor instead. We should also point out that the visor sits in a good spot where it offers some protection from the sun without getting in the way of your view of the trail ahead.

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What’s The Bottom Line?

Mountain bike helmets are continuously evolving, and we’re seeing a lot of options both in the super-light as well as the more “classic” full-face categories. The Project 23 ABS lands somewhere in between, lighter than many full-face options but still certified for downhill use. This makes it particularly well suited for bike park days, although it can also do duty as an enduro helmet if it’s not crazy hot outside. At $149 USD, this ABS version benefits from the same shell design and the same comfortable liner as its more expensive carbon and fiberglass siblings, which really makes it a great value option for riders looking for their first full-face helmet or for those who only need one occasionally.

More information at: www.7idp.com.


About The Reviewer

Johan Hjord - Age: 48 // Years Riding MTB: 16 // Weight: 190-pounds (87-kg) // Height: 6'0" (1.84m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After many years spent practicing falling off cliffs with his snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Ever since, he’s mostly been riding bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many flaws as a rider. His 200-pound body weight coupled with unique skill for poor line choice and clumsy landings make him an expert on durability - if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much okay for anybody. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style that he describes as "none" (when in actuality he rips!). Having found most trail features to be not to his liking, Johan uses much of his spare time building his own. Johan’s other accomplishments include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly on 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

Specifications

Product 7iDP Project 23 ABS Full Face Helmet
Riding Type Downhill, Enduro / All-Mountain, Freeride / Bike Park
Rider Unisex
Number of Vents 23
Construction ABS shell, D-ring closure, snap-off visor design
Adjustable Padding Removable, washable liner and replaceable pads
Certification CPSC Bicycle and ASTM F1952-15 (Downhill)
Bag Drawstring carrying bag
Size S: 55-56cm, M: 57-58cm, L: 59-60cm, XL: 61-62cm, XXL: 63 - 64cm (3 shell sizes)
Colors Army Green/Dark Green, Electric Blue/Thruster Red, Matte Black/Gloss Black, Matte Storm Grey/Gloss Bright Yellow
Weight 1 lb 14 oz (850 g)
Miscellaneous Reduced weight and improved breathability
Three versions available: Carbon Fiber, Fiberglass, and ABS
The same mold is used on all three versions
Price $149.99
More Info

7iDP Launches Project.23 Full-Face Helmet Line (press release)

Six Months in the Field - 7iDP's Project 23 Carbon Helmet Vital MTB Review

7iDP Website

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