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Discussion Starter #1

Just received this beauty in the mail yesterday and finally got around to writing up a review. I bought the "white" version of the Strike style from Revzilla on closeout. Was it a deal?

Let’s review the points for this helmet:

  • Cheap - (score 2 of 2) Typically $150, I got this on sale for about $120. Not too bad for a clearance lid. All things considered, I feel the sale price better reflects what you get.
  • Light Weight - (score 1 of 2) At 3.6lbs, the AFX-39DS is slightly heavier than the Bell, but like the MX-9, the balance means it feels subjectively light anyway. If it felt comfortable, I could see wearing it all day.
  • Comfort - (score 3 of 8)
    • Airflow (2) - Airflow on this helmet is top notch. There are several active and passive vents that provide quite a bit of air when needed, and allow you to tone it down if you want. Once again, I used a high speed fan to simulate riding the bike. Even with the fan turned on low I felt a nice bit of air inside. This would definitely be a nice summer lid.
    • Proper Fit (0) - And just like the Bell, this is where everything came crashing down for this lid. Same issue as before... the AFX-39DS has a weird flat top that puts pressure on the crown of my head. This time it is just a little bit forward of the last helmet, but it feels more extreme in this one. I found it very uncomfortable right away. More on that in the wrap up.
    • Materials (0) - While the exterior plastic on the shell and visor are great, the interior fabrics are adequate, but thin and cheap. Definitely not something I'd expect to last. And the interior SQUEAKS! Loud, foam rubbing foam annoying little squeak, every time I move my head. Not something I'd want to hear all day while riding!
    • Aerodynamic (1) - The helmet is well balanced and I suspect would work very well in moderate to fast speeds. The shell is shaped properly so riding without the peak would probably be very smooth at high speed. With the peak installed, however, I expect it would catch quite a bit of wind because there isn't quite as much space under the visor as the Bell model had to allow fast moving air to escape.
  • Comm Ready - (score 1 of 2) The ear pockets inside the helmet are spacious. Might run into the same issues with attaching the comm unit on the side, but velcro would solve that. The only reason I'm giving it just 1 point is because it's loud and the aforementioned squeak would be too distracting, even with ear plugs.
  • Sunblocker - (score 2 of 4)
    • The Peak (2) - I really like this peak. The slotted adjustment brings it forward enough to be effective, or can push it back out of line-of-site.
    • Interior Drop-Down Sun Shade (0) - Doesn't have one.
  • Shell Size - (score 1 of 2) There are 2 shell sizes. They are well enough fitted to not look like a bobble head :D
  • Accessories - (score .4) The AFX-39DS comes in a wide variety of colors (.1), offers the coveted ratchet chin strap (.1), offers a silvered face shield (.1), and also offers a sun-visor that fits on the outside of the regular face shield (.1) This is an odd addition - kind of like those smokey plastic visors that used to be available for cars. Neat idea, though, so I'm giving it a point!
My final score for the AFX-39DS = 9 out of 20 with .4 bonus points.

General observations, likes and dislikes

Like the Bell MX-9, I went into this review really wanting to like the AFX-39DS. On the exterior, it's a sharp looking helmet with a ton of features: DOT & ECE rated, great active venting, excellent graphics selection, and a ratchet chin strap that can be secured while wearing gloves. If one simply went by the reviews on the product pages and on YouTube, this model is popular and lasted quite sometime for a reason.

But after receiving the helmet, I was disappointed both in fit and interior materials. I didn't expect anything special for $150, but still found the annoying squeak and thin materials and padding surprising. The odd pressure points at the top of my head were surprising too. One helmet might have this, but two right off the bat? I actually had to put on my BILT Techno Adventure helmet to reaffirm it was, in fact, the helmets' shape and not just my perception. I actually felt around under the "padding" at the top of the head to see what might be causing the issue, and discovered the air channels carved into the foam created oddly placed, fairly significant lumps right where I was feeling pressure. If the liner padding was thicker, or if the air channels were cut differently, this issue might be alleviated. But as it stands, there is no way I could wear this helmet.

So the final question is, in an objective analysis, would I recommend the AFX-39DS to someone else. Unfortunately, I would have to say No. Obviously there are tons of people out there that love their helmet. But unless someone has very thick hair, or adds their own padding to the top of the liner, I would be reluctant to suggest they buy this, even at this price point.


555 Posts
An excellent review!
I guess some people have flat heads?
They wouldn't feel the pressure point on the top of their head.
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