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Are you a commuter or an adventurous rider? Either way, you need a reliable and safe helmet like the Nolan N91 reviewed here.
It’s one of the best choices for urban riders who want comfort and convenience along with safety. This is an upgrade from the popular N90 of the same brand, so it comes with several improved features.
It’s suitable for both sport and touring riders thanks to its new shell shape. On top of that, newly incorporated durable materials make the shell more resistant to weather conditions and impact.
Continue reading to find more information about this impressive model and all its features and specifications.
You Might Love Nolan N91 if…
- You’re looking for convenience – one of the first things you might notice is the flip-up design. Though the helmet covers your entire face, it gives you an option to lift the visor. This is especially convenient during long waits in the traffic since it allows you to catch some fresh air without taking it off.
- You want a lightweight shell – the weight of a helmet depends on many things from construction materials to several features. However, even being this durable and convenient, the N91 weighs a little less than two pounds.
- You ride every day – thanks to its lightness and comfort, N91 is highly suitable for everyday riding regardless of the distance. It has many features that enhance its comfort and convenience, which makes it ideal for commuting in different weather. Plus, such reduced weight allows women to wear it equally as easily.
You Might Not Like Nolan N91 if…
- You need space around your ears – if you, like many people, like to have some space around your ears, you might not like N91 as much. Unlike other similar helmets, this one doesn’t have any “ear pockets” so it might feel somewhat tight in that area. As a solution, you could go a size up, but only if it would still fit tightly in other areas.
- You’re looking for a quieter shell – due to the general shape and design of the helmet it’s impossible for it to be any quieter than it is. Still, it all depends on what you consider to be noisy, but in most cases, you could consider earplugs if you’re riding long-distance.
- You want supreme ventilation – there’s nothing imposing about its ventilation system, so you might even experience some fogging when the visor is down. It doesn’t allow much fresh air around your scalp, which could be useful in hot weather.
Design and Shape
This one comes in various solid colors and graphics, some of which range in price. Solid colors are, as always, more affordable than more attractive, graphic designs.
Its aerodynamic design cuts through the wind with ease regardless of whether you have the shield up or down. Unlike many similar helmets, this one won’t push the wind when the visor is flipped up, which means you can ride with it up if you prefer to.
It’s an intermediate oval shape, so make sure to consider that beforehand. More so, the lack of ear pockets we’ve mentioned before makes it appear that much narrower. For this reason, it might not fit a wider head shape.
Though you might not notice anything particularly special about its design, it still looks sleek and modern. Clean lines and its aerodynamic shape make it that much more attractive.
Construction and Materials
This is a modular helmet which is among the most convenient types to opt for (more on modular compared to full face here). It converts from a full-face to a half-face helmet quickly and easily, so it’s especially suitable for people who ride every day.
In other words, the shell, along with the shield, covers your entire head and face. However, you can flip up the shield and leave your face exposed in certain situations and riding conditions.
For example, if you’re commuting through traffic at slow speed, you can leave it up, allowing some breeze to hit your face. If you’re riding at high speeds, simply lower it back into place and enjoy having your entire face protected.
Though the mechanism is relatively easy to use, a lot of thought and engineering went into that. As a result, its construction is durable yet smooth and hassle-free even when you’re wearing gloves or your hands are cold.
The outer shell is made of polycarbonate and is quite durable and resistant. It can withstand somewhat rougher use without showing as many signs of wear.
Still, almost all affordable helmets are made of this material. It’s an inexpensive option, which lets brands focus more on other features rather than the longevity of the shell. Nonetheless, it’s durable construction that’s certified as safe.
In the inside, N91 features the Clima Comfort interior lining along with some cheek pads. All the padding has the antibacterial treatment and is easy to maintain. You can remove and wash it whenever you feel the need which is especially useful if you live in a warmer area.
As we mentioned, there’s still room to improve its ventilation system to make the helmet a bit more comfortable. It features only one chin vent and just as many crown vents which in most cases isn’t enough.
The chin vent features a panel you use to allow airflow to the back of the visor. There’s also a slider on the top of the helmet which is meant for opening and closing the top vent. This is a convenient idea, but it’s a bit difficult to pull off with your gloves on.
N91 comes with a VPS, otherwise known as Vision Protection System on the inside of the shell. It’s a short dark shield that protects your eyes when you use it independently from the clear shield.
It comes with a drop-down sun visor that’s ideal for summertime allowing you to ride in harsh light. The system is simple to use even while on the go.
It also features a Pinlock lens and a quick-release mechanism for easier use. It’s simple to use since it’s a single-push mechanism that makes it easy to remove and replace the shields.
Safety Certifications and Features
Though it comes with several safety features, it has only one certification, and it’s from the Department of Transportation. DOT approved it for its safety, reliability, and overall resistance.
The helmet features a dual-action chin bar release for some added safety and easier access in case of an accident.
Sadly, it lacks a Snell certification, but it does meet an ECE 22.05 standard when sold in Europe. However, keep in mind that this is a modular helmet and those rarely ever come with plenty of safety certifications due to as many moving parts.
Keen to learn more about safety ratings? Read our article.
This is an all-around helmet, so it’s crucial to mention a few of its other features such as the chin bar release and a chin curtain. The two enhance comfort as well as safety as the two most critical factors when buying a helmet.
Also, keep in mind that the brand added the Microlock2 double lever retention system for some added safety.
The shell comes in several sizes for you to choose from based on your measurements. Smaller sizes are suitable for women, but consider the fact that all of them might feel somewhat tight around your ears.
Cheek pads are removable, so you can adjust the size to some extent though we wouldn’t suggest you rely on this way too much.
At this point, we’re sure you understand why so many people opt for Nolan N91. If you ever had a chance to try the previous model, you can only imagine how the improved one might feel.
This is a highly versatile and convenient model that’s suitable for everyday commuters as well as adventurous riders. It’s an easy-to-use shell that comes with several reliable safety features allowing you to enjoy the ride to the maximum.
Make sure to consider its shape and all the adjustment points it has in order to figure out if it would fit your head. Also, find your measurements in the manufacturer’s sizing chart and select your favorite color to match your bike and overall style.