We received a Louis Garneau Course helmet earlier this year to test on the road courtesy of Louis Garneau. The Course road helmet is their wind-tunnel tested, road-aero helmet designed to increase both aerodynamics and ventilation. For those who are interested in learning more about their wind-tunnel testing process, you can view this video from Louis Garneau.
Louis Garneau has put out a lot of information on their site about the aerodynamics of this helmet. According to their proprietary data, the helmet offers a significant aero advantage over both regular and aero road helmets. According to their data, the Course is 2 minutes and 40 seconds faster than the regular road helmets over a 40km distance while saving over 14 minutes on a 180km ride. Assuming their information is accurate, this is a significant time savings over traditional helmets.
With 31 vents, the Course allows ample airflow through the helmet to keep your head cool. The vents are actually quite large; Louis Garneau claims the helmet’s design forces air into the helmet which circulates around the head and is then vented out of the back of the helmet keeping the head cooler and dryer. We found that the helmet works very well on hot rides. On recent rides, with temps reaching between 85 and 100 degrees, we found the helmet did a fantastic job of venting the air through the helmet keep the head cool (or as cool as it can be on that hot of a ride). They claim that their system assists in eliminating moisture (sweat) and we did feel that we had fewer issues with excess moisture and our head was much dryer after 5 hours in the saddle under the summer sun than we expected.
The Course is very comfortable. The internal padding provides enough comfort for long hours in the saddle and they even include an extra set of pads with the helmet, a much appreciated feature as we easily can go through a pair of pads in a season or so and it is nice not having to order an extra set so soon. The helmet’s lightweight also assists in keeping the helmet from feeling bulky or heavy as the miles passed by under our wheels. You want your helmet to “disappear” when you put it on and the Course delivers with a combination of comfort, great fit, and low weight.
This helmet’s Spiderlock Pro II adjustment system makes adjusting the helmet a breeze. A simple turn of the wheel at the back of the helmet will loosen or tighten the helmet. The Spiderlock Pro II offers great adjustability, allowing micro-adjustments that we have found lacking on several other helmets we have worn. The Spiderlock allows us to get a fit that is snug, secure, and comfortable. One handed operation allows quick adjustments on the fly and the anti-slip cutouts along the edge of the wheel help to ensure quick and easy adjustments with better grip. The inclination of the helmet can also be adjusted which adds an additional level of fit.
We wouldn’t have guessed that one of our favorite features of a helmet would end up being a light. The Course helmet comes standard with a removable back light. The light itself is small and lightweight but it packs a lot of punch in a small package. With several lighting modes it offers an extra layer of protection when you are cycling in the dark. Not planning on riding past sunset? The light removes easily as it is attached via a strong velcro bond; simply peel the light off of the strap and replace it with the included cover to make sure the velcro stays protected. We grab this helmet for EVERY ride we do in the dark simply because we love the included light and feel that it greatly increases visibility on the road at night.
At 250 grams, this helmet comes in slightly heavier, but right on par with top level helmets from other brands. With a 31 gram spread from the lightest helmet listed below to the Course, the weight difference is minimal.
Bontrager Velocis 219 grams
Giro Aeon 222 grams
Bell Gage 240 grams
Louis Garneau Course 250 grams
With a quick cross-brand comparison, the LG Course helmet comes in at a lower price point than some of their top competitors but it is priced higher than several competitors’ helmets as well. It sits at $50 more than the Bell Gage but $10 less than the Giro Aeon and Bontrager Velocis. The Course sits comfortably in the upper-middle of the price range for this level of helmet.
We really like this helmet. Adequate ventilation, lightweight construction, comfort, and fit make this an easy choice. Weight weenies might opt for one of the lighter helmets available out there and the price-conscious might choose a helmet that hits a lower price-point, but we feel this helmet provides a great balance of features, value, and performance and deserves a look.
Assuming their wind-tunnel numbers are accurate, the increased aerodynamic performance of the helmet more than makes up for the minor weight savings one would receive with some of the lighter helmets. The improved aerodynamics of this helmet are a strong factor to consider if you are looking for a new helmet. Whether you are racing or putting in long miles on the road, the claimed time savings are very significant.
There are several features that really make this helmet stand out for us. The Spiderlock Pro II stablizing system is one of the best helmet adjustment systems we have used. We are very happy with the fine-tuning and ease of adjustment the Spiderlock system provides. The removable backlight is a huge factor in making this our go-to helmet for evening and night riding; it is lightweight, bright, unobtrusive, and easily removable when it is not needed. Adding the light was a bright idea (See what we did there?) from Louis Garneau. We would by the Course helmet for the backlight feature alone.
Louis Garneau Course is a solid helmet with many great features that make this lid stand out. we would recommend that you consider adding this helmet to your arsenal if you are looking for a fast, light helmet with superior ventilation and comfort. If you are riding at night a lot, it is a no-brainer to take advantage of the added layer of safety with the integrated back light.