Receiving the Zox Zenith helmet felt like Christmas had come early
Being brand new to Zox helmets, I was able to review this helmet with a completely blank slate and no outside opinion on the quality and fit, and I was quite surprised at what the helmet was able to deliver.
The Zox Zenith helmet starts at $169.99 CAD (around $135 USD, at the time of writing this). At this price point, this helmet is in contention with the Scorpion EXO-R320 and HJC CS-R3 helmets. The Zox Zenith helmet comes with a DOT approval, which makes it legal for street riding here in the United States.
The Zenith comes in a Solid matte or gloss black color for slightly less ($159.99 CAD, about $127 USD), or the Monza livery in the helmet that is reviewed here, with a sleek yet subtle fluorescent yellow trim color.
The Zox Zenith helmet is great for any weather conditions
I had the opportunity to ride and wear the Zox Zenith in both warm and cool weather conditions, and found the helmet to work well under each set of circumstances.
Externally, the helmet is made of a thermoplastic shell with an advanced EPS liner, which is available in three sizes: small (XS), average (S-L) and large (XL-3XL). There are air vents at the top of the helmet as well as the chin, and an outlet for the airflow in the back of the helmet.
The visor construction feels sturdy, and once it snapped closed, it was able to keep the majority of the wind noise under wraps. Removing the visor was thankfully easy; it took a quick review of the owner’s manual and a steady hand to pull the visor off, and once it is lined back up, it easily snaps back into place.
There were a couple of surprise features I found with this helmet
The first surprise came in the form of a chin guard, which is a helpful (but not always included) feature with some helmet manufacturers.
The second surprise were the cutouts in the inside of the helmet that allow the owner to install speakers for their communication system, if they choose.
The interior of the helmet features a removable and washable inner lining, and a “micrometric” or ratchet strap system. All of my previous helmets have had the standard D-ring straps, so being new to the micrometric strap system, I found it was quite easy to navigate.
This may be a plus for newer riders that aren’t familiar with fastening D-rings, or find themselves fumbling through a D-ring system sometimes. The inner lining fit well to my head shape, and wasn’t harsh on my skin, nor did it feel overly warm while riding.
Testing the Zox Zenith helmet
To test the helmet, I went out on an early spring morning ride, and again on a late afternoon zip to see how it fared in different temperatures and weather conditions.
During the morning trip, I found myself in stop-and-go traffic – a recipe for visor fog, in most scenarios. There was no fogging on the inside of the visor, nor did the helmet feel stuffy. One thing I noticed out of the corner of my eye during this ride: there is a Pinlock hole in the visor!
Sure enough, the standard visor that comes on the Zenith is compatible with Pinlock 70 inserts. If you’re a morning commuter or would otherwise find yourself riding in cooler conditions where you might benefit from a Pinlock insert, this is excellent news, as I’ve had helmets in the past where the standard issue visor was not compatible.
This meant buying a Pinlock-compatible visor, on top of a Pinlock insert, in order to use one. Having the Pinlock compatibility there as a standard option is a huge bonus.
During the afternoon trip, I found myself riding in a wicked crosswind, and the Zox faired very well against the conditions.
The local delta breeze had picked up and was at its afternoon peak during my ride, but despite the windy conditions the Zenith helmet never felt loud, nor did it feel like it was getting “caught in the breeze” or blowing my head around. The vents worked well to circulate some cool air for the ride, and kept my head cool for the ride.
A bonus with the Zenith is having a drop-down visor system available in the helmet; this came in handy when I found myself riding back in the direction of the afternoon sun, without my sunglasses. A quick flip of the lever (which is intuitively placed near the top left of the visor), and I was good to roll.
The drop-down visor covered enough that I didn’t have to re-position my head in order to shade my eyes from the sun, without any gaps near the bridge of the nose or below the visor, as some drop-down visor systems tend to have.
In each ride, I wore the helmet for about an hour without taking it off; at no point in either ride did I feel any hot spots or discomfort anywhere on my head.
Zox helmets measure true to size, and while my head is normally bordering between small and medium helmets with my head measuring in at 58cm, I found the Medium to fit perfectly.
I also ride with a face shield or “buff” on every ride, and the helmet was able to accommodate it without any issue. Being new to the Micrometric strap system, I wondered if the fastener would pose discomfort, but once it was secured I didn’t even notice it was there.
It’s always wise to take your size measurements before ordering a helmet, but with the size guide Zox provided, their sizing is on point.
Overall, I am surprised and delighted at the fit and experience with the Zox Zenith helmet.
It gets bonus points for being well ventilated, true to size, and quiet. It was hard to think of any areas of opportunity with this helmet, but having an emergency removal option, along with ECE certification, would make this helmet an even stronger competitor within its price point.
In my experience with wearing the helmet, there were no functional issues of any kind, and was one of the few helmets that was comfortable enough to keep wearing. It will be a staple in future rides, especially during the hot summer months here in California.