AGV Q-3 Professional
If only everything looked this good.
For a small Italian company that started out making bicycle seats and leather saddles, AGV has come a long way.
Their helmets have been worn by more World Champions in two and four-wheeled racing than any other brand. With over 20 different countries in which AGV helmets are certified, and with names such as Doug Polen and Emerson Fitipaldi on their list of Championship racers, they must be doing something right.There are a dozen or so quality helmet manufacturers on the market today, offering everything from bottom-rung $50 lids all the way up to $600-plus racer-deluxe specials. With over 20 different helmet designs in their line-up, AGV has helmets to fit most price ranges. The two that we received (courtesy of American Honda) are the Q-3 Professionals, which are just one rung down from their top-shelf X-vent model. The only difference between the two is the lack of a removable liner in the Q-3.
The helmet's shell is constructed of Advanced Composite Fibers and utilizes AGV's TAC System (Total Air Control) with six air flow ports for ventilation. The graphics were crisp and laid on without any distortions or rough edges, the colors were sharp and the large vents only added to the cool look the graphics provided. The padding of the Q3 Pro is composed of embroidered Alcantara and Cool Max with black finishes. This fabric has a honeycomb structure doubled with perforated foam. AGV offers different cheek pads, from 25 to 40 mm in 5 mm increments to custom fit the helmet to a rider's head and personal preferences.For the Arai wearers in our offices, the first thing they noticed when pulling on the AGV was that it has, at least initially, a very tight fit. However, once in place and strapped down, the helmet fit no more snugly than a proper fitting lid should. The reason the helmets are a bit snug to squeeze into is the same reason the helmets are so quiet at speed: They are sealed up well at the bottom of the helmet where the neck disappears into the foam padding. They also seemed to lift less at triple digit race track speeds than some other helmet's we've worn -- a definite race track plus.
The front vents on the chin bar and forehead allow a good amount of air flow. However, a screen on the lower vent might have helped since we did get some errant debris blowing up into our eyes. Admittedly, we couldn't feel air flow on the top of our heads from the upper vents, but we never could on any other helmet either. The face shield replacement system works very well, so switching between tinted and clear shields is only a 10 second affair -- on par with other helmets in this price range.This adds up to a helmet that is relatively affordable as racy helmets go. The Q-3 Professional is DOT and Snell approved, quiet, comfortable and comes in a wide range of colors to match your bike and personality. MSRP for the Q-3 Professional is $425 USD, and the helmets are available at local dealers. You can check out AGV's other helmets, along with the rest of their product line-up, at www.agv.com.
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