Reviewing the Signet Q Pro Tour helmet.
Arai makes some of the world's best helmets. Just watch any racing series and almost all of the top riders will have on an Arai helmet. This is also a choice the rider makes as Arai doesn't sponsor riders—they choose them.
The Signet Q Pro Tour tested here is an upgrade from the Signet Q, and they addressed some of the minor quibbles folks had with the original as well as adding some very nice features.
Paint, Graphics and Overall Quality
The Signet Q Pro Tour we tested is a black frost. Like all Arai helmets, we have tested the paint and it's flawless: There are no chips, defects, fish eye, dirt areas that aren't painted, or other issues. These paint issues are so common on lower priced helmets they are practically a feature.
Overall, I'll rate the Signet Q as "Outstanding" for initial paint and quality. I would rate it “Outstanding” for the durability of those finishes.
Fit, Internal Shape and Liner
Fit is perfect as I have expressed before. I have a long oval head and the Signet Q Pro Tour is my exact head shape. It's one of only two brands of helmet where I can actually wear my proper size. My head measure 57.5 cm, which is dead center for a size medium. Unfortunately, most other helmets feel like they are trying to squeeze the very essence out of my brain, which is not conducive to a comfortable riding experience.
The liner has been upgraded with softer materials that add to the comfort and moisture wicking ability. Arai already had one of the better interiors on the market and this little upgrade just made it that much more comfortable. The other change to the interior is a larger ear pocket. In a nod to those who use communicators, ear plugs, or head phones they enlarged the opening to better accommodate those items.
Overall, I would rate the fit, shape, and liner as “Excellent”.
Face Shield, Eye Port and Visibility
The face shield on all Arai helmets comes with the PinLock insert for anti-fog capability. The latest update to their shield mechanism is the Pro Shield system. This incorporates a blacked-out shield at the top of the main visor and gives you the ability to block out the sun and go right back to clear without changing the shield.
Visibility out of the eye port is “Excellent.” The eye port opening is average sized, but it doesn't inhibit what you need to see and provides plenty of ventilation with the—unique to Arai—brow ventilation.
I would rate the Signet Q “Outstanding” for the seal, shield change process, and over quality.
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Ventilation and Air Flow
Arai made no changes to their ventilation scheme and why would they? It works as well as any system by allowing in plenty of air when fully opened and also allowing you to tailor where you want cooling on your head.
The R75 shape is designed for aero efficiency and still maintains the low noise levels you expect—there are moments when you get some whistling. By making a minor adjustment to the wind screen if you ride behind one or altering your height in the saddle will make it immediately go away.
The Signet Q Pro Tour gets an “Outstanding” rating for ventilation and airflow.
As mentioned above, the Signet Q gets noisier when the vents are open. The neck roll and fit of a helmet contribute to how noisy it will be when you ride with it. The better these components fit your individual head and neck, the better the noise levels will be. The Signet Q and new Pro Tour fit this tester better than any other helmet on the market, so it clearly has an advantage when being tested.
One minor downside are those new larger ear pockets, which do allow a bit more noise. Once the speakers or some other item takes up the space, the noise levels go back down.
Overall, for noise, I would rate the Signet Q “Excellent.” It’s better than most, particularly when the vents are closed.
The Signet Q in size medium weighs 3 lbs 13.6 ounces; the new Pro Tour version weighs 3 lbs 12.3 ounces. It's lighter and with the added component of the Pro Shield, it's also interesting. Testing was done with the same scale—Arai does hand make all of their helmets, so some weight difference is expected.
The Signet Q Pro Tour is an "Outstanding" helmet overall and it has very few—if any—issues. The price of $602 for a solid color helmet has gone up slightly over the standard Signet Q. You do get the new ProShield with it so the price increase is expected.
How this author rates gear.