Pedelec ACE 2.0: a critical look

JayVee

Well-Known Member
Features:

- NTA 8776
- Rechargable rear led
- Integrated Rain Hood
- Visor
- Removable Winter ear muffs
- Magnetic buckle fastening mechanism


On paper Abus's latest Speed helmet has a lot going for it. But it is pricey. I found a one time rebate, so I decided to take the plunge. I find myself loving and hating this helmet.

Let's start with the rear led. It's really cool but Abus provides absolutely ZERO instructions on how to use it! And you're going to need some. The first thing to know is that Abus helmets have two types of LEDs: some models come with a battery that you can replace whereas others come with a USB port to recharge the internal battery. The Pedelec ACE 2.0 comes with a rechargeable battery that you cannot remove (it's glued and molded inside the helmet). So you need a USB cable. Problem: Abus has neither provided that cable or explained what type of USB connector is needed. After spending 25 minutes looking at USB cables in a shop, I figured out that it's a micro B plug. I went back home and recharged it with an iphone SE charger, which seems to work fine. I then discovered a second problem: there's a cover to protect the USB port from rain which is not fastened to the helmet and can very easily fall off or get damaged. It's a tiny piece of rubber... You can either use the led as a blinker or a light which is always on. The led battery will allow you a couple of days riding while blinking, meaning that you only have to recharge about once a week for a regular winter commute. I haven't recharged in about 10 days but my commute is short (30 mins). The led doesn't really light you up as much as some of the lumos helmets. If you switch on the light on a Lumos and place your hand behind your head, you will distinctly see the reflection of the light on your hand. With the Pedelec ACE 2.0 you cannot determine if the light is on or off while the helmet is on your head. You can only see it with a mirror if you're in a dark room. This might sound silly but knowing whether the light is on or off without taking off the helmet is a feature that some people want.

The next problem comes when you put on the helmet. It's crystal clear that Abus absolutely has no idea of how to design a rear fastening dial to tighten a helmet. They have fitted a dial that's so small and skinny that it will cut your fingers if you apply too much pressure. It's skimpy and low quality. Overall the fastening mechanism leaves a lot to be desired. There's a cute magnetic buckle to fasten the chin strap, but the strap itself is made of woven material. It stretches and I find myself retensioing it quite often.

When it comes to ventilation, ABUS has done a good job. For a helmet offering superior protection you can barely notice the difference with an EN 1078 mountain bike helmet when it comes to heat dissipation. The ear muffs are also great and will probably attract a lot of winter riders. They can easily be installed and removed and don't add much in terms of weight. They offer a certain degree of acoustic isolation though, and your perception of the surrounding events will be a bit muffled. The helmet also has an integrated hoodie which you can pull out in case of rain. Another nice touch. The visor comes down to the level of the nose. It offers good protection against rain and bugs, but I found that it sometimes distorts the perception of depth when glancing laterally. This is particularly evident at night or in rainy conditions. This is probably due to the fact that the visor sits too close to your face if you wear glasses. And this can't be adjusted.

The helmet errs on the side of large. I got an M but should have gotten an S. This is all the more true that the entire fastening mechanism tends to stretch.

ABUS could have made a much better product if they had paid attention to small details. The designers wanted to tick all the boxes but failed to make a truly inspiring product. I guess we'll have to wait for the ACE 3.0.

Pros:

Excellent ventilation
Winter muffs
NTA 8776
Integrated rain hoodie
Fairly Energy Efficient led

Cons:
Low quality fastening mechanism
Skimpy USB rubber protection plug
Price
Led Battery not replaceable
Electrical features not documented at all
 

Stefan Mikes

Well-Known Member
Well... I own and use Abus Pedelec+ helmet.
  • NTA 8776
  • Replaceable battery rear LED
  • Integrated rain hood
  • Visor
  • No extra ear muffs
  • Magnetic buckle fastening mechanism
  • Anti-insect net
It is not my only helmet but it is the favourite one.

The pros:
  1. NTA 8776
  2. Excellent ventilation
  3. Magnetic buckle is worth every cent!
  4. Integrated rain hood
  5. Hardly any wind noise when riding
The wind noise is something often overlooked. My second helmet, the Bell Super Air R MIPS Spherical (a full face helmet) is terribly noisy when ridden with the chin protector removed (no noise with the chin protector attached); the Bell helmet has even better and adjustable ventilation.

Regarding Abus Pedelec+, I don't care about the rear LED because I rely on decent taillights of my e-bikes. I had no trouble to adjust the helmet to my head: it fits my head as a glove fits a hand. The rain hood is just fantastic! And the magnetic buckle, too!

Is it possible two different Abus helmet models felt such differently?

Regarding documentation: I have found the battery replacement instruction on YouTube. With USB rechargeable devices, if there is no specification given, it is typically Micro USB that can be charged with any USB charger. Make no mistake: Expensive headlights and taillights from Lezyne or CatEye often come without any cable and without charging instruction either.
STEFAN  SPEED VADO CZECH REPUBLIC.jpg

Abus Pedelec+: My faithful companion on so many rides.
 
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