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Bluegrass has filled a gaping hole in its helmet lineup with an all-new, lightweight full face helmet for enduro racing. We don’t have our hands on one just yet, but at a claimed 725 grams for a MIPS-equipped size medium, the Bluegrass Vanguard Core looks to be striking a good balance between protection, weight and ventilation.
On top of its ASTM 1952-15/2032-15 certification for downhill mountain biking, and its NTA 8776 certification for eBiking, the Vanguard Core also gets a 5 Star rating from the independent helmet testers at Virginia Tech. Its current score? Virginia Tech don’t publish that until the helmet is available in stores so, not until early July.
Priced at $350 USD, the Vanguard Core nears the top-end of the spectrum for a helmet in the lightweight full face enduro lid category, but it boasts a couple of neat features that, if well-executed, could make the extra dollars worth it . Here’s an overview.
Bluegrass Vanguard Core Full Face Enduro Helmet
The Bluegrass Vanguard is available in a MIPS-equipped Core Edition that retails at $350 USD (330 €), or a more basic version that lacks any rotational impact protection – that one comes in at a more affordable price point of 270 €.
It’s not just MIPS that sets them apart; the Core Edition also benefits from a removable mud-grill that covers the main vent on the chin guard, while the basic model lacks one entirely. The Core Edition also gets a Fidlock buckle at the chinstrap, whereas the basic model has an “easy-to-use ratchet buckle”.
Aside from those points, the two helmets are identical. A polycarbonate shell sits at the exterior with an EPS layer underneath taking charge of impact absorption. It is of the modern day in-mold construction.
The Vanguard boasts an impressive 24 vents with internal air channeling, something that has become a bit of a must-have in recent years with the rise of enduro racing. It has spurred on the creation of this category of helmet that needs to offer downhill-level protection in a package that is light enough and well ventilated enough to be worn on all-day missions in the heat of summer.
Bluegrass supply two sets of cheek pads with the Vanguard and Vanguard Core, offering up different thicknesses – 25mm and 35mm – to fit varying jaw shapes. Importantly, these are shaped such that they don’t block airflow through the massive air vent that runs down the side of the chin guard.
Though the construction may make you wonder otherwise, the Vanguard chin piece is actually fixed in place. It will flex inwards to a maximum of 30mm during an impact; that’s in the context of the maximum of 60mm flex permitted by the ASTM testing.
The peak also has a fixed position, though it is designed to break away easily in the event of a crash to prevent it causing undesirable neck rotation.
For retention, the Vanguard relies upon the so-called Safe-T Heta system which can be cinched down via a dial at the rear. The position of this 360° head belt can be adjusted vertically, too.
Pricing & Availability
The Bluegrass Vanguard Core retails at €330 | £290 | $350 | CAD $450 | AUS $450, and is available in White Black Matt, Black Matt Glossy, Blue Fluid Matt and Green Fluid Matt.
Meanwhile, the more basic model, simply named the Vanguard, is priced at €270. That one is available in Black Matt, Blue Ocher Matt, Solar Gray Matt and Lime Matt. Both models are due to be available this coming July.
- Weight M size (Vanguard Core): 725g
- Weight M size (Vanguard): 690g
- Sizes: S (52-56cm) | M (56-58cm) | L (58-61cm)
- Certifications: ASTM 1952-15/2032-15 | NTA 8776 | EC | AS/NZS | US