The AGV GT Veloce has a great pedigree. The shell is based on AGVs excellent Pista-GP and Corsa helmets. Both of these scored a maximum five stars by the SHARP crash helmet testing scheme, and so did the GT Veloce. If you compare the GT Veloce with the other two, you can see a few differences – the chin guard is less pointy and aerodynamic and there’s less of a spoiler on the back – but the overall look of the helmet is very similar.
It’s also constructed of the same composite materials as the other lids too – a composite of fibreglass, aramid and carbon fibres. AGV call it their SSL system or Super Super Light (does that mean even lighter helmets will be called SSSL in future?!). It is a pretty light helmet, though it’s actually not any where near the lightest helmet around (for example AGVs own Pista GP weighs 1250g compared to the GT Veloce’s 1450g).
The GT Veloce’s helmet shell is manufactured in four shell sizes, and comes in fitting sizes XS-S-MS-ML-L-XL-XXL. Note, there’s two different medium ‘fitting’ sizes because a few manufacturers are now starting to split sizes to give an even better fit, especially in more popular sizes.
Producing a crash helmet shell in more sizes is a good thing – it means the shell is a better size/fit for your head and also means the amount of shock-absorbing expanded polystyrene lining will be nearer the optimum amount required to keep injury to a minimum. It’ll also mean the helmet will look better on you, avoiding the lollipop effect!
Other safety features include a thicker, 2mm visor, which is designed to be less easy to penetrate during an accident. It’s also wider too to give you better peripheral vision. The fastener is a double d-ring; they’re old style these days but work just fine, and are a must if you’re planning to take your helmet to the track.
Having said all this, the proof’s in the pudding and with a SHARP 5 star rating (and of course the obligatory ECE 22-05 approval in the EU), the AGV GT Veloce is about as safe as crash helmets come.
Because the AGV GT Veloce is based on race-bred technology, it will only be as quiet as these donor shells allow. Unfortunately, both the donor helmets are noisy buggers – and the GT Veloce is no exception. Race helmets need to focus on safety, aero, buffeting, vision. Arguably the last thing a racing helmet designer will consider is noise – let’s face it, if you want to make a helmet quiet at the track, you bung in better ear plugs! So at anything over moderate speeds, owners reckon you’ll find the GT Veloce noisy.
This might not be a deal-breaker because add a decent pair of ear plugs into the equation, and it’s perfectly manageable. But if buying a quiet crash helmet is your thing or you do quite a bit of riding without plugs, the GT Veloce is probably one to avoid.
Ventilation on the AGV GT Veloce is a mixed bag. It’s a similar story to the ventilation on the AGV Corsa. Overall ventilation is fine. If the front vents are open, they pull in lots of air, take it up over the back of the visor, over the head where it can reach the scalp via the cut-aways in the lining (see comfort section for more information) and grotty air is expelled through the rear exhausts, helped by the rear sculpting of the helmet that causes and active pull effect. All good there.
The main problem is with AGVs fiddly ventilation opening tabs. The forehead ones are fiddly at best and a right ole pain at worst. They are small, so hard to find, and owners reckon you’re never quite sure if you’ve opened them until you get up to speed and can feel the effects. Similarly, the chin vent is opened/closed by a slider on the inside of the chin guard. Again, owners unused to AGVs find it a bit unusual and fiddly, especially wearing winter gloves.
As usual, whether this will be a problem for you is down to personal preference. If you’re the type who leaves the vents in one setting for months on end, then it’ll not be a problem. If you like to get the helmet ventilation just right, it might cause you a problem.
There’s lots of good things to say about the GT Veloce’s visor.
First off, because it inherits the Pista GP and the Corsa’s racing aperture that’s wider and taller than normal, the GT Veloce gives great peripheral vision as well as view of the road ahead if you’re in a tuck position. The visor’s what AGV call a Race 2 visor. It’s thicker than average, to give extra protection, and it’s optically-correct to remove distortion.
Then there’s AGVs excellent visor release system (called XQRS or Extra Quick Release System). Pull a tab down on the visor and out it comes. Owners love it. Oh, and the GT Veloce is Pinlock-ready (make sure you find a retailer who’ll include one in the box for you for free) and it’s actually tear-off visor ready too, with a couple of mounting pins on the outside of the visor.
And finally (we said there were lots of good things) the opening tab is at the bottom centre of the visor – probably the best place for the opening tab to be? So all fine there then?
Well not quite. There’s a couple of things buyers need to be aware of here. Firstly, there’s no ratchet mechanism on the visor. Owners report it’s reasonably firm and will stay open to moderate speeds, and of course that’s probably fine for the track. But many owners wished it had a ratchet to keep the visor at set openings. Secondly, the visor automatically closes and locks, needing you to press a switch to unlock and open it. Owners reckon this can be done with a single finger as the unlock button is right below the opening tab so can be achieved in one movement. However, unless you’re on the track, a lock is probably unnecessary and a spring-loaded auto-lock, doubly so. It is possible to lock the visor in a cracked slightly open position, which is useful, but many helmets manage the same without the need for an auto-lock.
Again, if you do lots of track riding and want the security that your visor will stay closed throughout your session (or any crashing!) then the lock is a good thing. But for most riders, it’s probably unnecessary and some find it annoying.
One final note is that the larger visor has many benefits, but if you’re using the helmet for lots of touring or road-riding, then a higher visor aperture, without an inner sun-visor, means you can’t easily lower your head and use the top of the opening to cut out the sun – which can be a real pain, especially when the sun is lower in the sky.
Oh, and a final final note, the GT Veloce supports AGVs AGVisor (see what they did there?), their switchable LCD visor that darkens the visor at the touch of a button. Check the pic of the matt black version left to see what it looks like in it’s dark position. AGV reckons the battery will last for 12 hours in this fully darkened mode.
It goes without saying that they key to a comfortable crash helmet is getting the right size and fit in the first place. But that said, AGV have a good reputation for making some of the most comfortable crash helmets around and the same goes for the GT Veloce.
It’s got a removable and washable liner composed of Lycra and a wicking fabric that owners say is high quality and comfortable. It’s also highly adjustable internally, with pockets in the liner to add padding at various points around the helmet including the cheeks, rear, and various other points around the skull using padding disks that come with the helmet. It’s also got adjustable ‘rabbits ear’ strips across the head, which allow the helmet to sit higher or lower on the head and alter its angle. They also allow you to slightly adjust the helmet for head shape.
All in all it’s a good effort from AGV to allow riders to get the helmet fit just right. Having said that, it’s no substitute for getting the helmet fitment right in the first place and most owners reckon they haven’t played around with the padding too much. But it’s there if you need it and has helped some riders perfect their helmet’s fit and remove any pressure points.
Overall, owners say the GT Veloce is a comfortable helmet with a high quality, well thought out interior making for a helmet that can be happily worn all day.