Bilt Adventure Explorer Review / Return

Last October, I posted about the Bilt Adventure Explorer helmet and how it piqued my interest.

On 5/03, I ordered the Explorer in hi-viz from CycleGear.  When it finally arrived, I was impressed with what I got for $99.  Nice bright paint, a spring loaded internal sun shield and decent construction. The removable liner is a bit rough but nothing terrible. However, when I put it on my melon, I was disappointed.  Following their size chart, I ordered a small but this fit like a medium.  Normally I wear an XS but between the measurements on the size chart and the reviews stating it runs small, I thought the small would be a safe bet.

I called CycleGear's toll free number and waited in queue for about 12 minutes. After my long wait, the agent answered, said they would cover return shipping for the exchange and to just put a note in the box stating what size I would like.  So far so good.  The helmet shipped back on 5/08 and they received it on 5/10.  Having not heard any details from them by 5/22, I called customer service. The agent apologized for the delay and processed my return while we were on the phone. Cool, things are looking up.

With my new smaller lid on it's way, I was looking forward to finally having a new helmet.  My Caberg V2 is past it's prime, it's from 2006 and my M2R helmet is toast.  The XS Adventure arrived on the 5/28.  I rode home, excited to take it out for a spin.  However, that excitement turned to disappointment again.  The XS fit just like the small.  I checked the box, XS.  I checked the helmet, tagged as an XS on the visor.  I checked the removable liner, XS.  I checked under the removable liner,the EPS liner is labeled S.  What the hell?

I called CycleGear and I was placed back into the eternal queue. After 15+ minutes, I finally got to speak to an agent.  He said that Bilt uses two shell sizes and then different liners to adjust for fit.  I agreed and said "Different EPS liners but this has a Small EPS liner and an XS removable liner.".  He said that's how they size it down from small to XS, by using a thicker removable liner.  I was kind of pissed off at this point and really disappointed in Bilt's helmet construction.  The next day, I called the Louisville store and spoke with a very helpful salesman who checked another XS just to make sure my helmet wasn't a fluke.  Turns out, it's not.  The only difference between the Small and XS is a few millimeters of foam/cloth.  With removable liners compressing over time, I don't see how this size can give safe and secure fit.

The lid is now on it's way back to California.  If you choose to buy from CycleGear, be aware the sizing from Bilt can be crazy and the "hassle free" return page references a mythical return/exchange form but I have yet to be able to find it. (You have to call and have it emailed to you.)

I don't want you to think that CycleGear is 100% crap because it isn't.  This is just my rant about unsatisfactory product sizing and construction (and some minor nit picking about customer service).  I ordered a pair of Bilt Cyara gloves for Shrewsieq that are an absolute steal at $15 and there are other products that CG sells that I'd like to buy.  I'll just travel down to the store in Louisville, KY to make my purchases.  I think this has spoiled my online helmet shopping for awhile.

I still want a DS styled helmet but I don't have the scratch to buy the ICON Variant Construct (which has a dedicated Sm/XS shell), so I'll probably try the S&S SS2500Fly Trekker or AFX FX-39.  

I called CycleGear to obtain a copy of the mythical Return/Exchange form and the wait time was only 6 minutes today.  Getting better.  =]

1 comment:

Ruchi Verma said...

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