Vintage Roadster Digital Elite
December 17, 2013
I bought this helmet since I grew up in Appleton and have relatives working there. I figured I would show some hometown pride.
After using the same Jackson helmet for the last 15 years, with and without auto darkening lenses, I can say that I have two of the three benchmark helmets. I haven't used a speedglass other than to test it out. I love my Jackson and knew it would be hard to replace. Very simple and sturdy construction. Maybe a bit heavy, but reliable. After too many drops and knocks, my auto dark lens started to fail.
Got my new roadster in 3 days. Impressive. Took her out of the box, and started to get her adjusted to where I thought it would be comfortable.
The lens and viewing area is great. Very clear and yellow/orange, not the dark green I have been accustomed to.
Took the roadster to work on Monday and let the co workers drool a bit....Started doing my work and this is where I started to find numerous shortcomings.
1. The new headgear is not very practical, borderline junk. I have a very large oval/egg shaped head and I have both top straps almost all the way tight. I have the rear sinched up so I can just take the helmet on and off without adjusting the knob and the forehead strap will not hug my forehead and fits quite loose. I can almost fit a finger between the band and my forehead at the corners.
2. The fore/aft adjustment is a really nice touch, but again, there are problems. I cannot find the happy medium where I am comfortable. Either the lens is too close and my nose rubs it, getting grease/sweat on it creating a smudge; or its too far forward and the tail of the helmet rubs the crown of my head and I feel may cause a bald spot over time.
3. The rear of the headgear where the sinch dial is located almost forces you to use two hands to put the helmet on since the part springs up when not on your head. If you take your helmet on and off a lot during the day, this can become a nuisance.
4. The lens creates an artificial 'Blind Spot' at some angles over one eye. I found that if I am leaning over the top of a piece and doing a vertical weld, the opposite eye will have a dark spot in the lens obstructing view. You can actually see a darker portion near the center of the lens viewing area.
5. The front cover plate. I was very worried about having a curved cover plate on the front. And my suspicions were confirmed 5 hours into THE FIRST DAY! I set my helmet down on the front like I always do with my Jackson (which has a flat front); picked the helmet up and put a HUGE scratch on the cover plate. Not happy about that at all.
6. The helmets' finish is very slick, with or without gloves, inside and out. I have accidentally dropped the helmet twice already. I hope the roadster can stand up to that kind of abuse.
I am beginning to think I may have made a $265 mistake.
I really don't want to buy the replacement headgear to make things right.
When I am welding, I do absolutely love the lens. The Miller lens has got to be one of the best on the market (aside from the dark spot). The view is phenomenal and crystal clear, even when not welding. Like wearing sunglasses. The lens darkens superfast, like Lamborghini shifting fast. I like the delay for the return to normal also. Great thinking. I'm still playing with the settings and haven't really found anything bad there.
The graphics are really well done to. The helmet is not stickered, it's painted or sublimated into the plastic.
ConsI don't know if I can honestly recommend this, but I am going to mark yes based on the auto lens.