German helmet maker Schuberth, which introduced its first modular helmet—the Concept—in the late ’90s, launched the fourth-generation C4 last year. Compared to the C3 Pro it replaces, the DOT- and ECE-certified C4 has a more aerodynamic shell with redesigned vents, a new comfort liner and pre-installed microphone and speakers for the optional SC1 communication system.
Schuberth uses a new, proprietary method called Direct Fiber Processing to construct the C4’s shell. Strands of fiberglass are precisely cut using a robot, the pieces are blown into a mold, resin is added and the preform is then baked under high pressure, producing a strong shell of uniform thickness. Inside the shell is an impact-absorbing, multi-density EPS liner with built-in ventilation channels, and inside the EPS liner is a new moisture-wicking, antibacterial ShinyTex comfort liner that’s removable and washable. Compared to the C3 Pro, I found the C4 easier to pull on and off since the neckroll isn’t as tight and its comfort liner is comparably plush. However, after about an hour of riding, pain would develop in a particular spot on the left side of my head and get progressively worse. There was nothing sharp inside the helmet, but there are hard edges on the innermost part of the comfort liner. I removed the liner—a complicated process due to the internal straps that are part of the C4’s anti-roll off system—and used a razor knife to trim some material off the hard edge near the pain point, which solved the problem.
The C4 has a large eyeport, an anti-fog shield insert, a drop-down sunshield, a removable chin skirt and a ratcheting microlock chin strap. The vents on the crown and chinbar bring in a good amount of fresh air, but the spring-loaded chinbar vent is easy to bump closed by accident. Both the face shield and the chinbar are easy to open and close, and the chinbar locks securely with an audible click.
Out on the road, air moves around the C4 smoothly and wind noise is minimal. At 4 pounds, 2 ounces for my size medium, the C4 is a few ounces heavier than its predecessor, in part due to the pre-installed microphone and speakers for the optional SC1 Bluetooth communicator, which is made by Sena and comparable to the 20S. The bottom rear edge of the helmet shell has separate insertion slots for the SC1 unit and battery (when installed they add only 1.4 ounces of weight), and an antenna is integrated in the shell. I tested the SC1 Standard ($229), which has 4-way intercom, phone and audio (music or navigation) functions, and it works well, especially in conjunction with the Schuberth smartphone app, though the volume buttons on the bottom edge of the helmet are small and awkward to use. Stepping up to the SC1 Advanced ($349) increases talk time from 9 to 14 hours and adds music sharing and FM radio.
Schuberth has a reputation for making high-quality helmets, and the C4 is no exception. It’s available in sizes XS to 2XL in solids for $749 and graphics for $849.
For more information, visit schuberth.com.