The benefits of a flip-front helmet like the Schuberth C5 are numerous - not only does it make for clearer conversations when you’re off the bike, but it’s also much easier to squeeze onto your head. Particularly if you have generously sized ears like me.
This was the first modular to pass the more stringent ECE 22.06 test, as well as being dual-homologated, so you can legally ride with it open or shut. It’s also really cleanly styled - you could easily mistake it for a regular helmet, particularly if you pick one of the more intricate graphic schemes.
The C4 it replaces wasn’t universally loved, but Schuberth has turned that feedback into a raft of improvements for the C5 that make it one of the most complete helmets on sale today. Not considered a flip front before? This one might just change your mind.
What safety features and rating does the Schuberth C5 have?
The ECE 22.06 test involves, among other things, firing a steel ball at the visor, an angled impact, and a separate assessment with official accessories (like a Bluetooth intercom) fitted. It’s pretty comprehensive. This regulation hasn’t become standard yet, but some manufacturers are already producing compliant models ahead of time, such as this one.
Dual P/J homologation means you can ride with the front open if you want, where it functions much like a jet-style lid, bringing cooling air to your face and head.
The fibreglass shell is reinforced with carbon fibre to boost impact protection and reduce weight, while Schuberth’s Anti-Roll-Off-System uses an internal strap running around the back of the head to minimise the chance of the helmet coming off in a crash.
You get a helmet bag made from soft material to keep it safe too.
Is the Schuberth C5 comfortable?
It’s easiest to put on and take off in the open position because the cheek pads flex a little without the chin bar in place. Once it’s on your head, you can slide the flip front down, at which point it feels reassuringly snug. If you like a tight-fitting lid but not the pain of squeezing into it, the C5 is ideal.
The helmet is secured using a ratchet-style strap, and behind this sits Velcro-backed padding to protect your neck. Double-D-loop traditionalists may not like this but it’s easy to get a good fit thanks to micro-adjustment and you can do it with gloves on. A revision to the Anti-Roll-Off System positions the strap much closer to your chin – on previous models it sat against the rider’s throat and this could prove uncomfortable.
On some flip fronts, the open part of the helmet moves nearly 180 degrees to the back of the head. The C5’s chin bar rotates only to a near-vertical position when open – this means it can be styled like a regular helmet, but does require an element of care to avoid banging it into low entrances or garage doors.
There’s a small red tab near the hinge that locks the helmet in the open position. I only rode with it open in short bursts so I didn’t find I used this very much, the front of the helmet staying open securely without needing to be locked in place. It’ll be reassuring for riders wanting the helmet to stay open for a long commute, though.
One area I was concerned about was how noisy this helmet was going to be on the move, but I needn’t have worried because it’s very quiet indeed. I tested it on a Honda Africa Twin with a big screen and a Triumph Daytona (without) and wind levels were very manageable on both, even on the motorway. Schuberth says it recorded 85dB at 62mph on a naked bike, for reference.
It’s also very aerodynamically neutral, resisting buffeting winds on fast roads while looking straight ahead, and resisting being caught and tugged about when performing shoulder checks. I’ve done some long days in the saddle and not suffered from neck fatigue., which is impressive.
Is it well ventilated?
The Schuberth C5 has nearly as many ventilation options as my car, and while this seems a bit overwhelming at first, you quickly get used to the different options and when they function best. The main vents have washable filters and the top one can be popped off the helmet for cleaning, too.
On the chin there’s a big slider that covers up two vents, blasting cooling air straight into your face. Above this is a tab that rocks back and forth, which when open creates a curtain of air from the bottom to the top of the visor.
This works a bit like a windscreen demister in a car and I found it useful in the winter when I wanted an indirect cooling effect.
Most impressive however are the vents on the top, which are accessed via a chunky slider. These channel air through the helmet and out the back, via exhaust ports on the top and neckline.
There’s also a double outlet that aims straight at the top of your head, but this can be covered up using a tab on the liner to reduce the effect on chiller days. You can really feel this system cooling your whole head, rather than specific spots.
I’ve ridden on some seriously hot summer days and remained comfortable in the C5. In traffic, you can crack the visor open a couple of millimetres and it’ll stay open even when you speed up if you find yourself getting too hot.
What other features does the Schuberth C5 have?
A super clear drop-down visor with zero distortion, which is raised and lowered using a slider down by your left ear. You can also reduce the amount this actually drops down if you find it bashes into your nose by turning a small limit screw within the slider mechanism.
The visor comes with a Pinlock 120 already installed (misting was a complaint aimed at the C4, which came with a proprietary insert) and I’ve never had an issue with visibility. It offers impressive coverage and didn’t fog up once, even when I could see small patches building up on the unprotected bits of the visor. The top seal keeps even the most torrential rain out, too.
It also has a clever memory function – when you flip the front of the helmet open and then close it again, the visor goes back to the position it was in before. It sounds minor but this leaves you with one less thing to do when closing the helmet.
There’s also a tab on either side of the visor for opening it, useful if you’re sitting in traffic and want to pop it open with your right hand instead of your left. And of course if you get really hot the whole front lifts too.
Is there an intercom for the Schubert C5?
Group ride regulars rejoice – the C5 comes intercom ready with speakers and antennas installed (three of the latter, for radio, Bluetooth and Mesh functions) so all you need to do is plug in a microphone and an SC2 unit and you’re done.
We’ll update this review when we’ve had a go with the official intercom.
What don’t you like?
The C5 looks and feels like an expensive helmet (which it is) but the thin red catch that releases the chin bar could do with being a bit more substantial. That said, it’s easy to locate and open with one hand, even when wearing gloves.
On the brow there are sticky letters spelling out the word Schuberth, which are stuck to the outside of the helmet, rather than being painted on or lacquered over. Subsequently, in a bout of potentially over-enthusiastic drying with a microfibre, part of the “S” was peeled off.
There’s an element of user error there, of course, but still a bit annoying. Just be careful when cleaning it and you should be able to avoid a similar fate.
Without a doubt, the best thing about a flip front is its ease of use – the days of cramming my head through a tight-fitting neck roll, pulling my earplugs out and giving me a headache before I’ve even turned a key are long gone. Best of all you don’t even have to take it off to talk to someone, because once the helmet’s on, it’s on.
That’s not unique to the Schuberth C5 of course, but there’s always a benefit to being first and the headline-grabbing ECE 22.06 rating is bound to put it front of mind for riders shopping for a new lid.
If that rating is enough to get you to try one, I think the build quality, fit and comfort will convince you to keep in on. It’s also a huge advantage that the C5 looks as sleek and compact as a regular helmet, a potential stumbling block for previous Schuberth lids that had a bit of a fishbowl aesthetic.
I wear this on all bikes and all rides now because it’s a great all-rounder, offering good ventilation, a quiet ride and (subjectively) attractive styling. The fact it’s a flip front is almost secondary – this is a great helmet in its own right.