BLUEGRASS ROGUE CORE MIPS HELMET REVIEW
Review by Robert Johnston
Photos by Adam Lievesley
Bluegrass has been slowly expanding their offerings to include gear suited for the more pedal-conscious riders, building upon their history producing gear for more downhill focused trail goers and adding in some knowledge from their mother brand, MET. In addition to their slimmed-down Skinny D30 Knee pads, Bluegrass has added the Rogue line of open-face helmets to their offering for riders looking to crunch some miles but still crush the downs. For this review, we will be focusing on the Rogue Core MIPS helmet.
The Rogue Core MIPS is Bluegrass’s flagship open-face helmet, featuring all the bells and whistles we are used to seeing from premium helmet offerings. Bluegrass states that the Rogue Core has extended coverage, which may be true when compared to the beefed-up road lids of the past, but to me this is quite a typical profile for a modern “enduro” open face lid. The main construction of the helmet is an in-mold Polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner, which houses the latest MIPS-C2 rotational brain protection system. This MIPS system uses the now-familiar yellow liner, which allows the helmet to rotate up to 15mm around the head in the event of a crash, reducing highly damaging rotational forces on the brain.
16 vents are present in the helmet, connected with air channels to provide the required cooling. The Safe-T Heta fit system combines with a 360° head belt to secure the Rogue Core MIPS to the head in an effective manner, with some vertical adjustment built into the dial area to tune the fit. The rear portion of the head band uses a padded gel insert to sit nicely on the skull and provide a subtle amount of grip to double up on the retention, helping to ensure there is no unwanted movement in the helmet on rough trails or big impacts. The Air Lite chin straps have their anchor points embedded into the liner for a clean look and maximum security, and the excellent Fidlock magnetic buckle is in place to make fastening and removing the helmet as simple as can be. Both goggles and glasses have been catered for, thanks to an adjustable peak allowing for goggle storage below, and a specially designed zone for stowing glasses. The €150 Rogue Core MIPS is available in three shell sizes to suit heads from 52cm to 61cm in diameter; with three color options to suit most tastes.
There are few helmets I have had on my head that feel uncomfortable, with the shape of my skull likely resembling the mannequins they use to test helmets. But even so, the Rogue Core MIPS is a particularly comfortable helmet, feeling more like a beanie than a helmet on my head. The dial at the back has crisp, small ratchets and the headband spreads the forces very evenly around the head, with no hint of pressure points whatsoever. In addition to being comfortable, it was also remarkably secure, with zero movement on my head for all but the most metal of head banging – quite impressive for a MIPS equipped open face. This instantly produces a sense of security, however in terms of coverage it feels lesser than some of the other options on the market. Your head is far from exposed, and it is perhaps just the feeling of the ventilation letting air through the helmet better than some others, but it does feel like there is less on your head to protect you. Perhaps it is not the ultimate “downhill” open face helmet, but it certainly makes light work of managing heat, which I can only imagine is thanks to the knowledge shared from parent company MET’s road and cross-country lids. The washable pads are always an essential in humid climates, but they did manage to fend off any stench throughout testing, likely thanks to the air flow helping them from becoming overly saturated and letting them dry fast.
Testing the Rogue Core MIPS with both goggles and glasses produced no issues, with both sitting nicely without any discomfort. I tend to store my goggles on the back of my neck rather than under the peak in an attempt to look cool, but the deliberate attempt to allow for both space and ventilation of goggles up there does certainly allow them to sit better than some other lids. The Fidlock buckle is a treat to use as always, managing to avoid the dreaded chin pinch (or beard pinch) better than a conventional buckle. The glasses storage area was a feature I found to work surprisingly well with minimal effort required to find the correct spot to slot the legs in, though I personally try to keep my glasses on for the majority of a ride as you never know when that fly is gonna get you. I really like the look of the Rogue Core MIPS, especially in this metallic red color, with some bold angular details on the otherwise sleek silhouette. Some others, however, were not as big of a fan, but looks are always subjective coming down to personal preference. There is a definite err of quality when you have it in your hands, with very clean strap entry and some chrome flashes here and there that will no doubt help to justify that €150 price tag. Thankfully, the testing period ended without me putting the lid to the ultimate test, but given the protective technologies in place, I would have no trouble trusting the Rogue Core MIPS to do its job.
The Bluegrass Rogue Core MIPS adds another high-quality option to the premium open face “Enduro” lid category. With excellent head retention and good ventilation helping it feel like a lesser helmet than the protection offered, it’s a great option for riders looking to crunch some miles who want to retain stellar protection for some rowdy descents but may not appeal to the hardest of riders.