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Home Bike Gear Reviews

Schuberth C3 Pro Pan European Review

By Pocket Pete

After riding police bikes for a couple of years I had tried a few different flip helmets, for some reason manufacturers often gave the police free gear to see if they liked it and how it would fair in constant use. So I had tried Shoei flip helmets BMW helmets and a Nolan Helmet. I had also had an early Schuberth helmet.

They were all a long time ago but I wanted a flip helmet as I wear glasses, also that had built in visor and could have a communication device fitted to chat with a pillion or other biker. There are hundreds of helmets but only a few flip helmets. I travelled far and wide and was surprised how few were in stock, at the various shops only 3 had a helmet in. 

The Shoei, Neotec and Schuberth seemed very nice. After much research and trying a Schuberth police helmet I decided to get the Schuberth C3 Pro. It was a ghastly price. £479. Then the intercom was on top of that.

After finding Road and Racing in Hyde were a dealer I went and had a look. They didn't have my size in stock but ordered one for me with no commitment to actually buying it. It arrived and I tried it on. OMG what a comfy helmet, the padding and liners are the best of any helmet I tried it was like having a cotton wool lined light helmet on my head and very very quiet. Technology has really changed in the past few years. The slide down sun visor really worked well even with a gloved hand. I purchased it instantly.

The C3 sits next to Pete's wifes M1 Schuberth helmetThe C3 is the black one...

After a couple of months I realised the helmet had a few issues. I will go into these in detail but the helmet was still the sweetest comfiest lightest and quietest helmet I have ever used.

The problems are major in some ways. Firstly the helmet has a internal pinlock which is supposed to keep down fogging. It simply doesn't work on this helmet. The helmet is basically hermetically sealed on your head. I think sadomasochists could use it in sex games instead of a plastic bag to restrict breathing.  It fits so tightly and allows no air into the helmet which makes it quiet and comfy but also as soon as you breath the visor steams up. I tried everything to stop this nothing worked.

Eventually I removed the chin guard which is a triangular section of leather/cloth under the flip section which allowed my breath to go down instead of up. Problem half solved. If I leave the bottom vent open at all times the helmet does not fog up. Not good on cold days. Much better but not perfect. I then removed the padding from the strap guard to allow more air in the bottom and then realised you could move this back into one of three positions. Moved it to the back and problems 90% solved. I now spayed anti fogging solution on the visor and 95% solved. I can now live with the fogging issues.

The visor has 5 or 6 positions which it can be left in, these are great but it could do with more maybe 10 or 12, the bottom notch leaves the visor up by an inch when it could do with being open just a few mm's to allow a touch of gentle air in. I have seen a new visor fixing kit which does this but its £ 80. Also at any speed over 65mph (if I could get my Inazuma to do this heady speed) the visor closes with a snap bang. Very irritating.

Again the C3 and the M1 with their respective visors openThe worse problem of all is the visor can be pushed down but it doesn't lock in place so if you turn your head to one side at speed the visor can flip up and you get blasted by wind in your face. It does lock but this takes two hands to do. You have to press the two tabs on each side of the visor and you hear a click as the visor locks. That's great but its dangerous on a bike to let go of the accelerator.

I have since developed a 'Dr Spock Neck Grip' where you have to separate your fingers in a wide 'V' formation and grabs both tabs and pull down evenly and it locks shut You need big hands to do this. Live long and prosper Mr Spock.

On a ride back from the cat and fiddle one day it rained really really bad, water started dripping behind the visor down the inside of the perspex rendering my vision useless. Normally you scrape a hand across to wipe off the outside droplets. This was impossible as it was inside. I remembered that I had to lock it down to seal the top of the visor which has a groove to divert water away and a pad to lock and seal the visor when in the down position. I did this and it was even worse. I had no choice but to stop. This happened several times what a bloody pain. I took it back but Schuberth could find no fault.

One day I took off the visor which has a really great ingenious system to remove it in a few seconds and cleaned the really thick perspex when I placed it back I realised that it wasn't sitting flush with the top it was out by 2mm in the centre. I presumed I had a faulty visor and took it back he gladly swapped it for a new one and he gave me my pinlock back which you have to pay separately for, you do get a free one with the helmet. I fitted it and again a 1-2mm gap. I removed the pinlock I had fitted to the new visor and now it was a perfect seal. 

The pinlock clips on 2 small pegs in the visor but it very tight and was deforming the visor just a little. Pinlock on, rain comes in pinlock off no gap no rain enters and a perfect seal. Also the fogging has now stopped completely once I removed the pinlock.
God and all this time I thought a pinlock was supposed to stop fogging. Also without the pinlock the helmet doesn't now move in the wind over 65mph the extra weight obviously off balanced the visor mechanism.

On a brighter note the helmet does have fantastic vents and superb flow of air across the top on my ball head with the vents open. Close them and you suffer from lack of oxygen. 

After sorting the helmet's main issues I purchased the Cardno C3 Pro SRC system. Its basically a Bluetooth system that fits in the bottom of the helmet roll and had a boom microphone and speakers in the helmet. You can link your phone to this or link riders together if they have a similar device and then you can chat away answer your phone etc. The technology has been around for ages and the system really works brilliantly however the system in the UK was £279. I managed to find the unit on a French website for £189. Still expensive but I treated myself.

The C3 Pro has a bottom 'Roll' Which sits at the bottom of the helmet and keeps the wind out. This is removed and replaced with an identical roll which has the radio system inside. It all fits neatly and is in my opinion brilliant. The unit plugs into the back of the helmet which has an internal antenna which transmits the signal and can pick up FM Radio broadcasts. I now listen to radio 4 everyday going to work. The clarity is brilliant and a full charge lasts 2 weeks for the radio. I have received phone calls and most of the time they don't even realise you are actually on your bike unless you have your visor open. You can access all functions by voice activation to save fiddling under the roll for the buttons. 'just say 'Radio' quite loudly you hear a beep then say 'Radio On or Off' it always works. Similar commands 'Music On/Off' Intercom On/Off'

the padding around the base of the c3 now has the bluetooth controls in itAnother fault is if you remove the neck roll from the front of the helmet first you will snap the plastic pins which lock it in place. This is a common fault. It must be removed from the back first and the pins pulled out backwards. Everyone has done this so much so Schuberth are offering free replacements. I drilled my pins out and used a welding rod cut to 16 mm to lock it in place no problems since. I saw this mod on the internet. Wire coat hanger is also the same diameter and can be used as well.

I cant speak highly enough of the system totally worth the money. 

So the helmet has problems but I can live with them. It's still the most comfortable helmet i have ever experienced 8 hours wearing it would not bother me in the slightest. Its just such a pity that great high quality German engineering has been let down by silly things. Was it worth the money, No its not but I do love it in so many ways.

After 6 months or so, Paula decided she would come for a few rides again so I obviously had to get her a helmet. Paula didn't like the flip top or full face helmets so I looked at open face then I saw Schuberth had a new one the Schuberth M1 Helmet. I went to the dealers no one had heard of it but again Road and Racing ordered one. It arrived and was the perfect size for Paula. The new design has various sizes and more shell sizes I think they have finally listened to their customers. The M1 is extremely comfy like mine with similar removable lining and lush plump interior. The visor is really thick about 4mm and is formed already bent, the top seals against a v shaped ridge on the top. No leaks no fogging really comfy interior visor better ratchet system even better top vent and it can be flipped up and doesn't drop at any speed. The paint finish is superb and it has built in speakers and two high gain microphones hidden in the sides. It has a built in antenna but does not have FM radio despite what it says on some of the review sites. You can play radio through your phone or MP3 player but not directly.

The Bluetooth system plugs into a hidden slot on the rear of the helmet quite discrete and easy to remove it works really well and was £110 from France in the UK £199. The only difference is the French one comes with a European power adapter but any micro USB phone charger works on either device my Samsung phone charger does all three really well.

the rear of the M1 Schuberth houses the bluetooth systemWe now go out and chat away for hours on the bike. I know it would not suit some people but I actually like my wife and enjoy her nagging and I no longer receive thumps on my shoulder if I'm going too fast. She just tells me quietly and calmly to slow down. My favourite words are how about a cup of tea or lets stop for lunch.

The Schuberth M1 visor is so thick yet so clear it acts in effect as a full face helmet or chin guard. This really is the helmet the C3 Pro should have been they really have got the design spot on. This will be my next helmet despite being open face.

Bike communication is great! it does have its down side though. After a long run out we stopped at a local chip shop in rather a crap spot so I went into the shop some 200-300 yards away leaving Paula to guard the bike. (all 4' 9" and 8 stone of her). 
I ordered the fish and chips and when he asked me if that was all I said 'oh and a meat and potato pie leave it unwrapped I will eat it now'

Then a voice from afar shouted into my ear 'You fat bastard your not having a pie as well' I forgot the system can transmit up to 1000 metres. I never got the pie I could have finished it by the time I got back to the bike she would never have known. Me and my big mouth.

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Reader's Comments

Ren - The Ed said :-
That's absolutely blooming fantastic Pete! I....I...I'm just struggling with the idea that someone would actually WANT to talk to the wife? How's that work then?
24/07/2016 09:18:46 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Shes quite chatty on the bike.

Here are some examples

'Look at the lambs so cute'
'Your to close to the car'
'Your going to fast'
'I need the toilet'
'Where are we'
'When are we stopping'
'Your still going to fast'
'Word not stopping g for lunch you have only just eaten'
'I like the colour of that car'
'Did you see the state of her hair'

I could go on but you get the picture. It really makes the hours pass quickly.
24/07/2016 14:59:56 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Oh joy! I'm so jealous Pete...
25/07/2016 07:13:07 UTC
Tom McQ said :-
Great review! I've tried a Nolan Bluetooth helmet in the past and it worked great, but have recently switched to the Sena SMH-10 Bluetooth Intercom which can be moved from one helmet to another.

I bought the Twin Pack so that my GF and I can chat throughout our travels and it works superbly. The units will work up to a distance of 900yards apart and I can share my iPod music with her too (in stereo).

Additionally, the Sena will allow me to take and make phone calls and listen to the SatNav commands. You can pair up to 4 SMH-10's and all talk together in full duplex.

Finally, if you have more than one helmet, you can buy extra speaker/mic sets and clip the main unit onto the helmet of your choice.

Search YouTube for Sena SMH-10

Tom



Sena SMH-10
02/09/2016 19:52:50 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
I did look at the sena and cardo systems. The schuberth system is made by cardo.

Both systems are similar. I would in future I would buy the detachable version at least you can move it from helmet to helmet.

The sena won't work on the c3 pro as the clip stops the internal visor from working so it has to be attached by the stick on pad but I would be worried it would fall off
03/09/2016 06:35:30 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
What is wrong with you folks? The whole sole purpose of motorcycling is to have some "me" time surely? All quiet and peaceful and calm inside your helmet with no-one telling you what to do or where to go. Then when you stop somewhere if you happen to have your significant other with you THEN you can talk to them.

As for having music inside my head. URGH! Firstly for myself I use my ears to hear the other vehicles around me. The notion of having Steve Wright in The Afternoon rabbiting on in my head while another truck decides my lane is the one they require scares me. Admittedly though, I struggle to chew gum and walk at the same time...
06/09/2016 07:24:07 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Ren - how can you possibly think I would listen to music and radio 2 in particular. Horror...

No music is allowed in my helmet. I'm strictly radio 4.. no music on that channel.

Besides after hearing my tone deaf wife sing I have been put off music for life.

I do admit to listening to Terry wogan in the past. There was a bit of music on his show.... lol
06/09/2016 16:38:03 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Radio 4? Some call it intellectually stimulating and challenging radio. Others call it discussing the inside of a ping-pong ball in minuscule detail.

Sharon's signing leaves an awful lot to be desired too. Perhaps hobbitses and dwarves are tone deaf?
07/09/2016 09:06:22 UTC
Pocketpete said :-
Maybe next time we get together we can persuade the dwarves to sing that 'hi ho hi ho it's off to work we go' song.

I suspect I'm going to get stabbed by a small person or two in a very low down sensitive area any day soon.

20/09/2016 16:07:13 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Don't bring me into your deathwish issues Pocket!
20/09/2016 18:45:41 UTC
Ron said :-
The new Schuberth C4 comes with almost the same problems. The bottom vent doesn't do what is supposed to do even when the ventcover comes loose. You will loose that cover when opening your visor because the handles to open your visor are to close to the cover and your gloves will catch the cover and is is gone. Almost no air is comming in and sometimes you really need to open your visor because you get the feeling to suffocate. It still closes automatcly when you speed up.


28/07/2017 10:08:02 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Considering the high cost of the Schuberths I'm surprised to hear such things about the build quality. Thanks Ron
28/07/2017 12:55:11 UTC
pocketpete said :-
Just another update to the Helmet, on my return journey to work today the sun(yes it does shine in manchester on the odd occasion), Was low and shining directly in my face. I pushed the slider to lower the internal sun visor and ping it flew off across the motorway. God this helmet is totally pants.

So far I have had 6 pins break, 2 visor mechanisms, and now a Sunvisor problem.

On my return to home the slider had simply snapped off meaning I could not raise or lower the visor. I contacted schubert who said contact your dealer. I spoke with the dealer who said ' oh not another one, we will have send it off for repair I will take 3-4 weeks'

Ok right will you loan me a helmet?

No!

Then how am I to ride my bike to work?

As you can imagine I am not impressed....

I asked if they could send me the parts and I will fit them.

Answer 'Eh not I dont think so you will invalidate your warranty"

whats the point of the warranty when it spends most of its life not working properly.

Well the parts are available on the internet for £ 34.99.
What do I do now. Fix it my self or wait for 4 weeks without a bike helmet, I have decided the best thing to do is chuck the damn thing in the bin and buy another but you can bet it wont be a schuberth.

It has been beset by problems since day one and yesterdays monsoon resulted in total blindness as the water swirled past my visor and under the visor in a total river running across my head....

Yep time to get a better helmet!


29/07/2017 16:53:01 UTC
Ren - The Ed said :-
Blimey! I'm glad I've stuck with my "affordable but not cheap" helmets. I've always had AGV. I've tried the HJC and it's a fine lid but I never really settled into it. I've just purchased a Shark D-Skwal and so far...so good.
29/07/2017 19:29:48 UTC
Borsuk said :-
Must admit I am glad I go for basic helmets, to me the main thing is protection, I can live with an uncomfortable (not loose) fitting helmet if I have to but it is comfy enough, and being a learner I know I will do something stupid with it at some point as I don't have the years of experience telling me to handle it carefully. The thought of writing off a £400 helmet because I dropped it six feet makes my wallet cringe.
I tend to forget it is on as far as weight and comfort goes but at work I wear a crappy typical workers safety helmet 12 hours a day in all weathers so you can get used to anything. I have a "Black" flip up (Ghostriders own brand I think)touring helmet that cost £68ish. The wife has a Schubert Flip Front in Spain for the Quad, that was around 180 Euros. At the time the flip front selection was very limited. I have retrofitted a blue tooth comms system with handlebar mounted remote control to both mine and the boy's helmets, so you don't have to fart about grabbing around your head to talk. The speakers are not quite in the right position and it is a bit of a faffle getting them exactly right. The bluetooth handles phone, voice instructions and music from the phone or a GPS and intercom between the bikes. So I can get my phones GPS software shouting at me as I drive along listening to the one song that is on my phone.
It's a comfortable enough helmet, not much heavier than the wifes Schubert and I really don't have much in the way of problems with it. The visor opening intervals are a bit limited, only 3 if I remember right. With it cracked open there is enough ventilation to stop fogging at traffic lights (I haven't fitted a pinlock or similar yet,)and once above 30 the vents can handle it all. Up to 40 with the visor cracked open without it closing. Above that I don't know as I usually close it around then anyway and it stays full open no problems at all the speeds my 125 can reach. :-).
The inner visor is spring loaded to go back up so no worries that it will drop down on you at 2 am as the boys Agarius did one night.
Maybe slightly on the noisy side depending on wind but not worse than the road noise in some of the cars I have owned or your typical aircraft economy section. I always wear a snood of some kind so I am not plagued by a freezing cold throat while riding. Without the snood it might be a bit cool around the neck but it has good fitting neck protection so it may not be that bad.
In the rain it is no worse than any other helmet, what the roads throws up at you is what you get but I have had no leaks inside or through the closed visor while riding.
I clean my helmet and visor with screen wash after use, been told by a lorry driver friend they wash/rinse the whole cab with it as it leaves a film that keeps crap from sticking to the surface. Seems to work so far.

29/07/2017 20:50:12 UTC
 

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