As the name implies, Shred Optics is an eyewear and protection design brand. Established in 2006, Shred initially focused in the snowsports industry, but also offer a collection of MTB helmets and goggles. They were also known for being the helmet of choice for the late Kelly McGazza. The Brain Box NoShock McGazza Forever signature helmet pays homage to Kelly while also supporting his legacy by supporting the Kelly McGarry Foundation.
Last fall, folks at Shred reached out to see if we’d be interested in checking out the Brain Box Helmet and Shred Goggles. As the helmet has a classic moto look, and black goes with everything, my answer was a strong positive. Shred is a smaller, rider owned brand, and as such, you won’t see as many of them on the trail, which suits me just fine.
Shred Brain Box Helmet Features & Specs
- Construction: – Fiberglass Hard Shell. Core with integrated SLYTECH NOSHOCK honeycomb
- Shred RES Rotational Energy Management System
- EN1078 (EUROPE BIKE) /CPSC (USA BIKE) /ASTMF1952 (USA DH MTB)
- Material: Fiberglass, Super Light EPS
- Available sizes: S/M (53-58) & L/XL (59-64)
- Listed weight: 1096g [S/M size]
Shred Nastify MTB Goggles McGazza Forever Edition Features & Specs
- Lens: Cylindrical single lens /UVA-UVB-UVC protection
- Frame – Width: 165mm /Height: 100mm
- Strap width – 40mm
- Listed weight – 130g
- Clear spare single lens included
- Multi-density face foam
On the trail
The Shred Brain Box full face helmet comes in two sizes and includes a pad fit kit to customize it for your head. I’ve worn a wide range of full face helmets — from enduro convertible helmets to Moto DOT approved helmets to light carbon fiber models, and while it isn’t the lightest model, at 1096 grams it weighs in less than many carbon fiber helmets that sell for twice the price.
While the light weight of the newest generation of helmets is nice for pedaling up and down mountains, it isn’t a necessity for riding in bike parks or shuttle runs. I’m a bit concerned that some of the new lightweight models feel too light – they almost feel inadequate for DH bike speeds.
More importantly, I found the cheek padding to be super comfortable, even on hot days. With a full face, the cheek padding is what I tend to fixate on the most. If the padding rough, scratchy, or uncomfortable in any way, they’ve lost me. I’m also a fan of the closure buckle, which works well.
The Brain Box also paired perfectly with the matching Shred Nastify goggles. The white frames set off the white graphics (and my knee pads coincidentally) of the helmet and make for a sharp, clean looking combination. The Nastify is a tall goggle that provides a nice large field of vision, which really was noticeable, or more accurately, wasn’t noticeable on the trail.
That’s possibly the best compliment I could give a piece of protective gear; everything with the Shred gear jelled for me. On the bike, I didn’t think about the helmet or eye protection at all — I was too busy charging down the trail and having fun riding.
Ironically, my first impressions were somewhat different. The Nastify goggles didn’t initially impress me. They come off as basic and comfortable, but the first time I wore them I paired them with my half shell, traditional MTB open face helmet, it was less than optimal. The tall height of the goggles made them contact the helmet, pressing the goggles onto the bridge of my nose. After my first run, I took them off and decided not to pair them with a half shell again.
I hadn’t considered this, but the goggles are use-specific. Some goggles work better with half shell helmets, (see our review of the Ryders Shore) and some focus on providing a maximum field of vision; the Nastify is optimized for use with the Shred Brainbox full face helmet. Paired with the Shred full face, my opinion on the goggles did a full 180 from my first ride with the half shell, and although I’m a bit concerned about long term durability of the layered foam, (based on the sheer number of blown out goggles I have) these “basic” goggles have impressed me with their functionality and the level of comfort.
Looking at the Shred Short Stack half shell helmet, it has a unique profile that provides a bit more room for the taller profile goggles, so it may have just been the wrong helmet to pair them with, especially because they worked extremely well paired them with the Shred Brainbox full face.
The Nastify Goggles come with two sets of lenses, which I’m a fan of. With a list price $85, they seem a bit pricey for a single pane lens, but the extra lens adds value. Our trails weave in and out of wooded areas, so I almost always run clear lenses, but it’s nice having a second option in the gear bag. Last time I checked, both the helmet and goggles were on sale at the Shred website, so if you’re looking to try something new, swoop that deal.
The font of the Shred logo is a love it or leave it aesthetic — it’s pretty metal. That said, I find it looks cool in photos, and that’s good enough for me. I also like having a helmet you don’t see as often on the trails.
The Shred McGazza Forever Brain Box MTB Helmet lists for $220. Currently, Shred has it discounted, so if you dig it, get one now. Check them out at ShredOptics.com
Note: It looks like you can grab one on Amazon right now for a killer deal too. Click for the link