Stilo ST4 GT W anyone? - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 01:55 PM Thread Starter
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Stilo ST4 GT W anyone?

Seriously considering getting one as a late Christmas gift to myself (gotta have some excuse, right?) - anyone here actually have/wear one? Love all the integration with the electronics, air and drinking tube. I'd then be looking for a solution for forced air, not looking for a full cooler system but rather just something to keep air flowing in my helmet (I get hot/sweat very very easily).

Are there other good/better options to the Stilo? As I understand this is what they use/used in F1 so I know it's way up there.

-Ross
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 03:23 PM
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Most of the F1 guys use a specially-sanctioned Arai GP-style helmet in their series, or a Bell. To be honest, I prefer the Arai's. I've got a Simpson (cheap in comparison, though still carbon) but the Arai's have most everything, feel fantastic and look great. I've only worn one Stilo - yes it was comfy - BUT... I think they are WAY too overpriced for what they are.

The Bell.


The Arai.


Obviously you want a touring style helmet. Maybe an Arai GP5?


Last edited by btotheje; 02-19-2012 at 03:33 PM.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 04:28 PM
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I have the Stilo and love it--I have had the others and work for a team sponsored by ------. I still use the Stilo.
I have it set up with air, moulded ear buds, mic, and aero kit (Atom and 2-eleven).
I actually think they are well priced for what you get. I first used one riding along in the Baja pre-run years ago.
I think the Arai helmet is over priced in comparison.
Feel free to PM with ?s and if you end up wanting one I can get you a discount.



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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 04:34 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, I'll look into the Arai soon as well, do Ike the look of the Stilo a bit better.

Doc, I'd want audio (not the ear buds), air and hydration. Figure if I'm gonna get it why not get all the options. Do you know much about the forced air? Don't want to have to use an ice chest but would like some good circulation (in my Exige and crap-can racer).

What is the biggest thing for you vs the others style or comfort? Does it have a removable/washable liner? I'm a sweater...

-Ross
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 05:44 PM
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A friend just got one, one of the nice features is that apparently for an extra $50 you can have Stilo send the empty shell to a painter and then send it back to be fully assembled, making paint easier/cheaper overall.

In general, it's a question of fit before anything else. Some people just fit Arais, Bells etc. better. So personally I would recommend trying on the helmet before buying.

That being said, Stilo also has a lot of nice integrated, modular features (the easy integration of a radio/communicator for example) that are way ahead of the other brands. And of course there's the aesthetic element which is all subjective. I believe all the Bell SA2010 helmets have a pre-bonded nut to make HANS installation a lot easier but don't know if other manufacturers offer this. I use a headsock so I'm not too concerned with removable liners.

And to my understanding, as of 2011 nobody was using a Stilo helmet in F1. They're all using Arai, Bell and Schuberth. As btotheje said, they must pass a very stringent FIA standard.

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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 05:57 PM
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I just finished helmet shopping and was considering the Stilo ST4 W Composite vs. the Arai GP-6S. I ended up getting a GP-6S (less expensive version of GP6). For me, the Arai was a better fit for my head. I was actually pretty disappointed the Stilo didn't work out, but the Arai is better in a few key areas.

Quick Stilo ST4 W Composite ($869 before options) impressions:

+ Very nice build quality, looks amazing.

+ Venting around the face area is great. 5 vents and anti-fog visor is standard.

+ Integrated helmet electronics are great for chatterbox or whatever other radio you may have.

+ Weight seemed good, around 3.3 .lbs? If I had to guess, slightly lighter than the Arai.

+ Better value than Arai considering all the features, silver paint, ability to upgrade, customizable padding, etc.

- Not a fan of the ear muffs. They greatly attenuate outside noise. For race cars this is a plus. For a stock Elise, you might not be able to hear your car that well. Stilo USA has some alternative ear pieces that allow in more sound, or you can poke holes in the ones that come with your helmet.

- Specific to my own head, Medium way too tight, Large too big. Replaceable padding (crown or cheek pads) would not help for me.

neutral: Forced air / water options are nice, but I'm just an HPDE driver, not an endurance driver. I really do not need these two options for my 30 minute sessions at the track.


Quick impressions of the Arai GP6-S ($950) vs. the Stilo ST4 W Composite that I tried:

+ The Large Arai size fits me better, perhaps a little tight in the crown. The Stilo seems to run slightly bigger depending on your head shape, since the Large Stilo had a bit of space front to back, but the Medium was way too tight.

+ The Arai has awesome balance. Doesn't feel top heavy at all.

+ Arai interior is more soft than the Stilo.

+ Visor opening mechanism is extremely convenient. I like it better than any other helmet I've tried, including the Stilos.

+ Build quality is really good. Stilo build quality was great on the outside too, but the Arai seems a little better on the inside as well.

+ The shape of the ear cups in the Arai fits me a little better.

+ Arai makes a unique shell for each helmet size, so the overall size is minimized. I don't have the Stilo Large side by side to the Arai large, but the Arai seems smaller. Stilo makes two shell sizes to keep costs down and then adjusts the padding on the inside. If you fit into a Medium Stilo, you will have the smallest shell size for your head. But Large and XL share the big shell on the Stilos. Not a big deal either way.

+ Visibility is good. I didn't have any complaints with the Stilo Wide, but peripheral view with this Arai non-wide helmet is slightly better. Up and down view is about the same.

- The Stilo has better venting in the mouth area. 5 vents vs. only 2 with the Arai. As hard as I tried to fog up my visor with the Stilo, it did not happen. With the Arai, I can do it if I try, though I don't think it will be an issue in practice.

- Value not as good as Stilo. Less features and costs a bit more.

So mostly due to fit, the Arai wins for me, though I am still evaluating whether the Arai fits my head correctly. The overall build quality and visor opening mechanism were also big pluses for me. The Stilo is a very nice helmet. If it fits your head, it may be the right choice! It doesn't matter how nice a helmet is or how many features it has. Comfort is the most important thing, and if that's not right, don't get it.

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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 07:05 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the great input guys. A few follow on questions:

- do either/both have removable liners? While I wear a head sock I always sweat through (I do endurance race, (up to 2 hour stints) so I always sweat into the helmet. Obviously want this helmet to last for quite a while.

- will companies allow you to return one? Can I order both (and pay for them) then return for a refund the one I don't like? Used to buy saxophones this way. Agree comfort is most important just no way to know and no one in Denver sells them.

- my Exige, while not race car loud does have aftermarket intake/exhaust so I already can't hear a passenger with my current helmet. I have and use my chatterbox all the time (instruct with several clubs) I already tell passengers if they don't want to use the headset don't bother trying to yell at me, I won't hear. So th sound isolation sounds interesting to me.

- forced air - I'm very interested in this either way. The helmet I got last year (cheaper Pryotect) has forced air but I've never set it up properly. Figuring that out is next on my list.

- the Stilo paint thing you mentioned is they will send me/painter the shell for $50, I pay to have it painted and sent back to Stilo, then they assemble? Love that, would have the Lotus logo and my name/blood type on the back.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 07:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rosscarlson View Post
Thanks for all the great input guys. A few follow on questions:

- do either/both have removable liners?
Not really. The Stilo has replaceable ear pads, cheek pads, and crown pad. All together this is about $100 to replace. But if you're like me, most of the sweat is on the forehead and that part is not replaceable. The Arai is not customizable unless you get the GP6 (more expensive).

The best solution for you is probably multiple balaclavas...keep changing them throughout the weekend.

Quote:

- will companies allow you to return one? Can I order both (and pay for them) then return for a refund the one I don't like? Used to buy saxophones this way. Agree comfort is most important just no way to know and no one in Denver sells them.
Depends who you order from, but a lot of retailers will allow this. There are a lot of online retailers that sell both Stilo and Arai, but you don't have to order from one place.

Quote:

- my Exige, while not race car loud does have aftermarket intake/exhaust so I already can't hear a passenger with my current helmet. I have and use my chatterbox all the time (instruct with several clubs) I already tell passengers if they don't want to use the headset don't bother trying to yell at me, I won't hear. So th sound isolation sounds interesting to me.
The Stilo feels about 3dB quieter if not more, with the passive noise reducing earphones installed. They basically seal your ear out completely. I'm not sure if these are still used if you order earbuds, but the sound attenuation is significant.

If you get the Stilo, you'll have to get a special cord adapter that connects the std Motorola jack to the serial port Chatterbox...about $60 or $70 (ouch) but maybe there's a cheaper way.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-19-2012, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
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The best solution for you is probably multiple balaclavas...keep changing them throughout the weekend.
Already do that, I own about 8 of the damn things. And while that helps a lot it doesn't solve it. Honestly I'm hoping the forced air will help/solve that as the few times I got it working a little bit with my current helmet it was great - at least enough to make me think that real forced air will help a lot.

Quote:
The Stilo feels about 3dB quieter if not more
Do you mean 3 or 30dB? My cabin is just under 100dB as measured with my RadioShack digital meter. I don't want to go with the ear buds as I don't want to have to deal with them and I'm afraid they'd get uncomfortable for long sessions.

Quote:
If you get the Stilo, you'll have to get a special cord adapter that connects the std Motorola jack to the serial port Chatterbox
Yeah, found that already. Looks like a straight up cable so I may just try to make one with cheaper parts. As long as the resistance is the same it shouldn't be too tough.

Thanks for the PMs guys, I'll reply shortly.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 03:23 AM
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Originally Posted by rosscarlson View Post
Do you mean 3 or 30dB? My cabin is just under 100dB as measured with my RadioShack digital meter. I don't want to go with the ear buds as I don't want to have to deal with them and I'm afraid they'd get uncomfortable for long sessions.
A 3 dB increase feels like double the loudness apparently, so I'm going based on that. 3 dB is supposed to be significant. Edit: Just to be clear, I never measured or read this somewhere...just my guess-o-meter.

From reading on Rennlist, people seem to be having better luck with forced air on the top, but that may be a little tough with these cars.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 04:34 AM
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It doesn't matter how nice a helmet is or how many features it has. Comfort is the most important thing, and if that's not right, don't get it.
This could not be better advice. You can throw all the features in the world at me, but if it's not super duper comfy and a nice sit on my noggin' while I'm trying to concentrate at over 200km/h, it's no good.

The dB mentioning above is also something to watch. Reverberation through a helmet can be VERY VERY annoying.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 04:53 AM
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I just bought the formula car version of the Stilo and love it. I wore it at an autocross this weekend for the first time and it was very comfortable. Comfort is very important so I would get both, try them on, and then send the other one back. I took the ear muffs out for the autocross so I was able to hear clearly. I will put them back in when I run the F600 in the first race of the year at the end of April.

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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 09:51 AM
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Speaking of balaclavas, can you recommend a relatively thin and non-bulky one? Really just looking to preserve my helmet's liner.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 10:03 AM Thread Starter
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can you recommend a relatively thin and non-bulky one
On the same quest myself. I have about 4 different types, my favorite is a Puma that a friend picked up at Wine Country Motorsports in CA. I'm pretty sure this is mine, and while it's not super thin it is very soft and comfy

Puma Balaclava Head Sock 1 PUM-2319
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 11:12 AM
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Sparco has this new material called carmyth that is supposed to be really thin, but I haven't been able to try it. It's more expensive as well.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
'16 Porsche Cayman GT4
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post #16 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-20-2012, 01:55 PM
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A Stars have some nice ones, but I don't wear one. Too damned hot here in Oz.
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post #17 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by rosscarlson View Post
On the same quest myself. I have about 4 different types, my favorite is a Puma that a friend picked up at Wine Country Motorsports in CA. I'm pretty sure this is mine, and while it's not super thin it is very soft and comfy

Puma Balaclava Head Sock 1 PUM-2319
Picked up the balaclava you recommended. It's comfortable and feels thin (single layer rear, double layer front). You can move the bottom portion to cover your mouth or not, so I like the versatility. Even though it's thin, it has made my helmet noticeably more snug, so it does change the fit somewhat.

'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
'16 Porsche Cayman GT4

Last edited by Vantage; 03-09-2012 at 03:27 PM.
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post #18 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 09:01 PM Thread Starter
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If you find one you like better please let me know - I'm always on the quest for a more comfortable one. I did just order another one from Wine Country with my new helmet order. They agreed to let me return it if I don't like the fit.

Went for the Stilo, did built in audio (ear muffs) and side forced air. Also went for the CoolShirt blower system but for now without the ice chest (want to see if just some air flow will help). It's on back order so it'll be a bit, first event is end of April so hopefully by then.

I plan to post back with my thoughts.
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post #19 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 09:15 PM
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They should be able to get your Stilo from HMS Motorsports, the U.S. distributor, in fairly short order. Local places tend to not keep a lot of stock because these helmets are expensive. HMS also has the internal padding etc available to make small adjustments in fit. Sector111 also carries Stilo, but not sure if any in stock.

The silver finish of these helmets is VERY nice, so you should be happy. Here is a picture of my friend's ST4W Composite w/ mirror shield next to my old faithful Pyrotect.
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'05 Lotus Elise: RS134 Monolites, Nitron Singles, Monoballs, V2 arms, RTD2 brace, Innovative motor mounts, V2 tank, GPan, Larini 8", TransCables, LumosHID, GiroDisc, Ferodo DS2500, etc.
'16 Porsche Cayman GT4

Last edited by Vantage; 02-28-2012 at 09:22 PM.
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post #20 of 29 (permalink) Old 02-28-2012, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah, I wasn't surprised at all they didn't have it. They were extremely helpful over the phone (Tony was great) so I wanted to give them the business.

The silver does look great - I went for the carbon so I hope it looks ever cooler ;-)
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