Specialized Prevail

I have NOT been happy with my bike helmet over the last two years. The cheap $20 special was not cutting the mustard anymore. It was heavy, ugly, uncomfortable, and it was cooking my head on the hot days. With the amount of riding I now do over the summer, I wanted something that would erase all of those problems.

I began my search on the net. Reading articles and reviews that I hoped would guide me to an affordable option. Several times I read that a comfortable helmet is the top option I should look for. Aesthetics and price should be second to fit and feel. This seemed logical based on the fact that I was in the market for just that reason.

No two helmet manufacturers use the same mold. By the same token, no two heads are the same shape. Thus it seems quite natural to assume that a helmet that fits one person well, may not fit you at all. The only person who can decide whats best in a helmet is you, by trying them on.  Armed with this new information I headed out to bike stores to try on a few helmets and see for myself.

After 3-4 stores and several hours of trying on pretty much every helmet that is available in Canada, I had found what I thought was the best fit. I was a little disappointed with the selection, in the sense that it is one of the most expensive helmets on the market. The Specialized Prevail is what fit my head the best, and with an MSRP of $230US it is not cheap. However, I plan to do more and more cycling every year, so this is an investment in comfort over the years.

Nowe when I say this helmet is the best fit, I mean it fits like a glove. This helmet fits my head as if I was the doner head for the mold. The medium size has very little movement in any direction and there are no pressure points. I don’t even need the chin strap or rear head piece to hold this helmet on. I would say its a prefect fit.

With the monster price, I decided to wait for last years models to come on sale. This meant that I did not get a choice of color, however I only ended up paying $125CAD which was 50% off.

So it was off to the races with my new super cool helmet. And I mean super cool. The first few rides were amazing. It felt like I had a refrigerator attached to my head. The massive cooling ducts were directing air and keeping my noodle at a low temperature. Too low actually. On the colder days I need to wear something on my head to help hold in some heat.

The next thing I noticed was the apparent lack of a helmet. This thing is very light weight and is almost non-existent. Most of the time I don’t even notice its there, which is exactly what I was hoping for. Fit and feel are great, its not cooking my head, and I don’t even notice the weight. I would say I have a winner.

In terms of biking gear, this helmet has got to be one of the best purchases I have ever made. I must say that if you are a serious rider who puts on 2000+ Km per year as I do, then a quality helmet will be worth the money. I can honestly say that I am enjoying my rides more now that my head is cooler and leass prone to heaps of sweat. Less sweat in the eyes is always a good thing.

 

Pros :

  • Light Wight – I don’t even notice its there
  • Great airflow – my noodle has never been so cool
  • Looks good – but not great
  • Very comfy – fits like a glove
  • Easy to adjust

Cons :

  • Price – I am now afraid to crash and have to buy a replacement at full retail, because I love this helmet.

Notes : One thing I would have liked to see on a top model like this, is some consideration for sunglasses. Several other brands have storage of sunglasses in mind. Unfortunately, this one has no easy option for inserting sunglasses into the ducts. My glasses would snap in half if I tried to use the outer ducts, while the inner ducts do not offer enough tension to hold them in place.

Ryan’s Rating:

  1. Design : 5/5 – Fits like a glove, need I say more?
  2. Quality : 5/5 – Everything works as advertised.
  3. Durability : ?/5 – I hope I never need to find out. Carries all the ratings to race with.
  4. Aesthetics : 4/5 – Its a little boxy and not the best looking on the market, however it still looks good.
  5. Value : 4/5 – Price is high even at 50% off, I can’t imagine paying full retail.