Specialized has launched its latest iterations of the Evade aero road helmet, the lightweight Prevail helmet and time trial-specific TT5. Evade and Prevail helmets have been given improvements to their ventilation, and the Evade combines this with a boost to its aerodynamics, while the brand new TT5 becomes the fastest time trial helmet Specialized claims it's ever made.
A central part of how the helmets have been made more airy is down to the MIPS Air Node safety technology. Many of the best cycling helmets utilise MIPS - Multi-directional Impact Protection System - which is designed to reduce the rotational forces transferred to the head in the event of a crash. Usually this is achieved with a thin plastic cradle inside the helmet, yet with Air Node, this MIPS system is integrated directly into the helmet padding to keep things cool while riding.
Staying on safety a little longer, both helmets have received Virginia Tech’s five-star helmet rating (out of five). Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University conducts impact tests that evaluate a helmet’s ability to reduce linear acceleration and rotational velocity of the head resulting from a range of head impacts a cyclist might experience.
At the time of launch, the Prevail 3 is one of Virginia Tech’s highest-ranked road helmets. But there are other road helmets that also achieved a full five stars, including Giro’s Aether MIPS – which is one of our all-time favourite lids and currently top of our guide to the best road helmets – and the Lazer Century MIPS.
S-Works Prevail 3
Specialized says the new S-Works Prevail 3 is the best ventilated helmet it has ever made and is ideal for those who are riding in hot weather or keeping the effort high.
“The S-Works Prevail 3 helmet is perfect for riders who value the comfort and thermoregulation benefits that superior ventilation delivers,” says the brand.
“We eliminated air-blocking foam ‘bridges’ from the centre, effectively creating thru-air channels that increase the surface area of ventilation by 24.5% compared to the S-Works Prevail II Vent helmet,” Specialized says.
Helmets are designed to dissipate the energy when impacted - usually by using EPS foam - and Specialized has taken a different approach to this with its patent-pending AirCage technology that achieves this while increasing airflow.
“Woven aramid ‘cables’ traverse the helmet and are anchored to carbon-fibre side panels,” Specialized explains. “Upon impact, the AirCage technology works as a suspension bridge and is designed to distribute localised forces throughout the helmet.”
S-Works Evade 3
It’s not just the Prevail 3 that has been given a ventilation uplift, though. The US brand has also redesigned its aero cycling helmet, the Evade, to be a more capable all-round race helmet. The focus being on gaining ventilation while not losing the existing aero benefits of this option.
“The aero gains made by utilising our diffuser technology in the rear end of the helmet were offset by opening an even larger ventilation surface area at the front of the helmet,” Specialized explains.
The brand says that this allowed the Evade 3 to retain the same aero qualities as the S-Works Evade 2 while increasing ventilation by 10%.
Specialized has also been refining the fit of both of the helmets, to help provide optimal comfort.
The adjustable Tri-Fix web system is designed to boost comfort as it allows you to place the webbing where you want around your ear. It has also been updated with thinner 10mm webbing to minimise strap noise.
The ANGi safety tracker-ready Mindset micro-dial fit system with height adjustability has been updated with improved grip for easy on-the-go adjustments.
Information on the S-Works TT5 time trial helmet is a little light at the moment, but what Specialized revealed is that it worked with Remco Evenepoel and Kasper Asgreen of Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl for numerous wind tunnel hours and the brand now claim it's the fastest time trial-specific helmet it's ever created.
The design of the lid aims to reduce the 'eddy' of air that occurs around a rider's shoulders, which has led to the shape of the S-Works TT5 being longer than regular time trial helmets, which have become increasingly stubby.
Specialized says that this CFD modelling has resulted in Evenepoel shaving 26 seconds off his 40km (25-mile) time trial time.
An integrated head sock is said to secure the lid in an optimal position on the head while riding, as well as mitigating rotational forces during impact.
The Specialized S-Works TT 5 helmet comes equipped with an optics shield which the brand says presents zero distortion when looking down the road, which traditional lenses can suffer from. The shield also has has a hydrophobic coating to help clear moisture if the weather turns bad on race day, as well as an anti-fog coating.
Weights and pricing
The S-Works Evade 3 weighs in at 270 grams (size medium, 55 to 59cm), while the S-Works Prevail 3 is an ever-so-slightly lighter 260 grams (size medium 55 to 59cm).
Both the S-Works Evade 3 and S-Works Prevail 3 are priced at £275 / $300.
The S-Works TT5 is priced at $350 in the USA and pricing has yet to be finalised in the UK, where it hasn't yet been launched.
We were sent out some samples to try in advance: check out our first thoughts on both the Evade 3 and Prevail 3.
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