With the arrival of the new bikes, new kicks, new kits, new season, new teammates, etc. comes the arrival of the single most important piece of equipment in any cyclist’s arsenal of cool stuff (no Floyd, it’s not testosterone patches); a new helmet. This year Team Mike’s Bikes will be rolling around with the Specialized S-Works Prevail atop our pretty little heads and we had our first chance to take them out this weekend at camp.

prevail1

Short version: What a helmet!!! Go get one!!!

Slightly more detailed version:

There are a number of factors that go into making a successful helmet, and the Prevail has really nailed them all. First and foremost, of course, is the safety. This helmet meets and exceeds all the standards that the red-tape folks love to throw at helmet manufacturers, and has even incorporated a dual density foam system which is designed to dissipate impact around the shell of the helmet, rather than just transferring it into your noggin (kinda like the foam you used when you dropped an egg off a roof in high school…yes, that’s why you used the foam). While you hopefully never exploit this feature, it’s good to know it’s there.

The comfort and weight of this thing are absolutely unbelievable! My first impression when I picked it up was that I was holding only an outer portion of the helmet and that there were bits still in the box that I had to assemble. Not so. My helmet (size medium) weighs 212 grams with all the padding and straps installed. This is within a whisper of  claimed weight of the lightest helmet on the market right now and you don’t have to give up comfort and security to achieve it. The Prevail comes with a fully adjustable webbing system that can be customized to achieve a perfect fit. While a bit tough to describe (ahem….go look at one at your local Mike’s), to achieve perfect fit, the inner helmet cradle can be moved fore and aft in addition to the ratchet at that back that you’ve come to expect from top helmets. The ventilation is top notch as well. The large front vents channel a TON of air through to keep things cool. All told, this thing goes on to your head and disappears, which is probably the best thing that can be said about a helmet. The team rode ours straight out the box for about 6 hours on Saturday and everyone was really impressed with the comfort.

prevail3The inner helmet fit system allows for near-custom sizing

So what’s left to say? Well, I hate to say it, but a helmet that looks dumb won’t get worn. Now, before we go any further, anyone with anything worth protecting wears a helmet, but there’s no reason to wear one that looks like something Lemond would have pitched off on the final climb in the early 90’s. No worries here. The Prevail has got the looks nailed. Specialized put together a helmet here that looks like it belongs at the top of the sport, with all the right curves, lines and fins to really complete the look of a serious racer.

prevail4The team in full flight with our fancy new helmets

In summary, the Team is really excited about the new helmet and for all the right reasons. It’s safe, it’s light, it’s comfortable, it looks great, and it’s fast (go check out the wind tunnel numbers). If you’re in the market, this is your next helmet.

-John