Although the actual helmet itself is essentially non-gender specific, the Specialized Women's Propero II does differ from its male-focused counterpart in the rear of the fit system, making it more ponytail friendly, and also in its colour options. Adjusting it to fit is easy, but the bulkier look than that of previous incarnations might put some off.
It's a mid-priced helmet and designed to appeal to a broad spectrum of female riders. I tested the Propero II in the Boel Dolmans Replica rainbow colourway, which isn't the most subtle but will definitely appeal to some. The helmet does come in pink, black (with pink logo) and white too, so there's something for everyone.
Men with ponytails might like to consider this helmet as an option, while women without ponytail issues might well prefer some of the colours available in the men's/unisex Propero II.
Historically I've always had a Specialized shaped head – stop sniggering at the back – and have found the fit and shape of its helmets to suit me well. However, although the Propero II was quite comfortable to wear, it didn't quite match up to past incarnations for comfort for me personally.
Also, it felt much bulkier and looked broader than many, including earlier versions of the Propero and less expensive models, making it much more obvious and obtrusive than the slightly lower profile helmets I tend to favour.
The adjustment system is easy to use and effective, though, giving a reliably good fit in a very short space of time, every time.
The venting (32 vents) is about what you'd expect from a helmet at this price point, and does a pretty good job of funnelling airflow for comfort. It does run a little warmer than some more expensive helmets with larger and more aerodynamically shaped vents, unsurprisingly.
It's a sturdy and comfortable helmet, offering good value for money, but it just looks a touch bulky and old fashioned.
Well specced for the price and light, but oddly broad and bulky to look at on the head
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Women's Propero II
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
Aimed at female riders looking for a cost-effective helmet with similar features to some of the higher end models.
"This race-inspired design is known for its comfortable fit and tremendous value. And with similar features to the S-Works Prevail, like the Tri-Fix webbing system and 4th Dimension Cooling, the Women's Propero helmet handles even the most intense efforts on the pavement."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Ponytail-ready HairPort SL fit system with four height positions and micro-adjustable dial.
4th Dimension Cooling System with Mega Mouthport for enhanced comfort.
Composite matrix internal reinforcement allows larger vents for greater cooling.
Soft 4X DryLite webbing material won't stretch out with sweat or water.
Tri-Fix web splitter for improved comfort and ease of strap adjustments.
Available in sizes S, M, L
Well made using good quality materials and components.
Should last well and pads are easily taken off for rinsing out.
Pretty light for this price range.
Comfortable but not as comfortable as some older Specialized helmets.
Very good value for a light and well-ventilated helmet.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well – easy to adjust, and well ventilated.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Ease of adjustment.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Colour options, bulkiness of overall helmet shape.
Did you enjoy using the product? Mostly
Would you consider buying the product? Probably not.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly
Use this box to explain your score
A well-designed and effective helmet at a good price, but aesthetically not as sleek as some.
About the tester
I usually ride: Boardman Hybrid Fi My best bike is: Specialized Ruby Elite
I've been riding for: 10-20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling.
Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other.
She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting.