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The mid-range Specialized Propero III with ANGI helmet provides a firm and comfortable fit alongside impressive ventilation and some innovative tech. It's not the lightest lid out there for the price, but its inclusion of many of the best elements of the high-end Prevail go a long way to offsetting that.
The Propero III has many similarities to the £175 S-Works Prevail at a lower price point but an extra 112g of weight. Aesthetically there are only minor differences – it looks like the Prevail, with the two distinctive vents on the forehead – and without closer inspection or comparing the two side-by-side it would be difficult to tell them apart.
It's not just looks, though, some of the best elements of the Prevail can also be found on the Propero, with impressive ventilation being one of them. Throughout the review, I found that air passed nicely over my head regardless of whether I was riding at full pelt or soft-pedalling home.
As with the Prevail, the Propero has a relatively low profile, which helps with aerodynamics and also helps in keeping the strap close to the face. Helping the straps to sit comfortably under the ear are the tri-fix brackets; they hold the straps neatly in place, and add to the overall comfort of the helmet.
Comfort generally is a big part of this helmet, with good sweat management through the pads and a MIPS system that sits more comfortably than many I have used; you can't really feel that it's there at all, which is testament to the thought put into the design by Specialized.
The fitting system is a harness with a dial at the back of the head which tightens around the majority of the head, and creates a more secure fit than some. It is also more comfortable as it shares pressure across the back and sides of the head rather than concentrating it at the rear.
One innovative element with this helmet is the ANGI system, which is a smart crash sensor. It connects to your phone, which then allows you to record your ride or call your designated emergency contact in the event of a crash. It works pretty well and has some good elements, like how it will notice when you have a slight bump but will track your GPS signal and establish if it's something you've ridden away from or whether to alert your emergency contact.
The sensor itself is about the same size as an anti-theft tag for clothing, which isn't huge, but being attached to the harness makes it a little obvious. In order for it to work you also need to connect it to your phone and tell your phone that you've started a ride. It then checks the phone app every five minutes.
One element of the helmet that does clearly separate it from the S-Works Prevail is the weight, with the Propero coming in at 313g, compared to 201g for the Prevail. This is respectable given all the tech that's packed in, but similarly priced helmets such as the Sweet Protection Outrider and Salice Ghibli are both around 50g lighter, though neither includes MIPS or ANGI.
Both those helmets are £5 more than the Propero's RRP of £95, so it's not bad value, and it does have many of the hallmarks of the more expensive Prevail while including some innovative tech.
Overall, I enjoyed using the Propero. It might not be the lightest, but it has excellent ventilation and the inclusion of MIPS and ANGI is a real highlight.
Keeps many of the best elements of the high-end Prevail with more tech and more weight but a lower price
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Specialized Propero III with ANGI helmet
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?
The Propero III is a mid-range helmet for the safety conscious rider. It is very much being sold as the cheaper version of the Prevail.
Specialized says, "This race-inspired design is known for its incredible fit and tremendous value. It has many similar features to the S-Works Prevail, like the Tri-Fix webbing system and 4th Dimension Cooling, granting the Propero III incredible performance at a more attainable price.
"Our new ANGI Crash Sensor gives you and your loved ones peace of mind like never before''when combined with our iOS or Android app, the sensor will detect a crash and send a text message to specified contacts in your phone. It also syncs with our app and STRAVA® to provide GPS-based activity tracking."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Specialized lists these features:
Easy-adjust, HairPort FSL II 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.
Reflective decals for increased visibility to motorists in low-light conditions.
Patented clip-on visor included.
Integrated ANGI crash sensor.
Well made with some nice design features, the composite matrix helping to keep it strong even with a large number of vents.
Decent aero credentials, good ventilation, and some innovative safety tech.
Seems well made and likely to last.
Not as light as other similarly priced helmets, but when it's packing in this much tech that's not too surprising.
A very comfortable helmet thanks to a good choice of pads and impressive ventilation.
You can save a little weight for a little more money, but you might not get the same tech. It's been designed to be a cheaper version of the Prevail, and that's what it is. You can pay a lot less for a helmet, and a lot more.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Performed very well, offered great ventilation, the safety features sit relatively seamlessly, and it's comfortable even after hours of riding.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The ventilation is a real highlight, as you would expect given that it's based on the Prevail.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The ANGI sensor is a bit big.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The Sweet Protection Outrider is £5 more, which gives you around 50g in weight saving, but doesn't include MIPS or ANGI. The Salice Ghibli is similarly a lower weight, but lacks MIPS and ANGI and is again £5 more expensive.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
Specialized has taken some of the best elements of the Prevail and included them in a cheaper and more tech-heavy helmet. It has all the safety features you could want while retaining the design elements of a high-end helmet, albeit with a bit of a weight penalty. Overall I think it's very good.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cinelli Gazzetta My best bike is: Cannondale Supersix Evo
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
George is the host of the road.cc podcast and has been writing for road.cc since 2014. He has reviewed everything from a saddle with a shark fin through to a set of glasses with a HUD and everything in between.
Although, ironically, spending more time writing and talking about cycling than on the bike nowadays, he still manages to do a couple of decent rides every week on his ever changing number of bikes.