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Specialized S-Works Evade 3 helmet



Impressive airflow for an aero helmet, and an excellent fit, if you can stomach the price
Surprisingly good airflow for minimal venting
Comfortable fit
Good range of colours and sizes
At the pricey end of the scale

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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In its latest iteration, the S-Works Evade 3 helmet is said to breathe better than earlier models, while Specialized claims that it is the most aero helmet in the peloton. My thinking is, it's an impressively cool feeling helmet for one with such a small number of vents and it is impressively comfortable too. It's one of the best cycling helmets in terms of performance, but that combination of comfort, venting and aerodynamics doesn't come cheap.

Originally the preserve of the time triallist and triathlete, aero helmets now appeal just as much to those looking for marginal gains on the Sunday club run. (Should you buy an aero road helmet? Our feature will help you decide.)

Even among the best aero helmets the compromises have always been airflow, or lack of it, and weight. Neither of which the Evade 3 suffers from.

Back in 2018 we reviewed the S-Works Evade II and were impressed. According to David it was better ventilated and lighter than the original model.

Specialized's designers haven't rested on their laurels, though; there has been no kicking back and getting lost in a rabbit hole of YouTube videos on company time here. They've brought us, yes – wait for it – a cooler, lighter, stiffer, more... No, wait. It just breathes better. It's actually put on a bit of weight, and there are no bold aero claims.


I'm just kidding.

Aero claims are hard to quantify in the real world, anyway. My Garmin certainly wasn't showing a noticeable increase in speed compared to when I was wearing the Prevail, the Evade's vented cousin. If Specialized says that the Evade 3 is the most aero road helmet in the peloton I have no evidence to dispute that.

2022 S-Works Evade 3 helmet - side.jpg

Weight-wise, a medium Evade II weighed in at 254g on our scales; the same sized 3 tipped the scales at 271g.

Comfort is key on the bike, though, and the Evade 3 is definitely a comfortable helmet, not just in the way it fits, but the amount of air that passes through it.

The side vents of the earlier model have gone, there's now more focus on the front of the helmet with two small vents at the bottom and the three larger ones scooping in plenty of air.

2022 S-Works Evade 3 helmet - front.jpg

The biggest change is at the rear with the design of a new 'diffuser' which, through extensive wind tunnel testing, according to Specialized, has been shown to minimise drag by allowing the air to be released more easily, and increases ventilation by drawing 10 per cent more air through at a given speed.

2022 S-Works Evade 3 helmet - rear.jpg

On all but the hottest days or steepest of climbs, the Evade 3 kept me cool. As the autumn temperatures have kicked in, I could feel the air entering at the front and passing over my head before exiting out of the rear.

Inside, the cradle is minimal and when adjusted to fit your head it doesn't apply any unwanted pressure points. There is plenty of movement to adjust the fit of the helmet so it doesn't clash with your favourite sunglasses.

The back of the cradle is also ready to accept Specialized's ANGi alert system, a sensor that detects a crash and notifies a contact through an app (and costs £45).

2022 S-Works Evade 3 helmet - tension system.jpg

The Evade also gets Mips Air Node technology built in. The Mips system, as you might already know (if you don't, we have a handy feature explaining all you need to know about Mips), is designed to reduce rotational energies otherwise transferred to the head during an impact. Compared to the original Mips design the Air Node is much less bulky, looking no different to a standard set of pads inside the helmet.

2022 S-Works Evade 3 helmet - inside.jpg

Construction-wise it doesn't have any of the fancy aramid sections found on Specialized's S-Works Prevail 3, which costs the same amount of money. Here, the Evade uses a standard EPS (polystyrene) inner with a polycarbonate shell over the top.

The bottom part of the helmet is also covered by a polycarbonate shell, which prevents damage to the EPS during storage or from accidental drops when not on the bike.

For this model Specialized has dropped the magnetic clasp and returned to a simple click shut clamp below the jaw. It's attached to a comfortable webbing design which is also thin and unobtrusive.

2022 S-Works Evade 3 helmet - strap.jpg


Bearing the S-Works branding (Specialized's top-level kit), the Evade 3 was never going to be cheap.

Even looking at comparable pricey options, it's £30 more than Lazer's 290g Vento KinetiCore, which has dropped a tenner to £249.99 since George tested it in the summer, and £40 more than Giro's Eclipse Spherical helmet, which isn't as aero, with quite a few more vents in place, but is a similar weight as well as cheaper. And Nick was impressed with its performance and cooling when he reviewed it in August.


If you want an aero helmet that you can wear for all kinds of riding, the Evade 3 is a top option. For such a minimal number of vents it really does keep you surprisingly cool and the comfort of the fit is very impressive.


Impressive airflow for an aero helmet, and an excellent fit, if you can stomach the price test report

Make and model: S-Works Evade 3 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?

Specialized says, "Through extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics and Win Tunnel testing, we created a rear 'diffuser' that helps minimize drag and improve ventilation. The diffuser helps optimize aero performance by allowing air to release easier and improves ventilation by drawing 10% more air through the helmet at a given speed."

Specialized has designed an aero helmet with impressive airflow.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Specialized lists:

Enlarged front vents help increase ventilation.

Rear Diffuser for aero and ventilation benefits.

MIPS Air Node is MIPS' most ventilation-focused solution.

Adjustable Tri-Fix web splitter boosts comfort through personalized fit.

Precision, full-wrap polycarbonate shell for increased durability and premium finish.

Dual-density optimized EPS foam.

Rate the product for quality of construction:
Rate the product for performance:
Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Rate the product for value:

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Impressive airflow for an aero helmet.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Very comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

A big investment.

How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on

It's pricey; not exactly extortionate when compared to the opposition, such as the Giro and Lazer I mention in the review, but still quite a few quid more.

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

For an EPS helmet with a polycarbonate shell it's a fair chunk of money. The investment in R&D has been worthwhile, though, as it performs very well in a huge range of cycling disciplines. If you can afford it, it's very good.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 44  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,

As part of the tech team here at F-At Digital, senior product reviewer Stu spends the majority of his time writing in-depth reviews for, and ebiketips using the knowledge gained from testing over 1,500 pieces of kit (plus 100's of bikes) since starting out as a freelancer back in 2009. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 170,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him, he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. With a background in design and engineering, he has an obsession with how things are developed and manufactured, has a borderline fetish for handbuilt metal frames and finds a rim braked road bike very aesthetically pleasing!

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