Specialized’s Prevail helmet has been around for a good few years now, it’s a common sight in the professional peloton especially when the road points upwards when weight and ventilation trump aerodynamics, with the Evade the common choice for most flat stages and sprint finishes.
But at the Tour de France a new revamped Prevail II has been quietly unveiled. We had a closer look and chat with the Specialized team over from Morgan Hill at the replacement for the long-running helmet.
Changes to the new Prevail II centre on reduced bulk to produce a lower profile on the head, lower weight and improved acoustics - apparently some cyclists complained of excessive wind noise with the current Prevail, and this is something Specialized has attempted to eradicate in the newly designed helmet.
The current Prevail is still, despite its age, one of the lightest helmets money can buy, coming in at 185g for a size medium. The changes have netted a 10g weight reduction, not a huge saving but in a sport currently obsessed with marginal gains, it does represent a 5% weight saving.
But it’s the lower profile of the new helmet that is most noticeable. The current Prevail can look quite bulbous on some cyclists heads, and suits some head shapes better. If you’re watching the Tour de France, take a closer look at Nibali, Contador or Sagan, as they’ll each wear the Prevail on a mountainous stage when ventilation outweighs aero concerns.
An interesting development is the Gutter Action system, a revised brow pad that is intended to “provide a pathway for sweat to move away from the forehead and down the temples” and prevent it dripping into your eyes and obscuring your vision.
Specialized reckons the smaller size of the helmet provides a small, but measurable aerodynamic improvement. It doesn’t say how it compares to the current Prevail, just that it saves 6 seconds per 40km compared to a standard road helmet.
Other than those changes, it’s business as normal, with the same EPS foam construction, 4th-dimensional cooling, Mindset adjustable retention system and huge number of vents.
That’s about all the information we could prise out of Specialized. It’ll undoubtedly by a 2017 model year product so we would imagine it’ll be officially launched this autumn, and hopefully in the shops soon after.
This one belongs to a certain world champion.
More details soon...
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.