Just in time for the Tour, Specialized has launched three new helmets in its top-of-the-range S-Works line. The ventilated Prevail and aero Evade have both been updated as well as a new time trial helmet that we can expect to be worn on Stage 1's time trial in Copenhagen.
Specialized says that the S-Works Prevail 3 is the best-ventilated helmet it has ever made and is designed for riders who value comfort and thermoregulation... just about everyone then. We can expect the Prevail to be worn during the upcoming Tour de France Mountain stages, and a size small helmet has a claimed weight of 250g.
Foam bridges have been removed from the Prevail 3 to increase the surface area of ventilation by 24.5% over the Prevail ii Vent, claims Specialized. In the image below, the dark blue shows the ventilation area of the Prevail ii Vent vs the Prevail 3 in light blue.
Review: Specialized Prevail ii Vent
To maintain the necessary structural integrity of the helmet, the Prevail 3 relies upon ‘Aircage’ technology that replaces some of the EPS with woven aramid cables that traverse the helmet, and are anchored to carbon fibre side panels. Specialized says that upon impact, the ‘Aircage’ works like a suspension bridge to distribute localised forces throughout the helmet.
As with many of the latest helmets, this one features MIP’s technology, specifically MIP’s ‘Airnode’. To further increase safety, the Prevail 3 is also compatible with the ANGI system just like we’ve seen in the past. Specialized has also focused on making the helmet fit more heads with Occipital base adjustment, the bit that tightens to you or me. This now has a larger range of movement and can also alter the helmet's angle on the head for better compatibility with glasses. The strap has also been redesigned and is now 10mm thinner to reduce noise.
The Evade is the brand’s aero road helmet and this third generation claims that the “most aero road helmet in the peloton now breathes better”. Unfortunately, Specialized hasn’t actually published any figures regarding the aero claims to back this up but does say that, as usual, the helmet has been developed in its 'Wintunnel'.
There is a figure for the ventilation, with this new helmet featuring a 10% increase in ventilation when compared to the outgoing Evade whilst maintaining its leading aero performance. Specialized says that this redesign means that this is now the “fastest choice for more stages”
>Review: Specialized S-Works Evade ii helmet
The most striking changes are the enlarged front vents and rear diffuser which are both aimed at improving ventilation. There are also changes inside with the MIPs ‘Airnode’, which is MIPs' most ventilation-focused solution and dual-density EPS foam. We have received a sample to review and initial impressions are it’s less “mushroomy”, and the magnetic buckle has been replaced by a conventional clip. In a size small the Evade 3 has a claimed weight of 260g.
The final new helmet to be released is designed for time-trialling. This Star Wars-esque lid has been developed alongside the Quick-step Alpha Vinyl pro team, with Kasper Asgreen and Remco Evenepoel getting special mentions for putting the time in at the wind tunnel.
As you’d expect this is the “fastest TT helmet” Specialized has ever made, and the repositioning of the rear of the helmet to be closer to the rider's shoulders has allowed 26 seconds t be shaved off Remco’s 40km time trial, so Specialized claims.
Inside is what Specialized call a 'head sock', which helps maintain an optimal position on the head while riding and mitigate rotational forces during impact. The S-Works TT 5 helmet comes equipped with a Class 1 optics shield for a claim of “zero distortion when looking down the road”. The visor is a hydrophobic coating to help clear moisture away if the weather turns bad on race day, as well as being (EN166) anti-fog coated.
Pricing and Availability
The Prevail 3 and Evade 3 helmets will be available in-store and online at launch (so as soon as you’re reading this) and both cost £275. Specialized says that the TT 5 helmet is not available in the UK at launch and hasn’t published a price yet.
The helmets are available in small (51-56cm), medium (55-59cm), and large (58-62cm) sizes in the following colours:
Prevail: Black, Hyper Dove grey, S/F (Limited), Vivid Red, White, White Mountains, White Sage Metallic, White/Black
Evade: Black, Hyper Dove grey, Metallic Deep Marine, Vivid Red, White, White/Black
How many stage wins do you reckon this trio of helmets will rack up over the next three weeks? Let us know in the comments below...
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