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Specialized S-Works Prevail II
  • Cruz er

    I strongly dislike the looks of this helmet. The hardshell is merely a skin in sections with a lot of foam exposed to UV and portage damage and general knocking about. It also simply makes it look cheap with a lot of exposed foam. Also, there is no reason a high end vented helmet wouldn’t have some type of sunglass port- the tradeoff for an aero helmet I understand, but for a climber’s helmet?

    It seems they took away more and more of the hardshell with every new model of the Prevail. I guess for weight but it feels like it’s regressing in terms of aesthetics, imo.

    • Doubtful Guest

      There is no evidence that exposing EPS to UV light will degrade the safety of a helmet (though of course, helmet manufacturers will tell you to replace a helmet every 5 years, just because). As for the aesthetics and damage resistance, I agree with you.

      • Superpilot

        There are articles out there on this very question. My helmet is 3 years old and I thought if I should replace it due to the hours and hours in the sun? No formal responses from manufacturers were found, but I had read up to 8-10 years from UV exposure point of view. I think most helmets would be due replacement by then due to wear and tear, but still, it’s much longer than the 5 years I had also assumed..

        • George Darroch

          I would replace your helmet every three years or so. It’s had stresses and bumps that will have induced damage to the foam, quite apart from the UV exposure. If it’s your daily-driver, then every 24 months or less seems reasonable.

          • Wily_Quixote

            I replace my helmet at around 24 months because sweat degrades glue holding the liner but the life of a helmet , unless exposed to a hard knock, is much longer than 2 years. If the information in this link can be believed:


            • velocite

              Thanks for that link. I’ll keep my old Limar, re-gluing pads from time to time…

    • fignon’s barber

      yes, I would rather have it weigh 30 grams more and have the exposed foam covered.

    • James Huang

      Agreed on the exposed foam (and mentioned as such in the review), but not quite as much on the sunglass docking. I’ve tried countless versions of these, and none work as well as simply flipping the glasses around and putting on the back of my head.

      • Cruz er

        Protone holds sunglasses great! Love the Kask.

      • Doubtful Guest

        Back of the collar works well, too.

  • Simon Wile

    Picked one up for $220 on sale at my LBS 2 weeks ago so they can be found for significantly under RRP. Compared to my Lazer Z1 the sweat management does work better, sortof rolls down the nose or sides of my face doesnt drip onto my glasses. Fit is really nice feels like it wraps around my head. It does look bigger on my head than the Z1 though. Sunnies stowage isnt great true but not a real issue for me. TBH I hadnt even noticed the exposed foam. It does come with a spare set of pads however a carry bag wouldve been nice for a RRP$350 helmet. I am conscious to put it down the right way up to avoid scuffs and dints (probably because its new more than anything!) Do rate this helmet. Keeps cool, fits well, got on sale. Winner.

  • Superpilot

    Would be great to see a comparison of the new and old helmets on an actual head, to guage changes in side and rear coverage.

  • Tim Ashton

    6 seconds saving over a 40km TT. Ha ha who cares….(unfortunately quite a few people).
    I love my current prevail, my first one saved my head from breaking, and I will probably buy a new gen2 when I need to. But upgrading for 6seconds (and spending $350 aud) is a bit ridiculous!

  • Bakers Dozen

    “companies are legally restricted from stating anything aside from whether or not they pass government-mandated test standards.” I am aware of no such legal restriction. What are you referring to?

    • James Huang

      I don’t know if this applies elsewhere, but that’s how things are set up in the United States. It’s an incredibly stupid law.

      • valiumct

        Disagree…safety should not be subject to marketing babble. Does it pass the tests, yes/no. No “safety tech” that is just disguised marketing/sales lingo to confuse the issue or make the product appear to be better/safer than competitors or that is outperforms the standardized tests.

        • James Huang

          So if someone is primarily interested in safety, they shouldn’t have any means whatsoever of ranking their choices? Who’s to say the current testing standards are up-to-date and genuinely represent the best of what’s available? I agree that a company shouldn’t be able to unilaterally declare its helmets to be “safer” without independent verification, but as it stands currently, consumers have no good way of determining if an ultralight helmet with a bunch of holes in it provides truly the same level of protection as one that weighs twice as much and incorporates the latest safety-minded features. Maybe federal regulators should at least allow companies to publish the actual numerical results of designated certification tests, instead of only saying if something passed?

          • valiumct

            agree with allowing test results to be posted. 100%.

            A third-party can do testing and publish results (disclaimer – my employer does this here in the U.S., but I’m not involved in that work), so CT can subject the helmets to their own tests.

            IF you’re saying SPZ should be able to conduct their own test of their entire lineup and then publish those figures….I’d be open to it but not “100% on board” vs current regs.

            Do understand your point, which I’m guessing is about (for example) the protection of a MIPS-equipped helmet vs a minimalist lid.

            • Eugene Chan

              What’s the difference between Volvo advertising IIHS safety ratings on specific cars vs Giro advertising how well its helmet does in Snell testing?

              • valiumct

                Since Snell isn’t a gov’t operation, that doesn’t seem to be an issue if they want to…unless the gov’t prevents ANY safety info from being released.

      • Hi James,
        I’ve been hearing this general statement “companies are legally restricted from stating anything aside from whether or not they pass government-mandated test standards.” for years, and have always thought it was absurd. In recent years, I have been pleased to see more and more safety related info coming out from helmet companies, which is great, although there has been no revision (yet) to the law. How do you square your statement about “legal restrictions” with the whole Bell/Giro family touting MIPS as a safety feature, or Kali talking about all of their various cool safety tech?

        It seems that if there was truly a blanket prohibition on these statements then all of those companies are in flagrant violation. The fact that those companies are doing it makes me suspect that the law is not as restrictive as commonly believed, and it has just been a convenient excuse for many companies to avoid opening the complex can of worms topic of what safer really is, and addressing if their super expensive helmet is actually less safe than a competitor’s mid range model. In other words, it is a business and marketing decision to avoid the topic, as it is a heck of a lot easier to sell based on styling, weight, and number of vents.

        Having said that, the brave move by some manufacturers to address safety certainly could also have a marketing angle, but I’ll take that any day over the status quo. At least until we have 3rd party testing with fully published results for a range of impact forces including rotational and low energy impacts (not just the B.S. pass/fail for a catastrophic impact that we have now).

        • James Huang

          I smell a good feature article in the works here. Stay tuned.

  • Josh

    Does it come with a clip-on visor like the specialised website says?

  • Jon_Wong23

    What about wind noise? I think an article earlier talked about how aero-ish helmets help reduce wind noise. I remember watching a gcn video where it was first spotted at the 2016 TDF and it was mentioned how it was also designed to be “quieter”.

    Thanks for the review!

    • James Huang

      I would say this helmet is marginally quieter than the previous Prevail, but not by any dramatic amount. If wind noise is a serious concern, I’d suggest looking at a dedicated solution such as Cat Ears (https://www.cat-ears.com/) or Wind-Blox (https://www.wind-blox.com/). While both of those products look a little funny, I can speak from first-hand experience that they’re also very effective.

  • darren

    Have definitely found the Prevail II to be a lot lighter, cooler and better fitting than my previous helmet (a Specialized Tactic). Unfortunately I met a magpie who wasn’t such a fan..


    • James Huang

      Holy cow, that’s really a thing!

  • dllm

    Thanks Cyclingtips for this review. Photos are always gorgeous.

    I’d suggest adding more to this review by showing how sun glasses could rest on the helmet. Plus, how does it look like when a real human / reviewer wear it?

    • Rick

      I have the Prevail 2 and can store my Radarlocks on the front, both right way up and upside down. The arms go through the side vents next to the ‘Mega Mouthport’ – very secure, I can’t shake them loose.


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