These special colored versions of the new Evade were on hand at the Tour just in case.
What It Is
If you watched the flatter stages of this year’s Tour de France, you likely saw a new aerodynamic helmet on the heads of riders from Saxo-Tinkoff, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and Astana. Indeed, Specialized rolled out its S-Works Evade aero road helmet in full force at this year’s Tour, jumping into the market alongside Giro’s Air Attack and Kask’s Infinity (worn by Team Sky).
The Big Red S makes the bold claims that the Evade erases 46 seconds over a 40-kilometer time trial and saves 10 watts and 40kph. But the Evade’s primary selling point is the mating of aerodynamics of its McLaren time trial helmet with the cooling vents of its regular road models. The Evade has 17 vents, including 7 large vents up front.
The overall market for aero road products is growing (bikes, kits, helmets), and one Specialized representative told us that the idea for the Evade sprouted from the proliferation of aero road bicycles. “If you’re buying a Venge and you care about aero, you’re going to buy the helmet,” he said. “It’s closer to a TT helmet than a road helmet in terms of design.”
We got a chance to put one of these new lids through its proverbial paces. Here are some initial impressions.
The helmet is well ventilated and keeps your head cool, with no perceived difference versus a regular road helmet. We took the Evade out for a spin on a sweaty day in the French Alps. While we did not bring along a thermometer to test our head’s temperature underneath the helmet, the lid did not cook our brains into a gooey stew in the stifling air. On descents, the helmet allowed in plenty of air.
It’s also reasonably light, with a claimed weight of 283 grams for a size medium, which is the same as Giro’s Air Attack and only 58 grams more than the ultra-light Giro Aeon we tested back in June.
Other plusses include Specialized’s micro-fit dial system, which operates via an easy-to-use clicking plastic wheel in the back. Also, there is no overlapping of the helmet’s straps with any plastic webbing inside the helmet, which eliminates annoying tangles.
At $250, the Evade is $100 less than Kask’s Infinity, but $50 more than the Air Attack. All that aside, $250 is a lot to drop on a high-end helmet, especially if you only want to wear it for flat races or time trials.
Appearance may also be an issue for some. But that is always going to be an issue with aero road helmets, as the lack of large vents and the aero shape can give the lids a bulky, retro look that will turn off some people. The Evade, however, has a pointed back end that stretches out the helmet’s profile for a sleeker look. If Giro’s Air Attack looks like something worn by futuristic hockey players from a faraway galaxy, then the Evade is the spaceship they flew in on.
MSRP: $250 (4 colors, 3 sizes)
More info: www.Specialized.com
Learn more about the new Evade helmet in this video from Specialized: