What is it
Specialized’s latest incarnation of its lightweight aero racing helmet. The Prevail II builds upon the success of the its predecessor with improved ventilation and lower weight.
- Exceptionally light at 238 grams (size medium)
- Great ventilation and a reduced overall size
- Wide range of adjustment despite fixed under-ear straps
- Straps can contact ears and cannot be adjusted
- Seems strange to wear helmet straps over sunglasses
- $225 no cheap, but solid value compared to other brands with same feature set
The Prevail II is among the lightest helmets on the market at 238 grams, but it doesn’t sacrifice fantastic cooling in the process. Specialized used a proprietary EPS construction with multi-density foam and an Aramid-reinforced skeleton to reduce the overall size of the helmet and save weight. That reduced mass was greatly appreciated on some exceptionally long rides I’ve done where my neck was less strained.
The new Gutter Action System padding works well, wicking perspiration away from your brow and to the sides. Anecdotally my glasses did seem a bit a bit cleaner after rides, having fewer sweat spots.
Because of where the straps are anchored, near the outer edge of the shell, it’s best to wear your sunglasses under the straps. This took some adjustment on my part, but I quickly became accustomed to it.
The beef I have with the straps though lies elsewhere. The straps are fixed where they join under the ear. This means you can’t reposition them fore/aft. So in many cases the rear strap would sit on the outside of my ear instead of behind it. While mildly annoying, this may not be an issue for many riders. If you’re interested in the Prevail II, be sure to try it on, both bareheaded and with a cycling cap. It was with a cap that I experienced the ear rub.
If you’ve liked Specialized’s past helmets, the Prevail II will certainly impress. It brings excellent ventilation, light weight, and a low-profile shape together in an attractive package. While the fixed, widely set straps may be a bit problematic for some, others won’t even notice.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
More Info: www.specialized.com