The Prevail II features a web of 35 different ventilation ducts and air ports but manages to improve in aerodynamic advantage over its predecessor anyway.

The Prevail II features a web of 35 ventilation ducts and air ports, but still manages to improve aerodynamics compared to its predecessor.​

Lowdown: Specialized Prevail II Helmet

The new Specialized Prevail II helmet brings several key improvements to the already iconic traditional road helmet. Responding to racer and consumer feedback, the Prevail II is built to sit lower on the head. It also features a more aerodynamic design than the last edition, while also achieving lower overall weight. Ventilation improvements increase air flow and breathability. And the well-designed micro-fit adjustment capability with the Mindset II dial system round out the new lid's significant improvements. Read the full review below to learn more.

Weight: 203 grams (size medium)MSRP: $225
Colors: Red, blue, black, yellow, whiteOptions: Comes with clip-on visor
Safety: Comes with reflective decalsAdjustment: Micro-dial + height adjustment
Size: S-M-LRating:
5 Stars
5 out of 5 stars
Stat Box


  • Aerodynamic compared to standard helmets
  • Not aero compared to aero helmets
  • Multi-density EPS
  • Expensive
  • Well ventilated
  • No strap adjustability beneath ears
  • Light weight
  • Fits larger heads well
  • Secure sunglass integration

Review: Specialized Prevail II Helmet

The Specialized Prevail already holds gold standard status in the world of traditional road helmets. It's extremely light, well ventilated, and highly adjustable able to fit the intricacies most heads. It was also due for an update, because as they say at Big Red S HQ, innovate or die. Thus the new Prevail II maintains many of its race-winning characteristics, while at the same time improving on several aspects based on rider feedback.

This sleek design looks good as it keeps you cool when and where it counts.

This sleek design looks good, and it keeps you cool where it counts.​

First among those updates is a commitment to provide a sleeker fit experience. Riders loved the lightweight, airy aesthetics of the original Prevail, but some complained that it sat too high on the head. From experience, I can tell you that I stayed away from that design entirely for precisely this reason. With the new design, Specialized has managed to maintain the structural integrity that gives a bicycle helmet its primary function and utility, while re-proportioning enough material to allow for a much lower sit-height and a sleeker overall profile.

In that same vein, the Prevail II sees considerable structural gains in its ventilation capabilities. The Mega Mouthport retains the iconic "hood scoop" look for solid air flow and breathability. That's combined with 35 larger vents and more precisely oriented vent holes.

Top-shelf ventilation design and the Gutter Action brow pad make for phenomenal comfort and sweat management hot summer days.

Top-shelf ventilation design and the Gutter Action brow pad make for improved comfort and sweat management on hot days.​

Impressively, these developments in ventilation have occurred in tandem with a more aerodynamic profile. This helmet is still a traditional road helmet, with a focus on weight savings and not aerodynamic supremacy. So if that is your main interest, you're better off with the Specialized Evade or similar aero lid. But aerodynamic advancements are Specialized's M.O., and their aim if to apply these concepts across the board.

This reviewer happens to have a dome of gargantuan proportions (it's my mother's fault). As such, I'm always gravitating towards the largest possible helmets. In the Evade, I'm a L/XL. So when Specialized recommended that I try on a medium in the new Prevail II, I thought they were just being naive. But I humored their request, and I was glad I did. The medium fit me a lot better than the large. So buyer be warned, definitely try before you buy.

These developments are appealing by themselves, but each comes at a price. Lower weight, sleeker aerodynamics, lower profiling, and more ventilation add up to less material. And the helmet is one place in which even the cycling consumer rightly ought to want more material for protection's sake (the true utility for which a helmet is worn). So is less material necessarily a good thing?

The Mindset II dial system offers lightweight yet substantial on-the-fly micro fit adjustment capabilities.

The Mindset II dial system offers lightweight yet substantial on-the-fly micro fit adjustment capabilities.​

A helmet can be sleek, light as a feather, and comfortable and all those other things, but first and foremost, it must be strong and capable. Notably, Specialized has a tremendous track record of standing up to the real world when push comes to shove and a helmet is actually put to use. Unfortunately, I can validate this with my own past experiences.

Fortunately in testing this helmet, I haven't had the chance to put the safety features through their paces (and one always hopes that the helmet will simply expire before such rigorous testing is completed). But I am confident that it will do the job given Specialized's robust track record with helmet technology and their focus on this aspect in designing the new Prevail II helmet.

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