Designed as a “complete performance helmet”, the 2011 Specialized Prevail bicycle helmet (shown in here in Omega Pharma-Lotto color scheme) mixes lightweight, big vents and comfort with aerodynamics. It has 25 vents (29 if you count the little reinforcements in the rear slots) molded into the dual density EPS foam.

The shell is molded around an inner matrix to keep it from breaking apart in a wreck, and their Pro Fit 360 system wraps around your head for a secure fit. Specialized’s Mindset retention system offers 24mm of vertical occipital lobe adjustment and uses a double-clutch ratchet dial that tightens or loosens to customize the fit (photos after the break). A brow pad covers the entire forehead, which Specialized says lets you make the helmet snug without causing any discomfort.

With a claimed weight of just 185g, it’s clear the Prevail is gunning for Giro’s ProLight helmet (which we reviewed here), but seems to add a lot of adjustability and an emphasis on aerodynamics. In their testing, the Prevail recorded 1082g of drag, the lowest of the helmets tested.

Check the chart and more photos after the break…


Inner Matrix webbing keeps it together in a crash.

2011-specialized-prevail-bicycle-helmet6Wind tunnel testing done at 0º crosswind (ie. none) at 30 km/h. Specialized’s Fourth Dimension Cooling channels are designed to flow air evenly over the head and vent it directly out the rear.


The minimalist Mindset retention system shaves grams while still allowing fit customization.


Not shown in these pictures is the fixed webbing. Like the Giro Prolight, the Prevail has straps that are fixed in position, but you can adjust the chinstrap part.


  1. Is that drag measured while on a rider’s head? In what position(s)? Measurements like that come across largely as marketing bunk to me with no real relevance.

    People can spend their money as they please, but really, I figure you’re best off buying the cheapest helmet that fits you really well and that you like the look of.

  2. looks good other than all that exposed foam on the back. i know that shave grams but it looks awful. funny how the less material they use the more they raise the price exponentially.

  3. I can’t see how the air is going to flow through this helmet, the 2009/2010 version looks like it gives much better through flow as the vents are bigger – it may be that they will stress the aerodynamics and weight in their sales pitch for this helmet, rather than the ventilation and cooling aspect. It will be interesting to see.

  4. The guy in the concept store said it would be about 50 dollars more than the s works is now. The resistance gain is negligible vs any of the other helmet on the graph, and the current s works is light and comfortable. Wouldn’t worry if you’d just bought a s works, you wouldn’t notice any difference for your 50 dollars

  5. Just got mine and there actually is a significant weight difference between this and the 2010 S Works helmet. Took it on 63 mile ride in 80 degree weather and it was nothing short of amazing.

  6. I’ve just bought the Prevail in the UK and I completely agree with Robert Ward. It is a superb helmet and, in my view, streets ahead of the S works, that I have been using. The revised strap arrangements make it so much more comfortable, as does the adjustment wheel. Worth every penny !

  7. Don’t buy this helmet… a helmet for $150 is ridiculous enough… This helmet is the Nike shoe of 2011. Costs 50 cents to manufacture and then they charge you $250 to buy it. and try to make it look “techie” …. It is foam. period. It is what they used to make big mac containers out of. those were free with your burger….. assholes.

    Just don;t be a jerk and you are good. If you stop buying helmets like this they will bring the price down to something reasonable. This should be a $100 helmet maximum. MAXIMUM.

    Side note. Does any one agree that the Giro Ionos is the most ridiculous looking massive thing you have every seen on someones head? And the catlike? What is wrong with people? While the prevail isn’t too bad, it still has a really stupid corvette style V air scoope at the front… All helmets look stupid and your helmet is only going to look cool to the other MALE biker you pass on your bike. No one else cares.

    Bell array for me $100. and looks cool enough. Anyone paying more than $100 for a helmet is a fool. Its not rotational weight.

  8. I think it is on par with the greeting cards with nothing inside, no litter limrick or nothin! they are buying a crease!

    I saw some bell Sweeps and volts for under $100… if they aren’t the color you like get creative with some spray paint!

  9. anyone who believes that a product’s price should be decided on the cost of the materials is very short sighted. When purchasing premium items from a company, you are first and foremost paying for research and development. Not just the R & D for the product you are purchasing, but also the tens or hundreds of failed prototypes that will never see the light of day.

    I have been riding the 2010 S-Works and loved it, but the tension adjustment in the back always slipped when I looked ahead in a really aero position. I took my new Prevail on a ride yesterday and loved almost everything about it. At the end of a long climb, I used my hand to push the front of the helmet against my forehead to release sweat from the helmet. (as I always have with every helmet I have ever worn) The helmet broke with the slightest pressure. This ultralight helmet requires some understanding and care. I will warranty this issue. I’m not sure it I’m the only one who presses there, but if not, this will prove to be a problem as summer rolls around.

What do you think?