Time to hit the pavement, and feel the speed of the open road! When we get on our bikes, we like to push it to the limit. It is great to feel the rush of speed as we’re cooking down the asphalt trail, but when we’re at maximum speed and one unfortunate mistake away from brutal contact with that ground, we like to know we’re well protected from permanent injury. This summer we pedaled up and down the pavement seeking safety as well as high performance with the Specialized S-Works Prevail Helmet.
- Patented Energy Optimized Multi-Density EPS construction helps to manage impact energy.
- Patented Aramid-Reinforced Skeleton provides internal EPS support.
- Ultra-light Mindset micro-dial fit system with height adjustability for the perfect fit.
- Mega Mouthport optimizes cooling and sweat evaporation.
- 4th Dimension Cooling System with deep internal channels, large vents, and aligned exhaust ports.
- Thin, soft, and lightweight 4X DryLite webbing won’t stretch out with sweat or water.
- Tri-Fix web splitter for improved comfort and ease of strap adjustments.
- Instrap webbing system for ultra-light construction and security.
- High-performance pad design for increased comfort and sweat management.
- Reflective decals for increased visibility in low-light conditions.
Built with Specialized‘s patented Energy Optimized Multi-Density EPS construction and Aramid-Reinforced Skeleton, the S-Works Prevail remains ultra-light and efficient for the wearer, but still incredibly strong to impact. The Polystyrene material that makes up the majority of the build is impressively dense without adding much weight at all, and the plastic exoskeleton protects and makes the helmet construction exceptionally stable.
The shape of the S-Works Prevail maintains great efficiency in aerodynamics at all speeds, and even in cross-wind conditions. While the Mega Mouthport in the front of the helmet may catch a small amount of air, any air caught in the side channels has an outflow for better ventilation and aerodynamics. Because this helmet is designed mostly for speed performance, the minimalist design does tend to sit a little higher on the head than most other helmets, making it a bit clunky in appearance.
Proper fit is key in any helmet that is to perform at its best. The S-Works Prevail, although very minimalist in its construction, has a very manageable system for optimal comfort. The key in this case is that it has a 5 point adjustment that gives the wearer the ability to set the fit system accordingly to the base of the skull. From there, all that is required is a few turns of the Ultra-light Mindset micro-dial on the back of the helmet, and equal pressure is displace from each temple to the back of the head. Because of this design, minimal padding is required within the interior of the helmet, and comfortably switching the S-Works Prevail from one wearer to another is effortless if necessary.
We’ve already discussed that the ventilation works well with accordance to aerodynamics, but how does the S-Works Prevail work when it comes down to temperature regulation? Really well actually. The ventilation channels are exceptionally wide and deep, and they also work together to keep the air flowing around the head, keeping us cool when necessary. The Mega Mouthport on the front of the S-Works Prevail will bring the majority of oncoming air straight to the forehead for additional optimization. However, we have found that the frontal padding does tend to block some of the airflow, but not to extent that we had any worries of overheating.
Although the S-Works Prevail appears to sit a bit high on the head, it also seems to cover every point of possible impact to the skull, and that’s the real reason we have these helmets. When adjusted properly, the S-Works Prevail is not going anywhere in the event of a collision or fall, and we’ve measured the thickness of the Multi-Density Polystyrene material at about 1 3/8″ at all points. All in all, we are very confident in this helmet’s ability to absorb an impact. Fortunately, we haven’t found ourselves in a situation where we’ve had to put it to the ultimate test yet!
We’ve put the S-Works Prevail through a few stress tests and the construction seams quite solid in the immovable parts. The Tri-Fix web splitters and webbing in the chinstrap are quite well secured, and the Ultra-light Mindset adjustment apparatus has shown no sign of mechanical issues. Usually with bike helmets though, the first thing that deteriorates is the internal padding after years of sweat and wear. We’ve already discussed that the use of softer padding materials are minimal in this helmet, which reduces the risk of padding damage. As a bonus though, the internal padding of the S-Works Prevail is covered with a very durable material. But wait, there’s more! the S-Works Prevail comes with a full set of extra padding, so even it does begin to fail or deteriorate in the years down the road, you’ll be backed up.
There’s no greater value than the health that we keep, and knowing our head is well protected in actives where we are exposed at top speed is invaluable. There are a lot of options out there for great protection, but few that have the added ultra-light weight, aerodynamics, temperature regulation, and lasting durability of the Specialized S-Works Prevail Helmet. This is a helmet that has it all, and it may even improve speeds for the racers out there. With all of this going for it, we can stand behind the asking price that Specialized has set for this particular helmet.
- Simple and Comfortable Adjustments
- Ultra-Light and Aerodynamic
- Built to Last
- Sits High, and A Bit Clunky Looking
- Padding in Front Prevents Ventilation