With a huge range of high end helmets out there now from numerous brands, choosing a new one to replace my trusty old 661 was going to be tough. But after picking the new Specialized Dissident, it has only been a few rides and I am more than sold.
When it comes to equipment Specialized are pure class and having tried everything from XC helmets to tyres to seat bags, I knew that when it came to a high end downhill helmet they were certainty not going to mess around. The amount of features on this helmet is immense, I don't even know where to begin but I guess a good place to start is that it is carbon fibre and is claimed as the lightest helmet on the market. It weighs 1001 grams compared to a Troy Lee Designs D3 Carbon at 1133 grams. The Dissident feels light on your head, even as if it was not there and while this light weight feels great it is even more comforting that it still meets international safety standards for bicycle helmets.
Speaking of safety, this helmet offers plenty. Especially if unfortunately your ride does go wrong and you wind up in the hands of a paramedic. The Specialized Dissident has built in EMT System quick release pads and Eject Helmet Removal System compatibility allows a paramedic to safely remove the helmet shell without further injury. It works by the rider having installed the Eject air bladder at the top of the inside shell, a tube runs down a purpose made channel and the valve appears under Eject logo for easy access. The paramedic can then inflate the bladder which raises the helmet shell off the head without any further movement. I believe this system is an official requirement in all AMA Motocross events in the states and I am sure as more helmet companies start to embrace this system it will be seen more regularly in the downhill race scene too.
The Dissident helmet also features Specialized's 4th Dimension Cooling system, designed to push cool air through the helmet and thus keeping your head cool. Not sure I noticed it a great deal going down my local 1-2 minute trails but I can imagine it being a great help when heading abroad this summer doing 20+ minute long runs. You would never buy a helmet you didn't like the look of and the Dissident looks great. With a classy carbon and pinstripe finish this helmet looks as good as it feels.
Then its the little things that you get when you buy with Specialized. Titanium D rings on the strap, just to save that little bit extra weight. A nice little headphone port at the back, so you rout your cables direct to your ears very tidily and very comfortably. Removable liners that are machine washable so you can keep your head smelling fresh. Finally a very smart carry bag, perfect for keeping your precious new lid in its best condition when your off the trails.
The only flaw I can see with this helmet so far involves the chin strap. The strap has these very comfortable sock like things which are attached by poppers at the top of the strap that is attached to the helmet. I find when pulling the helmet on and off that these metal poppers push on the side of my head which is quite irritating. I find that it can be avoided though by pulling the straps outwards while taking it on and off but as I see it I think a velcro system to hold them in place may have been better.
Features: Complies with one or more of the following safety standards for bicycle helmets: CPSC, SNELL B-95, CE and ASTM 1952 (standard for downhill mountain bike racing helmets). The Most Advanced DH helmet ever designed. Engineered to protect World Cup DH and gravity riders - ASTM DH. Lightweight Carbon Matrix shell - target weight 1000g. 4th Dimension Cooling. Helmet EJECT - system compatible. Leatt - brace compatible. Speaker compatible.
Weight: 1001 Grams RRP: £300.00
A very comfortable lightweight helmet with more features than a Troy Lee for £125 less! Would highly recommend! Tidy headphone routing is a very nice feature.
For more information check out: specialized.com