Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Specialized S Works Evade Helmet Review

Specialized now has their own wind tunnel! Expect to see some awesome things from them in the coming months and years. The beginning of that "Aero Era" is the S Works Evade, aero road helmet. Upon first inspection you might notice that this thing is a bit goofy looking. There is no way around that, but I did find that after you strap it on and pair it with some riding shades, it looks true to form as a "typical: road helmet (almost).
To begin the review, let's talk about the first ride and the route. My first ride wearing the Evade started somewhat flat and then gradually climbed up to the mouth of a canyon where the climbing really started. Once the speed dropped down the sweat came on, or out is a better term. Now, to be fair, I typically sweat a lot anyway. I'm talking ringing out a Halo headband multiple times on a hot rides, but I did notice even in the cooler temperatures, 59° or so I was pouring sweat down my face and all over the top tube of my bike. The vents did let in some air, but it was not what I'm accustomed to with my current lid the Giro Atmos. One thing that was a little surprising was that while the sweat was pouring down my face I noticed that the distribution of sweat was really even. I know that sounds weird, but on my Giro, there are three points of contact that seem to pool up sweat and it often rolls right into my eyes and is really frustrating. The Evade seemed to distribute the sweat evenly and it just streamed down my face without much getting into my eyes. A nice bonus for all of those who, like me turn on the water works when they ride.

Where I really felt an advantage from the aero design was on the flats and descending. I actually had my 2nd best time down this particular canyon, and truth be told I wasn't really pushing it and I was riding solo with no draft. That alone made me think, there could be something to this thing! Another nice benefit of the Evade's design is how quite the helmet is. I never thought my Atmos was loud, but after riding at high speed in the Evade it makes it seem ridiculous! The other benefit of the design is when you tuck your head down you get a nice rush of cool air right down the back of your neck, bonus! 

Overall, I like the Evade for purpose and the design is really not bad either. The straps are very comfortable and should be the standard for the industry. The helmet is also very comfortable and really doesn't look to bad. That being said, I do have a few gripes. The lack of air flow at low speed is one. This is addressed in the wrap up. Another point is that the front of the helmet comes to a slight point and can obstruct your view slightly in an aero position. It is not bad by any means, but I'm just not used to it yet. Neither of these to gripes have been a big issue, then again it's only April and when the temp rises to the 90s in mid summer we might have a different story. Only time will tell.

I really like the Specialized S works Evade helmet and it does seem to perform as advertised and cut through the wind. This was noted by the lack of wind noise at speed and a good time descending the canyon without an increased effort. However, I would not suggest the Evade for an every day helmet, but if it's in the budget to have a second helmet for race days and even long faster rides then it's a win.

Big thanks to Timpanogos Cyclery for the recommendations and hook up on this cutting edge and hard to find helmet!

No comments:

Post a Comment