Hands-on Gear Review

Troy Lee Designs A2 Pinstripe MIPS Review

The Troy Lee Designs A2 is a new version of the popular A1; it has more ventilation, comfort, and material to protect from impacts.
Troy Lee Designs A2 Pinstripe MIPS SRAM
By: Dustin Schaad ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 19, 2018
Price:  $175 List  |  $100.00 at Competitive Cyclist - 43% Off
Pros:  Stylish, great coverage, good ventilation
Cons:  Minimal visor adjust, glasses hit back of helmet
Manufacturer:   Troy Lee Designs
73
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#7 of 11
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Adjustments - 20% 7
  • Features - 20% 7
  • Durability - 20% 8
  • Ventilation - 10% 8
  • Weight - 10% 7
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Our Verdict

The A2 MIPS all-new for A2 helmet redefines mountain bike safety, style, comfort, and ventilation. The first helmet in its class to combine EPP (for slow speed impacts) and EPS (for high-speed impacts) in one sleek package that will set a new benchmark for mountain bike helmets. The A2 has all the bells and whistles that Troy Lee Designs is known for — great style, excellent full head coverage, MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) as standard, and an improved retention system for adjusting the fit. It also has an enhanced X-Static padding system.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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Troy Lee Designs is top tier when it comes the full-face helmet market, but the half-shell market was shaky at best until the TLD team produced the A1. The A1 was the best looking helmet out there with extended coverage, and it came with super stylish graphics. The new A2 should be great news for A1 lovers, because it addresses all of the shortcomings of its predecessor, without losing its reputation. It also flat out looks better.

Performance Comparison


The A2 in it's element.
The A2 in it's element.


Comfort


During fast flowy descents, the A2's secure fit shines. It sits snug on the head without bouncing around, yet not squeezing our head too tightly. Troy Lee Designs have always had a deep fit, and the TLD's shaping, padding, and retention system perform exceptionally. The three height levels for the retention system lets the A2 snug down on the back, side, and front of the head, giving equal pressure in just right spots.

Adjustments


The glasses and goggles work fine while descending, but as soon as you start that grueling climb and try to slip the goggles above your eyes onto the helmet, the visor gets in the way and won't adjust high enough. Hopefully, TLD will address this issue in the future.

Goggles fit securely around the back of the TLD A2.
If you're enduro rider that wears goggles while racing then the TLD A2 is not the helmet for you - unless you pull them off and rest them on the neck.

Weight


Weighing in at 13.4oz, the A2 MIPS sits in the middle of the pack for weight. We wouldn't say that it's noticeable, or you shouldn't consider purchasing this helmet because it weighs slightly more than a few of the other helmets.

Ventilation


The 13 large vents allow the airflow to circulate continuously without fail. The coolness of the TLD A2 is very comparable to the highly airy Smith Rover. In fact, it ranks among the best in ventilation in our test selection.

TRoy Lee A2 ventilation works great.
The TLD has great style

Protection


The A2 has an in-molded liner with a dual-density layering system. The outer rigid EPS foam protects against high-speed impacts, while an under-layer of more compliant EPP foam is molded in place to protect against slow-speed impacts. Finally, to protect against rotational impacts, the A2 features a MIPS liner between the helmet's washable padding and the molded impact shell.

Great picture of the MIPS that keeps your grey matter safe and sound.
Great picture of the MIPS that keeps your grey matter safe and sound.

Extras


The A2's headband can be adjusted fore or aft at the temples, or up or down at the rear to ensure a snug fit as well as an optimum angle. The band retains the ratchet dial, which handy if you're wearing thick gloves.

A2's ratchet dial  which is a plus if you wear gloves.
A2's ratchet dial, which is a plus if you wear gloves.

Durability


In general, this model did great throughout our rigorous testing. The one thing to note is that the MIPS moved around a bit and started to break through the front vent. We adjusted it, and it never seemed to pop out again.

Best Applications


Enduro riders and XC crushers will love the new A2 MIPS and its comfortable fit and excellent ventilation to keep you cool on those hot, muggy summer rides.

Value


With a retail price of $175, the A2 MIPS sits near the top of the pack in terms of price. That said, with the excellent protection, ventilation, and comfort this helmet provides we still feel that it is a pretty good value.

Conclusion


If you are looking for style points, the A2 will keep the lookers looking and high fives coming. It will also keep the grey matter safe if you find yourself flying over the bars one day. The A1 is still available from TLD and is considerably less expensive than the A2 tested, but we'd have a hard time recommending it over the A2. The new TLD A2 is a huge upgrade. Troy Lee fans should probably start saving their pennies.

Dustin Schaad

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Most recent review: March 19, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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