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 has always been 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 improved X-Static padding system.
Troy Lee Designs A2 Pinstripe MIPS ReviewPrice: $175 List | $100.00 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Stylish, great coverage
Cons: Minimal visor adjust, glasses hit back of helmet, sits too low on the head
Bottom line: The Troy Lee Designs A2 is a improved and revised version of the super popular A1; it has more ventilation and comfort, and offers more material to deal with impacts.
Adjustable Visor?: Yes
Number of vents: 13
Manufacturer: Troy Lee Designs
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Mountain Bike Helmets
Our Analysis and Test Results
During fast flowy descents, the A1's secure fit really 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 A1 snug down on the back, side, and front of head, giving equal pressure in just right spots.
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.
Weighing in at 13.4oz, the A2 sits in the middle of the pack. We wouldn't say that it's noticeable, or you shouldn't consider purchasing the TLD A2 because it weighs a little more than a few of the other helmets. The protection and style make up for the added few ounces.
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 highest in coolness in our book.
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 skull cap between the helmet's washable padding and the molded impact shell.
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 is a plus if you wear gloves or just have fat fingers.
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.
Enduro riders and XC crushers will love the new TLD A2 and its comfy feel - with excellent vents to accompany you on those hot muggy summer rides.
The TLD A2 sits at the top of the pack for the price, but with all the great features such as MIPS, relatively common on high-end helmets, it's a standard price point on the market today.
If you are looking for style points, the TLD 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; it's one that any fan of Troy Lee should probably start saving their pennies for.
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: March 19, 2018
Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...