Specialized S-Works Prevail II Vent + ANGi MIPS Review
Cons: Expensive, not very durable
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Specialized S-Works Prevail II Vent + ANGi MIPS
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$225.00 at REI
|$159.96 at Amazon|
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|Pros||Includes ANGi technology, lots of vents, very adjustable||Lightweight, comfortable, well-ventilated, easy to adjust, high visibility color options||Well-ventilated, adjustable and comfortable, sleek and classy style||Ventilates well, comfortable, unique style, sunglass garage||Comfortable, adjustable, durable, inexpensive|
|Cons||Expensive, not very durable||Expensive, high volume shape||Slightly heavy for a high-end helmet||Expensive||Heavier, slightly less ventilation|
|Bottom Line||Offering ANGi technology that can alert chosen friends or loved ones in the event of a crash, this stylish and well-ventilated helmet is extremely light and adjustable||An extremely comfortable, well-ventilated, and lightweight helmet with minimal wind roar for all-day riding and steep climbing||A very comfortable, well-ventilated helmet with plenty of high-end features and a classy style||This uniquely designed helmet offers excellent airflow and performance that warrant its high cost||A very comfortable helmet full of high-end features at a surprisingly low price|
|Rating Categories||Specialized S-Works...||Bontrager Velocis MIPS||Bell Z20 MIPS||POC Ventral Air Spin||Giro Agilis MIPS|
|Specs||Specialized S-Works...||Bontrager Velocis MIPS||Bell Z20 MIPS||POC Ventral Air Spin||Giro Agilis MIPS|
|Weight (grams)||265g (size L)||300 g (size L)||336 g (size L)||295g (Size L)||336 g (size L)|
|Size Range (cm)||59-63 cm (size L)||58-63 cm (size L)||58-62 cm (size L)||56-61 cm(size L)||59-63 cm (size L)|
|Number of Vents||27||12||18||15||32|
|Sizes||S, M, L||S, M, L||S, M, L||S, M, L||S, M, L|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The S-Works Prevail II provides an extra sense of safety with the Angular G-Force Indicator (ANGi) system that texts desired contacts in the event of a crash or impact. This system does not have to receive a direct blow or crush the helmet but utilizes a G-force sensor to detect a possible injury to the rider. It can also sync to an app to provide GPS tracking. The lightweight design and 27 large vents create great ventilation and a comfortable ride for a heavy price tag. The Prevail II is a great helmet for serious riders who want to provide loved ones with an extra layer of safety.
Thankfully, we did not have any first-hand experience deploying the ANGi crash alert system during our testing, so we can not comment directly on its effectiveness. We strongly recommend that you follow all manufacturer recommendations to understand how to properly set up and use this technology before relying on it.
The Prevail has one of the most adjustable cranial baskets that we tested. It sports an adjustment with five height settings in the rear of the basic for macro fore and aft adjustment. It also utilizes the now common adjustment dial for fine-tuning the circumferential tension. The dial is fairly easy to locate and use one-handed while riding, though not as easily as other models. The Prevail ranked lower despite its adjustability due to its more noticeable basket while riding. Our testers stated that this helmet was more noticeable on longer rides than other higher-scoring models.
The padding is plush and extends through most of the cage. Our testers found that the increased padding contributed to hot spots where the pads contact the top of your head, disallowing cooling. The pads also have a tendency to become saturated with sweat. The 4X Drylite webbing is soft and supple on the skin, and the Instrap webbing system is easy to adjust. The Tri-Fix webbing splitter is comfortable and easily slides into the equaled position at the mandible. Unfortunately, the only fully adjustable part of the webbing is under the chin, and all other points are fixed. This might be frustrating for those who find the webbing splitter lands on their ear or somewhere else uncomfortable.
As mentioned in the prior metric, there is a strap issue with the Prevail. It is important to consider the lack of full adjustability, even though it would probably only affect a minority of riders with unique head shapes. The plastic cage can accommodate many head shapes and sizes within the size range of each model. The Prevail is offered in small, medium, and large, covering 51 to 63-centimeter circumferences between the three sizes. The height adjustment helps place the adjustment dial exactly where the rider wants it. Our testers still found that the dial dug into their occiput over the course of a long ride. Another important note is that the Prevail tends to size large compared to other models and brands; keep this in mind, especially if you are ordering it online without the benefit of trying it on in the store.
With all the extra features included, the Prevail is extremely light. The large size weighs in at 265 grams, and you can cut 10 grams by removing the ANGi sensor. This low bulk helmet utilizes variable density EPS foam to cut extra grams, and the MIPS SL is integrated into the padding to reduce weight even further. The foam bridges reinforced with an aramid skeleton span across the large vent spaces also allow for further weight reduction. For riders ready to drop some cash on a high-end helmet that cuts weight while providing all the features of its competitors, look no further.
The sleek swept-back lines of the Prevail are a traditional motif that pleased our testers. A plethora of color schemes and classy matte finish give this helmet a style that doesn't stand out and doesn't clash. We found it difficult to store our sunglasses in any vent combination on this helmet, and it doesn't boast any extra features in this department. The classic look gives riders looking for a simple, elegant design a high-end answer to their pursuit of a new helmet. Style is extremely subjective, and our testers were not particularly wowed but felt confident leaving the house wearing the Prevail.
The Prevail is a well-ventilated helmet that boasts very large vents and some internal channels and largemouth vents on the forehead to encourage airflow. As stated above, the pads created extra heat where the helmet contacts the head. We did not find this helmet to move air as efficiently over the head as higher-rated models in this category. Long rides up steep grades gave our testers a great opportunity to compare models side by side, and the Prevail didn't make it to the top of this metric. Although there are numerous large vents, the airflow was not as great as we had hoped. The thick padding also retained heat, especially across the forehead.
On the descent, the air moved well through the helmet, but it was not as quiet in terms of wind roar as other models. The Prevail utilizes a traditional ventilation style with large openings, which we found less capable than the technology of large recessed channels to move air through the helmet. Other models in our lineup provide better ventilation but often with more bulk or with fewer extra features.
Due to the level of weight reduction on the Prevail, there is a lot of exposed EPS foam. The fact that this foam is of variable density as well leads us to question the durability of this helmet. All helmets are rigorously tested to the highest safety standards. Still, all this exposed foam can allow for unintended denting and damage before you really need it to protect your head. The foam bridges are quite vulnerable to damage, as is the rear vent area of the helmet. The reduction in polycarbonate shell material certainly saves weight, but for such an expensive helmet, one needs to be extremely careful while handling this product.
The Prevail is a high-performing helmet that is one of the most expensive helmets on the market. There are other helmets that perform well or better in some categories with much less cost. What the Prevail offers that others don't is the ANGi technology. If you, or your loved ones, prioritize GPS tracking and text alerts in the event of a possible crash, then the price tag of that security is worth the cost of an S-Works Prevail II. Riders not ready to spend this much on a helmet can have the same benefits of MIPs technology or a more comfortable helmet in other models.
Well vented and very adjustable, the Prevail can provide riders ready to pay a premium extra features that can give loved ones peace of mind while you are on the road. Road cycling is a dangerous sport in which we are the most vulnerable users on the asphalt. Specialized has offered an answer with cutting edge technology embedded in this helmet, much like a life alert or backcountry emergency beacon, to alert loved ones and friends in the event of an emergency. For riders who want this technology, or those loved ones ready to make a gift of it, this is a great product the scores high and looks good doing it.
— Ryan Baker
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