Sunday, September 20, 2015

Specialized Ambush Helmet: A Product Review

I'm a huge advocate of wearing helmets when riding, be it on the paved trail, to work, or on the mountain bike trails. Over the past 2, almost 3 years I've gone with the Specialized Vice as my go-to helmet for most all riding. It's light, comfortable, and fits my head the way I want it to. I hate helmets that feel like they aren't secure about the base of my skull (occipital area).

Now, I'll be on the lookout for my next go-to helmet as Specialized has discontinued the Vice helmet.

Earlier this year we learned of the new Ambush helmet from Specalized. Will the Ambush helmet be the next greatest helmet or will I be on the lookout for a different style?

From Specialized:
Equally suited for trail rides, enduro races, and anything in-between, the Ambush provides trail and all mountain riders with the lightest and most ventilated extended coverage helmet available.
  • Patented Aramid-Reinforced Skeleton provides internal EPS support.
  • Patented Energy Optimized Multi-Density EPS construction helps to manage impact energy.
  • Mindset 360 fit system provides a secure, customizable fit with 360-degree tension adjustment, five height positions, and an integrated dial for easy, on-the-fly adjustments.
  • Micro indexing visor allows for a wide range of fast, secure on-trail adjustments, as well as convenient goggle stowage.
  • 4th Dimension Cooling System with massive vents, internal Cross-Channels, and aligned exhaust ports increases airflow to keep you cool.
  • Low profile in-molded shell with smooth, snag-free exterior shape.
  • Extended coverage for added protection and durability.
  • Lightweight, quick-drying liner features a Gutter Action Brow that channels moisture away from eyes.
  • Tri-Fix web splitter for improved comfort and ease of strap adjustments.
First thing is first, what excited me about this helmet was the color and interesting graphics. I used to be very basic with my accessories in the past- not choosing colors that were fun and "pop-y" but now I love color. This helmet is one that you would see from a long ways away, for sure! Visibility to drivers and other trail users would definitely be increased by the color.

I love vents. I dislike extreme heat/humidity, so a helmet with good ventilation is key.

Adjusting the fit is unique to this helmet from the Vice that I had been previously wearing for trail riding. the dial will adjust the internals of the helmet all the way around vs. just in the back and side. You have flexibility of adjusting the internals as well to customize your fit.

The visor is another feature that's unique for the helmet- it allows you to adjust it so it's as far down as possible on the helmet, or you can make it tilt up at intervals if desired. This is handy if you are in an area where you are using goggles while you ride. It makes moving them much simpler rather than having to move them up/over the visor. The visor moves up, allowing your goggles room to rest.

The helmet comes with an additional liner, which is nice for when you need launder it after months of sweating in it!

Overall, I will give this helmet a thumbs up for style. The fit, I feel is good, but I like my Vice helmet better. The Ambush is good and I find it comfortable to wear- but I wish it would feel a little tighter around the lower base of my skull. I do like that it is snug around my temples- but I miss the fit of the Vice when it comes down to it. I also liked the security of a bolt-on visor vs. one that is very mobile.

It will be fun to see how the movable visor works when weather is cooler and I'm out with goggles on, in our area sunglasses work fine for protecting our eyes from debris, etc.

The helmet comes in a total of 6 colors, so there is sure to be one that fits your personal style!
MSRP- $180

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