Specialized say its Evade II is the fastest road helmet on the market, it’s also a helmet that gives riders peace of mind. If you crash, the ANGI sensor embedded in the helmet harness texts phone contacts you choose. It also syncs with Specialized’s app and STRAVA for GPS-based activity tracking.
Specialized has an exclusive with MIPS on the new MIPS SL system, which, is featured in this helmet. Like POC’s Spin, MIPS SL uses the helmet’s pads to mitigate rotational forces in a crash. So the Evade II gets the aerodynamics right, along with the fit, safety, and ventilation needed to create one of the best aero lids on the market.
In 2013, Specialized built its own wind tunnel, now dubbed the “Win Tunnel,” a tool the company uses to test a remarkable number of products, from racing skinsuits to commuter bikes. When Specialized engineers decided to build the fastest helmet in the world, one that’s also light and well-vented, they used the Win Tunnel to analyze every kind of helmet made, then took those learnings to the road, tweaking the design until they had fine-tuned the helmet’s smallest details.
In the end, Specialized took grams out of the helmet’s drag and did it without compromising the rider’s safety. In fact, by using a variety of densities of EPS foam in the Evade II and an ANGI crash sensor plus MIPS SL, Specialized built the fastest and one of the safest helmets a racer can buy.
Specialized claims that the Evade saves 50 seconds over 40 kilometers versus a traditional helmet and six seconds over the former Evade. Other helmets have more venting, but no other ultra-efficient aero helmet has as highly tuned venting as this one. Air flows through seven front ports, two side ones, and a top-of-the-head vent, all without creating more drag.
The minimalist harness uses ultralight webbing, which is super comfortable and doesn’t hold sweat. It has a handy “hair port” in back to accommodate ponytails. And the chin strap clicks shut with a magnetic buckle that was also easy to open with one hand.
One feature I loved that’s easy to miss: The brow pad channels sweat away from your eyes. So when you’re powering up a hill in the heat of summer, you won’t have blurred vision and stinging from dripping sweat.
While I can’t verify Specialized’s specific aerodynamic or safety claims without some independent lab testing, I can attest to the Evade’s comfort and ventilation. And the ANGI sensor certainly provided me with some peace of mind on my rides, so it seems a worthwhile addition to an already excellent helmet. It’s not the lightest or the coolest helmet, but it may very well be the fastest. If you’re after a truly aerodynamic helmet that’s wearable on everyday rides, the Evade is a tough one to beat.