First Look: Specialized S-Works Evade 2

More aero than no helmet at all.

If aero is your thing then the new Specialized helmet offering might be of interest. These days everything out of the Specialized office has been refined in the wind tunnel but this new road helmet really does hit some high marks.  The original Evade has its benefits but let’s be honest it also had plenty of compromises. The new Evade 2 minimizes those faults while still further improving its aero gains.

The Stats

The helmet will be available in five colors and three sizes each.

Deeper ventilation channels

Magnetic buckle

289 grams (size M)

$250

First Impressions

While the fit was good for us we did notice that the rear dial position is much lower. We had it in the highest position and it almost felt too low. This could be good for those trying to fit their ponytails out the back but left us wishing we could tuck more of the retention system back up into the shell. Airflow is definitely improved but it relies on movement so if you’re climbing below 5mph or stopped things heat up quickly.  At 289 grams the helmet feels balanced on the head but the front portion does extend off the forehead a lot. Enough that we could almost tip our head down and use it as a mini visor when the sun is high.

The small things like Specializes choice to use a magnetic buckle rather than a super light clip makes us happy. The buckle makes for one-handed operation on or off easy as well as a fun game as we tried to buckle it with no hands. There is always a lot of thought into the production prosses over in Morgan Hill, and how they can give each of their athletes even the slightest advantage. But it is evident that this is first and foremost a protection device that has been optimized for more than just the aero gains. It is constructed of different EPS foam densities to maximize protection without the need of added systems like MIPS.

Specialized says the helmet is as aero as their bald mannequin head in the wind tunnel. They have also closed the gap down even more getting almost the same advantages as their TT helmet. One thing that stood out to us is when we asked about glasses and how they affected the results. We were surprised to learn not much and that a pair of casual shades offered the same results as a cycling optimized option. Now that’s in the aero category and we still recommend sticking to the sports style for safety and optimized optics.

Verdict

The helmet is a big improvement over the now five-year-old Evade, and addresses many of the original flaws. The fit is good but we wish the dial could tuck a bit further into the shell. Straps are light and conform to the contour of our chin well. The magnetic buckle is a big plus. The ventilation is much improved but relies on speed to truly experience its potential. The shape is shorter overall and well balanced as well as the ear shaping is much better centered over our ear.

Punchlines

  • More aero and better ventilation
  • Magnetic buckle is a plus
  • Still looks like an aero helmet (if you’re into that kinda thing)

Price: $250

www.Specialized.com

Also check out the new S-Works 7 shoe here.

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