Troy Lee Designs Flowline SE Helmet Review

The new Troy Lee Designs Flowline MTB helmet series brings the brand's renowned fit and function to a mid-range price point.

Troy Lee Designs dropped a new helmet series called Flowline that’s designed to offer a more well rounded helmet with better pricing than their A2 and A3 models. The new Troy Lee Flowline helmets have a more minimalistic design with no huge brand logos or sharp lines painted all over the helmet. The Flowline SE is available in ten subtly edgy, two-tone colors. I got the Flowline SE in Stealth White but they also have one in Stealth Black for those wanting to catch criminals in Gotham City. This review is for the Flowline SE but I will mention its cheaper counterpart, the Flowline, as the helmets have many similarities.

Troy Lee Flowline SE helmet features

The Flowline SE includes the MIPS B-Series Rotational Impact Brain Protection System. Many MIPS systems feature the familiar bright yellow plastic insert, but the Flowline SE uses a black insert instead. This is a minor cosmetic detail I haven’t seen in other helmets with MIPS. 

E-bikers will be thrilled to know that the Flowline series is NTA-8776 certified. Before the popularity of e-bikes, helmet standards required the helmet to protect riders at speeds up to 15 mph, but with e-bikes generally traveling at speeds closer to 28 mph (in some countries), a new standard needed to be implemented to protect riders. The NTA 8776 requires more protection at the temples and at the back of the head, all while keeping the weight close to the same as regular helmets. I could not notice a weight difference to other similar half-shell helmets. If you’re currently riding an analog bike and are planning on switching to an e-bike, this helmet will protect your noggin on both bikes. It’s a win-win. 

The Flowline SE has dual-density EPS foam for low and high-speed impacts and both materials are visible through the vents. The soft foam is gray and the hard foam is black. When you fall and hit your head in a helmet without dual-density foam, the single layer of EPS foam will compress until it itself becomes a hard surface. The softer layer underneath the hard foam adds another layer of protection even if you happen to just hit a branch along the way. I’ve had my fair share of MTB crashes with head impacts and can say I really appreciate any additional protection. To top it off, this helmet is one of forty that received a 5-Star Virginia Tech safety rating in 2023 (yup, I counted for you.)

Troy Lee helmets tend to fit my head shape and size better than some other brands I’ve tried, and the Flowline series is no exception. Following the TLD sizing chart, I once again went with an XL/2X size and it fit similarly to the A1, A3, and Stage helmets that I’ve owned in the past. The full 360-degree fit retention system ratchets into place to create a snug and secure fit around my head with zero helmet bobbing when smashing on rock gardens.

There is also a 3-way rear height adjustment that I preferred to keep at height #2. Boy, was I happy to find ear strap adjustability, a big relief after the ABUS Cliffhanger helmet I tried recently. Troy Lee made chin and ear strap adjustability simple; in a matter of minutes I had the helmet adjusted to my liking. One of the premium features that only the Flowline SE has is the Fidlock® Magnetic Buckle System which you can operate with one hand, avoiding accidental chin pinching.

I’m a big fan of the fourteen vent holes the Flowline series offers. The sporty design of the helmet brings air in through the large vent holes up front and guides the air to the back, which helped keep my hot head cool. Although the ventilation is not on par with the A3 helmet, I appreciate the new frontal vent slits that shoot air into the forehead area. The SE model has an antimicrobial Quick Dry Premium Liner that did a fairly good job keeping my forehead dry, though the real sweat wicking test will come during the summer. Lastly, the three-way adjustable and screwless visor was easy to adjust with one hand even when riding. 

Final thoughts

The new Flowline series is intended for all trail riders, even e-bikers like myself. The SE delivers on what it was designed to do at a reasonable price that won’t break the bank. The combination of safety and premium features make riding more about riding. Personally I love how well TroyLee helmets have fit my head and how they kept that fitment consistent throughout their line of helmets, something that not all brands do.

I also welcome the minimalistic colorways they released with the Flowline series, though you can still get your helmet customized by TroyLee for a hefty price if that’s your thing. If you’re looking for a well-rounded, premium mountain bike helmet priced under $160, the Flowline SE might be for you. Ultimately, if you like what the Flowline SE offers but can do without a few features, then the Flowline might be a better option that’s priced just under $120.

Party laps

  • E-Bike NTA-8776 certified
  • MIPS and dual-density foam
  • Very adjustable

Pros and cons of the Troy Lee Designs Flowline SE helmet.

Dirt naps

  • Overall design could have been more sleek

Check out our mountain bike helmet buyers guide and our picks for the best mountain bike helmets.