The Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS Helmet is a durable, lightweight, and sleek mountain bike helmet. With a stylish and low profile design, the A2 weighs 350g in a size Size M/L.
The highlight of the A2 is the equipped MIPS technology. This Multi-directional Impact Protection System lines the inside of the helmet to reduce rotational forces that can result from certain impacts. Falling is part of our sport, and we must acknowledge that even the best of us can crash pretty hard unexpectedly. The EVA foam inside breaks the brute force impact. But when falling, the rotational forces can cause additional injury, and the multi-directional movement of 10-15mm helps reduce that injury. The more the helmet helps to absorb and prevent injury, the faster you can get back on your bike.
Beyond safety, this overall fit is very comfortable. I wear a Medium (57-59cm) and it fits pretty well around my skull without any pressure points or tightness during my nine months of testing. It’s so lightweight that I have literally forgotten I am wearing it.
The rear fit dial to cinch the helmet is easy to turn with or without gloves. It’s easy to dial the fit. Just set it and forget it! My head felt secure without any helmet bobbing.
The back of the helmet sits low to protect the back of the head. If you have long hair like me, you may need to wear your hair in a low pony tail or two braids for maximum comfort to avoid getting in the way of the rear fit dial. I personally prefer braids because I like having ventilation on the back of my neck.
The traditional style chin buckle isn’t anything out of the ordinary, but the side straps offer adjustability so you can custom fit them around your ears.
The padding inside is one piece that is very easy to put on and take off with the velcro backing. This makes it simple to remove and throw in the wash at the end of the day. Towards the front, the padding is about 1cm thick, while the rest of the padding thins out toward the back at about ½ cm. There is also a tearable part in the padding in case you prefer a bit less material for a better custom fit. I didn’t need to cut material as the helmet fit perfectly.
The A2 comes with plenty of ventilation holes — 13 to be exact — that offer excellent breathability and airflow to keep your noggin quite cool. For me, breathability is important since my summer rides see temperatures reaching 90° Fahrenheit, so the ventilation holes really help dissipate the heat while the inner padding helps absorb sweat.
The breakaway adjustable visor offers some sun protection. Out of the box, the visor is in the lower position for maximum sun protection, and can be moved up and out of the eyes by about half an inch by loosening and then tightening bolts on the sides and front of the helmet. The adjustment is not that apparent when riding, and it would be nice to have a little more room for a wider range of adjustment, especially for putting your goggle under the visor, but this is only a minor detail and does not interfere with the overall performance of the helmet.
The A2 is more ideal for sunglasses rather than goggles. My Smith Wildcats fit pretty well under the helmet with no pressure to the temples.
It’s no secret that helmets are literally lifesavers, keeping our brains safe and keeping riders out riding and doing what they love on the trails. There are many different helmets with unique features and technologies for different riding disciplines. For the technology it has and all the benefits, A2 MIPS is well worth the $169 price (available from Troy Lee Designs) compared to some other similar helmets and you can never put a price on your noggin. If you are in the market for a durable, lightweight, low-profile, and sleek mountain bike helmet, I recommend the Troy Lee Designs A2 MIPS helmet.
Specification details from Troy Lee Designs:
- The air intakes are 25% larger than A1, connected to exhaust ports through deep internal channels
- MIPS brain protection system reduces rotational forces to the brain in some crash scenarios
- Dual-density Eps Co-molded with EPP for state-of-the-art impact energy management at low and high srash speeds
- Rear Stabilizer Fit System with flexible, Slimline arms has 3-position front And rear locations for a custom fit
- Adjustable strap dividers
- 350 grams ( Size M/L ), tested