Troy Lee's (re)entry into the open face helmet market has been a long time coming. Their new A1 Cyclops helmet has been three years in design and thank goodness that wasn't for nought! Al and Rick from the Troy Lee distributors both showed up the the Dodzy Enduro sporting the Gold Flake version of the helmet and at the time I was pretty confident I'd never be caught dead in it. Fast forward to a few weeks back when an XL/XXL showed up for me to ride and now my tune has most definitely changed.
Helmets are a hard thing to write about or review. I mean unless you crash in them there's really only two things you can talk about, one being fit and retention, and the other being airflow.
The A1's fit (for my head) is a match made in heaven; this thing fits like a glove. I'm about in the middle of the dial setting and without doing the chin strap up I'd be confident riding a track like Billy T in Rotorua or North Face in Wellington, knowing that the helmet would stay put if I slammed (for the initial impact anyhow), the fit is that good! The strap is just added security. In fact the only downside is when I stop to take a photo, I have to take it completely off, I can't just push it back like some other (not so well fitting) helmets I own. If you're thinking of sticking a GoPro mount on it, this solid fit is a huge plus.
As far as the vents go, I know it doesn't look like the coolest helmet, and I'm yet to ride it in the heat of summer, but airflow is definitely not wanting. I've been on a few long rides in this thing and have not overheated once, but I'll have to wait for summer for the full verdict.
In terms of the shape like all new enduro and all-mountain helmets the A1 offers a bit more protection lower on the back of your head. Initially I thought this might get in the way of my camera bag or my CamelBak, but after riding in it with both it sits well clear and in fact feels like a pretty standard XC lid.
So after riding in this thing for the last few weeks I figured it would be rude of us not to give you the chance of easily owning one yourself, so we've just added them to our webshop with free shipping!