Well designed super lightweight helmet with a top safety rating too

If you're looking for a really light road helmet that complies with a number of safety standards, then look no further, the Specialized S-Works fits the bill. The S-Works purports to be 'the lightest certified helmet in the World' and it's certainly the lightest I've come across, weighing just 215g for the size medium I tried. It complies with the rigorous safety standards SNELL B-90a, B-90c, B95 and CE En1078 - you'd be hard pushed to find many heavier helmets these days that are SNELL certified.

With 30 vents, there's an immediate assumption that this is going to be a well- ventilated helmet with plenty of airflow. It's a road specific design, aimed at channelling air over the head as you ride, to prevent your bonce from overheating no matter how hard you're working. It comes in three sizes so there should be something for most. I've a fairly average sized head and the size medium was spot-on for fit. The fit is a pared down version of the Pro Fit 360 fit system, and provides easy adjustment of the crown fit with a simple slider at the back. It claims to be adjustable on the fly, but it'd be tricky to do and I'd not advise it. The strap length adjustment is much simpler than many of the past incarnations of Specialized's helmets, with easy click open and shut adjusters. There's also a colour matched clip-on visor if you prefer one.

In use, it's stable and doesn't shift about as you change position. The air flow is definitely effective, but not as obvious as in some race helmets, with a general feeling of comfort rather than the direct brush of air across your scalp. It's not so cool that you couldn't wear it during Autumn or Winter. The foam pads inside, although minimalist, are comfortable and unobtrusive, yet do their job admirably. The overall feel is one of security without a massive weight penalty, a pleasant change from the norm.

One thing worth noting is that the "women's" version is only a more female friendly colour option of a unisex fit rather than being female specific. That said, I didn't have any problems in getting a comfortable and secure fit.


Well designed super lightweight helmet with a top safety rating too

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road.cc test report

Make and model: Specialized S-Works Helmet

Size tested: Silver - Medium 54-60cm

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Aimed at road riders looking for an extremely lightweight helmet

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?

Complies with the following safety standards for bicycle helmets- SNELL B-90a, B-90c, B95 and CE En1078.

Patented Double Density EPS to save weight and optimize performance

Patented Kevlar-reinforced InnerMatrix enables larger, deeper channeled vents

Slimmed downProFit 360 fit system

4th Dimension Cooling System with Mega Mouthport, In-line vent configuration, Deep internal vent channeling, Rear exhaust ports

Instrap system minimizes strap length and reduces strap contact

Thin, soft and lightweight 4X DryLite webbing won't stretch with sweat or water

Lighter U-Turn 2 strap adjusters and low-profile buckle

Quadruple in-molded shells protect the foam and your head

Patented clip-on matching colour visor included

3 sizes S (51-57cm) M (54-60cm) L (57-63cm)

Rate the product for quality of construction:

High quality materials. A few rough edges here and there but on the whole very well made.

Rate the product for performance:

Supremely light and very comfortable.

Rate the product for durability:

Helmets have an expiry anyway, but this one should last well until then.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:

Hard to find fault with the weight.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:

Very comfortable and vents well.

Rate the product for value:

Not cheap, but you're paying for the fact that there's, erm, less of it.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

Performed very well as a versatile uber lightweight road helmet.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Weight, comfort

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Nothing really.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Anything further to say about the product in conclusion?

A capable certified helmet with good levels of protection, comfort and venting with minimal weight penalty.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 37  Height: 1.65m  Weight: 67kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Experienced

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, general fitness riding, mtb,


Lara has been riding bikes for longer than she'd care to admit, and writing about them nearly as long. Since 2009 she has been working as part of the road.cc review team whilst championing women's cycling on the side, most notably via two years as editor of the, sadly now defunct, UK's first and only women's cycling mag, erm, Women's Cycling. 

Believing fervently that cycling will save the world, she wishes that more people would just ride a bike and be pleasant to each other. 

She will ride anything with two wheels, occasionally likes to go fast, definitely likes to go far and is always up for a bit of exploring somewhere new and exciting. 


carlgrz [51 posts] 8 years ago

I've had one of these since July. I've been out on some of the hottest days of the year and the ventilation has been superb. It's so comfortable you can forget you are even wearing it.
There is no denying that paying over £100 for 200g of foam, plastic and a miniscule sliver of carbon fibre seems silly but when mine needs replacing I'll be straight back for another.

Sven Nijs [20 posts] 8 years ago

Maybe worth stating this is a review of a Specialized "Women's" product?
I'm sure this model was long ago superseded by the (supposedly much lighter) S-Works Prevail helmet in the unisex "Road Helmet" range?  39

Tony Farrelly [3006 posts] 8 years ago

This is definitely the S-Works lid Sven, we did a lot of talking to Specialized about it re the standards it complies with. Not sure if you are in the UK but you can certainly buy them over here and as Leonie says in her review - the colour is the only difference between the women's version and the standard ones.

Sven Nijs [20 posts] 8 years ago

Thanks Tony.
Yes, I am overseas (Oz) but I did check the Specialized UK site before commenting and this particular lid does just appear within the "Women's" category. You obviously have more info being 'straight from the horses mouth' though.
Specialized Australia had no end of trouble getting their Prevail through safety approval over here hence my interest in the subject.
I believe Giro are going through the same approval pain with their Aeon at the moment.....

Barry Fry-up [188 posts] 8 years ago

*the* sven nijs?  4

the s-works is in the men's range too in the UK, the Prevail comes in above it.

cp [7 posts] 8 years ago

how odd - the helmet is clearly in the 'road' section of the spesh uk website as well as the womens.

Peter from Brisbane [4 posts] 3 years ago

Specialised SWorks Helmet strap position for large size is so loose at front that it vibrates loudly once at speed, especially on fast descents.  The noise is so loud and distracting that it is dangerous.  Otherwise comfortable and cool.