Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Review! The new Goofy looking lid...the Specialized Evade!

I knew I shouldn't go to the local Specialized store. I was pretty positive they would have the Evade in stock, and I was pretty sure that if I tried it on and liked it... I would inevitably buy it. If you follow the blog (even loosely) then you know I'm in love with new and exciting gear, and what's more exciting than the lid Cavendish sports. Plus... what self-respecting aero nerd doesn't own an aero road helmet... I can't very well just ride around in my Bambino on a road ride now can I...

Good enough for the Missile

Long story short, they not only had the Evade, they had the murdered out (all black for those of you without street cred) version in my size... and it was discounted $249.99 instead of the $250.00 that all the other colors were... DEAL! So without further ado, on to the review!


We're not uncovering any new revelations today... basically the helmet has been around long enough that if you're interested in it, you've read the technical data. Nonetheless, I've got to fill out this post with something, (and other people's data is a great way to look smart) so to quickly summarize.

- 46 seconds / 40k faster than the Prevail
- Around 5w difference between it and the McLaren (if you are to believe Rapp)
- Road Bike Actions "shootout" puts the Evade as a bit faster than the LG Course or the Air Attack
- Jim (Erosports) puts it as the fastest aero road helmet
- Better than the other Specialized TT option in the US (The TT02) which, admittedly is pretty dated

At $250, it's the most expensive of the "big 3" aero road helmets at the moment. It's also arguably the most "dorky" of the three, although the hockey player-esque Attack isn't a handsome helmet by any stretch. The Course is certainly the most "normal" looking helmet of the bunch, and it's definitely got some serious venting, so I can see it's draw to some.  However, this is about what I think of the Evade... so let's move on.

Putting it on for the first time:

The  cat watches with contempt as I mess with helmets instead of feeding him.

Probably my favorite thing about the Evade is the simplest thing... and that is that at it's core, it's a road helmet. No ear flaps, no convoluted system to get it on and secure, just slip it on, adjust the ratchet and clip the straps. No hassle.  The thing also feels a lot better than I had expected. I'm not really sure WHAT I expected, but I certainly didn't anticipate a comfort level rivaling that of my beloved Rudy Sterling. Of course the big S has extra padding you can add yourself, but I was comfortable out of the box.

Heating / Ride Comfort:

I broke the Evade out for a little climbing last Saturday, wondering how it would do in the heat. At 85° and Sunny at the "hard" part of the ride, I think it was a pretty ok testing ground. Here's the ride profile.

There is a climb somewhere...
The verdict - it was hot.

I mean that just in general... the helmet itself seemed to cool sufficiently. (or at least, didn't overheat noticeably) When the sun is beating on your face and you're climbing an INFINITE number of switchbacks... well anything is going to be friggin' hot. I felt like there was plenty of ventilation to keep me from having a stroke.

Almost 4 hours in the saddle and I didn't notice any discomfort with the helmet either... no weird indentions in my head or anything else alien. I give it a thumbs up as a livable helmet.

Value: (That is, the good and the bad)

There's a lot to like about the Evade. It's fast, it's flashy and like I just said, it's a helmet you can live with both in training and in racing. As a matter of fact, if the world stopped turning and I could only own ONE helmet for all my riding going forward (it'd be a cold day in hell... but what ifs for the sake of what ifs) then the Evade would certainly be my choice. Nobody is going to be upset with some free speed, and if you are a fan of the way the helmet looks (I am... I admit it's a big part of why I bought it) then not much is cooler than matte black. And let's be honest, it's sweet. Isn't that reason enough in itself?

On to the "meh" part... the price. Yes, $250 is a good chunk of money... but it's actually a lot less than I had expected it to be. $250 is priced right up there with basically everyone's (Specialized included) top of the line road helmet, and it's priced well under almost any top of the line Aero helmet. If you believed everything you read, and that everything said ~5w of the McLaren (good luck buying one of those for under $400, if you can find one.) then it'd be hard not to call the Evade a good value. Of course, disclaimers should abound (helmets are personal, don't believe everything you read, blah blah blah, Santa isn't real.) The looks also should probably fall in here... it's not for all. I got reactions that swung from awesome to hideous in the looks department.

So that leaves the bad.

Let's get this straight... if you wear this helmet, and you get beat at the County Line sprint on the shop ride... you deserve all the ridicule you get. Just accept it and move on. (Not that that happened to me...)

Seriously though, I would say the bad is the fact that we aren't limited to one helmet for every occasion. I'm positive Specialized will sell a fair number of Evades to people who either want a "do it all" helmet or people who can't get over the "goofy" aero lid look. (This just in... You are wearing SPANDEX and soaking wet. You look like a dork in ANY helmet.) However for a lot of casual racers I suspect there just isn't room in the closet. Most guys and gals are going to have a dedicated road helmet, a dedicated tri/tt helmet and that's it. Adding $250 to that starts looking a little more questionable if you aren't a gear nerd or planning on doing some breaking away in local road races/crits.

So, I'll wrap it up by saying... if you need a swiss army knife helmet, if you need a new kickass helmet, or if you're a road/crit racer that occasionally does an Omnium or TT, then this might be the helmet for you.

If you've already got a tt lid and road helmet and aren't actively looking for a breakaway lid... then you don't NEED the Evade. So pass if you don't have a use for it.

Alright, that's it for this time. Thanks so much for reading, I really appreciate it.

Check back tomorrow (Thursday 6/26) because there will be a special post coming. Make sure to check it out, especially if you're in the market for some new threads.

-Christopher Morelock

No comments:

Post a Comment