Specialized claims the Dissident is ‘the most advanced DH helmet ever designed’. For such a high price tag, you would certainly hope so!
Marketing aside, the immaculately finished carbon construction goes some way to justifying the price, as does the included carrying case. The broad but ventilated chin bar offers sturdy protection, and there is further welcome attention to safety in the cheek pads, which slide and lock into place rather than lifting out. These allow emergency services to safely remove the helmet in the event of a serious crash, hopefully avoiding unnecessary spinal damage.
The Dissident was snug but comfortable, well ventilated and caused no problems with goggle fitting, although the large chin bar does narrow the field of vision slightly. An irritating niggle was the snap closure for the D-ring strap – its small size makes it fiddly with gloves, when a small patch of Velcro would arguably be much simpler.