Troy Lee Designs A1 helmet review£150.00

Stylish but steamy trail lid

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The Troy Lee A1, which launched a couple of years back, is quickly becoming the trail fashionista’s go-to lid. That’s no surprise, as it’s a good looking and supremely comfortable helmet, with a plush interior that seems to fit virtually any head.

The A1 didn’t represent new ground for the brand. Troy Lee’s first foray into head protection started with the TL Comp, an open-faced lid manufactured by Shoei and worn by the likes of Greg Herbold in the early 90s, so it’s safe to say the designers knew what they were doing – then and now.

So what do you get for your money? The A1’s a winner in the style stakes, but it also offers plenty of protection with a deep back, which supports goggle straps well. The large visor is adjustable, but lacks the range of adjustment that the Cratoni AllTrack or Specialized Ambush get.

The padding is thick, and wicks sweat well. This is a good thing though, because the A1 is pretty warm as MTB lids go.

The all-important venting is taken care of thanks to 16 holes and some deep internal channelling in an attempt to maximise airflow. But the 16 vents aren’t particularly large, and the internal channels are relatively shallow meaning throughflow of air is limited. The A1 is also relatively weighty at 368 grams.

The straps are fixed at the side of the lid at the front and anchored at the centre of the back and when combined with the three-way adjustable mid-sized cradle they provide a very secure fit. The tactile wheel at the back makes tweaking fit east too. We find that if you’re on the border of needing the next size up, bulkier sunglass arms sometimes interfere with the shell.

We like the fact the peak is easily adjustable, and that the polycarbonate shell wraps in and around the bottom of the EPS liner to help protect it from the inevitable scrapes and knocks the lid is likely to get in the car boot or kit bag.

Rob Weaver

Technical Editor-in-Chief, Tech Hub, UK
Rob started riding mountain bikes seriously in 1993 racing cross-country, though he quickly moved to downhill where he competed all over the world. He now spends most of his time riding trail bikes up and down hills. Occasionally he'll jump into an enduro race.
  • Age: 36
  • Height: 172cm / 5'8"
  • Weight: 68kg / 150lb
  • Discipline: Mountain
  • Preferred Terrain: Natural trails where the loam fills my shoes on each and every turn
  • Beer of Choice: Guinness

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