The A1 helmet certainly has a lot to live up to – even by TLD's own high standards. When you think many consider the iconic Troy Lee Designs D3 the benchmark in terms of both safety and style for full-face helmets, the A1 couldn’t be anything short of special if it was going to be sporting the much sought-after company logo.
In reality, this isn’t new ground for the brand. Their 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 they knew what they were doing – then and now.
Video: Troy Lee Designs A1 helmet – first look
So what do you get for your money? Well, to kick things off there’s great overall head coverage thanks to the dropped rear, which not only helps to protect vital areas of your skull but also works a treat with goggles, which will no doubt go down well with any aspiring enduro racers out there.
The all-important venting is taken care of thanks to 16 hefty holes and some deep internal channelling in an attempt to maximise airflow, and is in fact where our only small niggle with this helmet lies.
Although the venting is reasonably effective, things still get pretty warm considering the number of vents, making it feel only slightly airier than the Giro Feature, which is similarly shaped and offers roughly the same sort of head coverage. Still, a bit of heat build-up seems a small price to pay for the protection on offer.
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.
Two things that do help make the A1 stand out for us are the fit and comfort. Thanks to a combination of the three-position cradle with its easy to adjust, indexed dial, and the ridiculously comfortable detachable padding, the A1 is one of – if not the – comfiest lids that’s ever perched atop our heads, even taking the 359g weight into account.
The pads wick sweat very well too, which has proved essential with the weather hotting up. The unique styling has had mixed reactions on the trail and in the office – a bit like the D3 in a way – but we really like it.