With the Align, Specialized undeniably serves up a lot of helmet for your money. At 339g, the Align’s weight is about par, but its coverage is slightly lower than some of its competitors.
The shell isn’t fully in-molded, meaning that a fair amount of EPS foam is left exposed to potential damage. In-molding adds cost, so it’s understandable that it’s lacking on a bargain-basement lid.
Specialized helmets often do well when it comes to ventilation, and the Align is no different. Specialized has managed to trickle down its mouth-port vent, which sits over the forehead, while the rest of the 22 vents help suck air in. The vents are bigger on pricier lids, yet the Align still manages to do a good job.
The Align’s retention system feels a little cheap, but there is plenty of adjustment in the circumference, with a closely indexed turn wheel that’s big enough to grab when you’re wearing gloves.
The Align has a peak that’s non-adjustable, but long enough to be effective. It can be easily removed, making the helmet look a little smarter on the road, should you care. The straps use Specialized’s Tri-Fix web splitter to keep the reflective straps in a comfortable position.