Review: Troy Lee Designs A1 helmet

Helmets Pro Reviews

Editor’s Note: This review is part of the Mtbr All Mountain Helmet Shootout.

Overview

Troy Lee,  a brand with rabid customer loyalty and a long tradition in downhill clothing and helmets sought out to make their first half shell helmet with the A1.  They gave it full coverage, an adjustable visor and excellent padding and ventilation.  What they’ve come up with is the A1, a ground breaker for them in terms of design and comfort.

A1 is a fine helmet indeed with a great shell design but the graphics can be polarizing. But not to worry, if this design is not your favorite, you can always opt for the new A1 Drone which shares the features of the A1 but in a a ‘flat gray’ graphics package.

And $165, it is full featured and on the more expensive side of the helmets in this round-up.

Fit, Pads and Retention System

The fit of the A1 is one of the best, It is able to accommodate the ‘oval’ head shape quite well as the top back of the head is not irritated by the foam shell. The padding of the A1 family of helmets is best-of-breed as well as a thick anti-microbial pad wraps around the helmet shell. It minimizes head contact directly with the hard shell so it gives a ‘pillow-like’ fit as one of our users reviewed.

The retention system is good with a cam wheel system that is easy to turn and has 20mm adjustment in small increments. Straps are out of the way and stay straight with good routing.  The straps loop together as well and don’t have those annoying strap ends that fray or get in the way of your chin.

Ventilation

Ventilation is quite good. It scored well on our heat ventilation test which put it near the top of the helmets in our All Mountain Helmet Shootout.

Continue reading for more on the Troy Lee Designs A1 and the full photo gallery.

About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.


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  • Alex Bo B'Alex says:

    I have this helmet and I can agree that the ventilation is pretty good. I live in the southwest. I would say that in summer months in AZ, NM, TX, NV would probably get a little hot for this helmet. One thing that wasn’t mentioned was shades and this cap. If you plan to buy this helmet, definitely take your sunglasses w/ you and make sure it works out. I.E. make sure the frames aren’t too big because if they are they will put some hard pressure on your temples.

  • Patrick L. says:

    I just got this helmet, by chance, at a bike shop – I drove an hour away from home to get on a trail and forgot my helmet at home. Figured, well since I don’t have a mtb specific helmet yet (all mine are road helmets) why not try this out. It fit like a glove and I did bring my Oakleys in to make sure it wasn’t uncomfortable. Fit perfectly. Went on a 14.8 mile ride…..with a fair amount of climbing….and then ventilation was good as well as the figment throughout the ride. No “bad spots” in the helmet at all. I would highly recommend this helmet to anyone. As others have posted – do not forget to bring your glasses to the shop when you try see on. The brow is a little low on the front. I got the orange one and it rocks :)

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