Review: Troy Lee Designs A1 Drone Helmet


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


Sometimes, less is more. And that’s the approach that Troy Lee took with the A1 Drone. No, it’s not less protection or less features, Troy Lee went with less graphics on the A1 Drone. Entering the market with a gold-flaked $185 limited edition lid last year, Troy Lee followed it up with $165 silver and black model. The helmet was excellent but the color treatments were bold and polarizing.

The new A1 Drone is virtually the same helmet but it is in flat grey paint with just darker grey brand lettering. By calling less attention to the graphics, the helmet shape and design are called out. And voila, it is a nice shape indeed. The ‘TLD’ logo is powerful too so that is presented nicely.

And the hook is it’s now $139. That makes it compelling and competitive with the hot All Mountain helmets available today.

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 goodl with a cam wheel system that is easy to turn and has 20mm adjustment in small increments.


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.

Goggle and Glasses Compatibility

Goggle compatibility is good but tight. The helmet sits low so it’s imperative that cycling specific goggles like Scott bike goggles are used. Glasses compatibility is fine.

Extras, Weight and Value

Weight is 353 grams and that is 11 grams heavier than the our Troy Lee A1 in the same size. Some different, hardware may be the source of the extra weight of the Drone. The A1 Drone is well in the middle of the range of helmet weights in the shootout.

The visor is adjustable and it is removable. Although removing the helmet reveals a strange bmx-like shell shape in the front that is not really that attractive.

Bottom Line

The A1 was a good helmet but the A1 Drone is a lot better looking and a lot less expensive. That makes it a good choice in the face of stiff competition in this popular category. In the end, good looks is brought home by good coverage and awesome fit and comfort.

  • Price: $139.00
  • Claimed Weight: n/a grams
  • Measured Weight: 353 grams
  • Number of Vents: 16
  • Visor: Adjustable
  • Retention System: 3 position vertical adjustment
  • Padding: Anti microbial

For more information visit

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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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  • Jeff says:

    Other reviewers claim this helmet is very hot. Just curious how you’re judging ventilation and in what conditions? I need a helmet with more coverage than what I have but I also need good ventilation for slow climbs in the humid months.

  • Gator says:

    The best helmet you can buy!! Vents work great!!

  • Ben says:

    This is a great helmet, durable, light, cool, and not way expensive. I replaced Fox Flux (had two)helmets which was my go to helmet for the past five years. This helmet is far better in every way.

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