Bonce protection with built-in flight recorder
Stuck on the back of the latest Specialized Ambush helmet is a small black box called ANGi (Angular and G-Force indicator), a crash detector. Since we tested it a year ago it has gone up in price by £10, but under the skin it’s exactly the same helmet.
This crash detector also records ride information. You have to download the Specialized Ride App on your phone to do the recording and tracking, but if you’ve hit the deck ANGi will send out an alert with your GPS coordinates to anyone on your contact list.
It’s not as quick to set up as the NFC system on the POC Tectal lid but it has a failsafe system built in – so for example if you drop the helmet on the kitchen floor you have up to 90 seconds to press cancel. You need to register for service but the good news is it’s now free for the original user for the lifetime of the helmet.
The Ambush cuts a similar profile to the helmet we tested a year ago. The EPS foam core is still reinforced with an aramid armature but it’s now a dual-density foam to absorb a wider range of impacts. The Ambush now comes with a proper MIPS liner as standard.
Specialized’s Mindset 360 fit system has five height positions, and easy to turn dial built neatly into the back of the helmet. We were constantly reaching in the wrong place at first, but you do get used to it. Like the Giro Montaro, it’s a full wraparound so you can get it snug without it pinching. With a ton of vents, air flow is one of the best here and it also features a quick-drying liner.
Smashing down bumpy terrain the Ambush doesn’t feel quite as stable as some but it’s light and has superb ventilation. It also has superb ventilation and quick-drying pads, although they are individual pieces. When we initially evaluated the ANGi technology it didn’t seem like good value for money because you had to pay £30 for a subscription service after the first year, but it’s now free. We still reckon you’ll have issues with an intermittent signal in the middle of the woods, but it makes sense to have it activated rather than not. And if you like to off-grid on your rides the Ambush is available without the flight recorder for £100.
Overall the Specialized Ambush ANGi has some cool features but it just doesn’t feel as supportive as the Fox Speedframe Pro or Bell Sixer MIPS.