One of the best helmets for cold weather riding
Troy Lee produce two open facers: the Troy Lee Designs A1 and the A2. The A2 is most recent and better vented but we prefer the fit and comfort of the A1.
It runs hotter and, during last summer’s heat wave, wasn’t first out of the dressing up box but when riding hard it definitely feels more stable and supportive.
The A1 gets in-moulded construction and the EPS extension down the nape of the neck. Internally there’s MIPS brain protection system and a single piece, anti-microbial liner. Unfortunately, the latter has started to split apart at the front edge on our sample. It’s only about £15 to replace but this is not to Troy Lee’s usual high standards.
The retention device has a press-stud style height adjustment and dial is reasonably precise, so you can get a snug fit, but the dial is a little clunky in use and also sits underneath the shell so it’s quite tricky to get a hand on it, especially with winter gloves on.
Troy Lee uses high quality aluminium fixings on the visor, with the centre one captured so you can tilt the visor with one hand without it going off to one side. The problem is the visor has barely an inch of adjustment so you can’t stash a set of googles underneath. Although if you really want to make it work, you could remove the centre bolt, it’s what we’ve done on a couple of our test A1s.
As we’ve said the A1 isn’t the coolest running helmet in the world – it tends to get really sweaty at the back – but it obviously depends on the time of year and conditions. If you wear a skull cap or lack the sufficient acreage up top, the A1 is one of the best helmets for cold weather riding. It’s also pretty tough and apart from those pads is top quality.