Gear Review: Specialized Dissident Helmet

Eric Behn | CycleCycle

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Purpose:

The Specialized Dissident is a high end downhill or freeride full face helmet. With an outer shell made of carbon fiber this helmet is both strong and extremely light, in fact the helmet is rumoured to be the lightest on the market. The helmet comes with a nifty padded carrying bag which is roomy enough for the helmet and some equipment. I fit my jersey, knee pads, helmet and gloves in the bag snugly. We got to use Dissident and weren’t disappointed. 

Materials & Procedure:

The Dissident was tested over five days riding Whistler Mountain Bike Park as well as some laps on local Vancouver trails. The amount of riding that occurs over one day in Whistler provides a great example of how products like the Dissident will preform over a longer period of time. The helmet is constantly being put on and removed working it harder and harder each lap. 

The bag and helmet both perform and look great. Removable padding makes for easy cleaning.
The bag and helmet both perform and look great. Removable padding makes for easy cleaning.

Data

  • 981g (medium size)
  • 13 front vents, 7 rear vents, 2 goggles vents (22 total)
  • Avalaible size: Small, Medium, Large, Extra Large
  • $350 USD
Front and rear vents keep the helmet well ventilated.
Front and rear vents keep the helmet well ventilated.

Observations:

Initially the helmet was hard to size, as I ordered it directly from Specialized I didn’t have one to sample for size. I measured myself right on the line between Small and Medium so went for the Small in hopes it would fit a little tight. The Small was way to Small and after exchanging the Medium fit perfectly.

The helmet feels very light while on the head and has a strong firm visor with a wide range in adjustment. The helmet didn’t seem to pack out over the 5 days of use which kept it snug and comfortable.

For those who want to run the Eject System Integration, the Dissident is ready to have it installed. This includes detachable cheek pads and a place for the expandable bag at the top of the head. All padding is easily removable for washing.

The chin strap is done up using two titanium D-clips which the strap is pulled through, tightened, then held in place by a snap button. This system stays snug, is light weight and avoids the pinch you risk with a clip system.

This particular model is visually nearly identical to the Troy Lee Designs D3 pinstripe model. I sat next to a rider with the D3 on the lift and laughed about how similar they look.

You won’t find this online at a place like Chain Reaction or Competitive Cyclist though, Specialized is strongly opposed to online mass purchasers. Can’t afford the $350 price tag? In 2014 Specialized plans to release a fiber glass version.

 

The padding is easily removable. The helmet is  also Eject System Integration compatible.
The padding is easily removable. The helmet is also Eject System Integration compatible.

Conclusion:

This helmet was found to be very comfortable. After sorting out the correct size, the fit was very good. It is a light, strong helmet and looks great. At $350 USD, the Dissident is well over $100 cheaper than the Troy Lee Designs D3 and looks just as great.  Always try any helmet on before you buy it and never wear an ill fitting helmet. 

Stay tuned to CycleBrains.com for a long term review of the Specialized Dissident helmet. 


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