Specialized has been a leader and advocate in the advancements of aerodynamic efficiency with bike and helmet designs. The Airnet MIPS Helmet was developed to bring some of the best features of the premium Evade helmet design to a larger audience at a more cost-effective price point. With a less aero look, and a focus on overall comfort, the Airnet has appealed to more cyclists, meeting the designers goals. The Airnet combines solid construction, a comfortable fit, and incredible ventilation into an affordable package, while carrying the extra safety protection of the MIPS liner system.
Visually loosely based upon the leather “hairnets” that cyclists used to wear before protection was a priority, the design team took the ventilation and classic style of the hairnet concept and incorporated them into a modern helmet design that combines all of the above features. Although the team had the hairnet shape in mind during the design phase, it started by looking at the category leader in aerodynamic road helmets, the S-Works Evade, to see if they could make a classic style that wasn't only aesthetically pleasing, but also offered some aerodynamic efficiency. The result was the Airnet, Specialized third fastest helmet, behind the TT and Evade, with a moderate weight, excellent ventilation, and a stylish, clean look on any ride.
Construction-wise, the Airnet features a full-wrap polycarbonate shell that extends around the full base of the helmet, effectively covering and protecting the EPS foam that provides structure and direct impact protection. In order to create the larger vents and open design, Specialized used their composite matrix internal reinforcement within the EPS. Larger vents allow for enhanced cooling, but the designers added their 4th Dimension Cooling System with combines the deep internal channels, large vents, aligned exhaust ports for impressive heat and moisture evacuation.
In between the EPS and the retention system lies the MIPS liner, a slip-plane system that isolates the skull from the shell, and allows for rotation of the helmet at impact, reducing direct energy and reducing the shear and rebound forces that are the cause of many brain injuries. MIPS is proven to be effective, and although not part of the CPSC requirements is now being used in various iterations in helmets across the price scale, adding safety and peace of mind to cyclists and their loved ones.
The retention and fit set-up of the Airnet MIPS Helmet includes Specialized;s ultra-light Mindset HairPort micro-dial fit system, making the perfect fit easily achievable with both vertical adjustment and a simple one-hand dial that be safely accessed while riding. To aid in overall comfort and a soft feel, drirelease® Merino wool pads are used for a little loft, odor control, and sweat management. Thin, soft, and lightweight 4X DryLite webbing won’t stretch out with sweat or water, and the Instrap webbing system is used for ultra-light construction and security. The excellent Tri-Fix web splitter allows improved comfort and ease of strap adjustments for ideal chin strap retention, without which no helmet technology can provide safety.
Clean and simple, the efficient Airnet MIPS Helmet is the ideal blend of functionality, safety and performance for riders seeking both adventure and style. It does not come with Specialized ANGi safety sensor, but the rear of the retention system is prepped for the safety pod.