If you are considering new road helmet and want some of the top end features, with an emphasis on comfort and safety, but need to keep to a budget number around $150, there may be no true competitor to the Specialized Propero III MIPS Helmet. This race-inspired design is known for its incredible fit and tremendous value. It has many similar features to the S-Works Prevail, like the Tri-Fix webbing system, 4th Dimension Cooling, ANGi crash sensor mount, as well as a MIPS safety layer, granting the Propero III MIPS incredible performance at a more attainable price.
Construction wise, the Propero III carries the standard EPS foam and polycarbonate shell, but adds Specialized's composite matrix internal reinforcement to the structure, which allows larger vents for greater cooling capability, but also holds the EPS structure together in case of an impact. The shell and foam take the impact, the shell might release and the foam may break, but will largely be held together and providing some protection in an unfortunate sliding or multiple impact incident. While MIPS is a distinct layer in the Propero III, it is a safety feature that augments the safety of the constructed shell system. MIPS is a layer that allows the shell independent rotation from the retention system and skull at impact and dissipates the rotational and rebound forces at impact. Direct impact is only one cause of injury, but brain trauma often results as it responds to shearing and movement within the skull. MIPS is very effective at limiting those forces, and adds excellent safety value to any helmet system with minimal added weight.
Yet, the safety emphasis continues, with the addition and integration of a the ANGi Crash Sensor mount, which can be purchased separately, and is housed on the on the rear retention set-up. It can give you and your loved ones peace of mind like never before. When connected to the Specialized Ride app (iOS or Android) on your smartphone, the sensor will detect a crash and send a text message to specified contacts in your phone. It also syncs with the app and STRAVA® to provide GPS-based activity tracking. If it detects a crash, it commences a countdown that, if you’re ok, you can stop and keep riding. If, however, ANGi determines that you’re in need of help, it’ll send an alert to your selected contacts with your last known GPS coordinates and a message that you’re in need of help. There is also a back-up process in case you are out of cell range. Nothing is perfect or will 100% save your life; like CPSC standards, the positive proven capabilities of MIPS, nor ANGi, but Specialized has gone to great lengths to innovate and integrate more safety features than any other bike helmet maker we know of.
Of course, all that safety is dependent on proper helmet fit and retention, which also factors into comfort. Comfort starts with the vent and airflow system enabled by the aforementioned matrix internal reinforcement. Specialized's 4th Dimension Cooling System quietly brings air in, channels it effectively around the head and allows it to escape, taking moisture and heat with it while creating a constant cooling effect while you are riding. This is enhanced by the above-brow Mega Mouthport, a signature Specialized cooling and design element that very effectively reduces perspiration from the forehead zone and sending it into the channeling system. Soft, thin EVA pads line in the inner helmet for a soft feel. The easy-adjust, HairPort FSL II fit system features four height positions so you set the shell height and angle properly for your head shape, while the overall retention is controlled by a rear dial easily operated for micro-adjustments with one hand while riding.
Complementing the fit system, the designers use soft 4X DryLite webbing material won’t stretch out with sweat or water, as well as the excellent Tri-Fix web splitter for improved comfort and ease of strap adjustments. Now you can see well the Propero III is equipped and built to create a great riding experience. There are even reflective details that add visibility to motorists in low-light conditions, chalking up another safety feature. It is combination of comfort, performance and safety that makes the Propero III MIPS Helmet such a great buy in this price point, as it even exceeds the overall quality of many $200 helmets.
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