Specialized claims the new Prevail 3 re-writes the book on cycling helmet design

New Specialized Prevail 3
(Image credit: Specialized)

The Specialized Prevail helmet is predominantly marketed as a road helmet however it's also one of the best XC helmets and is worn by the likes of Jordan Sarrou and Sina Frei, plus it's one of the best gravel bike helmets too. Specialized has now announced three new road helmets including the S-Works Prevail 3, which features a new design with a re-designed structure that claims to improve ventilation by up to 24.5 percent.

Specialized had already released a Vent version of the Prevail 2 which saw it remove seven foam bridges in order to open up the air intakes and improve channeling. The Prevail 3 goes even further and removes all the bridges to increase the surface area of ventilation by 24.5 percent. Specialized says the new Prevail 3 is the best-ventilated helmet it's ever made.

New Specialized Prevail 3

(Image credit: Specialized)

In order to increase the ventilation surface area, Specialized needed to redesign the structure of the helmet. Simply adding more EPS wasn't a solution as this would affect the ventilation so it developed what it's calling Air Cage. 

Air Cage is a woven aramid structure that uses carbon fiber side panels to anchor it to the helmet. The idea is that in the event of a crash the structure works as a suspension bridge to distribute impact forces across the helmet. Whether it works or not, the Prevail 3 gets a 5-Star Virginia Tech rating.

The helmet's EPS is fully wrapped in a polycarbonate shell to help protect it and has an adjustable occipital retention cradle with a mount to add Specialized's Angi sensor to. Specialized doesn't include the Angi sensor with the helmet though, citing reduced waste as the reason. If you wish to use the Angi sensor you can purchase it separately from Specialized.

Specialized has equipped the Prevail 3 with a MIPS Air Node rotation protection which is integrated into the helmet's padding in order to dissipate rotational forces without impeding airflow.

The Prevail will be available in seven colors and will come in small, medium, and large sizes. The claimed weights of the Prevail 3 are 280g (S), 290g (M), and 320g (L), which is around 60g heavier than the Prevail 2 and Previal 2 Vent. The retail for the Prevail 3 is $300 / £275.

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. Based in Edinburgh he has some of the best mountain biking and gravel riding in the UK right on his doorstep. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro and, most recently, gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotlands wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect and the muckier side of Cyclingnews 


Rides: Canyon Strive, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg