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Specialized 2D helmet

Miscellaneous 11 519

My helmets are all getting pretty old, so I have been shopping around for a new one lately. I generally like the design of Specialized helmets and I have been happy with the ones that I have owned in the past, so I was considering buying a new Decibel. Of course, high-end helmets are pretty expensive these days, and I have seen a few good deals on the 06 model Giro Atmos, so I wasn’t ruling that one out either. Well, I checked the Cyclingnews tech section yesterday, and now I have found a new helmet that I really want (it happens to be another one from Specialized). The new 2D, which is 30% lighter than the current Decibels, features a Kevlar inner reinforcement cage. It also happens to be the first Specialized helmet to carry the S-Works name.

The headline on Cyclingnews pointed out that the 2D “breaks the 200g helmet barrier” with a weight of just 184 grams. Great! A sub 200-gram helmet is light, but I just want to point out that I already have a Specialized helmet that is lighter than that. The Sub 6, which I bought in the mid nineties, was so named because it weighed less that 6 ounces or 170 grams. My old Sub 6 probably weighs even less now thanks to the small chunks of foam that are missing. Before any one points it out to me, I do realize that weight isn’t everything. An old Cinelli hair net doesn’t weigh much; neither does a cloth cycling cap for that matter. But hey, the old Sub 6 really was a good helmet in its day. Mine has done its job and it is about time to retire it completely. Actually, I don’t wear it much anymore because I have newer helmets, but it is still my favorite one because it is light, comfortable, and I think a nice classic design.

So now I just need to find out what these new 2Ds are going to cost. My guess is that it will be a lot. If anyone is willing to take a trade in on some old, um, I mean vintage Specialized helmets, let me know. I am finally willing to part with my old Sub 6 and the slightly newer Air Piranha, which features little teeth in the front opening and a little fin in the rear. OK, I probably won’t get any takers on the swap idea, but it is worth a try.

While I am posting, I want to point you to the latest issue of Bike Biz magazine. I have mentioned Bike Biz before, and I read each issue. I enjoyed issue 18 in particular because I am quoted and this blog is mentioned in the “Wood is Good” article on pages 13 and 14. In the article, Carlton also talks about the Jano bike, which was the object of a popular recent post on Bicycle Design. If you haven’t already, download a pdf of the magazine right here and check it out.

Photo from Cyclingnews

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  1. Diana Coronado July 20, 2007 at 12:57 pm -  Reply


  2. Anonymous July 21, 2007 at 12:38 am -  Reply

    my question, for this and any other helmets of the same general extended “tail” configuration, is in the event of a crash,how does the shape of the helmet mitigate or intensify a possible neck injury?

    lots of variables, too hard probably to model, and all the helmets with the reasonable strap systems seem to have the extended tail feature.

  3. Julian July 21, 2007 at 4:40 am -  Reply

    Have a look at the peleton in this year’s TDF. It seems about half the teams are wearing this helmet. I really like the front and side profiles and really dislike the back. It reminds me, somehow of “the predator” or some kind of cheshire cat grimace.

  4. Tim Jackson- Masi Guy July 22, 2007 at 10:45 pm -  Reply

    The Sub 6 was their best lid. I had a bunch and still have 1-2. Specialized was a sponsor of mine years ago and I’ll never forget opening that carton of 4 helmets for the year and just how cool they were.

  5. Anonymous July 23, 2007 at 5:24 pm -  Reply

    So how do you buy a 2D helmet?

  6. Carlton July 25, 2007 at 5:14 am -  Reply

    The heavier helmets of yesteryear were much more protective than today’s svelte things…but nobody wants to ride with heavy helmets.

    The great majority of today’s lightweight helmets wouldn’t pass SNELL standards. That said, Specialized is one of the few companies to still pay for SNELL testings for its lids. I wonder if this one is SNELL-certified?

    Cheap and awful Chinese-made mass-market helmets are generally more protective than expensive, holey helmets…but, again, no style-conscious cyclist would wear one of those.

    Helmets are not panaceas, they are not designed for high-speed crashes into cars…

  7. Paul August 3, 2007 at 10:20 am -  Reply

    I’ve just bought a Giro Atmos (I think it’s being replaced in the Giro line up by the Ionos) and it’s a good helmet BUT something’s happening that I didn’t think would… it’s too noisy. The whistling coming from the rear of the helmet makes it sound like I’ve got a quiet taxi waiting to overtake me all the time.

    I am not exaggerating to say that I’m having look behind twice as often as I used to with my old Lotto-Adecco replica Lazer helmet (can’t remember what model).

    Yet another thing for designers to think about! Yep, it’s great that a helmet can be lightweight, it’s great that it keeps your head cooler than a fridge but if you feel like your riding along with a tootsweet strapped to your head things can get annoying quite quickly.

  8. Olivier Blanchard August 29, 2007 at 11:39 pm -  Reply

    It’s all true. This helmet is incredible!!!

  9. Anonymous September 1, 2007 at 3:43 am -  Reply


    I had a similar sound from my specialized telluride helmet, it turned out to be the clear protective coat on the decals that I had not pealed off, they were loose on the front edge so were vibrating in tne wind causing that sound!

  10. Anonymous January 16, 2009 at 12:32 am -  Reply

    I would have to say that my Decibel has served me well. Comfort and the knowledge that in the event of a crash, I would be well protected.
    However, when my Pro-fit retention 1 system broke and Specialized were unable to replace it, they tried to pass of a Echelon claiming the same level of helmet! Yeah RIGHT!

    Giro for me now.

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