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  1. #1
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Bought a New helmet - Specialized Echelon

    I decided to get a new helmet as the one I was using, a Bell Solar, had been in a few impacts over the last year. Though no obvious damage was apparent, I thought it prudent to replace this important safety item. Consumer Reports rated the Specialized Echelon very high and higher than the others for impact protection(higher overall than some other more expensive helmets)--also, there were many user reviews that raved about this helmet. The Echelon appears to have better airflow and definitely better pads that appear to help wick perspiration. Today was more humid and warmer than yesterday, yet sweat didn't get in my eyes today with the Echelon as opposed to yesterday wearing the Bell(I wore a sweat headband yesterday and today). Another wonderful thing about the Echelon is it has far more reflective areas than the Bell(larger sections on the side than the bell, reflection on the back--bell had none--and the straps have reflective markings--again, Bell had none). Another big improvement over the Bell is that the Bell is a Universal fit helmet whereas the Echelon comes in specific size ranges, S, M, L--the Echelon fits far better.

    The Specialized was $60 and my LBS gave me a 10% discount. Many reviews state the quality as good or better than helmets twice the price or more.

    Of course, without images, it didn't happen. Yeah, yeah, yeah...I need to clean the junk in the garage.


    Front




    Side




    Side--closer showing reflective chin straps




    Back(Bell on left(not reflective) and Echelon on right(reflective and more back of the head coverage).

    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Glad you got a new helmet. If mine is ever in a single impact situation, it gets replaced. Hope you never have to find out how well it works.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright

  3. #3
    Must... ride... more... Phil_gretz's Avatar
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    That looks like a well thought out helmet. If I needed to replace mine, I would definitely look for more reflective features, such as the rear view of your new Specialized. Thanks for posting! PG

  4. #4
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    I had a pair of Specialized shoes that I wore for 5-6 yrs. and was very pleased with them. So, when I needed new shoes this year I checked out Specialized and bought an upgraded pair with carbon sole and BOA lacing. Also bought a Specialized helmet. Couldn't be happier. They make some really good gear.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Consumer Reports tests impact at a greater force(2mph faster than a standard test) and the Specialized Echelon passed this test whereas other helmets they tested, although meeting the US Government standard, failed the CR test. By the way, the echelon meets or exceeds the B90A Snell testing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    You need to clean out the junk in your garage.
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

    '12 Salsa Casseroll (Pepé)
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Rwc5830's Avatar
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    I bought that same helmet three weeks ago, same color after crashing and breaking my scattante. Crashed again last Saturday, but a much, much, harder fall this time. Broke the helmet in three places on the back. Believe it saved my head to say the least! Got another blue one a couple days ago.

    No more group rides with rookies anymore...that's a whole other story. Will ride solo for awhile. Hope no more crashes, it is really hard on this 50+ body!!!!
    Cycling is an addiction that is worth having; let's go!! South TX Randos www.rgvrandos.org

  8. #8
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    I got a blue Echelon when I bought my new Felt Verza last week, didn't know anything else about the helmet other than it fit well, had good ventilation, and was priced right. Glad to know my noggin's well protected, I was used to Bell and Shoei on dirt/street bikes.

    SSTX

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    This morning I decided to try the helmet without wearing my sweat headband since sweat didn't go into my eyes using the Echelon--unlike the Bell. Though cooler today than Friday, it was still plenty warm enough and I was putting enough effort to still sweat into my eyes--this did not happen with the Echelon. I'll have to wait for a warmer day to truly say that the pads are good enough to wick way the moisture and keep me from sweating into my eyes--without my sweat headband.

  10. #10
    tcs
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil_gretz View Post
    That looks like a well thought out helmet.
    Yeah, you know, it really does. One thing, though: I remember when the automobile manufacturers used to say that tail fins aided stability. Riiiiiight. What's Specialized's explanation for those little snag points on the rear top of the Echelon?
    "When man first set woman on two wheels with a pair of pedals, did he know, I wonder, that he had rent the veil of the harem in twain? A woman on a bicycle has all the world before her where to choose; she can go where she will, no man hindering." The Typewriter Girl, 1899.

    "Every so often a bird gets up and flies some place it's drawn to. I don't suppose it could tell you why, but it does it anyway." Ian Hibell, 1934-2008

  11. #11
    Senior Member trekmogul's Avatar
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    I also last week added another helmet to the fleet. its a Uvex made in Germany. This helemt allows you to use the Lupine Pico light (900 Lumens) taylored just for that light..


    Lupine D.jpg
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by tcs View Post
    Yeah, you know, it really does. One thing, though: I remember when the automobile manufacturers used to say that tail fins aided stability. Riiiiiight. What's Specialized's explanation for those little snag points on the rear top of the Echelon?

    LOL, tail fins , stability , I'm 57 y.o. and I don't remember those commercials , Gramps , however I have had an echelon just about a year , can't attest to it's impact resistance,
    you do need to remove and handwash the pads evary ride or so , do this , no sweat in eyes in the FL . summer

  13. #13
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bikey Mikey View Post
    I decided to get a new helmet as the one I was using, a Bell Solar, had been in a few impacts over the last year.
    It is the same as playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded *** to use a helmet after the first impact along with foolish ,VERY foolish, economy to ride with a helmet with possible crash damage.
    My preferred bicycle brand is.......WORKSMAN CYCLES
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  14. #14
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    What's Specialized's explanation for those little snag points on the rear top of the Echelon?

    I assume they're intended to help promote better air flow through the helmet. My wife hates the look. Personally, I don't care how they look as long as my head stays cooler. (And the Specialized design does seem to achieve that goal.)

  15. #15
    Senior Member Timtruro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon c. View Post
    What's Specialized's explanation for those little snag points on the rear top of the Echelon?

    I assume they're intended to help promote better air flow through the helmet. My wife hates the look. Personally, I don't care how they look as long as my head stays cooler. (And the Specialized design does seem to achieve that goal.)
    Im sure the fins make you go faster.....
    "If there are no cigars in heaven, I shall not go." -Mark Twain

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  16. #16
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    The fins worry me. More points to get snagged on terrain during a fall.


    I'm shopping for a new helmet and I think I'm focusing on the Giro Hex at this point in time. It's got a round back which should prevent that type of scenario.

  17. #17
    Senior Member bruce19's Avatar
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    If those "fins" are anything like the ones on my Specialized S3 I seriously doubt they would get snagged on anything in a fall. Does anyone have any actual facts that suggest that this is a real problem? FWIW this helmet is the best one I've ever had. Incredibly light.
    Last edited by bruce19; 08-01-12 at 04:20 AM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightshade View Post
    It is the same as playing Russian Roulette with a fully loaded *** to use a helmet after the first impact along with foolish ,VERY foolish, economy to ride with a helmet with possible crash damage.
    After the first impact I took it to the LBS along with the bike and the guy looked over the helmet extremely carefully and said that in his opinion, the helmet is fine and will still offer protection--now note that none of my impacts with the helmet were severe--they were all minor thumps(would've hurt without a helmet). That being said, if I have another "incident" and impact the helmet, regardless of appearances, I'll be getting a replacement. My head is worth far more than trying to save $60. Heck, I can get another Bell Solar from the LBS for $35, but I'd likely go for another Echelon as it feels more secure, lighter, and cooler than the old Bell.

    @Mithrandir
    I strongly doubt the "fins," or "snag points" will cause any issues.

    @Timtruro
    Funny you should say that the "fins" make you go faster. I had my fastest avg the other day for 38 miles, 18.5mph. Strongly doubt it was the helmet as I had a day that sucked a few days later.

  19. #19
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    Mikey,
    You cannot see damage to the helmet's shell from a minor hit, but the plastic is damaged and the shell is weakened. Just be careful with a helmet that has had a blow.

    The "fins" won't cause problems, they are there to clean up air flow over the rear of the shell and to help direct air flow into the vents on front and pull air out of the back.

    Bill

  20. #20
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    By the way, the guy at the LBS who looked the Bell helmet over and said it was okay no longer works there--he was "let go" over a year ago.

    Bill,

    I agree. If I have another disagreement with physics and gravity and the helmet is involved, I will be replacing the helmet(apparent damage or not).

  21. #21
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    Some people have complained of wind noise when they reached various speeds with this helmet. Is there any truth to this??

    Here's a link:
    http://www.cyclelicio.us/2012/specia...helmet-review/

  22. #22
    Senior Member Rwc5830's Avatar
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    Hello everyone, you might have seen my earlier post. I busted TWO helmets in July. One was a scattante spyder and the second a specialized echelon which is the topic of this thread.

    Both of these helmets had "fins" and protected my head in the two crashes I had in July. On both crashes I hit my head on the back portion directly on the fins and concrete. Personally I really like how the echelon fits and bought another one.

    Here is hoping that July was just a bad month for me on crashes and I never want to crash again. My back is still giving me problems from the second crash but I'm back on the bike. the other scrapes and bruises from the first crash almost a month ago are just now healing.

    Like others have said $60 is a cheap price to pay for protecting your head.
    Cycling is an addiction that is worth having; let's go!! South TX Randos www.rgvrandos.org

  23. #23
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    @Afdica,
    I'm not sure about the wind noise. I don't think it's any louder than the old Bell I used, but that was a basic, cheap helmet. While wearing the new helmet, I had a conversation perfectly fine with another rider the other day and we were going around ~20 mph. The fastest I've achieved is in a downhill section where I reach around 28mph, but I don't think the helmet is deafening like the reviewer states--of course, I have very limited experience with different helmets(Only have used the Bell and this one.).

    @Rwc5830,
    How do the Echelon and Spyder compare in respect to wind noise?

  24. #24
    Senior Member
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    The actual safety material in helmets is the foam. The plastic cover is cosmetic but also keeps the foam from getting cuts and gouges. The problem with impacts is the foam can weaken and get small cracks that can't easily be seen. It's always a good idea to replace helmets that had major impacts. Search online and you can get a good helmet cheap.
    You're just trying to start an argument to show how smart you are.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Bikey Mikey's Avatar
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    Of course, what constitutes a major vs minor impact? Obvious cracks would be easy to assess.

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