Specialized's Align Bike Helmet
Mar 23, 2011
Review by Scott G
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:Lightweight, plenty of air holes, reflective chin strap
Cons:At $40.00, it's a deal, yet there are still better helmets out there
The Bottom Line: If you're in the market for an affordable, lightweight bike helmet, check out Specialized's Align.
Years ago, KUSA, Denver’s channel 9 (at least, I think it was KUSA, it’s been awhile) aired a piece where they dropped a cantaloupe from a ladder, resulting in a nice, impressive splat. Then they put another into a bicycle helmet and made the same drop. The melon emerged unscathed. The point is that if you’re going to do any serious cycling, you should wear a helmet. I’m not saying that I always wear a helmet, but I always do when I’m mountain biking or riding at night, because I don’t want my head splatting all over the trail like that unfortunate cantaloupe in the news piece. Right now, I wear the Specialized Align helmet, and I like it a lot.
Recommend this product?
The Align is a one-size-fits-all (54-62cm) lightweight, adult helmet. The SX Headset (that thing in the back of the helmet that you adjust to allow the helmet to fit snuggly on your head) features a handy dial that lets you dial up just the right size for your particular melon. Granted, I’m blessed with a normal-shaped head, but after a few quick dials, this thing fits me like no other helmet has before.
This baby is cool, and I’m not talking about how cool it looks (although it does look cool,) either. The Align has 24 air holes to keep air flowing to your head as you ride. And while, say, Lance Armstrong’s helmet has more, 24 holes should be enough to satisfy the average mountain biker or cyclist.
Like all modern bike helmets, this has a molded, lightweight-yet-heavy-duty Styrofoam inner shell covered by a rugged plastic outer shell. It comes with a sweatband in the front, and additional padding to provide a better fit, if needed. The Align also comes with a plastic snap-on visor in case you prefer to ride with a visor (mountain bikers usually wear them, roadies usually do not.) Personally, I think that the visor makes the helmet look cooler, so I use mine, even when I’m riding on the road.
The chin straps adjust easily enough, and have a reflective line down the middle for better visibility if you ride at night.
Specialized claims that the Align meets the safety specifications of one or more of the following organizations: CPSC, SNELL B90A, CE and AS/NZS.
Mine is black, but the helmet is also available in white, silver, red, or blue.
It’s comfortable, snug, and lightweight—I barely notice that I’m wearing it when I ride. It keeps my head cool (but doesn’t stop me from sweating) thanks to the air vents—and when I do sweat, the handy sweat band helps keep sweat from dripping into my eyes, which is a must if you’re trying to tackle any technical terrain. As you’re looking to purchase a bike helmet, I’d recommend adding the Align to your list as you do your research.
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