LAGUNA BEACH, CA (BRAIN) — Troy Lee Designs returns to its roots with the launch of the new A1 trail helmet, a departure from the carbon fiber full-face, moto-inspired helmets for which the brand is known.
The A1, unveiled to the media and Troy Lee Designs’ distributors last week, harkens back to the days when the brand made XC helmets for riders like Greg Herbold and Brian Lopes. A decade later, and after about two years of development, TLD is back in the category.
The A1 trail helmet is aimed at the XC or freeride crowd, and designed to look like a true mountain bike helmet as opposed to a road helmet with a visor stuck on as an afterthought, said Mike David, TLD product developer.
“We wanted to create something to appeal to young riders, but tried to make the shape not look like a Tour de France helmet. We think we’ve got something going on,” David said.
The A1 is made with a polycarbonate shell, large vents to facilitate airflow and padded with less than an inch of low-density foam. Inside is a one-piece liner. It uses a dial retention system and the side straps are made with TLD proprietary cam locks. TLD borrowed the graphics from the Cyclops moto helmet and is offering two versions: one flashy model with gold metal flakes, and a second, more subdued red-and-black graphics package.
At $165 to $185, it is priced at the top of the market and is positioned to compete with helmets from POC and Specialized.
David said the trail line may evolve into another lower-priced model, as well as options for other parts of the market, such as dirt jumping.