Troy Lee Designs Introduces the New A1 All Mountain Helmet

January 23rd, 2013

By Factory Jackson in Tech

Three years in the making and at least ten years of anticipation has brought us here, the launch of the Troy Lee Designs A1 helmet. Although a first for the brand, the A1 follows in a long standing tradition the team at TLD have always adhered to, and that’s making awesome product for the worlds fastest racers.

With its moto inspired looks, soon to be released range of graphics and colours, the A1 will be seen on the heads of some of the sports most iconic riders through 2013, with a few new faces we haven’t seen for a while… To find out more, we pinned down Troy Lee’s Sports Marketing mastermind, Craig “Stikman” Glaspell to get the answers on everything A1, Team CRC, enduro and beyond. So, without further a do, lets take a closer look at the  all new for 2013, Troy Lee Designs A1 Helmet…

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TLD Headquarters, Corona, CA – “30 years of riding. 3 years of design. 1 helmet of choice. Troy Lee Designs is proud to officially introduce the newest addition to our growing line of bicycle specific helmets, the A1. With the freeride, downhill and BMX helmet market cornered, Troy Lee Designs decided it was time to venture into new territory. Three years of research and design later, the team has developed a top of the line helmet for the XC/Enduro, Trail, and All Mountain rider.”

Brandon Semenuk, Logan Peat and Cam Zink getting their ‘AM’ on in the hills above Laguna.

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“Like all other TLD helmets, the A1 has undergone rigorous safety tests to ensure that it provides superior protection, exceeding CPSC standards and CE EN certifications, while still weighing an average of 320 grams and allowing for maximum ventilation. Other features of the A1 helmet include an easily adjustable visor, strap dividers and adjusters, a unique adjustable TLD retention system, and anodized aluminum hardware. Built with moto inspired components and world famous graphics, the A1 upholds the Troy Lee Designs iconic vision that has been a prevalent staple of the bicycle industry for years.”

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“A limited first-run quantity of the helmet in Limited Edition Gold Metal Flake Cyclops ($185 MSRP) and Black Cyclops ($165 MSRP) Colorways will be available for purchase at tld-a1-closeups

A select group of media and Troy Lee Designs global distributors were recently given the opportunity to test the helmet on downhill and cross country rides with TLD athletes Cam Zink, Brandon Semenuk, Logan Peat, Aaron Gwin, Eliot Jackson, and Leigh Donovan. The outpour of praise about the new helmet could not have been better. Here’s what some of TLD’s athletes had to say: Lars Sternberg – “I first heard about the A1 project a year ago and have been eagerly awaiting it since. And the team at TLD did not disappoint. It fits like a glove, protects my dome better than any other trail lid, and looks as good as the rest of the Troy Lee helmet line. If I had to sum it up in one word? Dialed.”  Brandon Semenuk – “Coming from an XC background I understand the importance of a vented helmet and since I’ve moved into Freeride, I only trust a helmet with lots of coverage. The A1 gives me that light, breathable design with out being concerned with safety”. Cam Zink – “I have more mountain bike trail riding in my roots than I do freeriding, so I have been wanting a TLD trail helmet forever! Really happy with how this A1 turned out, will be putting a lot of miles in with it.”

Craig “Stikman” Glaspell, Troy Lee Designs’ Sports Marketing – “I have come full circle with Troy Lee Designs, I had one of those sweet Edge helmets in the early 90’s, with a TLD sticker kit! I have been wanting a helmet to ride in that was more protective than all the other helmets on the market, which are just glorified road helmets with a visor. I think we nailed it with the A1. We catered to the heart of the market, which is that mid to big travel trail rider, enduro rider, or even cross country rider, with a helmet that is extremely safe, elegant, stylish, light and built to last”

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The Factory Jackson x Stikman Interview:

OllyFirst things first, this is a totally new product from Troy Lee Designs and something I think many of us have been waiting for, for quite some time. Can you tell us about the A1’s development and how you managed to keep it under wraps for so long?

StikmanI am not a big believer in ‘building the buzz’ that a lot of marketing people subscribe to, I wanted this helmet to be available as soon as people saw it for the first time. We worked hard to conceal the data from our testers, our pros and internally. It was hard for Troy, he is always like “man, I have been putting money into this for 3 years, I wanna start seeing some ROI” haha

Looking at the end user, what does the A1 offer the everyday singletrack shredder apart from finally getting ‘the’ helmet to match their riding kit?

We feel this helmet offers tremendous safety, ventilation and it fits a variety of riders heads better than any helmet we used for comparison testing. The fit and finish on this lid is unmatched, from where we wrapped the EPS up and under with the shell to protect the EPS, to the intricate graphic schematics our designers came up with, its just top notch from top to bottom.

Designer Mike David going through some of the many design features Troy Lee and his team have unleashed with the A1.

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Check this place out! This is the Troy Lee Designs Laguna Beach store and is undoubtedly a TLD fan’s one stop shop.

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I know I don’t speak for just myself when I say that your helmets are often the catalyst for a change in the aesthetic direction from other manufacturers… Was this something that factored into the A1 design and do you expect we’ll see a response to this come Interbike?

What’s the old saying, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery? Haha, yeah, Troy and the design crew are the best in the business for how a helmet should look, and its fun to see other manufacturers try to copy and fail miserably. This isn’t the TLD koolaid talking, I was saying these things before I worked here, no one makes a lid that looks this good-even before we put our sweet graphics on.

It isn’t just the designs and the graphics that TLD are well known for, but the adoption of new colours. It wasn’t so long ago that the prospect of wearing bright yellow shorts simply didn’t register, but now… What’s next or is that a closely guarded secret?

I have known Troy for about 20 years and been working for him for about 2 years now, when I first hear an idea he has I do think he’s a bit off the wall, but he does have this uncanny ability to pick the next big thing in style and colors, it’s a pretty cool evolution. I don’t want to give away what the design team has in store for bike, but I know for apparel not only will there be some new color trends, but materials used, that will be pretty exciting.

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New boys on the team and “Mrs Stikman” – Eliot Jackson, Leigh Donovan and Aaron Gwin.

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Looking ahead, you must be getting excited about the upcoming season? Between Gwin, Hill, Fairclough, Peaty and Brosnan at the world cups, and then Zink and Semenuk on the slopestyle stuff, what’s next for TLD and who will we see racing in the A1?

You are the first to hear this, but I have been so buried with stuff I have not had time to alert everyone, but we are adding Nicolas Vouilloz to head up our Enduro ‘guys’ roster, Lars Sternberg in the USA rocking the A1 for enduro, I’d say Curtis Keene is my main dude and he is, but Specialized made him run their trail lid, even though he is in a D3 haha, but can’t forget about Curtis, he has been tremendous for the brand. I still have the bulk of our marketing dollars in DH, I guess I am one of the few holdouts that see’s it as the main show, where all the stars are and where all the impressions are at. Like I said, you will never get an enduro race to have the draw that fort William world cup does. Steve Peat has probably been our longest term athlete, and that span has been for gear, helmets, helmet paint, Peaty is back on board with us for a while to represent us with A1 and D3 lids, I have a feeling Peaty will start to spread his wings in enduro as well, so might see him in his A1 out on the enduro scene!

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CRC are a new team for you guys and are well known for their yellow and blue race kit. Without anything remotely yellow or blue in the line for 2013, should we be expecting something special come June and what can the race fans be looking forward to from TLD’s factory riders?

CRC boys, Sam Hill, Matt Simmonds and Joe Smith will all be in some new one off TLD kits, made just for the team, you should see them in it in a couple weeks. Nigel Page has been a pleasure to work with and its nice to be reunited with him as it was when I worked at Intense. I think no one else brings the professionalism and fun to a team like Nigel does. Throw in the fact he can ride a bike well and is fantastic with product development, it’s a pleasure working with him and CRC.

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Moving on slightly… It’s been a wild few weeks with product news coming out of TLD. From working with both DC and James Stewart on new moto product, to this – releasing what will no doubt be another iconic MTB product. So what’s next, more collaboration or more signature products?

I have tightened up the athlete program, for MTB and BMX, want to give the team more focus on their needs and product development-so in saying that look for a more focused product line in the future. We do have some new athlete signature helmets coming out, shirts and race wear. It truly is an exciting time for TLD Bike, Troy is really feeling the sport now, he has sort of had a new love affair with bike, he is into the BMX stuff, he is riding his MTB almost everyday and we are getting more support than ever.

Zink on his intense looking Hyper!

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Leigh with those two kids with the bright white sports car! Logan Peat and Brandon Semenuk. Wanna see more? Hit the LINK

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