Troy Lee Designs A1 2016 helmet

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Product Full Name | Troy Lee Designs A1 Reflex

Retail Price | £129.99

Available From | Fisher Outdoor 

Troy Lee Designs A1 – ultra comfortable, protective and stylish

Back in 2013, Troy Lee Designs released an MTB trail helmet that arguably influenced the whole market – the A1. (check out our feature on the evolution of the A1 right here)

With styling borrowed from the incredible looking D3 full face helmet, the A1 has a distinct mountain bike style with increased coverage on the back of the head and a low fit on the head for extra protection around the temples.

This Reflex model is from the brand new 2016 Troy Lee Designs A1 range – released todayTroy Lee Designs A1

The Detail

Designed to sit low on the head, the A1 offers a lot of protection for an open face helmet.

Out back, the A1 is cut really low and has an adjustable cradle with three positions. This conforms to the head excellently, and makes for an incredible secure fit. The thumbwheel that adjusts the tension of the cradle is easy to use with gloves on, and has a good quality feel to it.

Troy Lee Designs A1

The lining of the A1 is one of the nicest we’ve seen on any helmet, and uses a one-piece design usually seen on full face helmets. This means no more annoying pad shifting, and a far more comfortable fit. The liner can be easily removed for washing – though from previous experience we’d recommend washing on a low temperature like 30degrees.

You should put it inside a pillow case too, so it can’t get snagged or damaged by other things in the wash. And only drip dry – no tumble dryers!

Troy Lee Designs A1

The Troy Lee Designs A1 has large vents, but there are a lot less than other similar helmets on the market. There are 8 intake vents, and 8 exhaust vents – which work very well, though there is a large part of the side of the helmet with no vents.

Up front is easily the best shaped peak on the market, which is mounted with aluminium mounting screws – the A1 oozes quality and style.

Out on the trail

The first thing you notice with the A1 is how damned well it fits. I’ve tested a lot of helmets over the years, and bar the Specialized Ambush which has a similar oval fit, the A1 fits me better than anything by far.

It sits nice and low on the head – although not lower than other similar shape helmets out there now, but the low temple protection really does feel great. I rarely feel the need to wear a full face helmet, and totally trust the A1 even on the more exposed trails.

Troy Lee Designs A1

Selfie on a Mondraker Dune RR Carbon test bike, taken in Leigh Woods, Bristol. Love how glossy the helmet looks – it looks so good in the flesh.

With the increased coverage comes a bit more heat than other helmets – if you run on hot you might find this a little uncomfortable, but I’ve been using the A1 since it launched and have got used to it. And judging by the amount I see out on the trails, others have too.

Troy Lee Designs A1

The other colours in the 2016 Troy Lee Designs A1 range all look awesome. Which one would you pick?

Due to the low fit, some riders can have issues with riding glasses fouling on the helmet – but it sits high enough on my head. Worth checking though if you use riding glasses. Goggles fit perfectly with it, if you like the sausage hat and goggles look.

Interestingly, the Troy Lee Designs A1 has a shape that fits more people than any other helmet I’ve tested over the years – I’m not sure how the crew at Troy Lee Designs worked their measurements out, but it seems the A1 has the ultimate mean sizing!

We Say

The Troy Lee Designs A1 is a stunning bit of kit – a high end helmet with a beautiful finish and confidence inspiring fit. 

Even though the A1 passes the same standards that other decent helmets like the Ambush have, it just feels more substantial. I’ve cracked one before in a pretty hard crash, and I’m not sure I’d have wanted another lid between my skull and terra firma. I totally trust the A1.

It is expensive though – the Reflex model with stunning finishes like this red and black model retails for £130, whereas the Drone model in plain colours is £110. The Reflex does come with a helmet bag though, which is ideal for gloves, goggles/glasses and your lid.

I love the A1 and can’t recommend it highly enough. If the price is too much, you can find some killer bargains on previous colourways on line. 


What do you think of the Troy Lee Designs A1 2016 lids?

Which colour would you pick?

Let us know in the comments below!




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