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The Cycle Life

Specialized's Propero II Helmet

The Propero II provides high-end features at an economical price

The Propero II takes on some of the high-end aspects of Specialized's Prevail helmet. (Aaron Gulley)
Photo: Aaron Gulley

The Propero II provides high-end features at an economical price

Critics like to complain that at Outside we cover too much expensive gear. It’s true that we often dwell on the high end, and that’s because the top-level products are generally where manufacturers make developments.

Once the technologies are established, however, most companies then trickle down the advancements to their less expensive products. So in the end, every consumer has some stake and something to benefit from the priciest equipment.

Case in point, this new road lid from Specialized. We’ve written extensively about Specialized’s flagship road helmet, the Prevail. It’s light and airy, the retention system works great—there’s really nothing to dislike about it except for the eye-opening $250 price tag.

Now comes the Propero II, which inherits many of the Prevail's excellent features but sells for a much more reasonable $110. The shell shape isn’t exactly the same as the Prevail, but it’s very close, with the primary difference being a bit smaller of vents. So far, though, the Propero seems to move air over the head just fine.

The Propero also gets the Prevail’s thin, lightweight strapping system, and though they are anchored into the top of the shell like a typical helmet instead of the bottom of it like the Prevail, they seem equally unobtrusive. The retention system looks a lot like the Prevail’s Headset SL, including a trim dial for adjustment and a four-step vertical adjustment. The Propero’s system is named the Headset and is definitely a bit beefier that the SL version, though it feels exactly the same on the head.

The Propero even has some niceties of its own, including a reflective paint scheme that looks silvery in daylight but bounces car lights after dark. Best of all, our size medium weighs just one ounce more than a comparable Prevail, which is a pretty tiny penalty given the huge discrepancy in cost.

It’s a fine-looking, very comfortable lid at an attractive price. And of course it would never have come to market had it not been for the developments made on the top-line Prevail.