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Review: Specialized S3 MT Helmet

  • By Nils Nilsen
  • Published Dec. 20, 2011
  • Updated Oct. 11, 2012 at 4:51 PM EST

The S3 MT weighs in at a svelte 283.2 grams with the visor making it barely noticeable up top. Photo: Nils Nilsen

The Specialized S3 MT helmet is a mid-range lid that shares much with the higher end S-Works Prevail. A MTB specific paint scheme and visor come standard and give the S3 MT an unmistakable look. The styling cues are less aggressive with rounded edges and smaller vents up front but the distinctive Mega Mouth port and large vertical vents in the back add some spunk to the look.

The specs

All the major features tricked down into the S3 MT. Most notable are the ultra light Mindset micro dial fit system and the 4X DryLite webbing. The Mindset fit system uses both a micro dial cradle in the rear and sliding adjustments inside the helmet to create the perfect fit. The rear cradle performs as advertised and is easily tuned mid ride. Specialized’s 4X Drylite webbing runs temple to temple, creating a complete barrier at the front for dripping sweat. The webbing also prevents the front of the helmet from touching your forehead, helping with ventilation and sweat evaporation.

The strap system uses Specialized's Tri-Fix web splitter. Photo: Nils Nilsen

The strap system is straight from the S-Works Prevail utilizing the Tri-Fix web splitter. This adds ease of use and plenty of space around the lower ear. The S3 MT weighs in at a svelte 283.2 grams with the visor making it barely noticeable up top. But if you prefer the look without the visor, the custom visor is easily removed and saves you a nominal 28 grams.

Ride and look

On the trail the S3 MT performs well. From hair raising descents to the wicked climbs I curse; this lid stayed where it was suppose to, prevented sweat from getting past my brow and kept all that hot air moving. I prefer the visor-less look, a hold over from my road racing days, and was pleased that the connecting points blend well into the helmet when the visor is absent.

For the price (MSRP $150), the Specialized S3 MT is a winner. You get the major tech from its more expensive sibling and only minor weight gain.

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