Specialized Propero 3 helmet – a review

Firstly, let me say that I purchased this helmet for myself from Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative.  I was not offered any incentives or inducements from either the bike shop, or from Specialized to review this product.  This is my helmet, the one I wear every day, and what I genuinely think about it.

The Specialized Propero 3 helmet is not cheap.  I paid £100 for mine, and didn’t go in looking to spend anything close to that amount of money.  I actually find wearing a helmet a bit of a quandary; there is evidence it makes no difference to injuries received in accidents involving cars, there is evidence that helmets at anything over 12mph are pretty useless, there is also evidence that forcing people to adopt helmets increases accidents (complacency) whilst reducing the number of people actually cycling.

Now I have got that out the way, I will tell you why I wear a helmet: I choose to wear one because there isn’t any evidence that says it will make injuries worse, it also keeps my hair in order, provides a degree of impact protection from large flying insects and low branches, and it looks cool.

Having worn motorcycle helmets for many years, I can also confirm that lighter is definitely more comfortable the longer you’re wearing one, and ventilation is essential in anything over around 14C, possibly 12C if it’s not particularly windy.

Why did I pick this one?  Well, it was the fit.  I tried on a number of helmets from £55 to over £200, and this one was the best fit and the most comfortable in the shop.  It was lighter than many of the others, featured MIPS technology which does have some supporting evidence, and was in stock in my size and the desired colour.

Now, I did cover some of this in my initial thoughts on it when it arrived.  Since then we’ve had many happy rides out together and I have to say that I am increasingly pleased with my choice.

I was right about the comfort level to the extent that I don’t really notice that I’m wearing it, until a bee hits off the top of it with a lovely ‘ting’ noise.  I don’t find it hot, even in some of the low 20Cs we have been getting in Scotland (believe it or not).  I find the wind tunnels though it quite nicely.  Sure, it’s not as nice as having the wind in your hair, but if the wind is coming from behind and you can no longer see where you’re going because your hair has blown into your eyes, then that’s not always a positive.  My hair is currently long enough to be a complete pain, but not long enough to tie back.

It has a good level of adjustment with the internal cage, although I don’t have a pony tail (yet) to comment on the pony tail positioning, which Specialized is supposed to be very good at.

If I had one complaint it would be the chin strap – it could be a tiny fraction wider and non-slip.  I do find myself tightening the strap, sometimes several times, whilst on a long route.  I am quite sure my head isn’t shrinking, and I can’t explain why it gets loose any other way than the strap slackens off.  Now, if the helmet fits correctly, the cage is what is holding it gently to your head, not the strap. The strap is there in case of falls or impacts to assist in holding it on and in position.  It is not your prime fitting consideration, or at least it shouldn’t be.  But I am also quite sure it shouldn’t slacken off.  I am hoping as it gets more use, and therefore a bit grubbier, it might stop doing it.

Other than this, I think it was actually worth the extra money purely for the comfort of the overall fit, its weight over longer joineries raising the comfort level further, but of course that is subject to my head shape.  What fits me very well won’t necessarily fit you.

I have purchased helmets online based on measurements, but they’ve never been quite right.  This is one of those things I really think you need to go into a shop for.  And now is a good time to support your local retailers too.

I purchase mine from here

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