The Specialized Tactic II bike helmet is described as an “all-mountain helmet that’s light, cool and inspires confidence”.
- Extended rear coverage for added protection in technical, all-mountain terrain.
- In-moulded construction that maximises strength, while keeping weight to a minimum.
- Headset SL fit system, with six height positions and a micro-adjustable dial.
- 4th Dimension Cooling System to optimise ventilation
- In-moulded shell improves strength and reduces weight.
- Full-size visor with easy on/off aFIX visor attachment
- Tri-Fix web splitter for improved comfort and ease of strap adjustments.
- RRP: £55 (I have seen cheaper on-line).
On test: Specialized Tactic II bike helmet
This is a helmet that is meant for trail riding but could also be used for commuting to work and road cycling (people may prefer to take the visor off to look more “road cycling cool”).
I kept the visor on for a bike ride to a city meeting and I was pleased I did because during my bike ride back it started to rain heavily. The visor was impressively good at keeping the rain off my face. The visor is easy to clip off and clip back on again.
It is not the lightest helmet I have tried but at £55 or less the weight to cost ratio is very good.
The helmet fits really well. It can be adjusted with the easy-to-dial fit system. I even managed to turn the dial with gloves on.
Once correctly adjusted the helmet feels as though it’s hugging my head both at the sides and on top but without being constrictive.
Because I am more used to a lightweight road helmet, in comparison this Specialized helmet feels very robust and protective. It also feels heavier and this will take a bit of getting used to.
The rear coverage is really good and it would make me feel a lot more confident about riding tricky terrain and trails. If you fall off, the rear coverage provides more protection than a normal road cycling helmet.
There are enough vents in the helmet to offer a fair level of ventilation although I have seen more vents on pricier helmets. It’s not a major issue and I imagine this is one of the ways that the cost of the helmet has been kept down.
If you like to push your sunglasses into helmet vents when not in use you will find this a bit tricky with the Specialised helmet. The venting layout just doesn’t allow for this. It doesn’t bother me as I always keep my sunnies on but it might bother people who like to have the choice of on or off while riding.
I like the Tri-Fix web splitter. This is a fancy way to describe the straps that fit around the side of the head and under the chin. On my usual helmet they are forever becoming entangled and twisted but the Specialized system keeps the straps neat and flat.
There is plenty of padding inside the front and side areas of the helmet, just where you need it.
My only moan is that I would normally pull my pony tail through the gap between the adjuster system and the helmet but with this tactic II helmet there is no space. Instead I have to push the top of my pony tail down my head a bit, which means it is not as securely tired.
The colour range of the Specialized Tactic II is excellent. I particularly like the bright green. I have seen more people using brightly coloured helmet for cycling commutes and I plan to do the same when riding shorter distances on busy roads.
I imagine I will still use my lightweight road helmet for most of my longer rides but when riding shorter distances into the city and when off-road, this Specialized Tactic II helmet will be my first choice. You can buy from Edinburgh Bike Co-operative.
* I was asked to review the helmet by cycle insurers Cycleplan. They offer specialist cycling insurance from Insure4Sport, one of the UK’s leading sport insurers. The cycle insurance specialists behind Cycleplan recognise the limitations of many household insurance policies in terms of covering cyclists, their bicycles and their accessories. With Cycleplan you can tailor your bicycle insurance policy to suit your bike and the specialist cover that you need.