Specialized's New Dissident 2 DH Helmet is Extremely Lightweight

Apr 20, 2023
by Matt Beer  

Specialized has been working on a revamped Dissident helmet for quite some time, and wasn’t shy about letting team riders, like Finn Illes, showcase the super lightweight lid - it only weighs 940g.

The design shares styling with the Gambit enduro full-face and Ambush 2 helmets, with a single-position visor that lines up with the top of the shell. There’s also been a serious effort made to reduce unwanted movement or creaking from the liner.
Specialized Dissident 2 Details

• MIPS Evolve Solution system
• Scooped top vent
• Includes two sizes of quick release cheek pads
• Weight: 940 g
• Sizes: S, M, L, XL
• Colors: Black/Carbon, White/Silver
• Price: $500 USD
• Certifications: ASTM F1952-15 DH certified



This second-generation Dissident uses a three-layer sandwich of materials, consisting of carbon fiber, polycarbonate, and EPS foam. Five individual pieces of EPS are described as being “tuned” to absorb impacts in a specific location on the helmet.

Inside, the MIPS Evolve Solution system features fabric pocket attachments to hold the sliding surface in place, reducing unwanted rotation while riding and any pesky creaking noises. An anti-microbial Ionic Plus fabric liner set includes a replacement crown piece and two sizes of quick-release jaw pads. Under the chin, the tried and true double D-ring closure is used.

The breathability is managed by intakes under the visor, along the sides of the jaw piece, and through the front of the honeycomb mesh. Similar to the Gambit, there are large exhaust ports at the back.


Pricing and Sizes

At $500 USD, the Dissident 2 isn’t inexpensive, however, it lines up with other high-end competitors, such as the Fox RPC and the slightly cheaper Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon.

Specialized is offering the helmet in four shell sizes; S, M, L, XL.


Safety and Weight

As for standards, the 940g Dissident II meets the ASTM F1952-15 DH certified level.

Comparing this option against the two other popular downhill helmet choices above, the Dissident 2 is 60g lighter than the impressively low weight of the 1000g TLD D4 Carbon.


Author Info:
mattbeer avatar

Member since Mar 16, 2001
362 articles

  • 59 0
 It's impossible to judge how all DH lid actually stacks up to the competition in terms of safety- and how big the trade-off. Who knows which is really the safest helmet between the Full 10, D4, RPC, 6D, Aircraft 2, this, and others? @Pinkbike & Virginia Tech collab DH certified impact test?
  • 21 1
 This for full face enduro helmets as well!
  • 8 1
 I would also like to know how save the helmets really are. All the standards are nice, but I read so many stories on (pro) riders getting head injuries even when wearing helmets.
  • 3 2
 The Fly Racing Werx Carbon is the winner
  • 22 0
 @tommynator: You might need to lower your expectations of a 30mm piece of foam and it's ability to protect your head when you superman full speed into a wall. No helmet is going to prevent all injuries; pretty sick that these things let us get away with as much as they do.
  • 2 0
 @wda1wustl: yes please. Totally agree
  • 11 0
 @jefe: the point is the helmet with 31mm of foam will do better and the customers have no way of differentiating which is which. When TLD stages have the same official certifications as Fox Rampages, we need a better way to compare safety
  • 1 0
 @NickMT it's only a sample size of one, but the only time I've woken up in a hospital situation I had a full carbon specialized lid on. No-one saw me crash, I still can't remember the crash. The helmet externally looked fine and it pained me to put it in the bin. there were some mightly big cracks in the polystyrene inside. But I can't still walk and talk and have all my teeth :⁠-⁠).
  • 1 1
 @Nick252: I punched a hole about the size of my fist through the top of my last one and only had mild concussion symptoms. On Werx Carbon #2 now
  • 4 0
 This would be so interesting!

- expensive full on DH helmets with carbon, etc
- those cheap ABS chinese catalogue helmets sold by many many brand as me-too models
- all those lightweight "Enduro" FF helmets with PC shells
- "Enduro" helmets with removable chin guards
  • 1 0
 @tommynator: if they dont advertise as being able to prevent concussion, then it dont matter the label on the lid. At least it will keep your nut mostly graze free
  • 34 1

Dear Brain,
Its time to toughen up or work smarter.

  • 5 0
 Dear Wallet,
Don't worry, it has a fixed visor, you couldn't pay me to spend $ on that.
  • 18 1
 I'd black out the 'IZ', match my riding style
  • 6 0
 I wrecked my first one, so got a second with a crash replacement discount. Plain black carbon, I'd defiantly buy another from the Big S.

Price wise I'd rather have a decent lid than carbon bars & electric shifting.
  • 2 0
 How much was the crash replacement?
  • 3 0
 @BigMulaCeazy: In my experience the big S will do 30-60% off for crash replacements. Depends on the item and situation
  • 1 0
 @BigMulaCeazy: Was a few years ago, think it was £80 or so. Not that much in the scheme of things, but every penny helps.
  • 5 0
 the conundrum is that it's typically the younger/poorer rider who's going to "go big" and probably could use something like this...
  • 6 0
 Gotta say, that's a sharp looking lid though!
  • 5 0
 I just bought a TLD D4 composite for $200 and it only weighs 100g more.
  • 1 0
 Or a Leatt 1.0 for $100, 960g. No MIPS but similar Turbine technology.

Calling the spesh helmet "extremely lightweight" is maybe a bit exaggerated with so many DH helmets at or below the 1kg mark. Unless you pay the $500 in coins I guess?
  • 1 0
 I had an early original Dissident. I loved it. I bought it because at the time it 1) Was priced right, 2) was light, 3) had all the right features and 4) Amazing paint job. I really wanted to replace it with another, but the newer versions that followed had terrible paint jobs and no new features. I eventually gave up and bought something else. Now that they finally updated this, why would I buy it over a competitor now that it costs the same as everyone else? Also, tried to check out the website to see what other colors available, but appears the sites not been updated.
  • 3 3
 I think its hard to beat the RPC in terms of how safe it feels on your head and holding it in your hand, it feels so much more substantial than these other options. I took a huge crash in one enough to crack the carbon shell and walked away with no concussion. Replaced it with the new MIPS version.

Anyone complaining about the $500 price of helmets Planet Cyclery has some closeout RPC colors/sizes for $250-$350 bucks, smoking deal IMO.

  • 2 0
 I was all set on the RPC but the shell shape really doesn’t work with my head shape. The D4 composite fits perfect for me, was/is on sale for $237 direct from tld and includes MIPS and at 1050g isn’t what I would call heavy.
  • 2 0
 @somebody-else: I had a buddy with the same issue, let me guess pressure on your forehead? I think its a pretty circular shell shape. I ordered a D4 first and it was nice, certainly lighter than the RPC but I was between a medium and large just enough that it didnt work for me.
  • 1 0
 @Aem221: yes exactly.
  • 5 4
 So this price is what the market is supporting nowadays. Got it. With each passing year, motor sports is looking like a better alternative.
  • 2 2
 Just wait a few years when they ban fossil fuels and you will be buying synthetic ones, motor sports will catch up.
  • 4 0
 TLD D4 composite on sale for $237 with mips and 1050g. Buy direct from TLD so no bs if there’s an issue.

Motorsports aren’t cheaper… mtb is pretty cheap. When I was still into sport bikes one track day (not racing) cost more than a season pass at any park within many hours of me. Custom suspension, race tires, tire warmers, race gas, truck to haul the bike, maintenance, engine rebuilds, body work. Safety gear. Actually… mtb is really cheap.
  • 1 0
 @lkubica: A few years? You mean a few centuries.
  • 2 0
 @nickfranko: you think we'll last as long as that?
Nice helmet. I recently picked up a new tld D3 for a fraction of the price though.
  • 2 0
 It's pretty easy to spend near twice this on a motorcycle helmet. Maybe it has more "features" but it's still just a helmet.
  • 1 0
 @somebody-else: I forgot to add the “/s”.
  • 1 3
 I'm struggling to see how this is considered "lightweight" and not outrageously expensive when there are MUCH lighter, and MUCH cheaper downhill certified helmets on the market.

Or is the IXS Trigger FF MIPS not really considered a downhill helmet even though it meets the same ATSM F1952-15, but only weighs 595 grams doing it?
  • 1 0
 Can Big S bring back the magnetic twist lock closure? It was so easy to secure with gloves on.
  • 1 0
 Ah yes, when my Shoei X-14 helmet cost me as much as this helmet. MTB prices are getting more and more out of control
  • 1 0
 This is one sick looking helmet. Love the dual-finish paint scheme.
  • 1 0
 Oooh.. That's a looker.. Nicely done from the Spez.
  • 1 2
 I have nice helmets for sale on here at way cheaper. D4 TLDs of anyone is interested.
  • 1 0
  • 2 3
 Looks like … not the summer helmet.

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