Troy Lee Designs have unveiled the new A3 helmet, the follow up act to the A2 that was released back in 2017. The overall look isn't radically different from its predecessor, but there have been some changes, specifically at the back of the helmet, where there's additional coverage behind the ears. Riders who prefer the looks of the A2 or even the A1 don't need to fret – those models are still available.
The A3 liner uses co-molded EPS and EPP foams, with the softer EPP foam designed to help dissipate low speed impacts, and the harder EPS foam in place for higher speed impacts. Along with the dual foam densities, the A3 also has a MIPS liner to help with rotational impact forces.
TLD A3 Details
• 16 vents
• Co-molded EPS and EPP foam liner
• 3 position magnetic visor
• MIPS liner
• Fidlock buckle
• Weight (size M): 415 grams
• Price: $220 USD
• Certifications: CPSC 1203, CE EN 1078, AS NZ 2063:2008
A Fidlock magnetic buckle for easy one-handed operation, but that's not the only place where magnets are located – they're also used at the front of the visor to keep it from bouncing out of place. There are three main positions, plus another one that can be used to create room for goggles when they're not being used.
The fit is adjusted via a new ratcheting dial at the back of the helmet, and there are two different padding thickness included with the helmet in order to fine tune the fit. Another new feature is the addition of a 'Sweat Glide System.' Basically, it's a piece of foam located at the very front of the helmet that's supposed to keep sweat from dripping into your eyes. It's replaceable or removable, and spares are included with the helmet.
The A3 is available in three sizes – XS / SM, MD / LG, and XL / XXL, with four colors to choose from – white, camo grey, silver, or black, and a retail price of $220 USD. My size medium helmet weighed in at 415 grams. PERFORMANCEFIT
The fit of the A3 is similar to that of the A2, which unfortunately meant it wasn't quite perfect for my head shape – it was a little snug at the front and back of my skull, and at times felt like it was riding higher than I would have preferred. I have more of an oval-shaped dome, and the A3 seems like it would work better with a rounder head. The original A1 helmet is still one of the comfiest, best fitting helmets I've worn, although that model is lacking in the ventilation department. I've said it hundreds of times before, but as always, when it comes to helmets it's best to try before you buy. ADJUSTMENTS
The retention system is easy to operate one handed, with clear detents between each position. There are also three positions to choose from to pick the height of the dial at the back of the head. Those magnets in the visor work too, although it's a little clunkier than what's used in a helmet like the Specialized Ambush. VENTILATION
Temperatures have been fairly mild so far, so I can't really comment on how the A3 handles scorching temps. The amount of air flow does seem very reasonable, and I haven't found myself overheating on slow speed fire road grinds.
How about that Sweat Glide system? Well, I didn't really get along with it, or at least my skin didn't. At the end of a ride the foam would leave a super bright red mark on my forehead, alerting the world that I'd been wearing a helmet recently. I eventually decided to pull it out, since I don't usually sweat that much in general. That did the trick, and the red mark stopped appearing. PRICE
$220 is on the higher side of the spectrum for a half-shell helmet, although it's certainly not unheard of. For reference, the Specialized Ambush is $200, the Bell Super Air Spherical is $225, and POC's recently launched Kortal Race is $250. WEIGHT
The A3 isn't the lightest helmet out there at 415 gram, but the little extra heft faded to the background once I had it on. The Specialized Ambush weighs 312 grams, Bell's Super Air is 418 grams, and the POC Kortal Race is 391 grams.
Excellent head coverage +
Wide range of fit adjustments, assuming it works with your head shape
Sweat Glide System isn't perfect-
Visor adjustment is a little clunky
|The A3 is another strong option in Troy Lee's helmet lineup. The fit wasn't exactly perfect for my head shape, but that's not going to be the case for everyone. As it is, the A3 offers lots of adjustment options, contemporary looks, and modern safety features. — Mike Kazimer|
2. Buy on looks like normal
If you look cool on the bike you're more confident.
If you're more confident you crash less.
Therefore looking cool is safer.
1. read helmet review taking careful note of pros/cons, weight, price, comfort etc etc
2. Buy on looks
3. Return them all and end up buying the only helmet big enough for my watermelon sized head regardless of looks and brand!
Will look at Endura next time.
Too bad they didn't emboss "dumbass" or "dentist" in the sweat band,
Yes, I'm a hoot at parties.
Liner tweaks: www.youtube.com/watch?v=OcqUFgVFEKc
Helmet also received the top score of 5 stars from Virginia tech, so don't know where you get protects worse.
He also states that although it's not the right fit for him, he acknowledges that that won't be the case for everyone.
As a journalist writing a review, that to me is a pretty fair and unbiased statement.
That's a pretty disappointing dig at @mikekazimer
Either way, I like it and I'm due for a new lid. Thanks for putting out great products.
one of my pet peeves with so many helmets I try on is they fit too high on the head.
I looked at the photo saw like 3 inches of mike's forehead, and thought that helmet looks kind of stupid....it fits way too high. Many others are asking for a deeper fitting helmet from you as well.
Given photographic evidence coupled with an independent review....and multiple requrests for deeper fitting helmets......pretty safe bet it fits high....
Style aside a helmet is supposed to protect your skull that's its core purpose, you guys did awesome with the A2. Yours and the Rally are the best mountain bike helmets out there for protection that aren't just a massive foam beer cooler. Being the next evolution, I assumed the A3 would out perform the A2. I was considering. purchasing an A2 for its great crash protection pending a decent fitment test and availability..... Looking at the virginia tech ratings....it scores measurably worse than the A2 as someone mentioned. Not in meaningless "stars" but in Empirical scores......not bad by any-means..... but not better.....
So I made the assumption that this is your budget model....looks a little stupid, doesn't protect as well but does a damn good job as a helmet at a fraction of the cost with a couple compromises to keep costs reasonable....Like a specialized align but less stupid looking.....
NOPE it's considerably more expensive than the A2 and is one of the most expensive helmets on the market
Not just stupid looking..... seems like a stupid choice.....leading to my "dumbass" embossed sweatband idea.
not a good look, and I like you.
I've had exactly the same 'riding high' sensation in a Stage, in my case it was due a combination of the large being slightly too small and my longer front-to-back shaped head (as per the other comment). Because the helmet fitted so well on the sides and it didn't feel like it was pinching back to front I thought it was the right size, until I tried on the XL and my head then sat properly 'in' the helmet and I got good forehead coverage.
I felt that fit was something the manual should have covered in a lot of detail. IIRC there wasn't a lot in there on assessing whether you have the right size, which is really important if you're on a size boundary.
You guys should be stoked that someone from a brand is actually putting the time in to read your comments and responds even though 99% are the usual “to expensive” and “looks like a... “
Judging the fit of a helmet you have never even held in your hands only by the picture of one person wearing it is not customer feedback, that’s trolling. If we had less of that bs here on pb and more constructive actual feedback we might even get what we are asking for from the industry but as long as as long as is the way it is why would anyone even bother? This could be a platform for us to discuss and influence...
I think Downvoting and hating @troyleedesigns for asking if he actually tried the product it is the most ridiculous thing I have seen on this website in ages.
Pointing out there is adjustable padding to achieve better fit? Since when is that a bad thing? That’s just sad.
And no I do not work at Tld, nor I am a fanboy. I have used their products but do not currently. Simply because I found something that works better for me and the way I ride...
Many brands handle this really well, criticisms and all.
Could always just say -“this review is unfair and biased because his head shape is wrong and he doesn’t like the acronym TLD, now I’m going to cry in my pie”
Here they all congregate, the forms of beings that are unwelcome at the parties have now joined forces in their slurred speech of orders. "Pissing plants" says Troy to one lad that cant open his eyes and is drooling uncontrollably towards the inevitable barf on the pavement outside.
"you win Troy, you did it you leg end of a man" says the drunken listener as they form a new found bound unexplainable to the sober onlookers. "you showed 'em allll the glory of that A3, I love you bro"
They collect their bags dripping of house sauce special and mixed meat kebabs, arm in arm as comrades. Feeling well proud of their achievement and oblivious to the wreckage they once caused merely minutes previously.
I've tried a D3 and a Stage and they were both had either a great fit side-to-side, but didn't properly cover my forehead in a Large, or were just way to wobbly side-to-side in an XL. Do us xenomorphs a solid and provide a second fit option
I'd of spent over a thousand dollars with you by now if your helmets fitted me. Also, while your at it, could we have a long option for the pants too?
What's the score here?
You have the A2 which is comfier for you AND much cooler / better ventilation than the A1.
AND now the A3 with the same fit and better ventilation than the A1.
I guess this is a tough one to pin down. Kind of like bike geo. Similar numbers, different feel. Hmmm...
At least you’re out there making a go of it.
The A3 is much smaller and sits very high on my head. The strap also catches on my ear lobe as it’s to short so needless to say the A3 is going back for a refund as it’s to small.
Definitely one to try on before buying if you can.
The A1 was and still is SO comfy I still use my 3 years old one even though it looks like sh1t cos it's so comfy.
There is no doubt the helmet padding felt comfortable but the overall helmet shell was far to small thus fitted completely differently to the A2 and sat way to high on my head.
*Marketing Department*: you know how there's ugly cheap looking cars that kick ass?
*Department of Design*: you mean sleepers?
*Marketing Department*: Hell yeah, make it look like a Walmart Helmet!
And that's how the A3 Helmet was born.
Another person mentioned something about the pants being too short. At 6’4” I’ll feel you on that one. The Sprint Ultra and the new Skylines seem to have fixed this, however. They are plenty long in the W34 and above (unless you’re much taller than 6’4”). The Skylines are feature rich and reasonably priced.
Have you found any brands that work well for you outside of Giro and Bell?
Also, brands that work well for round heads tend to do well in the Virginia Tech tests. Could that be related to the head shape of the test dummy?
I'd rather have the Fox Speedframe Pro. I've got an OG A1 at the moment, and it's nice to wear but a little hot
I recently bought a Bell 4forty MIPS. Fully adjustable peak, spare screws, MIPS, fully encased, height adjustable rear, great fit, etc. £90. £11.99 for new pads. Ie. I could buy two Bell helmets for the TLD price.
Helmets are disposable items. They maybe last 18 months two years max.
You cant put a price on your head. But you absolutely can.
(Not just calling out TLD on price either - especially as you dont pay tax on helmets!!).
I've been riding this lid for a few days now and it is hands down the comfiest and most filled with helpful details helmet I've had in years.
And I consider myself some sort of helmet geek. Would it be full face or half shell, mtb or road, medium priced or high level ones... I've tried them all pretty much. Do yourself a favor and put one on your head and come back with valid arguments apart from look (and price but again look at what you get in the box for such a price. It's pretty fair).
Anyway... Im a big Kaz fan but yeah maybe it's just not a perfect head match this time.
Whats a dollar gram?
Here's the link.
Almosts seems that they make their own helmets. Maybe this is why they are so expensive?
I think you meant A3!
Fit? Try before you buy.
Price? For an item you should replace every couple of years even if you don’t visibly damage it? Hard No!!
Mine disintegrated after a couple months. Strangely, my A1 is still in great shape despite being a couple years older. Why is replacement padding so expensive!?
Guess ill try the A3 instead of the A2 ive been trying to find since September. Only money.
(Not a dentist*)
You say that A3 doesn't fit the way you wanted...ok, but can you please tell us how it does compare to its predecessors...A2 and A1
That said, the visor on the new A2 did shatter after dropping it from about 3 feet. $40 right there.
Nothing's perfect but TLD helmets keep getting closer in my book. And $220 ain't too insane considering you get an extra liner thrown in.
I'd say 75% of our testers/athletes left it on there, liked it and some (Dave Cullinan for example, who sweats like a .....) said it was a dream come true---but, you can easily remove, its a high end adhesive that wont leave any sticky residue. Takes 15 seconds to remove.
check the 5min mark
- It's a no from me.
It should have also been noted by the reviewer that the Ionic® comfort liner inside the A3 (along with its included SPARE liner) is the most amount of comfort liner material in any helmet on the market-meaning, its highly customizable, the helmet comes with designated cut lines on the liner, if you want to remove some material, to dial in fit if you need. This will also increase the ventilation. If you laid the A3 comfort liner on a table against every other brand, you will see the a3 has on average 60% more material.
A video was made showing just one of the ways you can modify the comfort liner, if needed.
This reviewer has given milk toast reviews to many of our helmets, so, it appears he has an axe to grind with our brand at times. As a perspective buyer, you might want to read other reviews on other sites OR talk to real customers because the feedback has been its so comfortable that you will never take it off.
Reviewer also failed to mention it received 5-star safety rating at Virginia tech-in additional to exceeding all of the certifications.
Find a helmet that fits your head, that is what we always encourage people to do-and we think we hit the nail on the head with comfort and fit-no pun intended.
I'd even go so far as to say I've probably worn more helmets than most riders out there. In no particular order, here's a list of the half shell helmets I've checked out in the last year or so:
POC Kortal Race
Bell Super Air
And I'm sure there are more I'm leaving out. Needless to say, I have a fairly broad frame of reference for making comparisons / judgements.
"the feedback has been its so comfortable that you will never take it off."
Umm... no. You're confused. That's not customer feedback, that is literally the marketing tag line you used in your ads for this helmet.
"it received 5-star safety rating at Virginia tech"
While being worse but still more expensive than the A2 as pointed many times by other commenters. Bringing up that study isn't doing the A3 any favours.
Seriously TLD, get the intern off your PB account.