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