When it comes to mountain bike helmets, I typically opt for one with more coverage. I’m not that worried about shaving grams off my helmet to get me to the top of the climb faster. I’m more concerned about this noggin of mine that I’ve spent the last 36 years filling with knowledge. So, the Specialized Vice MTB Helmet fits in quite nicely next to my Giro Xen helmet, but will it replace it as my everyday lid?

2011 Specialized Vice MTB Helmet Features:

  • Complies with one or more of the following safety standards for bicycle helmets: CPSC, SNELL B90A, CE and AS/NZS
  • Extended rear coverage for ultimate protection and durability
  • Headset SL fit system with 4-position height adjustability is secure and easy to adjust on the fly, even with full finger gloves
  • 4th Dimension Cooling – wind tunnel optimized Mouthport, vents and internal channels
  • “Bolted” visor attachment system with color matching MTB visor
  • Total coverage in-molded shells maximize strength and durability
  • Composite matrix internal reinforcement and Instrap webbing system minimize weight
  • Light and simple U-Turn strap adjusters
  • Colors: Black, Blue, Camo Black, Silver (tested), White
  • MSRP: $100

Specialized Vice MTB Helmet Review

The Vice helmet has been in the line for a few years and is Specialized’s take on a full-coverage all-mountain helmet. Since I’m not a racer, I’ve always opted for lids with larger coverage, so the Vice fits right in with my other lids. My current road helmet is from Specialized (it’s a few years old) and the Vice has way more features and fits so much better — it’s evident that Specialized is busting butt to lead the helmet pack.

With Specialized’s wide swath of products, you’d think that somewhere you could find some vulnerabilities. Well, I would definitely say if you’re looking for obvious weaknesses, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

The initial fit of the Vice was perfect right out of the box. Dropping it on and doing the mirror test, it definitely sits up pretty tall, but not annoyingly so. Making up for that, this thing has more vents than a wind tunnel (more on that in a bit). Rounding out the fit is the Headset SL fit system is super-easy to use. Simply dial it in or out to your liking and you’re dialed for all-day comfort. I even had occasion to adjust the fit during a ride and found it super-easy to do — just reach back and tighten or loosen the lid in a jiffy.

I’ve now ridden in a variety of temperatures up to 90 degrees. Without question, the Vice breathes well and keeps your noggin cool on mid-Summer rides.

The only real downer for me on this lid is the visor. I wish I could adjust it up just slightly. As it is, it blocks my upper vision more than with other similar helmets. I suppose I may be able to remove it, but making it more adjustable would be a preferred solution for next year’s model.

Good Vice Helmet

  • Excellent overall value
  • Packed with great features
  • Breathability is superb
  • Feels lightweight for a full coverage lid
  • Absolutely love the Headset SL fit system

Bad Vice Helmet

  • Not as low profile as some helmets
  • May interfere with some glasses
  • Visor seems to get in the way

Bottom Line: 2011 Specialized Vice MTB Helmet

The Specialized Vice helmet offers excellent all-mountain coverage in a lightweight and extremely-comfortable design. I know my noggin is in good hands.

Buy Now: Visit Specialized.com

About Author

A native of the Pacific Northwest, Jason quickly developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 -- sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.

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