Evade 3 Review – the Specialized S-Works Aero Road Helmet

Evade 3 Review Specialized S-Works Road Helmet heroSpecialized S-Works Evade 3 Review – Top-End Aero Helmet

The Specialized S-Works Evade 3 is a top-of-the-line road bike helmet that offers exceptional ventilation, aerodynamics, and comfort.

It’s going to be my main helmet for the next 3 years…

Price when reviewed: rrp/msrp: $300 or GBP275

Verdict: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ Expensive? Yes. Awesome? Yes. Pretty? Yes. Fast & Cool? Most Probably
  • Price
  • Build Quality & Design
  • Features, Including App
  • Openness & Compatability
4.3

Specialized S-Works Evade 3 Summary Review

Evade 3 Specialized S-Works Road Helmet angi

Specialized claims a unique design that allows for optimal airflow, keeping the rider cool and comfortable even on hot summer rides. The helmet’s aero shaping also provides a sleek and aerodynamic profile, reducing wind resistance and freeing up a few extra watts. However, it’s aero/ventilation tradeoff where the S-Works Evade 3 truly shines.

I found the helmet’s fit to be excellent, the micro-adjustable dial allows for a customized fit and a secure hold. Its new, lightweight design, makes it one of the lightest road helmets on the market and, in my opinion, also a technical improvement over earlier models.

In terms of safety, the S-Works Evade 3 exceeds industry standards, with a durable and strong outer shell, and an impact-absorbing inner foam liner.

Evade 3 Review Specialized S-Works Road Helmet top full

Additionally, the Specialized S-Works Evade 3 is also compatible with an ANGi Crash Sensor, which is a small sensor that attaches to the back of the helmet and syncs with the Specialized Ride App. In the event of a crash, the sensor will automatically send an alert to your designated emergency contacts, providing them with your location. This feature adds an extra level of safety for the rider, giving peace of mind to both the rider and their loved ones – although similar features are offered with bike computers and watches.

I love the pro-look aesthetics of the helmet, it features a sleek and modern design, with a variety of colour options available to match the rider’s personal style.

In conclusion, the Specialized S-Works Evade 3 is an excellent choice for serious road riders, who are looking for a high-performance, aerodynamic, and comfortable helmet. It offers excellent ventilation, a great fit and novel safety features, as well as being lightweight. The helmet’s added features such as the ANGi Crash Sensor, the Mindset 360 fit system, and aero claims make it stand out from other helmets in its category. It’s a pricey option, but it’s worth the investment for the serious cyclist looking for the best of the best.

Evade 3 Review Specialized S-Works Road Helmet hero

I bought it. I love it. I wear it all the time.

Price when reviewed: rrp/msrp: $300 or GBP275

Pros

  • Fit
  • Aero
  • Aesthetics
  • Ventilation

Cons

  • Price
  • What’s the point of ANGi?

 

How the evade 3 fits in Specialized’s Helmet Range

The S-Works sub-brand indicates that this is a pro-level helmet, indeed this exact model is used in the pro peloton.

The TT version is the most aero and low on the ventilation side of things. Obviously, it’s designed for time-critical TTs and, I would assume, ride durations of well under 90 minutes.

Prevail 3 is less aero and more ventilated. Perfect for a hot, hard day heading up several alpine climbs.

Propero III is a lower-level helmet and, in my opinion, nothing too special but a perfectly fine helmet.

Of the three S-Works helmets, Previal 3 is probably the best all-rounder for most people. However, I bought the Evade 3 as it is the best all-rounder for the kinds of rides I do which favour TT-like efforts and hard pulls. I do have a proper TT helmet but it has poor ventilation and it’s a tad hard to quickly put on thus Evade 3 would be my ideal choice for 10 miles and over on hotter days and for some triathlons. When it comes to group rides then I’m just satisfied that it looks better than the helmets of all my buddies ;-), although I have been eying up a rather nice POC one on someone else’s head. The aeroness of the Evade 3 helmet will make no material difference when riding in disturbed air in a group…when you’re setting the pace it’s a different matter.

The S-Works TT looks awesome. Feedback is welcomed from anyone who has one. I’m very tempted. Though having finally achieved my lifetime 10-mile TT goal last year the urgency of saving a few seconds from my time has gone away…to get to the next-minute market is going to be a significant effort that I’ll probably never achieve.

Evade 3 vs. Evade 1

I already had the first Evade helmet which I bought at the back end of 2016 (time flies!). If I’m brutally honest I bought the Evade 3 for myself for someone else to give me at Christmas as I was running out of things that I need. I don’t need the Evade 3 but it looked nice in the ads and I was generally happy with the Evade I already had! Another reason was that I had sometimes turned into one of those cyclists that wear an all-black kit; New Zealanders and my fashion-conscious partner think that’s fine but I’m not so sure and, in any case, I wanted something that errant car drivers are more likely to see….hence the red colour, which was also cheaper as a bonus.

Let’s get it out in the open. I’ve got a big head. The sizing suggests that the new Large helmet is a tad smaller than the Large Gen 1 Evade. The Gen 1 was a bit of a tight fit on me and often left a slight dent in my forehead. When the Gen 3 arrived and I realised it was smaller I was a bit concerned about the fit. However, bizarrely, it fits better. I put that down to it being more suited to my more oval-like head than to someone with a more rounded head of the same circumference.

Evade 3 Specialized S-Works Road Helmet side comparison

 

Next, we come to the overall volume of the helmet which probably plays a part in the aero claims. The image above clearly shows that this helmet is less tall than the Gen 1 plus the air intakes at the side have been significantly reduced.

 

 

The top rear of the helmet is now devoid of air scoops. Probably great for aero…less so for ventilation. That said, one of the few issues with the Gen 1 Evade was that I found the ventilation sucked in insects onto my head several times. I was even stung once and talked to a fellow Gen 1 owner who had also suffered the same problem. Anyway, after a few weeks of winter use, unsurprisingly I’ve had not intake of wasps yet with the Gen 3 model!

Through extensive Computational Fluid Dynamics and Win Tunnel testing, we created a rear “diffuser” that helps minimize drag and improve ventilation. The diffuser helps optimize aero performance by allowing air to release easier and improves ventilation by drawing 10% more air through the helmet at a given speed. [Specialized]

Evade 3 Review Specialized S-Works Road Helmet front comparison

 

Looking at the helmet from the front there is, again, apparently a similarly-sized area for air intake (apparently its slightly bigger). So how come the ventilation is still supposed to be good?

The answer seems to be to the rear where there appears to be significantly more space for outflow AND it is outflow into a more favourable location to avoid compromising aeroness too much. Also aiding this is the internal ‘cage’ structure which allows a degree of airflow over the head.

Evade 3 Review Specialized S-Works Road Helmet comparison

 

The new design of the S-Works Evade 3 increases ventilation by 10% while maintaining its leading aero performance. The rear “diffuser” helps minimize drag, and the larger front vents increase ventilation. [Specialized]

 

There’s much less to say about the underside of the helmet. The padding seems broadly similar and a strap is a strap. The new buckle seems a tad smaller but in a trivial way. The micro-adjustment to the rear does, however, warrant a mention. Adjustment is a tad harder to do than on the Gen 1 as the dial is smoother but there does seem to be a greater degree of micro-adjustment possible.

 

 

Finally, the comparison of the two helmets comes to aesthetics. The original Evade 1 was released in 2013 and I only bought one several years after that. However, I would say that even today the Evade 1 looks pretty cool with an intriguing and unusual look, especially from the side. I think it still looks great. That said Evade 3 looks good as well but probably more in a conventional way that perhaps won’t stand out as much.

 

ANGi Compatability

An ANGi sensor is an additional £45/$50 and I can’t see the real point of it, although it probably is a slightly better/safer solution than the alternatives.

ANGi is helmet-mounted sensor that measures the forces transmitted to your helmet during a crash, as well as the harmful rotational forces that occur during crashes when your helmet doesn’t actually impact the ground. [Specialized]

Sure, safety is a great thing especially if you ride alone. However, there are several other apps and crash notification systems including those from Garmin and Apple. Perhaps the ideal option would be Apple’s LTE Watch models where you don’t need to carry a phone with you as you ride, however, most of us DO carry a phone and either that or your bike computer will detect an impact readily enough.

If you are super-concerned about this sort of thing then ANGi measures impact forces at your head so either you’ve dropped your helmet in a cafe or the bike’s dropped you on a corner. I guess looking at impacts detected by your smartphone or bike computer are more likely to detect false positives than ANGi.

OK, I’ve changed my mind…perhaps ANGi is worth a try after all!

Takeout – Specialized S-Works Evade 3

There’s not too much to say about a helmet.

I managed over a thousand words to say that it really does look good, is well ventilated and aero. I lucked out in that it fits me really well and the fit IS different from earlier models.

I bought this myself and am happy with the purchase. It will get a huge amount of use for many years to come, so I guess you can take that as a recommendation.

It’s expensive but the model has been out for a while and the cycling industry is in trouble (2023) so there may be bargains to be had.

Price

Price when reviewed: rrp/msrp: $300 or GBP275

I managed to bag a large red Evade 3 for just under GBP200 before Christmas. I think red is the slowest-selling variant and there was some deal on at the time. Your challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to buy one for less than this.

The regular rrp seems to be $300 or GBP275 with limited stockists. You can’t get these at either Amazon or Wiggle AFAIK but Competitive Cyclist (USA), Backcountry (USA), Tredz (UK) and Sigma Sports (UK) do sell them here otherwise the Specialized Concept Store is the place to go to definitely pay the full whack. Good luck.

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