Having fun out on the trail is what it’s all about. Without a good helmet, your epic ride can turn tragic. Not only the sheer protection of any helmet is important but also the comfort level. One of our valued customers Ryan Hershkowitz shares his thoughts on the Troy Lee Designs Stage Stealth helmet. Check it out!
With mountain biking taking place in the rugged conditions that it does, the average helmet selection has intrigued me. After all, it’s our noggins that we are talking about and not an area that we should be making sacrifices in name of weight or ventilation. When I jumped back into the mountain bike scene a year ago after a 15-year dirt bike hiatus, I conformed to the status quo and ordered a TLD A2 helmet, all the while thinking, “What about my face?”. Let’s be honest, the guy in the full-face helmet at your local XC trails tends to get funny looks.
When I jumped back into the mountain bike scene a year ago after a 15-year dirt bike hiatus I conformed to the status quo and ordered a Troy Lee Designs A2 helmet all the while thinking, “What about my face?”. Let’s be honest, the guy in the full-face helmet at your local XC trails tends to get funny looks.
6 months later, it happened.....
I was riding a loop that I had done a few times before that is nothing crazy at all and certainly not terrain that many in the industry would consider worthy of a full-face helmet. The trail was just getting ready to drop into a dry creek bed that makes its way back down to the trailhead. It’s a fun section with good flow if you can carry your speed so coming into it, I was standing up, on the pedals hard. My left pedal clipped a rock that was sticking out of the bank. Ejecto seato!!! Before I even realized what happened, I felt my body compress into the earth and then my face sliding across the trail.
The aftermath. (Sparing you the pic of my nipple which the helmet obviously wouldn’t have helped anyway).I feel lucky that it wasn’t worse than it was seeing as my face narrowly missed rocks in the trail. (scraped up face pic)
I had my eyes on the new Troy Lee Designs Stage helmet prior to this happening and this was enough to make me not care about the $295, the funny looks on XC trails, or my head getting a little hotter. The Worldwide crew had my size in stock and a couple days later, it was at my front door.
First thing I noticed pulling the helmet out of the box is how incredibly light it is and in true TLD fashion, the craftsmanship is second to none. As far as sizing goes, I ordered a M/L size and my head measures 57cm which is on the small end according to their size chart which shows M/L being 57-59 cm. The helmet fits perfect configured the way it comes out of the box. It does come with thicker headliner, neck rolls, and cheek pads to customize the fit if need be. I played with them and ended up leaving the way it came out of the box.
My first ride was a pedally one which saw temps in the mid-90s and it is truly impressive how well this helmet breathes. It feels like no other full-face helmet that I have worn and it really feels more like my A2 helmet with cheek pads and a chin bar. It is light and breathable enough that it really could be my only helmet and outside of neighborhood rides with my kids, I don’t see my A2 getting a whole lot of use going forward. The biggest set back is taking a drink out of my water bottle and that is a price I will gladly pay for a line of defense between my face and the trail.