09/07/2013 | 11 comments
The Andorra from Specialized is a sleek, affordable female-specific helmet with “ponytail compatibility”. Billed as an ‘all-mountain’ lid, it extends further down the back of the head than other more race orientated numbers, and although slightly on the heavy side it is a great day-to-day helmet.
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The Specialized Women’s Andorra helmet is snug-fitting, with decent safety specifications, without looking bulky. That said, at just over 300g without its visor, it does come in on the heavier side compared to similar helmets. If you’re a serious racer then maybe that 50g matters, but for this tester, I can’t say it was noticeable.
The “Trifix” webbing straps sit comfortably around, rather than across, your ears, and the “double clutch” micro-adjustable dial on the plastic is effective at keeping it set where you want it. Specialized calls the Andorra’s ‘ponytail-compatible’ cradle the Hairport. It’s a great concept, but the rear of the helmet looks and performs pretty much like any other unisex helmet – you just have to poke your hair through between the main part of the lid and the Headset. Admittedly it’s a clever selling point.
Specialized bills the Andorra as an ‘all-mountain’ helmet. Compared to a cross-country lid, it extends further down the back of your head, so if you fall off backwards because you’re doing something brave or silly, then there’s some protection. Such falls are far more likely mountain biking in general than on a road bike, and cross-country helmets are usually roadie helmets with peaks grafted on, so this has to be a better way to make a mountain bike helmet – even if the extra material does make it a shade heavier. The extra depth at the rear does make the Andorra a little harder to get on than a cross-country helmet, but it feels really secure once it’s on.
We tested the helmet in cool weather conditions, and the sense of air-flow over the head was significant. Adding a hat underneath was not a problem, and the Headset adjusted sufficiently to allow the additional layer. One slight gripe is that the main clip under your chin is small and, even with small fingers, it’s quite fiddly.
Nice touches include additional, adhesive padding, if you need it, and an “emergency information” sticker for the inside of the helmet. The visor sits tightly, but clicks on and off really easily, with only 2 anchor points.
Looks-wise, it’s a sleek, simple design that’s not overtly feminine – just a hint of pink, it’s definitely a lid that would go with any of your riding gear.
Comfortable, safe and understated female-specific helmet that is sleek, affordable and not pink and glittery.
- Good safety spec
- Snug fitting
- ‘Goes’ with anything
- Relatively heavy
- Fiddly catch
More info: Specialized Women’s Andorra helmet
What Specialized says about the Andorra helmet
The all-new Andorra blends cutting edge styling with All-Mountain features, including integrated visor, extended rear coverage and the Headset SL with Hairport fit system, The Andorra is the perfect helmet for the All-Mountain rider.
- Tri-Fix strap system – makes fitting the helmet simpler and more secure
- The new HairPort SL Fit System with four height positions and micro-adjustable dial is easy to adjust on the fly, and pony tail compatible
- 4th Dimension Cooling System to optimise ventilation
- Full size visor with easy on/off aFIX visor attachment
- In-moulded shell maximises strength and minimises weight
- Extended rear coverage for added protection in technical all-mountain terrain
- Complies with one or more of the following safety standards for bicycle helmets: CPSC, SNELL B90A, CE and AS/NZS