Pick up the Specialized Ambush lid and the first thing you notice is how incredibly light it is – my size small is a featherweight 273g (by comparison, my Troy Lee Designs A1 is 330g). Its second obvious attribute is the generous size and number of vents: 12 at the front with six ‘exhaust ports’ at the rear, designed to draw air through the helmet – and it is noticeably cooler to ride in than my A1.
But, the Ambush can’t match the gold standard for comfort and fit set by my TLD – it’s a Marmite issue, a fair few people just don’t get on with the shape and find the lid shifts forward on rough descents. I found it okay but I do have to dial it up fairly tight to prevent movement.
Designed for enduro and trail riding, the Ambush offers very good protection and coverage, sitting low at the back of the head. It’s made from multi-density EPS foam with Specialized’s patented reinforced skeleton. The in-moulded shell extends over the EPS at the sides so protects it when you put the helmet down – it’s a pity it doesn’t cover the foam at the front too, though. The micro-adjustable peak is good, with a wide range of positions – you can push it up to easily stow goggles.
The retention system goes all the way around your head (not just the back), is height-adjustable at the rear, and can be tightened one-handed via the silver dial integrated into the helmet, though I found this dial a bit stiff. The pads are nice and cushioned, but there’s no padding at the rear. You do get a spare set in the box, though. The chin strap feels comfy against the skin and has a rubber strap tidy, which works a treat to keep the excess folded out of the way. The under-ear straps are fixed, so it’s pot luck if they sit right on you – the back ones are a little loose on me. Further to this, there are no differences between the ladies lid and the male version. The colour options available were different in the past but now Spesh just produce the one lid in four colourways.
Overall, the Ambush is a good-looking, low-profile lid. At £115 though, the Ambush quite expensive for a helmet without MIPS – for just £25 more you can buy the TLD A2. As they say 'if the shoe (in this case, lid) fits, wear it' and you won't be disappointed with its breathability and style. This lid is certainly one to try before you buy.