Troy Lee Designs is launching new half-shell helmets for 2023. We had the opportunity to preview the helmets. Starting at 130€, you can get many different looks including the tried-and-true MIPS system. The previously existing A1 and A2 models will be replaced. Is the Flowline duo a suitable successor?
Half-shell helmets are indispensable on the trails, and the Troy Lee Designs A1 and A2 are among the most popular choices on the market. Therefore, we have high expectations of the new Flowline series that is intended to be their direct successor. As usual, there will be an affordable version, the Flowline for €129.99 and a high-spec version, the Flowline SE for €189.99. The sizes will largely remain the same: XS/S (53–56 cm), M/L (57–59 cm) and XL/XXL (60–63 cm). Additionally, there will be a youth size for the young shredders with 48-53 cm. For the time being, Troy Lee Designs will hold on to the current top model, the A3 from 2022. The question that arises is: does the Flowline live up to its name?? Troy Lee promises that both models will provide ideal ventilation, making them ideal helmets for summer conditions. At least the color selection of the 371g heavy helmet (Size M/L) is undoubtedly large: there will be 11 designs for the Flowline and 10 designs for the Flowline SE.
Flowline vs Flowline SE –features and differences
Let us first examine the shared features of the two helmets: Both come equipped with MIPS technology. The Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS for short) is engineered to minimize the risk of concussion or neck injury by reducing rotational energy. It is mounted inside the helmet with minimal friction, creating a secondary layer that can rotate with your head independently of the outer casing. This technology is a common feature in many of today’s premier mountain biking helmets. Additionally, the fit system can be customized to your head shape and adjusted in height using the traditional turning wheel mechanism. The interchangeable visor, which can be purchased for € 37.99, can also be adjusted in three grid positions without the use of tools.
The Flowline SE version is equipped with a practical Fidlock magnetic closure for opening and closing the chin strap instead of the classic side release buckle. The closure is still easy to operate even when wearing gloves. It is already enough to bring the two ends close to each other, and it closes. The SE version is to generate an extra plus in safety, the “Dual Density EPS” inner shell missed. Here, the inner shell consists of 2 different layers and is thus particularly well protected against impacts of any kind.
First contact – Troy Lee Designs Flowline SE in practice impression
In 2023, Troy Lee continues to demonstrate their commitment to delivering high-quality craftsmanship. The helmet shell’s plastic components are smooth and the paint is of excellent quality. The helmet’s fit is versatile and comfortably accommodates the majority of our editorial staff. To adjust the height of the fit system, you’ll need to press two small plastic buttons into a grid. While there may be more effective solutions, this adjustment is typically only necessary once. However, when the fit system is set at the highest level, accessing the dial becomes slightly cumbersome and may require some finesse to operate.
If you wear glasses with prominent lenses, it’s possible that the upper edge of the glasses may come into contact with the bottom of the helmet and produce an unpleasant rattling sound. So, it’s advisable to test it out before making a purchase. If you plan on storing your glasses on the helmet during uphill rides or coffee breaks, you may be disappointed as the helmet doesn’t have a dedicated sunglass dock. However, we have not yet found a way to secure the glasses through the helmet’s generous vents but we welcome any suggestions ;)
Our conclusion on the new Troy Lee Designs Flowline SE
The new Flowline helmets from Troy Lee Designs impress at first glance with a wide range of colors and a comfortable fit for many heads. The Flowline SE model stands out with its intuitive closure system, numerous safety features, and in our case with a sleek appearance. The transition is successful. The only downside is that we haven’t found a place to securly store our glasses yet..
More information can be found on the manufacturer’s website..
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Words: Philip Grünewald Photos: Mike Hunger