Specialized Propero 2010 review


specialized propero 2010 helmetI have been wrecking my brain over this review for a long time, going back and forth, shall I shan’t I?

And I was also a wee bit scared that it would become a bait for the helmet brigade and also too negative a review. So bare with me when you read this review and somewhat a rant, but I hope you will get a good understanding for my reasoning*.

Because of our visit to Australia and New Zealand we had to get hold of a helmet for me, since the law there tells you that you have too wear one.

What I wanted was something light, airy and did not break the bank. So after some searching on the net and asking around I found the Specialized Propero cycle helmet.

Firstly when you get a helmet, do make sure it fits correctly to your head, so therefore don’t order online, unless you already know if it does. So I headed down to our LBS to try out a few bicycle helmet.

Evans a rather big bicycle shop here in the UK especially here in London, and have mixed reviews on their service. But one thing they are for is trying out and seeing your next purchase. Evans in Fulham are rather good at helping you out too.

So I had a good talk with the fella in the shop and told him what and why I needed a helmet. He then showed me a few models and recommended me the Propero. He also helped me out on how to fit a helmet, though I knew that already because of my job. And honestly the Specialized Propero was the one that felt the lightest and fitted the best to my head. Which is something that is different to us all, so yes do listen to advice from others, but do try the helmet out before you buy. What I later found out too, was that wearing one in the shop is different to wearing one while cycling.

Remember an ill fitted helmet is as good as not wearing one, and it is not the helmet that makes your cycling safer it is the way you cycle.

I have never worn a helmet before a few years ago, where I wore it for around a half a year. Honestly it was more of a hassle than anything. I can’t remember much about it, other than I stopped wearing it, because I constantly got sweat into my eyes. It was too hot to wear even in the British winters, and I would rather be able to see where I’m going than wearing a helmet.

Anywho, now back to reviewing the helmet, first the good things.

-A very nice fit
-The straps and the back adjuster are easy to adjust
-Fell nice and light
-Very airy
-Does feel like it is built to last, very good quality

Now to the bad things.

-Cleaning, if you sweat like me you will need to clean the straps now and again. I just wonder how you can take them of and give the straps a wash. Yes I know that you can get new pads when they wear out or get dirty, but what about the straps.

-The visor, because of the design the helmet sits rather high on my head. So therefore the visor sit around 4-5 inches above my eyes and therefore not much use. At that height it will not keep the rain or sun out of my eyes, unless I look down at my feet while cycling.

-Even when it is airy I do sweat a lot while wearing it. But that is me and a way to avoid swat getting into your eyes is to wear a buff underneath the helmet. But that makes it even hotter to wear. So I did have to stop now and again and rinse out my buff.

-It is not light when worn. After 10 or so miles riding with it, I developed neck pain from the base of my skull to the bottom of my neck. And it only went away when I didn’t wear the helmet. It also did make me very top heavy at the start, where I really felt off balance wearing it while riding. That I did get somewhat used to after nearly five weeks of wearing it everyday. Though, I really had to remember that I was wearing it all the time, if I forgot it threw me off balance.

-Airy, only when the wind came in to your face head on. As soon as there was a side wind, I could feel the helmet being pushed to one side. Going down hill and having a look over your shoulder to see what was coming, was plain and simple dangerous. As I would start to wobble and lose control of my bicycle.

I strongly believe, one of the things that keeps you safe on a bicycle. Is the ability to look back and see what is going on there and get eye contact with other road users behind you. I really was scared every time I tried to do so while wearing it.

-Is big! I really was aware of the massive big thing on my head. At 6’4″ (194cm) you really do not need that extra height. I have heard others comparing wearing a big helmet to a mushroom. The only time I banged my head in the eight weeks we were away, was when I walked into the reception of a campsite we visited. Even with me ducking my head to avoid the door frame I still managed to get a good old knock. Which I’m very sure I wouldn’t have had if didn’t wear the helmet.


I’m still going to give this helmet a rather high score. Because it is a good quality and if you can get along with it e.g. it fits your head, this is a good helmet. I’m not going to drag it down because my views on the helmet laws.

Link : Specialized Propero Helmet

*) Do read these two websites before you decide to wear a helment – cyclehelmet. And remember I have not in this post told you not to wear one. Just that if you decided to do so, fit it correctly, I see too many people who just slaps it on their head. I strongly believe that it should be your own choice, not the laws.


  1. Woolly,

    Not a lot of use to you at the moment but, should you have to wear a helmet again, one way to combat the sweat problem is this-


    Available at Amazon.

    I got one and use it occasionaly. it does what it says on the tin (well, packet)!


  2. Hi

    Interesting read and view of helmets. I live and ride here in Perth Western Australia where it is know to get a touch warm now and then and must admit I haven’t bothered to clean my helmet in the three years of using it. It is but fading now from the sun.

    The only thing I have started doing this summer is wearing a cycling cap under it. This has helped with the sweat for sure.

    As to be able to see behind etc I have never heard that complaint before about helmets nor experienced it myself; I do however use a mirror. Maybe more a problem of a your riding style than the helmet?

    Anyway an interesting review for sure and thanks for sharing.


    • I’m a cycle instructor and therefore I’m very sure that it is not my riding style.

      It was very noticeable. When there was a strong wind head on, I had no problems at all. It does look and feel like it is very aerodynamics for wind strait on. But when I turned my head or had a side wind my head was clearly pulled to the side, just like a sail.

  3. Well I can only comment from my experience and I do ride daily over the summer into the infamous Fremantle Doctor along the coast here. The Doctor blows straight in off the ocean at winds speeds often around 40 to 50 km/h and what you describe is not something that I experience and have never heard of any raising this as an issue either on the Australian Cycling Forums or on rides. If it was such a big issue it would come up for sure… heck we have debates about helmets on the local forums weekly it seems at times.

    If it is not your style then maybe your less than ideal choice of helmet may be part of the issue. You mention a visor which suggests a mountain bike helmet or an option to use it in this configuration rather than a road one. Road helmets, well the more “serious” ones do not come with visors: not ideal when on the drops for example. You don’t see roadies out on with visor equipped helmets for good reason.

    My own helmet is a Bell Sweep and I wear the road version not the mountain bike version for the simple reason the road one is a better design for on the road riding.

    Anyway it was an interesting review. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Wooly,

    Looking at the image of the helmet, the vents do look a bit like wind traps from the side. This may account for what you are feeling when doing the over shoulder looks.

    Windtrap vents and far to fast forward momentum equals a problem- slow down Wooly :-)

    More seriously, are you on an upright or drop barred bike when riding? if on drops, looking under your armpit may reduce the effect.


  5. Fussy as the title of this site says “a pootling touring…” it is not the speed that is the the issue. Remember I stop for cake and red light. :)

    Andrew yup we have that discussion here too every week. I didn’t really like the feel of the road bikes helmets and the price.

  6. As a long time Australian bike rider and therefore enforced helmet wearer, I’ve had a little bit of experience wearing a helmet – and even being fined $40 many years ago for not wearing it.

    Sweat? I’ve poured buckets of sweat into my helmet over the last 3 years and mostly all it needs is a good airing… I probably should pull the pads out and wash, but nobody has said anything (but it could be the reason they all stand up-wind of me). I figure the salt content will kill anything that grows in the helmet.

    The weight and size is something you get used to. Unless I look in a mirror, I forget I’m wearing a helmet. I ride motorcycles as well and a full face helmet weighs much more than a cycling helmet.

    There was a bit of a push in Australia to get rid of the laws requiring the wearing of helmets. I’d like the helmet laws removed as having to wear a helmet does look dorky and put a lot of people off riding (“but it will ruin my hairstyle!”) but I would probably still wear one when mountain biking and longer road rides.


  7. Well I’m actually kind of glad I’m not the only one with issues about the helmet laws. I’m not dead set against them and am understanding to the reasons on how they came up, but I tend to lean towards the side of not forcing people to wear helmets too. I am originally from Western Canada and we didn’t have them when I was younger but they were implemented later on, so I have experienced the benefits of not wearing them and the annoyances (some of which have been stated above) that come with wearing them. A lot of these laws get passed on the basis of saving lives, but you know, if we want to save more lives we could pass laws to keep people completely off bikes and driving cars should be illegal…but now I’m ranting.

    With that said, personally I like how they look. And I found one that fit me really well and it does make a lot of difference then one that is too big.

  8. I received this helmet at a charity ride in the May, 2011 and it works great to keep my head cooler then my older Bell Sweep helmet. The catfish mouth on the front of the Specialized seems to vent the air very well. I haven’t noticed any problems with wind restricting the areo performance. The Specialized helmet also works very well with my Sweat GUTR sweatband (www.uveto.com.au). This saturation proof sweatband works like a rain gutter and redirects the sweat away from my eyes and sunglasses. It also retains very little heat compared to Buffs or do-rags.


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