PRODUCT: Troy Lee Designs SE4 Carbon Maze helmet is a lightweight, high-end helmet that uses a carbon/Kevlar shell that helps keep the weight to 1325 grams (or 2.92 pounds). This lid features 20 intake ports to channel the cool air around your head and then force the hot, sweaty air out through the rear exhaust ports. It features the MIPS brain protection system, which reduces rotational forces to the brain in the event of a crash. The SE4 Maze uses anatomical, 3D-designed cheek pads that have an emergency release system for EMS responders and uses plastic visor screws with brass inserts that enable an easy-impact breakaway.
POSITIVES: This bucket is light, which is a key ingredient to any rider who spends a decent amount of time on his machine. Naturally, being featherlight helps zilch if there’s no inherent safety built into a device that attempts to protect your skull in the case of a headfirst slap-down. Troy Lee Designs fits the SE4 Carbon Maze with MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) technology that lets the helmet slide relative to the head, adding more protection against rotational violence to the brain caused by angled impacts. Airflow is exceptional, and the eyeport is very open, allowing good vision in all directions. We found the cheek pads and liner to be easy to remove and install compared to other helmets. It comes with a sweet helmet bag and includes an extra visor.
NEGATIVES: When you demand light weight and technology that protects your brain, it’s gonna cost you. The TLD SE4 Carbon Maze was originally priced at $650, but it’s now available for $390.
BOTTOM LINE: Purchasing a quality helmet is a very personal decision. You want the best bang for your buck, but you must demand safety if you put any value in your brain and protecting it. There are three keys that we adhere to—proper fit (it must be snug, won’t drop down in a G-out or pinch like a vise), it has to be light (MX guys can get away with a decently light lid, but off-roaders who spend hours at a time in the saddle benefit hugely from less head weight), and it has to fit into a realistic price range. Honestly, the TLD SE4 Carbon Maze is at the peak of helmet pricing at its original $650, but at its reduced $390 price, it’s at the top of the radar.
PRICE: $390 CONTACT: www.troyleedesigns.com