Specialized sets the Tone for a commuter helmet with stealthy ventilation

Specialized sets the Tone for a commuter helmet with stealthy ventilation

If you’re an urban bike commuter, you might not want a race-optimized helmet that promises aero gains, race-ready ventilation, and hyper lightweight construction — especially if it costs an arm and a leg.

But you probably do want a bucket that’ll both keep you safe and help you look cool around town. Enter the Specialized Tone, a MIPS-equipped, low-profile helmet designed for everyday cyclists.

specialized helmets

Photos c. Specialized

The Tone starts with a Specialized Headset SX fit system, with its proprietary adjustable Tri-Fix web splitters. The splitters are standard on all Specialized helmets and they aim to do a little more than fixed splitters, with low-profile, simplistic functionality.

Specialized Tone top vent Specialized Tone rear vent

While the Tone doesn’t appear to offer massive ventilation, Specialized claims that internal channeling gets the job done.

Specialized Tone front vent

Air is channeled through the front vent just in front of the MIPS system, and then intended to be sucked through the internal channels and out the top and back of the helmet.

Specialized tone MIPS liner

The helmet features the familiarly yellow MIPS liner, which is quickly becoming a safety standard, and protects against rotational impacts by affording a multi-layered sliding motion of 10-15mm in all directions. The idea: reduce rotational forces transmitted to the brain during angled impacts.

The Tone is also compatible with the Specialized ANGi crash sensor, which notifies your selected contacts if you crash out and can’t communicate. Note that the sensor isn’t actually included with the helmet – you’ll have to purchase one separately for $50.

specialized tone

Reflective decals and the highest 5-star Virginia Tech Helmet rating finish out the minimalist bucket. It comes in several colors and costs $80 MSRP.


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