by Brandon Turman
When you hear the words "Troy Lee Designs," what do you think of? We think of smooth lines, classic looks and killer style. Hands down, they make the most sought after gear, which is why we were pumped when they contacted us about doing a review of the D3 helmet.
Our review is still a few months out (we need to crash more to really test them out), but in the meantime, here's a quick overview of what's rad about the D3.
From left to right, the 2013 Troy Lee Designs D3 helmet lineup includes the carbon fiber Mirage in red/yellow, the composite Mirage in blue, and a new edition of the Palmer in a super blingy mirrored-chrome finish.
When the D3 first came out, it was clear that TLD had stepped things up in every way from the venerable D2. How so?
First and foremost, they made some big advancements with the unique aerospace shell construction, and they did so while improving the overall look of the helmet. Just to put it over the top (okay, and to lighten it up a smidge), they added machined titanium hardware for the visor hardware.
Internally, it uses a dual density shock pad system - this is made to protect your noggin by progressively slowing your head down in the event of an impact. All told, the helmet exceeds several safety standards, including CPSC 1203, CE EN 1077, CE EN 1078, ASTM F1952 and ASTM F2040. The D3 is functionally equal to its looks, and we've been impressed all around so far.
Check this out - in the event of an emergency, quick-release cheek pads for aid in helmet removal. Thanks for thinking ahead, TLD.
The liner itself is removable, replaceable, and washable. It uses CoolMax and Dri-Lex fabrics to keep you both dry and cool.
All told, there are 20 high-flow intake and exhaust ports. From the front, this thing almost resembles a fighter jet. Several intake vents above the goggle area are made with a injection-molded material. In conjunction with deep EPS channeling, they provide some really impressive ventilation.
Combining all the above with some bold and classic TLD styling, you've got an impressive new lid.
The carbon fiber D3 Mirage in red/yellow goes for $450, the composite Mirage in blue for $375, and the oh-so-rad composite Palmer in chrome for $395. Those prices include two visors just incase you take a spill and a nice helmet bag.
One of our test models as already been put to good use. Keep an eye out for a full-featured review and our final verdict in the coming months...
About The Reviewer
Brandon Turman likes to pop off the little bonus lines on the sides of the trail, get aggressive when he's in tune with a bike, and to really mash on the pedals and open it up when pointed downhill. His perfect trail has a good mix of flow, tech, and balls-to-the-wall speed. He loves little transfers, rollers, and the occasional gap that gives him that momentary stomach in your throat kind of feeling. Toss in some rocky bits with the option to double over them or risk pinch flatting and you've got a winner in his book. In 13 years of riding he worked his way through the Collegiate downhill ranks to the Pro level. After finishing up his mechanical engineering degree, his riding focus turned to dirt sculpting and jumping with the occasional slopestyle contest thrown in for fun. Nowadays he's Vital MTB's resident product guy.