Like anything in the bicycle world, you can spend a lot of money to obtain the best helmets on the market. Fortunately, you can still get a great helmet with advanced protection without emptying your wallet. The new Specialized Align II is proof of that concept.

Specialized Align II bike helmet front

Even though this helmet would be considered “budget-friendly”, it still offers an impressive level of detail. Built with 14 vents, the 4th Dimension Cooling system has even been lab-tested in the Specialized Win Tunnel to ensure excellent ventilation.

Specialized Align II bike helmet on female rider Specialized Align II bike helmet on male rider

While the vents aren’t quite as large as those on more expensive helmets, it still offers that signature look of modern Specialized helmets with the smiling air scoop right at the front of the helmet and clean lines.

Specialized Align II bike helmet headset sx

Branding has been kept to a minimum for a clean aesthetic, and there are black-reflective decals and reflective webbing for increased visibility in low light conditions.

Specialized Align II bike helmet size chart

Available in three different shell sizes, additional fit adjustments can be made through the Headset SX dial fit system. When it comes to the actual fit of the helmet, the sizing is listed a bit different than higher-end Specialized helmets with S/M, M/L, and XL as the sizes. Going by the ‘CM’ recommendations, I would be a S/M at 55cm. However, I usually wear a 7 1/4″ hat which puts me in the M/L camp. It turns out that I should have gone with the larger size since the S/M doesn’t work well with the top/back of my head. It almost fits, but the larger size would be needed. Usually, I wear a medium Ambush or Prevail II for reference.

Specialized Align II bike helmet mips

One of the biggest selling points is the addition of MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) at the $50 price point. It’s awesome to see MIPS dropping to more approachable price points – the MIPS liner at this level might not be quite as sleek as more expensive helmets, but every MIPS liner has to offer the same 10-15mm movement in all directions to be approved. This movement that happens in milliseconds of impact is what’s said to reduce the amount of rotational forces transmitted to your brain making for a potentially safer helmet.

Specialized Align II bike helmet mips

On the Align II, the Headset SX fit system makes a complete loop around the head, and the MIPS liner is then attached to the fit system. There is no vertical adjustment for the Headset SX system, but the one-handed micro-dial makes it easy to dial in the fit.

Specialized Align II bike helmet straps

The straps are a simple affair with Specialized’ Tri-Fix web splitter and a standard buckle. Note that this means that the ear cradles are not adjustable, but the chinstrap is.

Specialized Align II bike helmet actual weight s/m

Built with the typical in-molded construction of quality bicycle helmets, this S/M Align II checks in at 348g – which is lighter than the 355g claimed on the helmet sticker.

Offered in seven different colors and all priced at just $50, the Align II seems like a great option for those looking for a stylish MIPS-equipped helmet, at an approachable price. Available now.


  1. Lamar on

    I’ve never had a helmet that fit so tight, even with the adjustment dial set to headache, that it did not rotate on my head. So why do I meds MIPS?

    • Darius on

      And how $50 helmet looks like? Very snobbish comment. Good luck spending $200 on helmet just because it looks “expensive”

  2. typevertigo on

    Reminds me of their older Centro helmet model. That was pretty good, in my experience.

    Adding MIPS at roughly the same price point is a win.

  3. Ash on

    Would like your suggestion on what size to go for, My head measures around 55cm and I wear hat sizes 6 7/8 – 7 . Should I go for the S/M or the M/L??? I know the sizing chart is usually off so I would appreciate your opinion, thanks

    • Zach Overholt on

      That’s a tough call. My head measures about 55cm as well, but I wear 7 1/8 or 7 1/4 hats. The S/M of this is too small for me since it fits pretty narrow. I’m usually a solid medium in helmets that have single sizes. Hope that helps.

      • Ash on

        Thank you for the reply! I went with the M/L, the S/M feels too tight on the sides, maybe because I have more of a round head? The M/L felt with less pressure and more comfortable. I feel like specialized helmets fit people with oval heads better…


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