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  1. #1
    TNC
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    Pryme AL & Deviant test.

    The Deviant showed up at the shop today...no, not me...the helmet. I was looking forward to comparing one of these to my modified Pryme ALs. To start, I was surprised how light the non-carbon Deviant is compared to the Pryme...not a lot, but it is lighter. In reality it may not be as substantial as my Pryme. Inside it's actually more like the styrofoam insert of a high quality XC, open-face helmet installed inside a very nice, light full coverage hard shell. In fact, the styrofoam moves just a tiny bit inside the shell. I'm going to shim this area to prevent movement with some thin rubber strips. The Pryme AL's inside styrofoam is solidly mounted inside the shell. We got some other Deviants, and they also have this slightly loose fit in the shell/styrofoam area. I don't see it affecting safety, as it isn't going to move anymore, and the inner styrofoam fits the head perfectly. That inner styrofoam insert even has the adjustable head band retention like the XC helmets.

    The venting is every bit as good as my Pryme, which I suspected as much just from the pics of Deviants that I had seen. The earhole padding is velcro removeable, and I ditched that right quick. The chin strap pads also unsnap with ease leaving a nice, wide, comfortable chin strap. Surprisingly the inside of the Deviant looks very much like the inside padding of my modified Pryme, and they felt very similar in the padding location and ventilation. I guess I knew what I was doing when I modded the Pryme.

    It's clear that both of these helmets will get the job done. They're both very cooly ventilated. I like the visor on my Pryme a tiny bit better. The inner fabric liner of the Deviant is removeable, so it will be easier to wash. Oddly even though the Deviant's chin guard appears to be further out, it's easier to get a Camelback mouthpiece up to my mouth in the Pryme for some reason. The Deviant is not difficult, just a little harder for sucking water than the Pryme. What's the bad news? Both helmets are easily good candidates for AM use, so you'll have to decide. The Deviant is missing most of the padding I removed from my Pryme, so you won't have to do any real work to the Deviant. The Deviant is usually noticeably more expensive than Pryme, but the '06 Deviants should be on sale now if the shops will be honest with you.
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  2. #2
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Be sure to check fit. The Prime does not fit me at all. The Specialized fits as if molded from my head.
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  3. #3
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    thanks for the write up TNC, I have been trying to decide between these two. does either one feel stronger or more solid over all?

  4. #4
    TNC
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    hardway, to my surprise the Pryme may actually have most substantial foundation, but with helmets you have to have a freakin' lab situation to really test helmet strength and integrity. The Deviant seems a little flimsier than the Pryme, but I seriously doubt that's the case. Why?...the Deviant, to my surprise, has a full Snell certification...very impressive. Does that mean the Pryme isn't as strong?...no. It just means that Pryme didn't spend the money to try to get the testing and possible certification, so all of this is hard to tell. As far as "feel" goes, IMO the Pryme has a more substantial feel on your head. And if you recall from my post a few weeks ago, I fully field tested one of my Prymes with a head landing straight into an imbedded rock pile. The inner foam got a crack from the really, really hard head plant right at the point of impact, so it did exactly what it needed to do. However, since the Deviant has a Snell rating, I don't have any reservations in its integrity. I gotta admit that if I was at a ski resort doing straight shuttle stuff in heinous conditions, I'd use my Mad Max over either of my other helmets. Otherwise, I'm wearing the Pryme or Deviant for all my trail use.

    hardway, these helmets are so similar in venting capability that my final decision as to which helmet I'd wear at any given time will probably boil down to style...yes, I admit it. Though I think both helmets look very good from just an appearance aspect, the Deviant is slightly more stylish in a kind of pimp-my-ride way. So when I'm at Moab or riding with a group out at our gnarly riding place, perhaps I'll don the Deviant more often to enhance my Cedric Gracia image. God...I hate to admit that...LOL!

    One other advantage on the Deviant is that you won't have to mod the padding like I did on the Pryme. It seems many who got the Pryme to use as a trail helmet are terrified to mod the jaw, ear, and neck padding. I say, don't be afraid...Specialized did exactly the same thing with their Deviant. Just don't remove anything from the cranial area.

  5. #5
    TNC
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    I agree Shiggy. I notice this issue with other helmet brand fit situations too. At the shop, we have a standing joke since we mainly sell Giro and Specialized helmets as our primary brands. Many people either have a "Specialized" head or a "Giro" head. Though many are fully able to wear either brand comfortably, many others seem to have a definite head shape that favors one brand or the other. I might also mention that many helmets that have the adjustable perimeter headband seem to fit a wider array of heads. The Deviant has this style of headband, so maybe another plus for the Deviant.

  6. #6
    Takw/agranofsalt
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    TNC,

    Thanks for the write-up but I have one question that I don't belive has been addressed yet. When you removed some of the padding in the Pryme around the jaw, ears and neck did it affect the side to side movement of the helmet at all? (and does the Deviant have this problem as well?) What I mean is on a fast, rocky rough trail does the helmet ever move around on your head? I've experienced this with other helemts but I'm sure it was just due to the helmet being too large for my head. I tend to prefer a tighter fit so that the hemet doesn't have any unwanted lateral movements or bounce around when I'm really trying to concentrate on the trail.

  7. #7
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    thanks for your thoughts TNC, although I can't say that made my decision any easier. there's a sweet deal on the pryme at pricepoint, so that may be the decison maker. sounds like I can't go wrong with either, unless I have a "shiggy" head.

  8. #8
    TNC
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    Hmmm, check this out.

    That slightly loose shell/foam fit that I mentioned in my original post is fairly evident from this pic. As I said, the others seem have this same "looseness", so I think this may be consistent on these helmets. Apparently the glue they use to bond the inner foam to the shell isn't up to par. None of the glue points were sticking the shell to the foam. Now...on the other hand, the foam fits fairly snuggly in the shell, and it's obvious it isn't going to just fall out. And actually I don't think it will contribute to an unsafe condition...but then again, who knows. The actual impact absorption will come from the foam portion of the helmet, and it stays securely attached to your head. Not an impressive turn of events, however. I'm not sure what I will do at this point. I may contact Specialized about this and get their take. I feel that the right glue would address this issue, but you really have to know what glue to use, as these styrofoam inserts can absolutely dissolve with the wrong glue, and you have to know what glue will make the proper bond between the two dissimilar materials involved in the shell and insert. Maybe this why the '06 models are reduced in price.
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  9. #9
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    I agree Shiggy. I notice this issue with other helmet brand fit situations too. At the shop, we have a standing joke since we mainly sell Giro and Specialized helmets as our primary brands. Many people either have a "Specialized" head or a "Giro" head. Though many are fully able to wear either brand comfortably, many others seem to have a definite head shape that favors one brand or the other. I might also mention that many helmets that have the adjustable perimeter headband seem to fit a wider array of heads. The Deviant has this style of headband, so maybe another plus for the Deviant.
    I generally have a Bell/Specialized head though it varies from model to model. The only Giro that fits (and fits great) is the Semi.

    The head bands (I call them head clamps) have their limitations, too. The basic shape of the helmet still needs to be a good fit for it to protect well. If a helmet is not stable without tightening the clamp, I will not use it.
    I once saw a women who's head only filled the front half of the helmet. She had the head clamp pulled all the way tight so it did stay on but I could have put my fist between the back of her head and the hemet foam.
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  10. #10
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    I have both...

    I have a Pryme AL 06 and a Specialized Deviant 07..

    Here's what I've found:
    • The Pryme is SIGNIFICANTLY heavier, and the chin guard is closer than the Deviant
    • The Deviant has far superior venting
    • Both fit my head (I'm surprised, because I usually wear Bell helmets)
    • Both give good protection
    I think for BMX/Downhill I'd use the Pryme (climbing in it sucks), and for Urban Assaults and aggressive trail riding, I'll stick with the Deviant.

    Both are good helmets, but it gets too hot for me to wear the Deviant most of the time that involves any type of climbing.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    That slightly loose shell/foam fit that I mentioned in my original post is fairly evident from this pic. As I said, the others seem have this same "looseness", so I think this may be consistent on these helmets. Apparently the glue they use to bond the inner foam to the shell isn't up to par. None of the glue points were sticking the shell to the foam. Now...on the other hand, the foam fits fairly snuggly in the shell, and it's obvious it isn't going to just fall out. And actually I don't think it will contribute to an unsafe condition...but then again, who knows. The actual impact absorption will come from the foam portion of the helmet, and it stays securely attached to your head. Not an impressive turn of events, however. I'm not sure what I will do at this point. I may contact Specialized about this and get their take. I feel that the right glue would address this issue, but you really have to know what glue to use, as these styrofoam inserts can absolutely dissolve with the wrong glue, and you have to know what glue will make the proper bond between the two dissimilar materials involved in the shell and insert. Maybe this why the '06 models are reduced in price.
    I don't have this problem, but then again, I have the 07.
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  12. #12
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    TNC I think that you have a defective product there...i would contact spec. about a replacement....the foam in mine is firmly in there

    I'm with shiggy on the fit the pryme doesn't fit me but the deviant does...the pryme is tight on the front and back of my head...while the spec. fits much better

    DMR

  13. #13
    TNC
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    Yeah, defective.

    Quote Originally Posted by DMR For Life
    TNC I think that you have a defective product there...i would contact spec. about a replacement....the foam in mine is firmly in there

    I'm with shiggy on the fit the pryme doesn't fit me but the deviant does...the pryme is tight on the front and back of my head...while the spec. fits much better

    DMR
    Yeah, Spec is already sending a couple of new helmets to the shop to replace a couple of these "loose" ones. It's definitely just a glue problem, but I guess stuff happens. I definitely like the helmet, and I think it's great to have two options now.

    Oh, on the Pryme fit, I noticed the same thing until the neck padding mod was done. Though I was doing the mod for the ventilation, a side benefit was a more comfortable fit. The neck padding seemed to "pinch" the head forward a bit. DMR, did you wear yours with the padding mod? Just curious. In the aftermath of the Pryme AL for AM thread, I've found hardly anyone did the padding mod.

  14. #14
    TNC
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    stripes, I'm still surprised to hear these "too hot" comments from many folks who've tried the Pryme. I'm finding that most of the riders who say this didn't pull the padding out like I did. Without pulling out the neck, jaw, and earhole padding I'd agree that the helmet is absolutely too warm. My Pryme is very similar to the inside of many open-face XC lids if you actually compare the venting and contact points on your head. In fact, as I said earlier, the Deviant just looks like the Pryme with the padding mods on the inside. Actually, the modded Pryme may have just a little more ventilatation at the rear of the helmet. Did you pull all the padding that I indicated on your Pryme?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    In the aftermath of the Pryme AL for AM thread, I've found hardly anyone did the padding mod.

    I think this is most likely due to two factors. First, as you pointed out, people are afraid of compromising the integrity and/or safety of their helmet by modifying it. Second (and for me most importantly) I believe that most people find that the helmet is not stable on their head when some padding is removed--specifically the cheek/ear padding, but possibly other padding too.

    If the helmet fits your head perfectly, and perhaps a little tightly, you might not notice this. However, I notice that as soon as I remove the cheek padding I get a drastic reduction in helmet stability. I think this problem could be solved through raising the chinstrap mounting anchors so that the strap would run along side the head and then under the chin (like a conventional bicycle helmet), instead of just under the chin (like a rice paddy worker's hat.)

  16. #16
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    stripes, I'm still surprised to hear these "too hot" comments from many folks who've tried the Pryme. I'm finding that most of the riders who say this didn't pull the padding out like I did. Without pulling out the neck, jaw, and earhole padding I'd agree that the helmet is absolutely too warm. My Pryme is very similar to the inside of many open-face XC lids if you actually compare the venting and contact points on your head. In fact, as I said earlier, the Deviant just looks like the Pryme with the padding mods on the inside. Actually, the modded Pryme may have just a little more ventilatation at the rear of the helmet. Did you pull all the padding that I indicated on your Pryme?
    Most riders do not modify their helmets
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  17. #17
    TNC
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    Now Shiggy...

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Most riders do not modify their helmets
    With that type of thinking we'd still be on the eastern side of the Atlantic....or riding rigid singlespeeds. Oh...wait a minute...you ride a rigid singlespeed...with drop bars. ...so nevermind.

    Seriously though, on these full coverage helmets, it's a fairly safe procedure to modify jaw, neck, or earhole padding as long you use some form of common sense and leave the cranial padding alone. If you leave jagged fiberglass surfaces or epoxy blobs sticking out where your neck, jaw, nose, or ears will get scraped or cut during an extreme impact, then yes, that's an ignorant move. The Pryme mod I've done on mine mirrors exactly what's going on inside a Deviant, so I feel fairly confident about that. And again, I'd be very leary of modding the cranial area of any helmet. I'd say you should generally leave that alone. If you'll look closely at the pic of the inner shell of the Deviant, it's nothing more than a skate-style lid inside of a full coverage shell. Now I can't tell if your comment was just an observation or a comment on the wisdom of modifying a helmet, but I don't think that properly modding a full coverage in these heat retaining areas I mentioned is a bad move. Remember, we're making a trail helmet out of a helmet normally more suited to DH/FR shuttled use. I'll wear my Pryme and Deviant over an open-face XC helmet for trail riding any day, and my unplanned helmet test on my first Pryme a few weeks ago just confirm my scaredy-cat attitude toward open-face helmets.

    I don't have any negative thing to say about the reason most riders wear open-face helmets for most riding, because that's their perogative and totally their call. Since it seems that helmet manufacturers, other than the Spec Deviant, are not addressing this "middle ground", coming up with reasonable options seems to be a reasonable pursuit. I'd think a guy who rides an MTB with drop bars would agree with thinking outside the box on equipment issues.......BTW, that's a joke, shiggy.

  18. #18
    Nouveau Retrogrouch SuperModerator
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    With that type of thinking we'd still be on the eastern side of the Atlantic....or riding rigid singlespeeds. Oh...wait a minute...you ride a rigid singlespeed...with drop bars. ...so nevermind.

    Seriously though, on these full coverage helmets, it's a fairly safe procedure to modify jaw, neck, or earhole padding as long you use some form of common sense and leave the cranial padding alone. If you leave jagged fiberglass surfaces or epoxy blobs sticking out where your neck, jaw, nose, or ears will get scraped or cut during an extreme impact, then yes, that's an ignorant move. The Pryme mod I've done on mine mirrors exactly what's going on inside a Deviant, so I feel fairly confident about that. And again, I'd be very leary of modding the cranial area of any helmet. I'd say you should generally leave that alone. If you'll look closely at the pic of the inner shell of the Deviant, it's nothing more than a skate-style lid inside of a full coverage shell. Now I can't tell if your comment was just an observation or a comment on the wisdom of modifying a helmet, but I don't think that properly modding a full coverage in these heat retaining areas I mentioned is a bad move. Remember, we're making a trail helmet out of a helmet normally more suited to DH/FR shuttled use. I'll wear my Pryme and Deviant over an open-face XC helmet for trail riding any day, and my unplanned helmet test on my first Pryme a few weeks ago just confirm my scaredy-cat attitude toward open-face helmets.

    I don't have any negative thing to say about the reason most riders wear open-face helmets for most riding, because that's their perogative and totally their call. Since it seems that helmet manufacturers, other than the Spec Deviant, are not addressing this "middle ground", coming up with reasonable options seems to be a reasonable pursuit. I'd think a guy who rides an MTB with drop bars would agree with thinking outside the box on equipment issues.......BTW, that's a joke, shiggy.
    Just pointing out why you should not be "surprised to hear these "too hot" comments."
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    stripes, I'm still surprised to hear these "too hot" comments from many folks who've tried the Pryme. I'm finding that most of the riders who say this didn't pull the padding out like I did. Without pulling out the neck, jaw, and earhole padding I'd agree that the helmet is absolutely too warm. My Pryme is very similar to the inside of many open-face XC lids if you actually compare the venting and contact points on your head. In fact, as I said earlier, the Deviant just looks like the Pryme with the padding mods on the inside. Actually, the modded Pryme may have just a little more ventilatation at the rear of the helmet. Did you pull all the padding that I indicated on your Pryme?
    Did it once, had to replace the helmet because it didn't feel secure, which is why I bought a FF in the first place.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    Yeah, Spec is already sending a couple of new helmets to the shop to replace a couple of these "loose" ones. It's definitely just a glue problem, but I guess stuff happens. I definitely like the helmet, and I think it's great to have two options now.

    Oh, on the Pryme fit, I noticed the same thing until the neck padding mod was done. Though I was doing the mod for the ventilation, a side benefit was a more comfortable fit. The neck padding seemed to "pinch" the head forward a bit. DMR, did you wear yours with the padding mod? Just curious. In the aftermath of the Pryme AL for AM thread, I've found hardly anyone did the padding mod.
    no i didn't in fact i've never even owned a pryme just from trying it on in the store...the deviant is the first FF that i've owned... i would have a hard time buying a helmet and modding it to find out that it still doesn't fit and the pressure on the front and back of my head was significant with the pryme

    DMR

  21. #21
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    I had to take that head clamp thing out of my Deviant. MAN that thing was killing me. Totally dug right into my scalp. Feels much better now. Fits very well also. I think it's a great helmet.
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  22. #22
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    Good job! I did the modification and it was great!

    Quote Originally Posted by TNC
    .......the aftermath of the Pryme AL for AM thread, I've found hardly anyone did the padding mod.
    Hi Mr. TNC,

    I modified mine and have loved the result! Let me take this opportunity to say Thanks, again, for posting your test results and directions. I appreciate your willingness to ďtake one for the teamĒ and be the first to cut up a perfectly good DH/FR helmet in hopes of making it better for AM use. Iím sure part of my willingness to modify the helmet came from already owning an excellent Giro XC helmet and a fantastic Vigor DH/FR helmet. I knew that this experiment, if it turned out poorly, wasnít going to mean that I didnít have a helmet to use. Also, instead of trail use, Iíve used the Pryme AL primarily for riding the training stunts and skinnies I built in my yard. I call them training stunts/skinnies because nothing is over 3 feet tall. Additionally, the landing zone around each stunt is free of obstacles and is grass covered. That said Iíve felt much better using a FF when Iíve been on an 8 inch wide, 24 foot long skinny elevated 3 feet off the ground. Because of the modifications to the Pryme Iíve been able to play on the new toys when it was far too hot to be using my Vigor.

    However, I have experienced many more strange looks while wearing the Pryme and doing a local ride hiting some of the natural jumps and rocks in the neighborhood. The FF definitely looks more threatening to Joe Citizen than a XC lid.

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  23. #23
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    hey, TNC, can you get a pic of the deviant with the ear pads in place? are they just pads that rest against the ears or are they full motorcycle helmet style cheek pads?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    I generally have a Bell/Specialized head though it varies from model to model. The only Giro that fits (and fits great) is the Semi.

    The head bands (I call them head clamps) have their limitations, too. The basic shape of the helmet still needs to be a good fit for it to protect well. If a helmet is not stable without tightening the clamp, I will not use it.
    I once saw a women who's head only filled the front half of the helmet. She had the head clamp pulled all the way tight so it did stay on but I could have put my fist between the back of her head and the hemet foam.

    It's cool to see that while Bell owns Giro, they keep the design/fit proprietary.

    I have a remedy and can say I love the looks of the Pryme, the new Deviant looks like some sort of lamprey/suckerfish gone arwy.
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  25. #25
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    I'm in the same boat, Shiggy....I haven't made the leap to a FF, so for the time being, I'm enjoying my Semi
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