Troy Lee Designs’ Daytona series full face helmets are legendary and the D4 Carbon MIPS is the latest in a long line of winning lids.
What price would you put on your head? £500 is a lot of money, but the Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon is dripping with everything you’d expect from the legendary brand.
Have they got the ingredients right though? Ben finds out.
Photos by Dave Price.
- TeXtreme carbon fibre shell
- MIPS Brain Protection System
- 1000g Weight
- In-mold PC around vent openings and exposed EPS
- Ti D-rings & hardwareMIPS Brain Protection System
- Collarbone suspension system
- Break-away visor screws
- £500.00 RRP
The D3 from Troy Lee Designs is the most winningest helmet of all time, at least according to Troy and a quick glance around at a DH race or uplift quickly confirms its popularity as a go to helmet for the committed rider and racer. The new D4 aims to build on that success with a raft of upgrades to make it lighter, safer and also more expensive.
Having ridden many Troy Lee Designs helmets over the years, including the D3 carbon, I know they fit my head shape (slightly flat sides) really well and the D4 felt immediately snug and secure. The padding is generous without feeling like the helmet will move around, and it feels soft as it gently squishes my face.
It fastens securely with a motorbike style D-Ring closure made out of light weight titanium. This is my preferred method for securing a full face as it is so secure and easy to use and you never end up with excess strap flapping around.
The outer shell of the D4 Carbon is constructed with a new TeXtreme carbon fibre lay up that results in a thinner laminate that reduces weight while achieving a greater rigidness, increased strength and improved impact tolerance. It complies with a raft of DH and BMX standards that are required for racing in the UK and abroad. All of this should reassure you, along with the proven MIPS system that this is about as safe as a helmet can get.
For a full on DH helmet, the new D4 carbon is impressively light, weighing in at about 1kg for my size large. For reference this is about 100g less that the old D3 carbon and 200g less than the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon. This is also about 200-250 grams more than the leading light weight enduro full faces on the market from Troy Lee Designs, 100% and Fox. The light weight is immediately noticeable when riding and helps to reduce fatigue over a long day of sending it at the bike park or DH track.
Venting is in line with most other DH helmets out there and whilst Troy Lee Designs state that the ventilation channels and liner promote air flow, the bottom line is that full faces are hot and sweaty things on hot days. I spent a weekend of 25-30 C temperatures riding Dyfi and Revolution Bike Parks in the D4 and whilst you could feel some air moving through the helmet, it is always going to be hotter than an enduro type helmet. It is hard to say if it’s better than the old D3 or not.
Other nice bonus features include a decent carry bag that can also hold your goggles and lenses and it has a removable, washable liner which is really handy with this hot weather we are having.
As a whole package, it is really hard to beat the new D4 Carbon MIPS helmet from Troy Lee Designs. It looks awesome, maintaining some classic styling from the D3 whilst modernising and sharpening the aesthetic. Everyone who saw it was stoked on how it looks and with a wide range of colours and designs it will match any race kit you like.
The only stumbling block is the price. Whilst you can’t put a price on a safe head, £500 is a load of cash to pay for a helmet, especially if you nail yourself and have to replace it. For £375 you can get
the D4 Composite version that cuts the same silhouette and, according to TLD gives you the same protection for only a 50 gram weight penalty.
What do we think?
The Troy Lee Designs D4 Carbon MIPS is as good as it gets, if you can afford it.
- Lots of colours to choose from.
- Light weight.
- Badass styling
Could Do Better
- £500 is a lot of money