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May 02, 2014
Aero cycling helmets have been de rigueur in time-trials and triathlon since the late 1980s. In terms of value for money they are one of the most cost efficient ways that you can improve your aerodynamic profile on the bike and improve your times – be at 10 mile TT blast or the 112 miles of an Ironman.
A recent development in aero helmets is the application of the technology to helmets that can be worn during long stage races, providing significant aerodynamic benefits without the excess weight or reduced cooling associated with the traditional aero helmets. For 2014 we’re stocking the Specialized S-Works Evade and the Giro Air Attack as our options for those looking for an aero-road hybrid helmet whilst the Specialized Aero TT2 remains our standard aero helmet choice.
You’ll have perhaps first noticed the Specialized S-Works Evade helmet atop Mark Cavendish’s head as he sprinted to yet another sprint victory. Why is Cav wearing an aero helmet when he spends everything but the last 200m shielded behind his team mates? Specialized have produced data to suggest that this helmet produces aerodynamic savings equivalent to being 2.6m ahead at the finish line in a 200 m sprint when compared with the S-Works Prevail (the standard S-Works road helmet). Of more relevance for time trialists and triathletes is the fact that at a power of 300 watts you’ll be approximately 0.5 km/hr quicker when compared to a standard helmet, savings that are comparable to many conventional time trial helmets.
The Giro Air Attack is available with and without an integrated shield. You’ll see the majority of riders using it without the shield as it offers greater versatility during long road races, although the shield was a regular feature amongst the pros in hilly time-trials and triathlons last year. The Air Attack is generates 11.2% less drag than Giro’s top-end road specific helmet and provides 90% of the cooling power of their most vented helmets. This helmet has been a regular feature amongst Team BMC and Katusha and is even worn in the height of summer for the faster flat road stages in the Tour.
Unfortunately comparative data is not available for the 2 helmets, although the available data suggest that they will offer very similar aero savings and our customers have reported both to offer the same cooling that they would expect from a conventional helmet. As with all helmets we encourage customers to make their choice based on fit – these are products that can drastically reduce the fun of riding if the there’s any associated discomfort.
We really rate this new aero-road helmet category as it allows customers to access the benefits of aerodynamic savings whilst not compromising on cooling or comfort, factors that are particularly important to triathletes who are looking to get off the bike without soaring core body temperatures. They also give you the option to own 1 helmet that ticks all the boxes, saving space and money.