15 Jul Aero Helmets
To wear or not to wear? That is the question….
For years we were told holey helmets were great – the more holes the better.
Now, we are being sold aero helmets with few or no holes for ventilation….times change…..
Having tried a few aero helmets, here’s what Cyclespeed thinks;
Firstly, if you’re not bothered about KOM’s or races, then steer clear – you don’t need to splash out if you’re not interested in trimming a few seconds off your ride, although some aero lids will keep your head warmer in the winter, and the visors of the Giro Attack Shield and the Casco Speedster work well if you don’t like sunglasses.
If you need a bit of free speed though, this is a good place to look. Traditional helmets are designed to capture air and push it over your head – not good from an aerodynamic viewpoint and do you really always need all that cooling? By limiting the number of vents, the air can pass over the helmet cleanly and some drag is saved.
The penalty is therefore less cooling and a bit more weight. If you’re planning on a trip to the Alps, Pyrenees or Mallorca in the summer, maybe best to stick with a normal lid, or go for a semi-aero like the Kask Protone or the Giro Synthe.
Take any manufacturer’s aero claims with a hefty dose of salt. They will pick the best performance angle for their helmet (say head inclined 20′ and yaw 10′) versus others, then say their’s is best. Aero performance will vary hugely according to head inclination and wind direction (yaw). Interestingly, many aero lids work best in a head down position (a la Froome, looking at your stem…!) Less wind noise is also an advantage of aero lids.
Price? Inflated of course, as it’s the current ‘new thing’, but look carefully and bargains can be had. We recently bought a Kask Protone for 149 Euros.
But remember, no aero helmet will get you a pro contract – that’s down to your legs!