Now that bikes have become incredibly light and stiff, the new frontier in bicycle product design is aerodynamics. After all, a bike is only as aero as the rider on it. Helmets are one of the biggest factors in a rider’s aerodynamics on a bike, and you’ve likely seen those enormous time trial helmets that look like the villain from the movie “Alien”.
Three major players in the helmet market, Giro, Bell and Smith, have unveiled new aero helmets in the past few weeks.
Giro had already pioneered aerodynamics with the Air Attack model, but it was certainly polarizing in its looks and doesn’t offer a lot of airflow to cool your head. The new Synthe has much more traditional looks and still promises all the aerodynamic advantages.
The Synthe will retail for $250 when it hits stores at the end of the year.
Smith made a big splash in the helmet market last year with the introduction of the Forefront mountain bike helmet with a unique protection system and a huge array of color options. The Overtake is the road-going sibling, built around Smith’s Koroyd honeycomb material that allows for lots of ventilation while still maintaining safety. It is also available with the MIPS system that adds extra protection from rotating head movement in accidents.
The Overtake will retail for $250 with a $60 upcharge for the MIPS system. It should be available this fall.
Bell Star Pro
Bell’s latest offering lets the rider choose between full aero and extra venting with a small switch to open or close the vents. The idea is that one helmet can cover both bases, and do each one exceptionally well, according to Bell’s tests. It is also one of a new breed of helmets to have eyewear built in, with a magnetic Zeiss shield that can be removed and stored on the helmet’s exterior when not in use.
Look for the Star Pro to go on sale this fall with a retail price of $240 or $280 with the shield.