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Aero Helmet Thoughts

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Road Cycling It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle. -- Ernest Hemingway

Aero Helmet Thoughts

Old 12-13-20, 03:08 PM
  #26  
RChung
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
We found a 2mph increase in speed over the 15 mile course.
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Old 12-13-20, 04:51 PM
  #27  
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I went from a crappy (but light) Rudy Project to Specialized Evade because it looks cool. And I want to look cool.

It's honestly not all that great. The Evade is designed for oblong heads and my head is super round/wide so I had to size up. I basically have an asteroid on my head. The Cd might be lower but the A is way higher than my Rudy. Also, the Evade seems to be optimized for when you're looking almost directly at the horizon. If I dip my head lower than that, the air feels a bit more turbulent. Almost like an air brake. I miss being able to tuck my head in low and feel the wind on the back of my neck. I'd almost say that position with a normal helmet was faster than head up with an aero helmet. But ofc head-low positions are much harder to sustain. It's impossible in a tight peloton/race. It's only good for friendly or solo rides.

I think there's good reason Remco uses the Prevail over the Evade. He frequently uses the head down position, and the evade would act as an air brake in those situations. For $270, I got to look cool but idk if I got any faster. Subjectively, I have less fun with the evade because I feel forced to maintain an optimalTM head position. It's not worth it for casual riders IMO.

Oldschool TT helmets were optimized for head up positions, but newer ones are optimized for a range of positions, especially head down ones. Check out the Danish pursuit team for a good example. The newer helmets have tails that bend down. The evade does not have that because most racing happens in the head-up position.

This is all to say - don't count on the aero helmet being faster for you. And even if it is, is it really worth it?

Last edited by smashndash; 12-13-20 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 12-14-20, 07:30 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
When I crashed in October, I damaged my Giro Synthe MIPS, but escaped any head injuries. That gave me continued positive vibes about Giro helmets. Combined with the fact that Giro offered a 30% discount on any helmet as a crash replacement, I went with a Giro Vanquish MIPS. Its ventilation is probably not the best, and this test says it's not as aero as others in its class, but I like the visor. I haven't seen direct comparisons about the net power savings of helmets with visors, but I' sure it's beaucoup watts (jk).
My understanding of aero helmets - from what I have read, mind you, not first hand (full disclosure) - is that the best helmet can vary a lot from person to person. That said, the Evade and the Vanquish are pretty much at the top of most tests that I have seen (which isnt many). Here is one:
Road, aero road and TT cycling helmets: How much difference does the type really make? - 220 Triathlon
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Old 12-14-20, 01:22 PM
  #29  
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Back when I rode in the cold (the Kickr and Zwift have made me a cold weather wimp), I LOVED my Giro Attack - the half-face shield, the closable vents. I think it might have given me a few watts advantage... maybe. But the biggest benefit - and the reason I bought it - was the added cold weather comfort.
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Old 12-14-20, 01:49 PM
  #30  
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Here's a test from 2018

https://www.bikeradar.com/features/b...ted-and-rated/

I had the acid flash fade Evade helmet for two years. My LBS had it on sale because it was a Large, Ugly Color, and the clasp was a magnetic one instead of the standard snap one so nobody bought them and I got a great deal. It was the most comfortable helmet I've had. Wearing it back to back with another less "aero" helmet on a hill close to my house I could really tell the difference in wind noise going down the hill. It was striking in that manner. No clue if it made me "faster". I'm an old fat white Fred so I looked completely stupid wearing that helmet. Luckily nobody pays attention to what mediocrities like me are wearing so I didn't get made fun of or anything to my face. But I looked dumber than normal particularly since it was a size large. Sold it to a new owner who probably is faster for wearing it.

If anyone asks, I'd recommend the Evade over all others.

Here's a more recent "study" for some more "data".

https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...cling-helmets/

I went with a MIPS helmet with ANGI (piece of mind for my wife) and a size medium so now I only look 89 percent ridiculous instead of 113 percent ridiculous with an Aero helmet.

Here's some articles and videos (some with actual testing) showing which things for road cycling make you faster and it breaks it down my costs per watt. I think, IIRC that a helmet was up there but certainly not as good as wearing skin tight clothing and getting into a better more aero position on the bike. Wheels were high up there, but frames were not. Shave your legs, that will make you faster too.

https://www.torhans.com/pages/dollars-per-watt
https://www.shopforwatts.co.uk/blogs...watts-it-worth
https://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=...J-soSCDKCKR97t

Last edited by aplcr0331; 12-14-20 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 12-15-20, 12:44 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
I could really tell the difference in wind noise going down the hill. It was striking in that manner. No clue if it made me "faster".
So interestingly, there was a study a long time ago which claimed that they found wind noise tends to reduce performance - apparently and paraphrasing, it makes your brain think you are working harder than you are, and you have a natural tendency to ease down. They claimed that shutting out the wind noise enabled a rider to put out a little more power.
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Old 12-15-20, 01:39 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
So interestingly, there was a study a long time ago which claimed that they found wind noise tends to reduce performance - apparently and paraphrasing, it makes your brain think you are working harder than you are, and you have a natural tendency to ease down. They claimed that shutting out the wind noise enabled a rider to put out a little more power.
Indeed. I had two teammates hat used to wear earplugs during time trials for just that reason. Don't know if it helped them. Maybe it did, or maybe they thought it did, so it did?

Anyway, that was 2004ish, so been around a while.
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Old 12-15-20, 05:14 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by guadzilla View Post
So interestingly, there was a study a long time ago which claimed that they found wind noise tends to reduce performance - apparently and paraphrasing, it makes your brain think you are working harder than you are, and you have a natural tendency to ease down. They claimed that shutting out the wind noise enabled a rider to put out a little more power.
Hmmm, that is actually interesting. I wonder if that is true in my case.

When I got the helmet I did a "test" where I rode my "usual loop" ride twice; once with each helmet. And the only thing I noticed was that the aero one was indeed quieter (particularly on the fast downhill portions). At the time I rode the hoods all the time. I'm a bit more flexible and spend most of my time riding in the drops so I'm a bit lower than back then. I'm guessing that makes as big of a difference in aero as the helmet probably did.
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Old 12-16-20, 03:36 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
Indeed. I had two teammates hat used to wear earplugs during time trials for just that reason. Don't know if it helped them. Maybe it did, or maybe they thought it did, so it did?

Anyway, that was 2004ish, so been around a while.
I even got myself one of those wind blocking thingies that were supposed to attach to your helmet strap and reduce wind noise. Then i found out they didnt work with Spesh helmets. Then I realized that wind noise was NOT what was slowing me down.
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Old 12-16-20, 01:34 PM
  #35  
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Position for road or TT matters a lot for the helmet.

Both seem to have helmet designs better suited for "head/eyes way up" or a more "head down" or a more "turtle" style riding position.

The other thing with this is sniffing out the differences you really need a good "protocol" and decent equipment. A wheel speed sensor, GOOD power meter, and a bit of Excel magic and formulas. You can't just ride the same ole loop back to back and say "I went faster" or it "sounds quieter".

I always assumed one helmet I owned was a good one for me in TT. Then found out despite it being one typically testing well on folks......was a bit of a dog.
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Old 12-16-20, 02:19 PM
  #36  
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Id be more interested in a silent helmet than saving 2 watts at 50 km/h.
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Old 12-16-20, 02:30 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Racing Dan View Post
Id be more interested in a silent helmet than saving 2 watts at 50 km/h.
All depends on what your goals are.

If you've trained all you can train and time trial is your game......go with the faster helmet. I can't imagine a helmet would have so much noise as to be annoying but also be the faster helmet.

As for the testing at 40, 45, and 50kph........for TT at least........not everyone lives where it is pan flat. Sure, in a pan flat area folks doing TT might never sniff 30mph worth of actual airspeed (not ground speed). But with hills, even the slowest TT riders can go over 30mph for enough time that the aero would matter.

I do my own testing to make sure stuff works with my fit and my airspeeds. I don't trust manufacturer claims or tunnel tests on folks with different positions.
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Old 12-17-20, 11:02 AM
  #38  
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Yup. I just ordered an evade and it arrives today. I have an oblong head and have been fighting a giro for eight years that hot spots my forehead ! Looking forward to trying it out !
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Old 12-17-20, 11:10 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by snoggin View Post
Yup. I just ordered an evade and it arrives today. I have an oblong head and have been fighting a giro for eight years that hot spots my forehead ! Looking forward to trying it out !
On the subject: I, too, have a Specialized head - I haven't found anything else that fits quite right - and have been thinking about an Evade for my next helmet.

Off the subject: I'm impressed with the time elapsed between registering with the site and your first comment - kudos!
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Old 12-17-20, 12:48 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
On the subject: I, too, have a Specialized head - I haven't found anything else that fits quite right - and have been thinking about an Evade for my next helmet.

Off the subject: I'm impressed with the time elapsed between registering with the site and your first comment - kudos!
yeah wow!!! 2007! Ive been off and on for a long time On a bike that is. I seem fairly dedicated at the moment and hoping to keep it up. I have more time now
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Old 12-21-20, 07:25 PM
  #41  
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I use an Evade on road/gravel particularly in the winter. I use a Prevail II if its hot and on XC bike. The Evade definitely feels more aero, particularly with the head down. The Prevail is lighter and vents better. Both fit my relatively oval-ish head well.
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Old 12-22-20, 08:50 AM
  #42  
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I have a propero and evade, myself. Specialized has the best strap system I've found. I like how I don't have to adjust around the ears, and it just fits perfectly without any bunching in the back. Quite important in an aero helmet when floppy helmet straps can so negatively impact aero savings...
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Old 12-22-20, 10:00 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
We found a 2mph increase in speed over the 15 mile course. It is a regular course that is ridden by all of us on a weekly basis as a time trial, thus we were all familiar with it. Held on same day for the helmet test and same day for wheel test between three of us, each wearing a different helmet, but using the exact same wheel set and tires. Wind conditions are almost always the same from week to week. It was as controlled a test as we could get. No kidding, the helmet did not help with reducing time over the course. The wheels without question did.

which shows how bad your test was. Based on publicly available information, it is virtually impossible that the wheels made a 2mph difference, even going from something like a 36 spoke box rim to something very aero.
Its also highly likely that aero helmet would
make some measurable difference in speed.

there are so many variables you failed to control: wind speed and direction, temperature, effort of the rider, the placebo effect of believing you were supposed to be faster, etc, etc,.

you could have at least controlled for a constant power output.
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