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Aero Helmet Thoughts

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Aero Helmet Thoughts

Old 12-11-20, 03:27 PM
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kosmo886
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Aero Helmet Thoughts

Looking for xmas upgrades. Is it worth it? Looking at the Giro Aether right now. Added safety features are certainly a plus, but also looking to get any aero benefits. Any idea how this one ranks or an alternative helmet that is good for a non professional racer...ie. needs to be comfortable! Keep hearing about the advantages of an aero helmet so curious on thoughts. Thanks
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Old 12-11-20, 04:21 PM
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I went down the same rabbit hole earlier in the year.

There is some wattage savings but honestly, an aero helmet provides marginal gains. Learning to ride in the drops or the aero position more often would net more gains. Specialized and GCN has some YouTube videos exploring these topics.

I personally bought a Limar Air Speed and enjoy it more for the features than the aero gains. It has a sunglass dock, magnetic buckle and since it has less vents, keeps the noggin a bit warmer on early morning rides.

If you just want an excuse to upgrade or treat yourself, find something that fits, looks good and makes you feel better about riding. Whatever keeps you happy out on the road.
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Old 12-11-20, 04:41 PM
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My wife has 2 of these https://www.amazon.com/dp/B083KB6ZLQ...ing=UTF8&psc=1 which allow her to hit 11


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Old 12-11-20, 04:53 PM
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I sweat a lot and the bulk of my riding is in hot weather that some won't even go outside to ride in. So airflow over aero will be for me. The Giro Aether seems to have plenty of airflow and was on my short list before choosing a Specialized S-Works Prevail II.

But if you already have a good helmet for general riding, you can certainly get the aero helmets like the serious TT guys use. Then when it's not sweltering outside you can see what it does for your times.

If you don't see much difference in your data, you can console yourself by remembering that cooler drier air is denser than hot moist air.
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Old 12-11-20, 05:09 PM
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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).

Truly? I doubt that an aero helmet makes much of a difference, but what the heck, right?
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Old 12-11-20, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by MinnMan View Post
Truly? I doubt that an aero helmet makes much of a difference, but what the heck, right?
A truly aero TT helmet gives a huge benefit, but I haven't seen a recent test done with aero road style helmets.
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Old 12-11-20, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by noodle soup View Post
A truly aero TT helmet gives a huge benefit, but I haven't seen a recent test done with aero road style helmets.
the link I posted has one. Can't vouch for it's applicability to the road, though. Also, GCN has a wind tunnel video somewhere. And I think Specialized does too.
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Old 12-11-20, 07:38 PM
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Get the Aether. I have Synthe and been waiting for a decent deal in the colors I want. My Synthe fits like a glove.

Just like Minnman I crashed my bike in Sept 2018 and they gave me 30% discount for a new helmet. However, the deal was for most helmets excluding the Aether if you are in the US. I guess they don't like giving out the good stuff for cheap.

I also purchased a Bontrager Ballista last year but never liked the fit. Maybe Giro's MIPS system is a better fit for my head shape. It's also heavier than my Synthe. Maybe that's one reason I never really liked it.
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Old 12-11-20, 08:27 PM
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I wouldn't call the Aether an aero helmet. A real aero road helmet, like the Specialized Evade can be worth around 10 watts over a traditional road helmet. A full TT helmet would be more, but not very practical for everyday use. As mentioned, your position, and your clothing, are worth more as far as aero goes.

If you're racing, then go for the fastest helmet, if you're just riding, then comfort and fit is the most important thing, and that's a very personal thing, like saddles, just have to see what works for you.
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Old 12-11-20, 10:47 PM
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Check out MET helmets too. A couple of their vented roadie type helmets have been rated well for aero, although I don't recall how they were tested -- wind tunnel, computer modeling, or on the track. I've read and watched so many helmet reviews they all blur together after awhile.

I have a knockoff of the older Giro Air Attack, including the visor, with the addition of a cover that snaps into the tiny vents. Along with an aero jersey (not a skin suit) it's good for a 1 mph speed boost on my usual 20-30 mile workout route, which I've ridden so often I know the effects of every bit of wind. That's on a conventional road bike, not a TT/tri bike or clip-on aero bars. I mostly ride the hoods, forearms as close as possible to parallel with the ground, the usual aero tricks for road bikes.

But I don't wear that helmet often. The harness and strap aren't as comfortable as my vented helmets so I wear it only when I'm feeling strong enough to seriously tackle a PR on a couple of familiar 5-6 mile time trial segments.

Due to chronic neck pain and stiffness from injuries I wouldn't get much use from a full blown TT helmet. My head is up and down, stretching side to side, etc., often during rides to prevent neck spasms so the tail/fin of a full aero helmet would just be catching air. The rounded sorta-aero helmets seem more forgiving of less than optimal head/neck alignment.
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Old 12-11-20, 11:42 PM
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Good question about the benefit of aero helmet vs. cost. Our shop did some real world testing of aero helmets. We found, regardless of brand or model, the aero helmet provided zero benefit in a 15 mile time trial. Aero wheels made a very big difference on the same course and it was determined that after one invests in wheels, then the other stuff like aero helmet, skin suit, etc. are next. Wheels should be first on the aero list for easily recognized gains.
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Old 12-12-20, 05:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Good question about the benefit of aero helmet vs. cost. Our shop did some real world testing of aero helmets. We found, regardless of brand or model, the aero helmet provided zero benefit in a 15 mile time trial. Aero wheels made a very big difference on the same course and it was determined that after one invests in wheels, then the other stuff like aero helmet, skin suit, etc. are next. Wheels should be first on the aero list for easily recognized gains.
Interesting comment as I've often heard wheels and helmet are equivalent benefits. I needed wheels anyways, so went with aero wheels (Syncros Capital 1.0 50 Disc) and noticed no difference between those and the carbon gravel wheels that came on my bike. Not scientific testing, but over many rides, speed seemed about the same. This is on 25-30 mile rides at somewhere between 19.5-20mph average ride speed. Only other consideration is I got the wheels as the weather got colder so not sure if air/temp difference perhaps counteracted the aero benefits.
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Old 12-12-20, 07:30 AM
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The other aero helmet benefit is keeping your head warmer in winter months.
I've seen the Giro Aether recommendations, but the Giro quasi-aero helmet I believe is the Vanquish.
Comp Cyclist has some good discounting at the moment on the Oakley Aro 5 which is another aero-ish type. FYI, the Aro7 (true aero helmet) is $500 at the same store.

If you're looking for a full TT style helmet, Sierra curiously has one of these on deep discount, but just in Medium:
https://www.sierra.com/smith-podium-...reviewsSection
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Old 12-12-20, 07:37 AM
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What about the Specialized Evade?
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Old 12-12-20, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Good question about the benefit of aero helmet vs. cost. Our shop did some real world testing of aero helmets. We found, regardless of brand or model, the aero helmet provided zero benefit in a 15 mile time trial.
Which says little about aero helmets, but a lot about the quality of your testing.
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Old 12-12-20, 11:23 AM
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Originally Posted by kosmo886 View Post
What about the Specialized Evade?
Mentioned above twice. I have one it was supposed to be the most aero
at the time I bought it. Not the coolest of course but I survived up to 102
this summer, I'm uncomfortable over 95 and this was no exception. Like the
mag buckle, don't care about crash reporting. The clear coat peeled at about
3 mo. I should have taken it back.
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Old 12-12-20, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Good question about the benefit of aero helmet vs. cost. Our shop did some real world testing of aero helmets. We found, regardless of brand or model, the aero helmet provided zero benefit in a 15 mile time trial. Aero wheels made a very big difference on the same course and it was determined that after one invests in wheels, then the other stuff like aero helmet, skin suit, etc. are next. Wheels should be first on the aero list for easily recognized gains.
Yeah, I'm sure that was a real robust test.

And tires/tubes make a bigger difference on speed than wheels. Just saying. Plus, seeing as how wheels are significantly more expensive than just about everything else, I'd put them way further down on the list for performance vs. $.

Bang for the buck:

1: tires/tubes
2: parts that will improve position (shorter cranks, narrow bars, longer stem)
3: clothing
4: helmet
5: wheels
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Old 12-12-20, 01:02 PM
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I picked up a Giro Air Attack when they were discontinued, & it makes a noticeable difference at faster speeds.

It's nice in the winter for cold & rain, & OK in the heat, but also 100g heavier (than Giro Prolight), which makes a difference to the neck on long rides.




So IMO, it's worth it, but keep an eye on the weight- some of them are bricks!
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Old 12-12-20, 03:55 PM
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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.
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Old 12-12-20, 04:08 PM
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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.
If that's supposed to be convincing, it's anything but.
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Old 12-12-20, 04:57 PM
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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.
Lol.

No.
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Old 12-12-20, 06:03 PM
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Maybe that included putting air in the tires for the faster run.
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Old 12-12-20, 08:05 PM
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I like the quasi-aero helmets for a different reason: wind noise. The less turbulence around your head, the quieter the ride.
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Old 12-12-20, 10:08 PM
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Ditto, tires and tubes. Most effective change I've made, besides better tires, was latex tubes for my wheels with older rims that aren't easily set up for tubeless. Latex tubes aren't nearly as fussy as I'd heard. Just takes a little extra care in rim prep and mounting but they work great.

And bike fit. My lightest road bike is also my slowest because I don't yet have the fit dialed in. I can't do 175 cranks anymore but that Ultegra crankset won't be cheap to replace with the 170 or 172.5 cranks I use on my other bikes. I do just as well on my heavier old steel bike mostly because the fit is perfect.
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Old 12-13-20, 02:32 AM
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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.
Ironically, the turbulent wake generated by a regular, draggy helmet maybe reducing the drag of your back (golf ball dimples principle...).

The lower drag aero helmet on the other hand, supplies your back with smooth-flowing wake which separates earlier from your back and increasing the drag of your back.....

That is probably why the net aero gain is negligible with aero helmet.

Perhaps you also need a TT jersey to go with the aero helmet....I'm not sure
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