Can a helmet design effect your overall speed/perfornance?
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  1. #1
    Alien Musician
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    Exclamation Can a helmet design effect your overall speed/perfornance?

    Okay this is silly.

    I've had a Specialized Enduro Pro (basically a MTB helmet I took the visor off of)
    for years and never thought too much of the helmets overall effect on my average
    or top speed... But it's getting a little old and figured I'd switch things up a bit.

    I bought a new Giro Atmos yesterday and tried it on a ride tonight. It's a dedicated
    road helmet, no visor.

    While riding, I had the fleeting impression that I seemed to be going faster than I
    normally would on a ride I've done dozens of times before.

    I discounted it until I looked at my GPS track when I got back to the house and
    my average speed was a little faster than normal as well.

    Not hugely faster, maybe 1-1.5 mph faster over the same course I've ridden for
    years and never paid it too much attention.

    The only other difference over my usual rides is I was wearing a new pair of
    Castelli bibs but other than that same bike, gloves, jersey, etc.

    I suppose that there's always going to be days when you perform a little better
    versus prior days but I wonder if there's something to this.

    Ideas?
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  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    my Giro Pneumo is seriously faster than my old Specialized head rig...

    2.047 mph improvement.
    Ancient Astronaut theorists say, 'YES!'

  3. #3
    rkb
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    fifth time's a charm
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    They make aero helmets for a reason. But, I would not attribute your increased performance to the lid. I would sooner say that the day was just a good day for you. Also, the bibs may have been more comfortable and have better muscle support that helped also.

  4. #4
    rock n rolling resistance
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    When I look dorkier I pedal faster... or is it the other way around

    Seriously... there's something to this...

    I don't look good in any helmet but I feel better about myself in some than others... but they are necessity. Some keeps me cooler than others as well.
    “nobody hears about dick cheney having an existential crisis.” - MKUltra3

  5. #5
    rkb
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    Quote Originally Posted by 6was9
    When I look dorkier I pedal faster... or is it the other way around

    Seriously... there's something to this...

    I don't look good in any helmet but I feel better about myself in some than others... but they are necessity. Some keeps me cooler than others as well.
    Ditto-

    I used to wear a Giro Eclipse in a large. I had purchased on the web and should have got a medium. Anyhoo, those Giros made me look like Mr. Mushroom head in a big way. This looks for some but not so much for me. So, I got a S-Works helmet and yeah, I feel better so I probably ride a little bit faster. And it is a medium, that alone guarantees that I'm 20 percent less dorky.

  6. #6
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    I'm sure the increase in speed was more related to the color of the helmet than the design itself.

    Seriously, TT helmets have a proven performance benefit, but there is no way it is 1+ mph.

    I tend to think you were just "feelin' it".

  7. #7
    Alien Musician
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    I wonder if it wasn't the angry motorist chasing me?

    Yeah, it's possible I was more comfortable.

    I guess I'll know more the less dorky I look.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliensporebomb
    Okay this is silly.

    I've had a Specialized Enduro Pro (basically a MTB helmet I took the visor off of)
    for years and never thought too much of the helmets overall effect on my average
    or top speed... But it's getting a little old and figured I'd switch things up a bit.

    I bought a new Giro Atmos yesterday and tried it on a ride tonight. It's a dedicated
    road helmet, no visor.

    While riding, I had the fleeting impression that I seemed to be going faster than I
    normally would on a ride I've done dozens of times before.

    I discounted it until I looked at my GPS track when I got back to the house and
    my average speed was a little faster than normal as well.

    Not hugely faster, maybe 1-1.5 mph faster over the same course I've ridden for
    years and never paid it too much attention.

    The only other difference over my usual rides is I was wearing a new pair of
    Castelli bibs but other than that same bike, gloves, jersey, etc.

    I suppose that there's always going to be days when you perform a little better
    versus prior days but I wonder if there's something to this.

    Ideas?
    Placebo effect? Good Subject effect?

  9. #9
    Lemur-ing
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    If you used an Ionos, you'd be even faster. Moreon.

    I do feel faster with a skinsuit Fwiw but I also feel the urge to not let up so that's a factor too.

    HTH etc...
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  10. #10
    Hucken The Fard Up !
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    It is true. Better and lighter designs are better for your performance.

    Many naysayers here will tell you, that is your legs and not the bike weight, aero helmet, aero wheels or whatever else.

    But the point is, I have allways the same legs, but if I ride with aero wheels I am faster than myself with no aero wheels.

    The same can be said about the lighter frames, helmets, handlebars, pedals, skinsuits etc etc.. they contribute to your performance.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Okay this is silly.
    I agree with that part.

  12. #12
    Old and Fixed, Moderator
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    Quote Originally Posted by lalahsghost
    Placebo effect? Good Subject effect?

    That's my guess....
    Dave Hickey/ Fort Worth

    My 3Rensho Blog: http://vintage3rensholove.blogspot.com/

  13. #13
    Alien Musician
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    I think I figured it out while I slept:

    -More/bigger vents.
    -More feeling off "air"
    -Feels like going faster.

    No problem.
    my music is online at aliensporebomb dot com yes indeed.
    my twitter for those bored: http://www.twitter.com/aliensporebomb

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    cool

    Quote Originally Posted by aliensporebomb
    I think I figured it out while I slept:

    -More/bigger vents.
    -More feeling off "air"
    -Feels like going faster.

    No problem.
    So if you want to feel really fast, go helmetless and shave your head. Should be pretty aero, too.

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Helmets make you slower by causing you to overheat faster.

  16. #16
    waterproof*
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    The shape of the helment might affect the way the wind noise sounds in your ears.
    Over your riding experience, you've developed an unconscious "set-point" where if the wind is loud enough, that means you're going fast enough.

    If the new helmet is quieter, that unconscious set point might be 1-2 mph faster.

    I haven't proved this of course, but I do believe it and I've used this effect to my advantage in windy races. Ever notice how a headwind will slow you down way more than it really should? I think that's why.

  17. #17
    duh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by aliensporebomb
    I think I figured it out while I slept:

    -More/bigger vents.
    -More feeling off "air"
    -Feels like going faster.

    No problem.


    so where did the "1-1.5 mph faster" come from?

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by uzziefly
    If you used an Ionos, you'd be even faster. Moreon.
    HTH etc...
    I love it when people call someone a moron and spell moron incorrectly.

    Sorry, I had to say it.

  19. #19
    duh...
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBike
    I love it when people call someone a moron and spell moron incorrectly.

    Sorry, I had to say it.


    this is really funny, but I'm pretty certain you have no idea why.

  20. #20
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    Actually I do, I was just screwing around because every time I see it it makes me laugh. Yes I am aware that it is a commonly accepted insult on the board, among others, and that is means nothing and is simply in jest. I also know that it is even in the sticky for the Politics Only section.

    And yes, that is one reason I posted what I did, irony is funny.

  21. #21
    Impulse Athletic Coaching
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    Quote Originally Posted by PBike
    Actually I do, I was just screwing around because every time I see it it makes me laugh. Yes I am aware that it is a commonly accepted insult on the board, among others, and that is means nothing and is simply in jest. I also know that it is even in the sticky for the Politics Only section.

    And yes, that is one reason I posted what I did, irony is funny.
    ...but that wasn't ironic.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    i certainly know i'm faster when i'm in good fitting, functionally sound, comfortable gear- you know, not worrying your cheap shorts are rolling down, not chafed by an old jersey... so perspiring under an old helmet could be distracting, as well as maker you warmer than you need to be... i'm not sure how much aero advantage would really play into this ( i think contador would beat me with a coleman cooler strapped on his head ), but yeah, i think a helmet can effect performance.

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by iliveonnitro
    ...but that wasn't ironic.
    Actually it was. Here is the definition of irony for you so you will understand it: Irony is a literary or rhetorical device, in which there is an incongruity or discordance between what one says or does, and what one means or what is generally understood.

    Sorry, but I am a comic by profession and I appreciate subtle humor. Sorry you didn't get it, but I am glad it made FatTireFred laugh. MOst of my act is at my expense so I did it here as well.

  24. #24
    feelin' Freddie Mercury
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    Better ventilation = more comfortable and cooler = a tiny bit faster. Maybe.

    ...
    Monkhouse: I want to go like my Dad did – peacefully, in his sleep, not screaming in terror like his passengers.

    System: Fake news?? Trump's a Fake President, for God's sake.

    Plat: I'd rather fellate a syphilitic goat than own a Cervelo.

    Homer: I believe that children are our future. Unless we stop them now.

    Seam: Saw Bjork poop onstage back in the day. It blew my teenage mind


  25. #25
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    I believe that your head plus a good road helmet is more aerodynamic than your head alone. It's been posted before, but the MIT cycling team figured out that a TT helmet has a much larger effect than deep rim or disc wheels.

    But I think the question is a little like asking, "is a 16 lb bike faster than a 17 lb bike?" The answer's yes, a tiny bit, when you're going up a hill, but probably not so much that you'd be able to feel the difference. Likewise, a good helmet should make a bit of difference, but as stated above, nowhere near an extra 1 mph.

    On the other hand, I'm kind of talking out my a**. Perhaps the more scientifically inclined will weigh in.

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