Can we just admit that Aero helmets are stupid? - Page 2
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  1. #26
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    An aero road helmet will provide more benefit than the most expensive aero wheels.

  2. #27
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    From the BikeRadar article

    In a 200m sprint at 1,000 Watts an output approaching that which the pros can achieve Specialized claim it gives a 2.6m improvement.

    2.6m is HUGE. I've lost 5 places in 2.6 meters before. Also, most Cat 2 sprinters I know can do 1,000 watt sprints as well so this is relevant to the average racer.

  3. #28
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    Re: Can we just admit that Aero helmets are stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by junior1210 View Post
    Judge Dredd called and said he wants his helmet back........NOW!
    That made me laugh...hard.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviousalex View Post
    From the BikeRadar article

    In a 200m sprint at 1,000 Watts an output approaching that which the pros can achieve Specialized claim it gives a 2.6m improvement.

    2.6m is HUGE. I've lost 5 places in 2.6 meters before. Also, most Cat 2 sprinters I know can do 1,000 watt sprints as well so this is relevant to the average racer.
    And that's grate if you only sprint in wind tunnels. Hence why aero helmets are stupid.

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    And that's grate if you only sprint in wind tunnels. Hence why aero helmets are stupid.
    Is wind in a windtunnel somehow different from wind outside? Are the air molecules thinking "Let's screw with the data and go REALLY hard this time!" I've been in a road race with a bad wind where I was pushing 270 watts to go 17mph on a flat road. I would have loved one of those helmets then.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by deviousalex View Post
    Is wind in a windtunnel somehow different from wind outside? Are the air molecules thinking "Let's screw with the data and go REALLY hard this time!" I've been in a road race with a bad wind where I was pushing 270 watts to go 17mph on a flat road. I would have loved one of those helmets then.
    You don't race in clean air aero helmets are useless outside of totally clean air in a wind tunnel environment. That's why they are stupid and mostly marketing.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    You don't race in clean air aero helmets are useless outside of totally clean air in a wind tunnel environment. That's why they are stupid and mostly marketing.
    Do you have ANY clue at all about bike racing? Any clue? Even just a little one...?
    I work for some bike racers
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  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Do you have ANY clue at all about bike racing? Any clue? Even just a little one...?
    Actually yes I do I race. And unless you are in clean air I can't see how it will do any good. With all the turbulent air coming off every thing around you and the wind that can be from any direction its useless.

  9. #34
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    It looks a helluva lot better than that skate-park abomination from Giro.
    Capt Willard: "Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute Charlie squats in the bush, he gets stronger."

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    Actually yes I do I race. And unless you are in clean air I can't see how it will do any good. With all the turbulent air coming off every thing around you and the wind that can be from any direction its useless.
    What kind of wheels are you using?
    I work for some bike racers
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  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    What kind of wheels are you using?
    Campy Zondas

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    Actually yes I do I race. And unless you are in clean air I can't see how it will do any good. With all the turbulent air coming off every thing around you and the wind that can be from any direction its useless.
    If you aren't acustomed to being in clean air I can understand your perspective. The men who are acustomed to being "at the front" of the peleton may have another perspective. Seems to me, they might just be seeing some of this "clean air" you're not familiar with.

  13. #38
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    If a helmet fits well and ventilates well, there's no sense it not be aero. Marcel Kittel, winner of stage 1 yesterday, was wearing an aero Uvex. To his right in the final sprint to the line was a Katusha rider with an Air Attack. Further behind the Katusha rider is a white and green aero helmet. Of course Cavendish crashed out of the final sprint but his team and others were wearing the Specialized Evade aero helmet. You may argue that Pros use what the get paid to use, but they only get paid in the first place because they produce results. They don't use stuff that hinders their performance, to the point of relabeling things they think they need to perform.

    From what I know about aerodynamics and cooling from the aviation and transportation industries, it's about time helmets are starting catch up. They may have looked futuristic, but they've been 50 years behind the times.

    From the purely cosmetic point of view, I agree the Evade looks ludicrous.

    Can we just admit that Aero helmets are stupid?-kittel-wins-681x440.jpg
    ... 'cuz that's how I roll.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    Actually yes I do I race. And unless you are in clean air I can't see how it will do any good. With all the turbulent air coming off every thing around you and the wind that can be from any direction its useless.
    Can you explain how a less aerodynamic object like a helmet is no longer less aerodynamic in "dirty" air (as in riding in the draft of others)?


    When riding in the draft of others, you are not necessarily seeking to gain speed, but rather to reduce further the energy required to maintain your position. Saving energy is crucial in order to have more energy to use when it really matters, like the final sprint, or on a cumulative basis in a stage race.

    A great example might be team pursuit riders. Recovery while in the line is critical to the ability to have the energy to maintain speed when doing a turn, or indeed not cracking early. The aero helmets work while in the draft as well as when on the front.

    Then of course to win a race or help someone else to win a race, you are presumably in clean air at some crucial stage and getting more speed for the power you have is presumably advantageous.


    As for regular time/speed gains, I've coached 3 world masters hour records, and have performed aerodynamics testing for many people. In a lot of tests we test the aerodynamic differences of various helmets on the riders.

    For one of my hour record clients, the difference for him between two different aero helmets was over a kilometre on his hour record.

    For some people, due to position and morphology, the differences can of course be somewhat less, but they do exist. Been testing quite a few helmets lately, and there are significant differences between aero helmets, let alone with standard vented helmets.

    Now if you're just out to enjoy a nice ride with your mates, or race mid pack local C grade, then perhaps it's no big deal - just ride what's comfy and you enjoy yourself. But if speed or saving energy is precious for your ride/race objective, then it makes complete sense to investigate sensible, legal, ethical means to improve your performance.

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Simmons/RST View Post
    Can you explain how a less aerodynamic object like a helmet is no longer less aerodynamic in "dirty" air (as in riding in the draft of others)?


    When riding in the draft of others, you are not necessarily seeking to gain speed, but rather to reduce further the energy required to maintain your position. Saving energy is crucial in order to have more energy to use when it really matters, like the final sprint, or on a cumulative basis in a stage race.

    A great example might be team pursuit riders. Recovery while in the line is critical to the ability to have the energy to maintain speed when doing a turn, or indeed not cracking early. The aero helmets work while in the draft as well as when on the front.

    Then of course to win a race or help someone else to win a race, you are presumably in clean air at some crucial stage and getting more speed for the power you have is presumably advantageous.


    As for regular time/speed gains, I've coached 3 world masters hour records, and have performed aerodynamics testing for many people. In a lot of tests we test the aerodynamic differences of various helmets on the riders.

    For one of my hour record clients, the difference for him between two different aero helmets was over a kilometre on his hour record.

    For some people, due to position and morphology, the differences can of course be somewhat less, but they do exist. Been testing quite a few helmets lately, and there are significant differences between aero helmets, let alone with standard vented helmets.

    Now if you're just out to enjoy a nice ride with your mates, or race mid pack local C grade, then perhaps it's no big deal - just ride what's comfy and you enjoy yourself. But if speed or saving energy is precious for your ride/race objective, then it makes complete sense to investigate sensible, legal, ethical means to improve your performance.

    Easy for 90% of the people riding bikes its useless. There are maybe 1% that get any advantage from aero helmets. Its like showing up at a cat5 race is a skinsuit. Its just not going to help you. I think lots of people lose total perspective with this stuff. All they can think about is its going to make them faster and there are vary few situations when it will. I would argue so few its better to spend your money on almost any thing else.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    Easy for 90% of the people riding bikes its useless. There are maybe 1% that get any advantage from aero helmets. Its like showing up at a cat5 race is a skinsuit. Its just not going to help you. I think lots of people lose total perspective with this stuff. All they can think about is its going to make them faster and there are vary few situations when it will. I would argue so few its better to spend your money on almost any thing else.
    You should have said that in the beginning.
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  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    You should have said that in the beginning.
    See post 6.

  18. #43
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    I can't believe I read most of this thread. Wow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    Easy for 90% of the people riding bikes its useless. There are maybe 1% that get any advantage from aero helmets.
    What is different about those 1% than the rest? Clearly the helmet, air, and physics are the same, so what is so special about that 1% that drag is reduced for them but not the rest (and once drag is reduced, the benefits follow naturally)?

    Obviously, there is no special fairy dust just for that 1% and the advantage is there for everyone. Just as the Cat 5 rider in a skin suit will be faster for the same power or save power at the same speed just like his pro colleague.

    There's plenty of data showing the benefits from these various pieces of equipment. Where's your data showing no change?

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by asgelle View Post
    What is different about those 1% than the rest? Clearly the helmet, air, and physics are the same, so what is so special about that 1% that drag is reduced for them but not the rest (and once drag is reduced, the benefits follow naturally)?

    Obviously, there is no special fairy dust just for that 1% and the advantage is there for everyone. Just as the Cat 5 rider in a skin suit will be faster for the same power or save power at the same speed just like his pro colleague.

    There's plenty of data showing the benefits from these various pieces of equipment. Where's your data showing no change?
    Yeah, the laws of physics don't change for the top 1% of riders, but it's a matter of benefit-to-investment ratios. The typical rider will not see benefits that justify what they paid. If we look at the actual physics of air resistance, the power needed to overcome drag follows a cubic curve. That kind of power output becomes much more apparent at 25+ mph than it does when you're averaging 15-20 mph.

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by SauronHimself View Post
    Yeah, the laws of physics don't change for the top 1% of riders, but it's a matter of benefit-to-investment ratios.
    That's a value judgement and is specific to every rider. There's no way to know in general how that works out. But there's a huge difference between the benefit is not worth the investment (which applies equally to things beyond equipment), and there not being a benefit.

    And always remember while power goes as the cube of speed, time saved increases at decreasing speed (power saved is virtually constant). Thanks Alex.
    Alex's Cycle Blog: Aero for slower riders

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by pulser955 View Post
    Easy for 90% of the people riding bikes its useless. There are maybe 1% that get any advantage from aero helmets. Its like showing up at a cat5 race is a skinsuit. Its just not going to help you. I think lots of people lose total perspective with this stuff. All they can think about is its going to make them faster and there are vary few situations when it will. I would argue so few its better to spend your money on almost any thing else.
    I will agree with you wholeheartedly about the "value" thing. Can't blame guys though, they, we, you and me, have bought into all the hyped products in cycling. It's what enthusiasts do man! Look at all the guys with their carbon Zipp on an LBS ride. For godsake if a pro from the 80s (nevermind those from the 60s and 70s) were riding a club ride today with his 80s steel bike with frame shifters, he might be wishing "man... i wish we were riding all these tricked out bikes back in the days..".

    Having said this, I think the whole "aero" helmet thing is a bit of a joke. Guys in track cycling have been using "aero" helmets for a while now, eg. the Casco track helmet. Skatboarbers and bmx'ers have also been using aero helmets for a while now too. But suddenly Giro takes one of their skateboard helmet and fill in some holes, and roadies are debating physics and aerodynamics like they have Phd.

    I'll bet if i just cover up the holes on my roadie helmet with black electrical tape, I'll be within 99% of the Giro Air aero specs, minus 99% of the dorky look. But in reality I'll probably just buy a $10 helmet cover and still get 80% of the benefit of the Giro,. and when it gets hot on a slow climb, I can just peel the cover off and enjoy massive ventilation. Giro Air is good if you're moving above 15 mph. Try climbing in one of them at 10 mph or lower, with 80F or higher, and you're cooked.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    ... and roadies are debating physics and aerodynamics like they have Phd.
    You seem to forget, many do.

    Quote Originally Posted by aclinjury View Post
    I'll bet if i just cover up the holes on my roadie helmet with black electrical tape, I'll be within 99% of the Giro Air aero specs, minus 99% of the dorky look. But in reality I'll probably just buy a $10 helmet cover and still get 80% of the benefit of the Giro,. and when it gets hot on a slow climb, I can just peel the cover off and enjoy massive ventilation. Giro Air is good if you're moving above 15 mph. Try climbing in one of them at 10 mph or lower, with 80F or higher, and you're cooked.
    Except you can't use tape or a cover in competition, and if you're not competing, ...

  24. #49
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    Aero helmets are fine...

    As long as you are

    a) Doing an official sanctioned TT.

    AND

    b) You are getting close to breaking the hour in a 40K TT.

    Aero helmets just look silly if

    a) You are just out training

    b) You are riding a "comfort bike" with aerobars.
    .
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  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by MR_GRUMPY View Post
    Aero helmets are fine...

    As long as you are

    a) Doing an official sanctioned TT.

    AND

    b) You are getting close to breaking the hour in a 40K TT.

    Aero helmets just look silly if

    a) You are just out training

    b) You are riding a "comfort bike" with aerobars.
    .
    .
    I think you're somewhat confused as to the type of aero helmets being discussed here. No one is talking about TT helmets.
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