Official launch follows months of use by top pro riders
Specialized’s new aero helmet, the S-Works Evade, has been formally released at the 2013 Tour de France after months of blacked-out versions appearing in various pelotons.
The helmet – which complements the range-topping S-Works Prevail – has appeared in Saxo-Tinkoff, Astana and Omega Pharma-QuickStep colours, as the 2013 Tour de France gears up for the grand départ in Porto Vecchio, Corsica.
In power terms, Specialized aerodynamicist Chris Yu said that the Evade saves 20 watts over the light, well ventilated Prevail at 50kmh, and about 10 watts at 40kmh. 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.
Compared to rivals such as the Giro Air Attack, Scott Vanish Aero and recently released Kask Infinity, the Evade looks more ventilated. Yu said the project wouldn’t have begun if adequate ventilation hadn’t been possible. About half the time in research was spent ensuring the helmet aired well.
“We noticed at last year’s Tour that a lot of the guys were hot in the first couple of stages, and a lot of guys decided not to wear the aero helmets they had available,” said Yu. “We talked to our riders and they said, 'We can’t actually wear these things if they can’t ventilate properly.'”
According to Yu, the blacked-out version that first started appearing at Milan-San Remo in March differs little from the fully branded versions that have now been released. He said foam density might have been moderated, but that the aerodynamic shape has stayed fixed.
The project originally began by cutting holes in the S-Works McLaren TT helmet and wind tunnel testing the results until Specialized had a prototype that ventilated well with negligible drag impact.