by Gary Tingley -
We tested several aero helmets. Not surprisingly, we found that every athlete responds differently to aero equipment. One common theme is that there were "good" and "bad" helmets, regardless of the rider that was testing them. Results for the Louis Garneau and Giro are shown above. Surprisingly, the old Troxel titanium dimpled helmet also tested well.
- Lower profile helmets are more aerodynamic
- Shape matters, the helmet should transition to the rider's back as seamlessly as possible
- Visors were not tested - may or may not have an impact
- "Filled" tails were not tested - again, may have an impact especially for tails that sit up off the back
We also tested three hand positions, the "pointer", "pistol", and "superman". What was apparent is that there were little discernible differences in the results, with the best result from the original baseline "pointer" position. This is likely due to the smaller frontal area that the position provides, as compared to the other two positions.
- All three hand positions are fairly close in terms of aerodynamics
- Gloves were not tested, however if gloves were to be worn, a low profile set such as the aero versions from Castelli or Nike should be considered
- Smaller hand profiles are important
Gary Tingley is a USA Cycling Certified Level 2 / CPBT Power-based Training Coach, 6x Calif state Time Trial Champion (ITT/TTT), 2x USAC Masters Road Nationals medalist, and USCF road Cat. 2 cyclist. http://www.garytingley.com/