Aero Vs. Road Helmet | Which Is The Best Bike Helmet For Triathlon?
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Aero Vs. Road Helmet | Which Is The Best Bike Helmet For Triathlon?

October 28, 2019


– An aero helmet is obviously
designed for aero gains, but how much of an advantage
do you actually get from using an aero helmet
over using a road helmet? Well, in a wind tunnel this
is gonna win hands down. But in reality there are
so many factors to consider when you’re choosing what helmet
to use for your next race. Well, we’re going to be looking into those factors in a moment and then we’re gonna finish it off with a head to head time trial versus. (whooshing) (upbeat music) Riding position is often overlooked and it’s easy to think
that wearing an aero helmet is gonna make you more
aero dynamic overall. And that isn’t always so, if you’ve got a very high up position or you move your head around a lot, then it could end up being detrimental. And you also need to
consider the type of course you’re going to be racing
and the conditions. Being super aero at home on your turbo or on smooth flat roads is one thing, but if your course is
gonna have sharp corners, rough surfaces, steep
hills or even really windy, anything that’s gonna mean that you’re gonna have to
come off your aero bars and onto your base bars then you’re probably
going to be better off with just a normal road helmet. Talking of the external factors, the weather and the climate should also be taken into consideration. Obviously aero helmets don’t have quite as much ventilation
as a road helmet does. So if you are doing a long
race in hot, humid conditions then you might find you start to overheat. Although some aero helmets
will have more ventilation and some even have gaps you can pull water are over your head. But, the opposite goes if
you’re racing in cold climate. And I’ve actually enjoyed the
benefits of an aero helmet when racing a TT in the
UK that’s a bit chilly. And to be honest, I’m
quite looking forward to wearing it today ’cause
it’s a little bit cold. OK, so it’s time to look at the numbers. We can’t ignore the cost difference between these two helmets. The aero helmet will cost
more than the road helmet. And if you’re only going to be buying one, you’re probably going to get more use out of your road helmet. Although having said that, there is now an option on the market that sits somewhere in between the two. And that is the aero road helmet,
such as the Kask Infinity. And whilst we’re sticking with numbers it is worth mentioning the weight. The difference is pretty
negligible to be honest. And I can’t really notice
it holding them here. Although apparently the road helmet is slightly lighter than the aero helmet. Most aero helmets will cover
your ears like this one. So it will reduce your hearing slightly. But, hopefully in a race
you shouldn’t really need to hear that much anyway. And I personally quite like it ’cause it helps me get into the zone and really get into that race mode. And the same goes a
little bit for your vision as it will slightly reduce
your peripheral vision. Comfort should play an important part when you’re choosing
what helmet to race in. And it comes down to personal preference. So I’d highly recommend
that you try before you buy. Now for example in Kona, I
actually opted for my road helmet ’cause I felt that the
benefit of keeping cool would outweigh any aero benefits. Take into account the
distance of your races. The shorter it is, the less significant the difference is going
to be between the two. And it might take a little getting used to taking your aero helmet on and off, which could cost you a few seconds. So that’s just another factor that you might want to consider. So I’m going to do two runs, holding an average of 250 watts, for 2k up the road. First, I’m gonna do it in my road helmet and then I’m going to
it in my aero helmet. Well, I think it’s time to get started. (upbeat music) OK, pretty accurate. 247 on the average watts. And the time was three minutes 39 seconds. And I mean it is a little
bit breezy out there so that last bit I just had
to come onto my base bars as well because the hill gets a bit steep. But tried to stay pretty
close to my target. (upbeat music) Argh! Yes, just missed a
couple of seconds there, I think ’cause I couldn’t
quite get it to pause. But, interestingly it is quicker. Although by the time I pressed the button only two seconds quicker. So that was a three 37. Now that does sound good,
but let’s have a look. My watts are higher. I actually averaged 260 on that run. I’m not really sure how because I didn’t feel like
I was working any harder and it felt a bit smoother, but maybe I just got my race helmet on and I got into race zone a
bit too much, I’m not sure. But, as you can see,
there’s water on my visor. And it did rain a little bit. And I think the wind has picked up so I guess you’ve got to
take that into consideration. There was very little difference between the road helmet
and the aero helmet. There are few things to consider though, it was a short course, we
only did it once with each. I wasn’t quite as accurate with
my watts as I’d hoped to be. And the weather was a
little bit changeable. So I think that does
call for a more thorough investigation in the future. But sadly, that was all
we had time for today. Well, if you’re enjoyed this and you want more videos from GTN, just hit the globe to subscribe. And if you want to look
at another comparison, Mark actually compared a time
trial bike with a road bike and that video is just here. And if you want to see some
tips on how to get more aero, there’s a piece with pro
triathlete Bart Aernouts just here.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I don't think this data is even relevant based on the inconsistencies. Next time do it on a flat course with a segment starting the segment at the same speed each time staying in the same position the entire time using the same watts. Also, I'm interested in the time it takes to put each on for transition purposes.

  2. Can you make a video about installing aero bar and basebar (full tt cockpit setup) to a road bike. Do I have to recable all the bike or just changing the shifters and brakes would get the job done? Thanks

  3. Come on guys. Vid for ad purposes only for sponsors. 'I think i guess' sums it up. Very misleading content once again.

  4. Very disapointing video which was only to show of the sponsor’s products. Inhope you can do better than that!

  5. But isn't the Protone one of the more "aero" road helmets? I'd be interested in seeing how big of a difference it would be between the Mistral and something like the Rapido

  6. Yes, I believe aero helmets are definitely worth it — but I also believe that you need to use one that is designed to reduce drag with a variety of wind directions. To train, I ride several thousand miles each year along Lake Michigan, one of the largest lakes in the U.S. There can be a lot of wind and the wind seldom maintains a consistent direction because of the hills and forest which channel it along my route. A full-on aero helmet doesn't work because it can increase your drag in crosswinds. And the road helmets that claim to be "aero" (like the Giro Synthe) usually only reduce drag in a headwind and only when the cyclist's head is held at a prescribed angle. These same helmets lose their aero benefits as soon as you change the angle of your head or a crosswind develops. The solution that works for me in these varied wind conditions is a Giro Air Attack Shield helmet. It's a hybrid between a road and aero helmet and it seems to get it all right. It's a kind of minimalist aero helmet with visor. It has just enough venting to keep me cool at speed and, because it doesn't have a tail, it still has modest drag in crosswinds. Unfortunately, Giro discontinued the Air Attack Shield last year and they've replaced it with the Vanquish. I don't care for the new model so I purchased an extra Air Attack Shield for the future. Plus, this helmet saved my head last year when my front tire blew in a turn and I wrecked. All total, I've purchased four of these helmets since they were first introduced, usually on sale (40-50% off). It's the best model I've ever used.

  7. Could you make a video about swimming with or without wetsuit if you have the opportunity to choose in a race and how mucht time you gain wearing one and losing time taking it off

  8. WHy in the world would you not include a aero road helmet in this video, so you had all 3 options?

  9. Aside from the advertising issues, not retesting with the same average power makes the video pointless. This channel will struggle if it continues with content like this.

  10. I love the channel guys, but I'm sorry to say this video feels rushed and ultimately pointless. Having seen the title, I was genuinely interested to see what you had to say as I am currently going through the decision making process myself, but the video and conclusion provides no help or guidance on the chosen topic. Attempting a field test without any scientific approach or conclusion is just a waste. As a result, it comes across as a very poor Ad. I get that you need to support the sponsors, but it would have been better for everyone (you, Kask and the viewers) to do a more thorough review and real world test of aerodynamic advantages and practical disadvantages of aero helmets. After all – most of us are sick of wind tunnel results seeing as none of us ever race in a wind tunnel! Real world tests and advice are worth their weight in gold and will keep viewers flocking back for more!! I hope you take this as intended – constructive criticism from a long time fan!

  11. "I'm disappointed a YouTube channel made a sponsored video so they can pay their hosts and crew, and so they can make less profitable segments. This 6 minute video about the differences between aero and road helmets is also not scientifically rigorous and won't result in a publication so it's a waste of time." That's how most of you sound. Thanks for all the great videos guys!

  12. As with most articles and research on this subject , the gains are accumulative. Very short distance; very small gain. Longer distance; bigger gain. If I remember correctly, the majority of research I have seen all start their gain results from the 30 – 40km mark as below that there is not really much to show above what you can get from other gains at a cheaper price, ie body position, good fit clothing, pacing, shoes on bike transition. You also have to take into consideration if your race is draft legal, as you don't see ITU Olympic distance draft legal with aero helmets. There just is not the advantage in that set of circumstances.
    That pretty much sums it up; It depends on your individual circumstances…

  13. The data collected is very inconsistent, there are many variables involved that were not considered and the course were too short to evaluate any important conclusion. And statisticly speeking with just one run its impossible to evaluate anything.

  14. Aero-road helmets are a good universal option (a hybrid between full-on aero and non-aero road) in a single helmet!

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