Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

New to Cycling? Want some advice? Start here...
andyeb
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 15:25 pm

Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby andyeb » Thu Nov 08, 2012 12:45 pm

I've been road cycling for over a year now. Until now I've been riding with my MTB helmet (a Giro Indicator) which has one of those sun/rain visor thingies on the front.

I've heard repeatedly on the Cycling 360 Podcast (which is excellent btw) that an aero helmet is one of the most cost effective upgrades you can make to boost your speed on a bike.

But how much do you have to spend on a road helmet to get something significantly more aero than an MTB helmet?

Plus I've also read in The Rules you should never wear an MTB helmet on a road bike... :oops:

best regards,

Andrew

chaymck
Posts: 81
Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2010 22:12 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby chaymck » Thu Nov 08, 2012 13:10 pm

They were talking about a full aero helmet- as per link

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/arti ... ets-34859/

I dont think you would want to use one of these everyday.................

andyeb
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 15:25 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby andyeb » Thu Nov 08, 2012 13:28 pm

chaymck wrote:They were talking about a full aero helmet- as per link

http://www.bikeradar.com/road/gear/arti ... ets-34859/

I dont think you would want to use one of these everyday.................


Ah OK - thanks. Makes sense.

But if there isn't much in it between a normal MTB helmet and a road helmet, why do helmet manufacturers make specific models?

Or should I just rip the visor off my MTB helmet?!

User avatar
Peat
Posts: 1056
Joined: Mon May 02, 2011 19:59 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby Peat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 13:42 pm

Most MTB visors are detachable/no? The one on my Bell certainly is. I take it off for the road to fit in....

I do fancy a spangly white Giro though. Ooooh, defo an extra 2mph.

Simon Masterson
Posts: 2491
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 15:52 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby Simon Masterson » Thu Nov 08, 2012 14:22 pm

Please do not use a time trial hat for normal road cycling. I daresay you can cope with a hot head, but they are protective second and performance-enhancing first; they have been around for years and they were referred to as 'head fairings' before they were 'helmets'. If you actually do fall on your head, you risk some lovely neck-twisting action...

If you want a road helmet that has closed vents, Kask make one, but don't expect miracles. An aero helmet will make you faster like everything else that time trialists use; the gains are marginal, and ideally suited to clawing back every last second, as time triallists do. If you don't measure seconds don't pay for them, and if you're hoping to put it on and instantly go at 28 mph where you would normally go at 23, you're in for disappointment.

danowat
Posts: 2830
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 13:58 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby danowat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 14:29 pm

Simon Masterson wrote:they have been around for years and they were referred to as 'head fairings' before they were 'helmets'.


Head fairings are VERY different from the aero helmets of today.

andyeb
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 15:25 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby andyeb » Thu Nov 08, 2012 14:34 pm

Simon Masterson wrote:Please do not use a time trial hat for normal road cycling. I daresay you can cope with a hot head, but they are protective second and performance-enhancing first; they have been around for years and they were referred to as 'head fairings' before they were 'helmets'. If you actually do fall on your head, you risk some lovely neck-twisting action...

If you want a road helmet that has closed vents, Kask make one, but don't expect miracles. An aero helmet will make you faster like everything else that time trialists use; the gains are marginal, and ideally suited to clawing back every last second, as time triallists do. If you don't measure seconds don't pay for them, and if you're hoping to put it on and instantly go at 28 mph where you would normally go at 23, you're in for disappointment.


Useful to know - thanks. I was more thinking being able to cruise at 22.5 mph rather than 22.0, but I don't know if an MTB vs. standard road helmet would make this kind of difference or not?

Simon Masterson
Posts: 2491
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 15:52 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby Simon Masterson » Thu Nov 08, 2012 14:45 pm

andyeb wrote:
Simon Masterson wrote:Please do not use a time trial hat for normal road cycling. I daresay you can cope with a hot head, but they are protective second and performance-enhancing first; they have been around for years and they were referred to as 'head fairings' before they were 'helmets'. If you actually do fall on your head, you risk some lovely neck-twisting action...

If you want a road helmet that has closed vents, Kask make one, but don't expect miracles. An aero helmet will make you faster like everything else that time trialists use; the gains are marginal, and ideally suited to clawing back every last second, as time triallists do. If you don't measure seconds don't pay for them, and if you're hoping to put it on and instantly go at 28 mph where you would normally go at 23, you're in for disappointment.


Useful to know - thanks. I was more thinking being able to cruise at 22.5 mph rather than 22.0, but I don't know if an MTB vs. standard road helmet would make this kind of difference or not?


I highly doubt it. They are very similar. I've done far more cycling without a helmet than with, and I've never noticed a difference; cap peak up, cap peak down, cap backwards...

andyeb
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 15:25 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby andyeb » Thu Nov 08, 2012 14:46 pm

Just noticed that the Giro Indicator (the helmet I'm currently using) is listed as a "Road" helmet on the Giro website, but as an MTB helmet on Evans Cycles website. Admittedly it does look more like an MTB helmet, but it is leading me to believe that perhaps there isn't that much in it between helmets designed for road and off-road use?

danowat
Posts: 2830
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 13:58 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby danowat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 14:46 pm

Cruising at 22mph?.............

andyeb
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 15:25 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby andyeb » Thu Nov 08, 2012 14:50 pm

danowat wrote:Cruising at 22mph?.............


I ride a 60 mile round-trip commute 3x a week. I've learned the hard way I can't sustain race pace every day, hence my average speeds are a bit lower than a lot of people on here ride.

NewTTer
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:29 am

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby NewTTer » Thu Nov 08, 2012 15:29 pm

andyeb wrote:
danowat wrote:Cruising at 22mph?.............


I ride a 60 mile round-trip commute 3x a week. I've learned the hard way I can't sustain race pace every day, hence my average speeds are a bit lower than a lot of people on here ride.

I think the point was that 22mph is quite high for a cruising speed, and you have exapserated that futher by claiming to keep that up for 60 miles on your commute, so good going there, you would go well in racing, or your speedo is reading in Km/h

Back to your point just remove the detachable peak from your indicator and voila! its a road helmet. Hope this helps
Last edited by NewTTer on Thu Nov 08, 2012 16:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

andyeb
Posts: 366
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2012 15:25 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby andyeb » Thu Nov 08, 2012 15:58 pm

Ah I see. I did mean MPH, but of course I'm only "cruising" for parts of the ride. My average is normally between 16 and 18 MPH, which isn't unheard of surely? Still have some way to go before applying for a racing licence - on Strava I'm normally ranked between middle and top third on most segments. I digress... :oops:

NewTTer
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:29 am

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby NewTTer » Thu Nov 08, 2012 16:54 pm

So for clarity you are "peaking" at 22 mph, and "cruising" at 16-18 mph. Nevertheless its semantics, get that peak off your Indicator and your good to go, or leave it on as they are damn good at keeping the rain off in the winter, and treat yourself to a new Road Helmet in the new year

Simon Masterson
Posts: 2491
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 15:52 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby Simon Masterson » Thu Nov 08, 2012 17:36 pm

danowat wrote:
Simon Masterson wrote:they have been around for years and they were referred to as 'head fairings' before they were 'helmets'.


Head fairings are VERY different from the aero helmets of today.


Same basic shape - or rather, there existed head fairings that were similar, given the various trends in design. But fundamentally the same idea, and fundamentally not geared to safety. I'm not trying to argue that the head fairings of yesteryear are what the aero helmets of today are a repackaged version of; simply that they are two devices designed for the same purpose, sharing basic attributes.

danowat
Posts: 2830
Joined: Mon Apr 19, 2010 13:58 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby danowat » Thu Nov 08, 2012 19:05 pm

Simon Masterson wrote:
danowat wrote:
Simon Masterson wrote:they have been around for years and they were referred to as 'head fairings' before they were 'helmets'.


Head fairings are VERY different from the aero helmets of today.


Same basic shape - or rather, there existed head fairings that were similar, given the various trends in design. But fundamentally the same idea, and fundamentally not geared to safety. I'm not trying to argue that the head fairings of yesteryear are what the aero helmets of today are a repackaged version of; simply that they are two devices designed for the same purpose, sharing basic attributes.


Have you even compared a recent aero helmet with a fairing?, many of them have the same inner shell as a road helmet with an aerodynamic cover over it, where as a fairing is simply a thin piece of plastic with a couple of bits of foam in it.

The overall goal might by the same, but they couldn't be more different.

User avatar
DaxPlusPlus
Posts: 647
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Fri Nov 09, 2012 23:08 pm

Hi Andrew .. sounds like your in a similar positon to me. I ride an approx 50 mile round trip commute three times a week. I too am using an old MTB lid and looking to replace it with an aero one .. some time in the new year.

Ignore the speed fascists - I knew exactly what you meant and I'm guessing a lot of others did too. It wasn't like you were claiming to have done a stage of the TdF at 22 mph. I travel for miles at a time at 20mph+ and I'm just cruising along .. no effort, just turning the pedals .. but then I have fitted some aero bars, the road surface tends to be as smooth as and I know a lot of the time there's a very, very slight downward slant on those routes were this happens but that doesn't make my desire for aero benefits any less real.

Anyway there was a study published here on bike radar that showed that aero bars/position helped a rider to a large degree and that an aero helmet was the next best thing on the list that would improve a riders speed/time and that, I think, the effect of the lid was approx half off that offered by the aero bars/position.

Well my experience with clip on aero bars was pretty awesome so if I get half the effect with an aero lid again I'll be one happy bunny. The only problem is they are bl**dy expensive so hence my wait.

If you do go down the aero route please tell us how it goes - cos I, for one, love the idea of getting speed for free.
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

strava profile

User avatar
DaxPlusPlus
Posts: 647
Joined: Thu Aug 04, 2011 12:24 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby DaxPlusPlus » Fri Nov 09, 2012 23:17 pm

.. oh and I'm a cynic so I didn't think the aero bars would have a very noticable effect.

I was wrong.

I'm not getting my hopes up too much about aero helmets (it just doesn't seem feasible that a helmet can have that much effect) but it's got to be worth a go if the figures from the study are to be believed.
Sometimes you're the hammer, sometimes you're the nail

strava profile

Simon Masterson
Posts: 2491
Joined: Sun Jul 15, 2012 15:52 pm

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby Simon Masterson » Sat Nov 10, 2012 00:13 am

danowat wrote:
Simon Masterson wrote:
danowat wrote:
Simon Masterson wrote:they have been around for years and they were referred to as 'head fairings' before they were 'helmets'.


Head fairings are VERY different from the aero helmets of today.


Same basic shape - or rather, there existed head fairings that were similar, given the various trends in design. But fundamentally the same idea, and fundamentally not geared to safety. I'm not trying to argue that the head fairings of yesteryear are what the aero helmets of today are a repackaged version of; simply that they are two devices designed for the same purpose, sharing basic attributes.


Have you even compared a recent aero helmet with a fairing?, many of them have the same inner shell as a road helmet with an aerodynamic cover over it, where as a fairing is simply a thin piece of plastic with a couple of bits of foam in it.

The overall goal might by the same, but they couldn't be more different.


And the fairing is what causes the problem...

NewTTer
Posts: 459
Joined: Thu Aug 09, 2012 11:29 am

Re: Upgrading from MTB to road aero helmet

Postby NewTTer » Sat Nov 10, 2012 06:44 am

DaxPlusPlus wrote:Hi Andrew .. sounds like your in a similar positon to me. I ride an approx 50 mile round trip commute three times a week. I too am using an old MTB lid and looking to replace it with an aero one .. some time in the new year.

Ignore the speed fascists - I knew exactly what you meant and I'm guessing a lot of others did too. It wasn't like you were claiming to have done a stage of the TdF at 22 mph. I travel for miles at a time at 20mph+ and I'm just cruising along .. no effort, just turning the pedals .. but then I have fitted some aero bars, the road surface tends to be as smooth as and I know a lot of the time there's a very, very slight downward slant on those routes were this happens but that doesn't make my desire for aero benefits any less real.

Anyway there was a study published here on bike radar that showed that aero bars/position helped a rider to a large degree and that an aero helmet was the next best thing on the list that would improve a riders speed/time and that, I think, the effect of the lid was approx half off that offered by the aero bars/position.

Well my experience with clip on aero bars was pretty awesome so if I get half the effect with an aero lid again I'll be one happy bunny. The only problem is they are bl**dy expensive so hence my wait.

If you do go down the aero route please tell us how it goes - cos I, for one, love the idea of getting speed for free.

This nonsense really doesnt warrant a response however in the name of common sense, here is a brief reply.
How many commuters have you seen decked out in skinsuits and aero helmets riding TT bike to work?
The aero gains you are alluding to in the study you read, which was about gains per £, are aimed at competing time triallists who may benefit on a competitive front from saving a few seconds over a 25 mile time trial.
Last edited by NewTTer on Sat Nov 10, 2012 10:10 am, edited 1 time in total.


Return to “Road Beginners”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests