Bicycle helmets are being engineered for extra ventilation, strength, and lighter weight. Much like a decked-out carbon road racing machine, helmets are getting the research and development needed to keep up with the current technological push.
The helmet powerhouses, Giro, Specialized, Lazer and Bell, continue to advance the brain bucket to new levels. Stay tuned to BikeRadar.com for complete reviews in the months to come. For now, enjoy the peep show:
Two years in development. An impressive 21 vents. A reported 15 percent more ventilation than the popular Atmos, and 10 percent lighter at 260g. A smart liner absorbs the sweat and the smell, in addition to offering some warmth when the thermometer drops. The Ionos protected the noggins of Tour de France podium boys Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer. Price: US$225. Visit Giro.
Giro Advantage 2
Surprisingly, Giro has never made its time trial helmets available to the public. Now you and your time trialling pals can punch the wind in your Giro Advantage 2s. Five vents for cooling, with internal channeling to keep a cool head at an incredible 310g (just 35g more than the Atmos). Price: US$150. Visit Giro.
With a slogan "Innovate or Die," Specialized is never one to rest on its laurels. The Decibel helmet is great, so the S-Works engineers cooked up something better: the 225g 2D, based on a patented Kevlar-reinforced InnerMatrix that enables larger, deeper channeled vents. Another new feature: thin, soft and lightweight 4X DryLite webbing that, according to Specialized, won't stretch as it absorbs sweat or water. Like the Giro Ionos, the 2D has deep internal vent channeling via its Mega Mouthport, in-line vent configuration and rear exhaust ports. Price: US$210. Visit Specialized.
We couldn't help ourselves: the camera was ready, and the US$7,000 diamond was affixed to 2005 world champion Tom Boonen's Team Quick-Step Lazer helmet. Easily the most expensive helmet we've ever see, touched, or (briefly) thought about "borrowing." Visit Lazer.
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