If you've been watching the 2012 Olympic Games time trials you'll have noticed the Swedish riders wearing some interesting head gear. The POC Tempor time trial helmet may look like something out of Star Wars (or even Fat Albert and the Cosby Kids) but it's designed with a go faster aerodynamic objective in mind.
The Swedish company developed this helmet - their first for road cyclists - in cooperation with 2008 Olympic time trial silver medalist Gustav Erik Larsson. We're not sure how much help it gave after Larsson's compatriot Emma Johansson, who wore one during the women's event, finished a non-spectacular 14th place, 3'03 down on the winner, then Larsson finished 16th at 3'55 in the men's race.
POC say their Tempor helmet was developed "to promote maximum performance and aerodynamics, without sacrificing safety properties."
They wisely looked at the rider as one object rather than developing a helmet in isolation, and clearly took cues from the world of downhill skiing. The helmet's shape makes it flow into the rider's shoulders, thereby smoothing the airflow in that area. Whether that's desirable or not is questionable, but POC say they've done plenty of "field testing and extensive simulations" to optimise its shape.
The POC Tempor comes with a detachable visor and two big vents in the front
"We are extremely excited, enthusiastic and humble moving in to the road bike scene," said POC's CEO Stefan Ytterborn. "It´s a category that we deliberately put on hold until we had the time and capacity. Both this first time trial helmet Tempor, as well as other products in process to come, are projects where we have been able to invest more in than ever before."
The Tempor is available in POCito Orange or Uranium Black and comes in two sizes: M-L (56-58) and L-XL (59-62). You can buy them from POC's website for €475 - which may sound like a lot but it's still significantly cheaper than the helmets used by the Brits, which are reportedly £3000 apiece.
Emma Johansson rode with the POC Tempor