The Tour de France is where many companies debut new product. Some put out press releases or even host press events to hype their new wares. Others quietly hand them to athletes and ride the buzz that is the world’s largest cycling event. At this year’s Tour, many teams are using new helmets, whether entirely new models or limited runs.
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Specialized’s updated Prevail
While we don’t have much information just yet on the updated Specialized Prevail, the shape appears to have far more aerodynamic cues than its predecessor. All three sponsored teams – Tinkoff, Etixx-Quick Step and Astana – have the new helmet.
They were delivered in production, over-the-counter style packaging so they must be darn close to ready for distribution. Beyond normal team colors Specialized also produced a black model with rainbow stripes for world champion Peter Sagan.
Giant’s Pursuit aero road helmet
While details are forthcoming on Specialized’s lid, details abound for Giant’s new Pursuit aero road helmet. Designed combining aerodynamics and ventilation, Giant sets this helmet up as no-compromise protection. Giant-Alpecin riders Tom Dumoulin and Warren Barguil field-tested the new helmets and the entire team was using it for the opening stages of the Tour.
With dramatic swooping shapes and two large dimples on the rear of the helmet, Giant has taken what appears to be a difference approach to directing airflow. Weighing less than 250 grams for a US-friendly CPSC version (slightly less for European CE models), the new helmet uses what Giant is calling AeroVent technology, strategically placed vents that pull air in and force it internally and out exhaust ports in the rear. While the branding is new, the concept is not. However, the inside of the helmet is amazingly open and the riders seem happy with the results.
In the wind tunnel, the helmet is faster in most conditions than Giant’s previous Rivet aero road model. The exception is for head down sprinting, where the tail of the Pursuit can be a tad slower.
Giant will offer the helmet in small, medium and large, in both an oval Western fit model and a rounder Asian fit. The Pursuit also uses a more adjustable helmet strap than its previous helmet models, allowing for more customization. Six colors will be available when the helmet is released later this year.
Bell’s unknown new road model
Lotto-Jumbo riders have been seen wearing a new, vented road helmet from sponsor Bell. While many riders preferred Bell’s Star Pro aero helmet for the wet conditions encountered in the opening days of the Tour, several went with the new model, as yet unnamed.
Overall the shape is more rounded at the rear of the helmet when compared to Bell’s previous top road model, the Gage. Bell would not comment on the helmet except to say that more details would be available at the Eurobike show in late August.
POC celebrates 10 years with high-vis helmets and eyewear
On the heads of Cannondale-Drapac riders, you can’t miss the high-vis green Octal and Octal Aero helmets that sponsor POC has produced for its 10th year in business. While the product is the same, the color is very limited, with only 1,500 numbered helmets being offered to the public. Similarly, POC’s Do Blades and Do Half Blades eyewear receive the bright treatment and numbering.