As has been the case for a number of years now, no stone is left unturned in pursuit of track cycling success for Team GB. Of course, this extends to making sure cyclists have kit and equipment that's up to the task and by the looks of their aerodynamic track helmets, there's no worry on that score.
Team GB have been working with Bristol-based firm Crux Product Design since 2009, when they were appointed by UK Sport (the UK's high performance sports agency) and British Cycling to design the helmets.
The brief was to 'develop an ergonomic and futuristic helmet through the use of novel materials and rapid manufacturing to allow bespoke fits for individual athletes'. They worked directly with the cyclists to take 3D laser scans of their head and to get the fit spot on.
The helmet has a dual shell design; an inner section (the made-to-measure part) and outer shell, with an energy-absorbing safety material in the middle. This core is made from aluminium honeycomb, a lightweight, robust material often used in the aerospace industry.
Other materials used were iridium-coated polycarbonate (for the visor) and ABS plastic (a tough, rigid material found in golf club heads) for the outer structure.
Dr Scott Drawer, Head of Research and Innovation at UK Sport, said: ”Our job is to ensure our athletes make it to the start line among the best prepared and most feared in the world. Britain has a wealth of expertise in science, engineering and technology and by working with companies like Crux Product Design Ltd, we can tap into a much wider network of skills and abilities from other industries to ensure we are leaving no stone unturned in our pursuit of sporting excellence.”
The helmets will go into production shortly in time for the Olympics this August and will go on sale to the public (price to be confirmed) after the Games.