As the first WorldTour race of the season, the Tour Down Under usually presents plenty of new gear, and this year’s race is no different.
We take a look at new helmets from Bontrager and Giant, along with an entry into the cycling market from motorsport helmet specialist Suomy.
The Tour Down Under week kicked off with the People’s Choice Classic criterium, which saw Marcel Kittel take the win for a second consecutive year. We’ve already looked at the Giant bike he rocked to the win, but Kittel also wore an interesting Giant aero road lid. The rest of the Giant-Alpecin team is using the recently announced Rev road helmet.
Marcel Kittel in a prototype Giant aero-road lid, with Tom Dumoulin in the new Giant Rev road helmet
Details on the aero helmet are scant at present, although Giant says it will be launched commercially later this year. It looks like it will offer large ventilation ports at the front part of the helmet and exhaust ports out back, with the rest of the shell closed. There’s a significant cut-out shape at the forehead, not too disimilar to the Uvex helmets worn by the team last year.
The new Giant Rev road helmet offers generous ventilation across the helmet, with 21 vents including large vertical ports at the front, and has a claimed weight of 264g. This is a mid-priced helmet, which is being proven by the sport’s elite.
Bontrager sponsors the Trek Factory Team, but has been missing an aero road helmet from its range. This looks set to change, as the team has been testing a slippery new lid at the criterium in Australia.
Bontrager look to be filling a gap in its range soon with this aero-road helmet, but there is no official word on if or when it will happen
The helmet looks to offer ventilation down its centre with large exhaust vents out back. The sides feature a smooth covered surface, with a noticeable increase in coverage around the temples.
Italian helmet company Suomy has 18 World Championship titles in motorsport and has now entered the cycling market for 2015. It sponsors Italian team Lampre-Merida, and its helmets will be worn by the likes of Rui Costa and Pozzato this season.
Italian motorsport helmet specialist Suomy is now entering the cycling market
Suomy has drawn on its wind-tunnel experience from motorsport, and the helmet’s brow area looks reasonably closed to ventilation, but has smooth edges for reduced resistance. Large vents are otherwise spread across the brightly-coloured helmet.
We speculate this helmet will feature a carbon skeleton, based on the thin ridges visible between some of the larger vents. We’ve contacted Suomy for details, but it appears official details will be released in just over week.