Let’s Get Aeronerdy: Save Time With an Aero Helmet
Today we’re talking about our aero road helmets in the shop. Long story short, you shouldn’t be racing tri or time trials without one. You’re looking at saving 30-60 seconds out of every hour ridden with a proper aero helmet worn and used in the right position.
Let me start by stating the obvious- if you’re not, you should be wearing some kind of helmet. The first and most important job of any helmet is impact protection. Keeping your head safe is job #1. But, beyond that task, what else can a helmet do? LAZER have been pushing the envelope in helmet design and reaping every bit of performance benefit they can out of their helmets.
First, let’s look at the generic benefits that any aero helmet will offer. If you watch my video above, you’ll see a demonstration of the spatial orientation of a properly worn aero helmet. I’ll explain it here. Basically, when worn correctly, the tail of the aero helmet, which draws back behind the head into a “teardrop” shape, closes the gap between head and back. This allows for smooth airflow over the head rather than a “choppy” air pattern we see with a standard road helmet.
When an aero helmet is fitted and worn correctly, it’s one more piece of the puzzle of maximally efficient riding. As mentioned before, benefits can even be as high as one minute saved out of every hour of riding. Put another way, if you’re riding at an average speed of 20mph, that’s like going six football fields farther in the same amount of time and under the same effort, just by changing your helmet.
You may have noticed I’ve mentioned “when worn correctly” several times- that’s not by accident. The biggest risk you run when wearing an aero helmet is deviating from an optimal position. This optimal position should be established with your fitter for maximum effect. However, even though the best position might not be obvious, the opposite is immediately obvious. When you tilt your head down to look at your bike computer, to rest your neck, or to grab a water bottle, you’re sticking that huge tail into the wind, slowing you down.
Keeping your head in the game
LAZER knows that you ought to keep your head in this optimal position to reap the full benefits of an aero helmet. So, they created a very simple piece of technology with a huge impact. The Inclination Sensor from LAZER slots directly into new LAZER helmets but can also be fitted to any helmet. When working with your fitter to find your optimal position, you can also now calibrate the inclination sensor to that position. The sensor is simple- when you deviate from that position, it beeps.
It’s a simple nudge, but sometimes that’s all you need to be reminded to keep your head up! Gentle corrections are sometimes the best remedy to habits we slip into without even realizing. By using this sensor, you will therefor spend more time in your aero position and make the most efficient forward progress.
Even More Performance Benefits
I’ve also got one other piece of new LAZER technology to talk about- the LifeBEAM heart rate monitor. This is a harness designed specially for LAZER helmets which actually reads heart rate off of your forehead. If you’re anything like me and have skin trouble wearing a heart rate strap around your chest, this is a great opportunity to reduce the amount of gear you have to take out and keep it simple.
The LifeBEAM strap fits into new LAZER helmets and will pair with any device you’re used to using for reading heart rate. Sweet!
Improving on the Helmet
Again, I will reiterate that the first and most important job of a helmet is to protect your head during a crash. LAZER knows this and has designed extremely safe helmets. However, LAZER wanted to take the helmet farther and has designed two new pieces of technology to create new performance benefits using the structure of the helmet.
Endorphin Fitness carries LAZER helmets in stock and we’re happy to find the perfect helmet for you. Whether you’re looking for the perfect time trial helmet or just a simple and comfortable helmet that will protect you when needed, we’ve got what you’re looking for.