We continue our guide to ten of 2015's best aero road helmets...
Price: £119 from www.windwave.co.uk
The Icarus is one of the few helmets here that makes no aero claims. It’s 278g of ‘traditional’ road helmet and none the worse for it. It has 30 vents, plenty of padding, easily adjustable chinstraps and a dial-operated retaining system to hold it on your head. I
t lacks some of the refinement of the pricier examples here (the retaining system, for instance, feels clunky compared to its nine rivals) but it’s nothing you can’t live with given the money you’re saving over the big-name models. Fit is fine and gives your head plenty of room, and thanks to the vents you get all the breeze you need to stay cool.
So a basic, non-aero lid that ticks all the boxes. But here’s where it gets interesting: wearing the Icarus on the test route produced a 1:48:55 ride, making it the third-fastest lid.
Verdict: A basic, apparently non-aero lid that's well-vented and quick, 83%
Louis Garneau Course
Price: £129 from www.evanscycles.com
The 298g Course doesn’t look like a typical aero helmet. It’s designed to keep air flowing smoothly and swiftly over your head, while providing protection.
Louis Garneau’s designers have focused on letting air pass through the Course more easily here; an unorthodox approach, but their thinking is that given enough space, air can pass through just as quickly as it can flow over, which also keeps your head cooler.
As such, the Course seems to be mostly vents rather than shell, but it’s great at keeping your head from baking. And by clocking 1:49:05 it was also fairly rapid on the test route. Where it falls down, however, is fit. Even with the retaining system loosened right off, your head feels like it’s being pinched between a giant forefinger and thumb.
Verdict: Priced well, cools well and performs well, but doesn’t fit well, 71%
Met Stradivarius HES
Price: £129 from www.met-helmets.com
There’s no getting around it, the Stradivarius has an odd fit. Around the sides it’s okay but the medium-sized lid on test is tight at the front and back, even before the retaining system is wound on. It’s so short that it didn’t come all the way down to make contact with the top of our head.
If your noggin has exactly the right dimensions for the Stradivarius, then it’s probably a nice lid to wear. But if not, expect an uncomfortable experience that starts with general pressure on your brow before becoming something akin to severe brain freeze.
Besides that, it’s 249g of lid with firm gel pads and is pretty cool ventilation-wise. It doesn’t pretend to be an aero lid, although its time on the test route wasn’t the slowest at 1:49:51, beating the ‘aero’ Giro Synthe.
Verdict: Odd fit and uncomfortable. For God’s sake, try before you buy! 67%
LAS Victory Vento
Price: £115 from www.chickencycles.co.uk
Is the Victory Vento actually an aero helmet or just a normal lid with its vents covered? The vents are still there in the main polystyrene structure; they just haven’t been cut out of the shell.
No matter where you stand on the legitimate-aero head-protection/conveniently-unfinished-lid matter, this 266g LAS helmet is comfy, thanks to plenty of padding. The security is adequate but the padding may be hiding some shortcomings in the fit.
With most of its vents covered, it’s hotter than a normal road helmet but by no means a sweatbox. The magnetic buckle is an interesting addition – it’s debatable if it’s beneficial in terms of time (in T1 for example), but it’s certainly easier to undo when you’re tired. Crude as it may appear, it did clock 1:48:48 on the test route.
Verdict: A bit crude in appearance, but surprisingly effective in use, 85%
Finish reading our guide to ten of 2015's best aero road helmets (3/3)