Du It For You

Duathlon training and racing: stories, advice, and views from the top

Tag: cycling

Do you need a space alien aero helmet for duathlon?

Marvin Martian

If you want to shave 30 to 60 seconds per hour off your duathlon time, the aerodynamically obsessed say to invest in an aero helmet. An aero helmet smooths the airflow from the front of your head over your back, making you slice through the wind a little bit easier.

But to get those time savings, the helmet has to fit properly for your riding style and bike position. The long-tail helmets, like the Rudy Wingspan (which I have, purchased at a big discount on eBay), work great if you ride in a super-aero position with a flat back and your head positioned just so. (Which I don’t.)

Why? Because the tail has to effectively sit on your back for max aero benefits. If you look down at your Garmin every five minutes or ride with your head tilted to one side, you lose most of the aero benefits. Suddenly, the helmet’s tail becomes a sail. You don’t want a sail in your race.

Rudy Project Wingspan Aero Triathlon Time Trial Helmet Helmet – Black/White/Silver Matte – Unisize – Men’s & Women’s

Rudy Wingspan

 

 

 

 

 

Another downside: lack of breathability. In a hot race, you have little ventilation, sort of like riding in a car with the windows rolled up. And if you travel to races and plan to ride in the days pre- or post-race, you’ll have to either pack a road helmet or ride around wearing that silly helmet.

The new TT helmets

To mitigate many of the downsides to long-tailed space alien aero helmets, helmet manufacturers started issuing lids without a tail. Using computer technology to analyze airflow, helmet experts found ways to produce comparable aerodynamic benefits without a tail.

These newer helmets still smooth airflow over the head. They also help reduce drag in crosswinds caused by long tails. And they eliminate drag caused by neck fatigue or Garmin obsession. Bonus: they don’t look as silly when you’re on a sightseeing recovery ride the day after a race.

Here are a few new aero helmets that have gotten positive reviews. Since I haven’t worn them, or reviewed them, I’ll leave it to you to do your own research.

Giro Air Attack Aero Road Helmet – 2018 MEDIUM BLACK

Giro Air Attack

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rudy Project Boost 01 With Optical Shield Titanium Matte – Large

Rudy Project helmet

 

 

 

 

 

POC Cerebel, Cycling Helmet for Racing, Navy Blue, M

POC Helmet

 

 

 

 

 

 

Giant Rivet TT

Giant Rivet TT helmet

 

 

 

 

 

Lazer Wasp Air Tri

Lazer Wasp TT helmet

 

 

 

 

The poor man’s TT helmet

If you aren’t worried about a few extra seconds or don’t want to spend a bunch of money on another helmet, you *could* tape the vents in your road helmet. (I’ve done this.) The forums say you’ll get at least a fraction of the benefits of an aero helmet. Maybe you’ll get some funny looks, but so what?

What’s your favorite helmet? Give us your pick and why you like it in the comments below!

Cyclists needed for Specialized health study

If you read this blog, you probably ride a bike. Probably a lot. Share your cycling habits (no matter how excessive), your bike fit issues, and other general health info for a large study conducted by former Specialized consultant Dr. Roger Minkow.

Minkow hopes to recruit as many as 50,000 cyclists for a study to assess how cycling affects health and how bike fit “fits” into the equation.

“What we are trying to do is address real issues by looking at bike fit and other factors pretty deeply, in a way that hasn’t been done before,” Minkow said in a press release. “We may be able to find out for sure that some saddles are safe and some aren’t, so we can give people some real information that is not just marketing BS.”

The survey takes about 15 minutes.

Read more about the study here.

Read more about Minkow and his work on Specialized’s Body Geometry saddles on his website.

You can access the survey here.

How has cycling influenced your health? How has bike fit helped you stave off injuries?  Share in the comments below!

CODA: My apologies for the brevity of this blog. The Du It For You team of one has been pretty busy with other work projects, and that’s eaten away precious duathlon blog time. I’m continually on the hunt for interesting athlete profiles, race reports, and other duathlon-related training tips. If you have any to share, I welcome guest contributions! Send me a note via the Contact form on this blog. Happy running-riding-running!

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