Giro and Smith: New Thinking to Protect Your Thinker
What’s more important than getting the right deal on a quality used bike? Well, as important as we thing that is at Bicycle Blue Book, safety on the bike is paramount. That’s one of the reasons we ensure every bike that moves through our marketplace is verified by one of our partner shops. Safety is even better if it comes with comfort, lightweight, ventilation and aerodynamics and two new helmets, one from Giro and one from Smith are doing just that with new technology.
At first glance the Synthe was not what we expected to see in an aero helmet, but the claims being made included everything we wanted. By the numbers we were looking at a helmet that was more efficient than any road helmet Giro has ever produced – 16% lighter than the Aeon, 13% lighter than the Air Attack, 2% cooler than the already super ventilated Aeon, and styling that works for almost everyone.
The ROCKLOC AIR retention system provides excellent fit with one of the most established head forms in cycling combined with a claimed weight hovering between 230g-250g (depending on size). One of our favorite Synthe features was the addition of Giro’s aero mesh, which aside from being aesthetically pleasing also has a number of practical applications. Not only does it securely dock your eyewear when not in use, but the aero mesh is a major contributor to air flow. With large frontal vents working to bring ample air in, keeping your head cool, its the the aero mesh that actually controls the air re-direction on exit, ensuring a smooth flow around the “boundary layer” increasing aerodynamics.
On our short-term test one other feature we’d like to point out is that with the reduced overall volume and controlled airflow, Giro has been able to cut down on wind noise, effectively allowing a rider to hear their surroundings better, and therefore increase safety by potentially avoiding the exact kind of accidents helmets are designed for.
Price: $250 Weight: 230-250grams More: giro.com
Last year Smith launched its first bicycle helmet, the Forefront. While the helmet was intended for mountain bike riders, it debuted technology never before seen in the cycling world – Aerocore construction. Aerocore allows for increased ventilation without sacrificing protection, reduces weight, and reduces volume. With up to a 30-percent improvement over standard EPS impact properties, the patented tubular core structure of the Koroyd material used in the Aerocore technique combines with EPS foam to create a system of materials intended to surpass current standards at low and high speed impacts.
The 360-degree fit system and minimal padding effectively suspend the helmet off of the rider’s head allowing each and every Koroyd tube to constantly evacuate hot air. The result is that instead of building up pools of sweat that then come in contact with air as it passes under the vent giving the traditional ‘cooling effect’, heat is constantly escaping to keep the rider cooler, longer.
The new Overtake from Smith takes this technology and aims it at the road in a 250gram lid with serious aerodynamics. Sculpted with CFD and verified through a partnership with the FASTER wind tunnel and aerodynamicist Len Brownlie, the new Overtake was tested against the current best-in-class helmets. The results? The Overtake is only 1.06 seconds slower than the Evade, the aero specific road helmet from Specialized, over a 40K TT at 25mph.
A few seasons ago 250grams would have been among the lightest on the road, today it’s rather middle of the road. Smith could have gone lighter but was unwilling to sacrifice fit, protection or aero performance and its belief is at 250grams it aids overall performance more than any lighter helmet. While this remains to be seen through long term test, one thing is certain, with Koroyd material and Aerocore construction no other helmet on the road looks like the Smith Overtake and in today’s derivative helmet market that is truly something special.
Price: $250 Weight: 250grams More: smithoptics.com
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