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BMC rider Rohan Dennis used a mysterious new Giro time trial helmet on his way to winning the prologue at last year’s Tour de France. Finally officially launched here at the Amgen Tour of California, this new Aerohead is supposedly not only — naturally — the most aerodynamic helmet Giro has produced to date but it’s also the most expensive, too.
The new Aerohead actually comprises two slightly different variants — the Aerohead MIPS and the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS — both with a new streamlined shape that Giro says will save its wearer up to four seconds over a 40km-long time trial relative to its already-fast Selector, and up to 20 seconds over a 180km-long Ironman leg.
Where the standard Aerohead MIPS is aimed for more mainstream time trial and triathlon use with a conventional polycarbonate shell and four external vents, the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS goes for all-out speed with a TeXtreme carbon fiber shell and no external venting whatsoever. Giro says the decision to use carbon fiber wasn’t driven by weight, however — and indeed, the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS has the exact same 450g claimed weight as the standard Aerohead despite costing more than twice as much.
“We’ve been wanting to incorporate carbon fiber into a helmet for years now,” said Giro marketing director Dain Zaffke.
Instead, the carbon composite greater strength relative to polycarbonate allows for a slightly trimmer outer profile (a scant 2%) that isn’t noticeable to the naked eye but nonetheless plays out in wind tunnel testing, according to Giro. Even so, that difference is pretty small in the wind tunnel, too, with just a single second difference in time saved between the Aerohead MIPS and Aerohead Ultimate MIPS over 40km and five seconds over 180km.
Despite the minimal venting, Giro says the standard Aerohead MIPS is slightly better ventilated than the Selector, too. Unsurprisingly, the absence of external vents means the sleeker Aerohead Ultimate MIPS will be a fair bit warmer.
Other common features include huge Zeiss-certified eye shields with slick magnetic attachments, new strap sliders that are supposedly easier to use than before and also lay flatter against your face, a new hydrophilic antimicrobial brow pad that supposedly won’t dump sweat into your eyes, and Giro’s Roc Loc Air retention system, which helps suspend the helmet off of your head and provides more room for air to flow through the full-length internal channeling.
Giro will include a single mirrored grey eye shield with the standard Aerohead MIPS; the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS will also add an additional clear one, too, plus a custom molded EVA soft-shell case.
The Aerohead MIPS will go on sale beginning in August with a retail price of US$250/£229/€300 and a choice of five different colors. The Aerohead Ultimate MIPS will be a bit further off — likely October — and will only be offered in two different colors, both with a whopping US$550/£499/€600 price tag. Australian pricing is still being determined (but a specific model is being certified for that region).
For more information, visit www.giro.com.