We just caught wind of a new helmet from Giro – the Selector time trial helmet. One part of the press release really piqued our curiosity:
An uninterrupted transition from helmet crown to the rider’s back is one of the biggest factors in aerodynamic efficiency and the Selector is the first helmet to allow tuning of that transition. For the first time, riders can choose between a shorter, 10mm tail section for those with a relatively flat–backed position, or a 45mm tall section for those with a more compact or hunched position.
Teams have had a variety of tuning factors available to tweak bikes for specific courses and conditions – everything from wheel choices depending on the wind, tires depending on a wet versus dry course, flexibility on bar positioning, and even crazy winged skin suits. Helmets have been a pretty static affair though, with most teams MAYBE having the option of a full extension versus stubby time trial helmet. The tunability of the Selector is the first time we’ve seen a helmet that takes the rider’s positioning in to account. Rather than assuming every rider has the incredibly aero position of a Dave Zabriskie, teams will be able to tweak their helmet to fit the rider. We’ll be keeping our eye on the upcoming Giro and Tour of California time trials to see if we can notice any impact on the times of the riders using it, particularly among the riders with less than perfect form and time trial skills.