Clever interchangeable bits allow users to tweak the shape to fit their riding position
The long awaited Giro Selector aero helmet, the successor to the Advantage, was launched at the Giro d'Italia on Saturday. Its key features include a built in visor and a removable back section to fit different rider positions.
Aerodynamic helmet performance can vary wildly depending on how well its shape blends with a rider's position but Giro's new Selector incorporates a clever interchangeable lower section that supposedly manages to offer consistently low drag to a much wider range of users – from impossibly flat-back time trial specialists like Fabian Cancellara and Dave Zabriskie to amateur triathletes who tend to sit much more upright.
Giro will include two sets of lower 'caps' with each Selector, one measuring 45mm tall and the other a more modest 10mm. The goal is each case is the same: to close the gap between the bottom of the helmet and the top of the rider's back so as to keep airflow as smooth as possible.
Giro has also integrated a form-fitted visor up front to further maintain that aerodynamic shape. Upper vents should help minimize fogging and Giro says they're also aligned with the helmet's internal channeling to encourage good airflow across the rider's head. A grey-tinted lens will come standard but a clear lens is available separately and, of course, the shield can be detached altogether if preferences (or rider sponsorship contracts) dictate the use of different eyewear instead.
A third key aerodynamic feature is the fully enclosed tail, which wind tunnel testing has consistently shown to be faster through the air than an open one (in fact, some pro teams used to use duct tape to craft their own covers just a few years ago). That cover precludes the use of a conventional retention system, though, so instead Giro has included its new Roc Loc TT with the Selector.
Roc Loc TT uses a leaf spring design that automatically puts a preset amount of tension on the back of the rider's head – sort of like Specialized's old Brain Trust system but flipped upside down. According to Giro, this setup not only maintains a quality fit without having to fiddle with dials or levers but is also faster to put on – a key distinction for triathletes trying to cut down their transition times. The base of the Roc Loc TT can be snapped into one of three fore-aft positions for a total size range of 6cm (Giro's typical range per shell size is 4cm).
Other features include fixed-position slimline webbing similar to Giro's Prolight model, the company's latest Thermoformed SL Roll Cage internal reinforcement structure, removable EVA foam side pads for customizable width, and antibacterial X-Static upper pads. Giro will offer the new Selector in four colors – matte/gloss black, red/black, blue/black, and white/silver – each in two size options.
Weight is approximately 385g for the S/M size and 418g for the M/L. Retail price is set at US$275/£239.99 and scheduled availability is early June.
This article first appeared on BikeRadar.