This article first appeared on Bikeradar.
At the Tour de France, Bell Helmets launched its new Star Pro aero helmet, a convertible model where the rider can slide an internal cover open or closed with a finger.
Bell is claiming the Star Pro is "the first-ever dual-purpose helmet", offering some aero advantage but with the ability to give more airflow when needed.
"While the design of most aero helmets is focused on the external shape, the Star Pro was designed from the inside out," said Bell's Azul Couzens.
"Our intention with Star Pro was to eliminate the either/or choice cyclists have long been faced with when it comes to being faster or cooler," Couzens said. "We believe we’ve delivered a truly game-changing helmet."
Bell tested the Star Pro at the FASTER wind tunnel in Arizona. They averaged measurements over all yaw angles up to 30 degrees at 40kph. The result, Bell claims, is that the Star Pro with its vents closed is "the fastest helmet on the market when compared to other very well-known aero competitors". Those competitors are the aero helmets from Specialized (Evade), Giro (Air Attack), Louis Garneau and Lazer.
Bell claims the Star Pro to be "near equal" to a traditional road helmet with vents open, but cooler. Bell uses its electric-node covered head form, called the Thermanator, to measure head dissipation inside various helmets.
The Star Pro uses a magnetic Zeiss Shield on some models. Attaching with magnets, the shield can be removed and attached just above the brow if a rider wants to take it off while riding.
The helmet has a new Float Fit System to adjust fit.
The Star Pro will be available in three sizes and six colors, including two high-vis options, in October for US$240 / ￡169 alone or for US$280 / ￡199 with shield.