The Tour de France is always a maelstrom of new releases, which to some extent all serve to drown each other out. We saw a flurry of weird helmets at the opening prologue TT, and the first few road stages have been no different.
We've spotted new head protection atop the riders of Ineos Grenadiers, Bahrain Victorious, Trek-Segafredo, and B&B Hotels-KTM. Some have just been released, others are still unofficial for now. Here's what we know so far.
New Kask road helmet
An as-yet-unreleased Kask helmet was spotted atop the head of Geraint Thomas, Filippo Ganna and co. In form, it looks like a mix of the current Protone and Wasabi models from the Italian brand.
Although it takes many design cues from the Protone, we’ve recently had a new version of that model released, albeit with only minor changes from the original. Whatever this is, it's more heavily vented than both the Utopia and Wasabi models too, so whether this is going to be a new model or a replacement is anyone’s guess for the time being.
The helmet features 12 vents, in approximately the same arrangement as the Protone, with the same fore/aft setup too, appearing to leave the crown of the head smooth for better airflow when the head is at a lower angle in an aero position. All told, this appears to be an all-rounder model, rather than one for either the stuffy, sluggish air of the high mountains in midsummer, or the high-speed airflow of flat stages.
The main left and right frontal vents appear to be partially filled with a more matte plastic. Could these be inserts, or simply a design note to tie it to the Wasabi, which features a matte carapace and more angular detailing?
The cradle appears to be the Kask standard, and the WG11 sticker appears to mirror that of the Protone and other models in that there is no rotational internal cradle such as MIPS, but that the helmet has at least passed additional rotational impact tests.
New Trek, not Bontrager, helmet
Many bike brands have subsidiaries which produce components and/or clothing; Bontrager serves this function for Trek, and so seeing a new helmet branded as the latter rather than the former is noteworthy in itself. It may simply be that the helmet is ‘unbranded’ save for the title sponsor of the team, but either way, some of the riders of Trek-Segafredo are sporting some new head protection.
Taking Bontrager’s helmets as a start point, the top-end models in both road and MTB feature WaveCel technology, an in-house tech that’s designed to improve the safety of the helmets and provide protection from rotational impacts. This new helmet does not feature this easy-to-spot feature, which may further indicate it’s not a Bontrager model.
It does feature six prominent main panels running nearly the length of the head, bisected and connected across the top of the head by what appears to be a carbon fibre T-shaped structure, leaving seven main frontal vents and we suspect around the same number behind.
Beyond this, we know very little, but visually at least it’s a very attractive helmet, with clean lines and sharp angles.
Bahrain Victorious get new EGOS from Rudy Project
How many vents is enough? 23 should suffice, or so Rudy Project thinks with its new EGOS helmet. It's an all-round road helmet, but definitely one that appears to err towards ventilation over aerodynamics.
“Designed to cut through the air and slide it inside”, so says the press release, which we take as a badly translated way of saying it is both aerodynamically optimised and ventilated enough to be comfortable for use in most situations.
The 23 vents are complemented by dual-density shell protection, which also reduces the weight, along with magnetic Fidlock buckles for easy on/off with one hand. To enhance the airflow further the forehead pad, usually a single strip in many helmets, is in this case slotted to allow air to be pulled in from below the brow of the helmet too.
At 250g for a Medium, the Rudy Project EGOS is on a par with the best road bike helmets out there, but with a €209.90 price tag, you’d hope it would.
B&B Hotels-KTM with the 'lightest aero MIPS helmet'
“The lightest aerodynamic MIPS helmet” is a bold claim, but as it is lighter than all but the Abus Airbreaker from our list of the best helmets, it appears to stack up, though there is no real definition of what counts as ‘aerodynamic’.
The Bolle Avio MIPS, at 234g, is certainly feathery thanks in part to the use of MIPS’s Air padding, the lightest the company offers. Combined with more vents than is customary for a totally aero helmet and you can see how the weight has been shaved.
Five main vents cover the cooling duties, the central one extending rearwards to near the back of the helmet too. Four thinner vents in a diffuser arrangement at the rear aim to get the hot air out again thanks to the Venturi effect.
It’s available for £235.00 in three colours, including the livery of B&B Hotels-KTM, but currently only in a size Medium.
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Will joined the Cyclingnews team as a reviews writer in 2022, having previously written for Cyclist, BikeRadar and Advntr. There are very few types of cycling he's not dabbled in, and he has a particular affection for older bikes and long lasting components. Road riding was his first love, before graduating to racing CX in Yorkshire. He's been touring on a vintage tandem all the way through to fixed gear gravel riding and MTB too. When he's not out riding one of his many bikes he can usually be found in the garage tinkering with another of them, or getting obsessive about tyres. Also, as he doesn't use Zwift, he's our go-to guy for bad weather testing... bless him.
Rides: Custom Zetland Audax, Bowman Palace:R, Peugeot Grand Tourisme Tandem, Falcon Explorer Tracklocross, Fairlight Secan & Strael