Feels aerodynamic on the bike and has a decent amount of ventilation for an aero helmet, but the fit didn’t suit me, so try before you buy to make sure it works with your head shape
- Feels aerodynamic
- Effective channelled cooling
- Fidlock buckle
- Good weight for an aero helmet
- Fit won't suit all heads
- No sunglasses storage
- No rotational safety technology
Limar says its Air Revolution concept was inspired by the shapes formed in nature to produce helmets with superior aerodynamics. The Air Speed was the first helmet to be released following this research and is a dedicated aero road helmet developed in collaboration with the Astana Pro Team, and tested in the Magny-Cours wind tunnel in France. We have been riding the Air Speed over the last few months to see how it shapes up against the best road bike helmets and best aero helmets.
Design and aesthetics
The design of the Air Speed is unmistakably aero influenced with its long shape and unvented crown area. The helmet has quite a low and wide shape that extends further behind the ear, offering some additional coverage. Unlike the breezier Limar Air Pro, ventilation is paired down with seven frontal vents that feed across the head through shallow channelling within the helmet before being exhausted out of the five vents at the rear.
With the minimal vents and smooth shape of the Air Speed, Limar claims that its wind tunnel testing showed the Air Speed was the best at an average speed of 40 kph. We can’t substantiate Limar’s claims on aerodynamics but the experience when wearing the Air Speed is that there is minimal influence from buffering when riding fast or battling headwinds.
The helmet itself uses an EPS construction which is finished using a Monoshell in-mould. This means that rather than using sections of in-moulding, Limar has used a single piece which should further help reduce turbulence as air flows across the helmet. The in-moulding itself is neat and gives good coverage, although it doesn’t extend very far around the bottom edges. Padding inside the helmet is neat and well-positioned, giving a comfortable level of cushioning when wearing the helmet. The pads are both antibacterial and washable to help keep your helmet fresh.
The Air Speed uses Limar’s Air Fit system which anchors at the sides and back of the helmet. The octal pads are made from a light malleable sectioned plastic to mould to the head when secured. There are three vertical positions and retention uses a clicky dial wheel which offers an accurate level of adjustment. There is no specific rotation protection built into the Air Speed and Limar doesn’t offer a MIPS version either, in fact, MIPS is only available in the top of the range Air Pro.
Straps mount at the temples and are threaded through the octal retention at the rear of the helmet. Cam lock adjusters allow fine-tuning around the ears and a neat Fidlock magnetic buckle makes putting on and taking off the helmet super easy, even with the thickest of winter gloves. There is a chin pad on the strap which can be removed, for comfort or washing, as it is only secured with velcro.
Visually the Air Speed is quite a plain helmet with limited styling. If you want to spice it up, Limar offers a My Limar service which, for a charge of €15, allows you to add decals with custom colours, vector graphic and a name if you wanted. The shape isn’t very dramatic either so, despite ultimately being an aero-specific helmet, it didn’t make me look as if I was trying to make desperate gains when worn on a casual gravel ride. The white colour has cleaned up reasonably well too, however after a winter of rather mucky shifts riding a mixture of gravel and road in all weather conditions, there are a couple of subtle yet stubborn stains to remember those rides by.
The Air Speed has a slight ovalised egg shape which, despite my head not being at the extreme ends of sizing, still felt very large. This means the retention needed to be wound down quite a bit for my head but once set, the helmet was securely in place. It doesn’t have a locked-in feeling or 'forget you're wearing it' level of comfort that I have experienced with other helmets. The Air Fit retention sits comfortably against the back of the head and the three vertical positions provide useful adjustment for positioning the retention pads. Overall I found the Air Speed comfortable enough to be worn all day though and didn’t experience any points of irritation. The block styling, minimal vents and oval aero shape mean when worn it looks a tad bulky, despite actually being quite low profile.
While we aren’t able to substantiate Limar’s wind tunnel claims we can say that at speed or in windy conditions, the Air Speed has a very smooth feeling. In blustery conditions, there is little buffering or influence felt to the head and a low amount of wind noise when riding at speed.
Most aero helmets rely on moving air rather than radiation to cool the head and while the front to rear channelled vents don’t offer much opportunity for heat to escape on its own, you don't need to be moving fast to get things flowing. It’s never going to be as cool as a less aero helmet; the Limar Air Pro is the one you want if you get a hot head, but it did a decent job thanks to the shallow but wide channels. The front vents don’t accommodate sunglasses which is a little frustrating, and while the rear vents will grab thin arms, I have never been a fan of keeping my best cycling sunglasses somewhere they could escape without me noticing.
We have found more success from helmets using simple Y-junctions to organise straps, however Limar’s adjusters are fine and other than occasionally needing to be readjusted, caused no issues. The Fidlock magnetic buckle is a nice touch, is very simple to use and is just as secure as a classic buckle.
While the slightly large oval fit didn’t mesh well with my head personally it will surely work for others. Despite not being the best fitting helmet, I could still dial it in and it was comfortable enough to be worn on long rides. Ventilation and weight can often be a sticking point for aero helmets but the Air Speed performs well in these areas.
Anybody considering the Air Speed probably puts aerodynamic efficiency high on their priorities of features. It is hard to distinguish if one helmet has any real aero benefits over other helmets by just wearing it, however, the Air Speed does feel smooth and less affected by the influence of airflow when riding at speed, though this is purely subjective to my riding experiences.
Tech Specs: Limar Air Speed helmet
- Price: US$170.00 / £179.99 / €195.95
- Weight: 285g (actual, large)
- Rotational safety: No
- Aero: Yes
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Colours: 6 plus optional extra custom decals
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