The new Specialized helmets everyone’s talking about
The Tour de France is the biggest cycling event in the world, so you can always expect some top-quality new bike tech and kit to be on display. The 119th year of La Grande Boucle is no different and it’s Specialized that has been turning heads during the first weekend in Denmark. With an opening time trial, crosswinds across Europe’s longest suspension bridge and hectic bunch sprints, it was the perfect time to reveal the all-new S-Works TT 5, S-Works Evade 3 and S-Works Prevail 3 helmets. Let’s take a closer look at the lids that had everyone talking and how they can also improve your aerodynamic gains.
As well as the phenomenal speed of stage winner Yves Lampaert, one thing dominated the Tour de France's Copenhagen Grand Départ and that was the discourse around Specialized's new time-trial helmet tech. With wide brims, a balaclava-style head covering and big visors, the S-Works TT 5 had everyone questioning what was going on, that is, of course, until it out-performed the rest of the competition.
It is a totally redesigned lid, and Specialized used CFD (computational fluid dynamic) modelling – a system used commonly in engineering to solve problems involving the flow of fluid – to reshape the helmet to position it nearer the rider’s shoulders to reduce the eddy of air – a reverse current created when travelling forwards – thus cutting down on drag.
The team didn’t just test these physics on any old athlete. Belgian time trial champion Remco Evenepoel and three-time Danish TT champ Kasper Agreen, both of the Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl Team, as well as Demi Vollering from Team SD Worx, were the engines behind the design and who logged plenty of hours in the wind tunnel testing these CFD theories. What these hours resulted in was 26 seconds being shaved off Evenepoel’s 40k time-trial performance for a race that was won by tenths of seconds. Not just the difference between first and second on a stage, but the difference between the top and second step in a stage race.
The biggest talking point about the helmet was the innovative head sock. This is used to help reduce the drag from an athlete's hair as well as maintain an optimal position while riding and mitigate any rotational forces that could occur during a fall. Finally, the Class 1 optics shield has a high-grade (EN166) anti-fog coating as well as a hydrophobic coating to keep all distractions out of your eyes.
The S-Works TT 5’s release is on the horizon so keep your eyes out so that you too can make significant gains in races against the clock.
S-Works Evade 3
The fastest helmet in the business, the redesigned S-Works Evade 3 was taken back to the drawing board to make it cooler and the go-to helmet whenever you need aero gains no matter the conditions. This is because Specialized increased ventilation by 10% while maintaining aero performance thanks to extensive CFD and wind tunnel testing.
One of the key new features that help to turn out those numbers is the rear “diffuser” which acts to reduce drag whilst simultaneously increasing ventilation, thanks to the noticeably large front vents compared to the former model. After that, the Evade 3 is packed full of all the features you would expect, including an adjustable Tri-Fix web system for added comfort, thinner 10mm webbing to minimise strap noise and integrated MIPS Node Air technology with ANGi. Maximum breathability, performance, comfort, safety and weight saving, there is no aero helmet quite like it.
S-Works Prevail 3
Once the Tour enters the mountains, the riders on Specialized sponsored teams will be very grateful for their all-new S-Works Prevail 3 helmets. The most ventilated helmet from Specialized, the first thing that strikes you is the massive new vents that contribute to a 5-star Virginia Tech® Helmet Rating™.
It's the new AirCage that makes all the difference. A woven sequence of cables that traverse the helmet and are anchored to carbon fibre side panels, the cage allows for added ventilation as well as working as a suspension bridge to distribute localised forces throughout the helmet upon impact. In other words, the Prevail 3 re-writes the book on cycling helmet design, safety, ventilation and performance.
There's no better inspiration to get on the bike than the Tour de France and Tour de France Femmes. The riders of this year's races will tackle almost every road surface imaginable, and you can too thanks to Specialized tech. Head to your local Specialized Concept Store, where our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be more than happy to help you find the perfect bike and apparel for all kinds of riding. No matter what your trail, there is adventure around every turn and with Specialized the options for discovery become limitless. Click here to find your nearest store.
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