Prototype lids from Giant, Bontrager, and Suomy get a test ride Down Under.
The new World Tour team bikes and the SRAM wireless groupset may have stolen all the headlines at the Tour Down Under, but the race has also seen the quiet testing off a small cohort of as-yet-unveiled aero lids.
The most conspicuous of the trio was seen on the head of Marcel Kittel as he took victory in the People’s Choice Classic last weekend. After making the switch from Uvex helmets for 2015, Tom Dumoulin and the rest of the Giant-Alpecin boys were mostly seen in the new Giant Rev Road helmet announced last summer.
But Kittel seemed to receive special treatment, sporting a fully aero prototype helmet, with only three front and two side vents for cooling. However it didn’t seem to bring him much luck during his week in South Australia, as he failed to pick up a stage win.
We also got a sneak peak at another prototype helmet on the heads of Trek Factory Racing. The team has previously worn an adapted aero version of the Bontrager Velocis, but the new helmet appears to be an entirely new model.
Again with three front vents, the helmet has a very rounded profile with a large opening at the rear to help hot air escape, somewhat reminiscent of the S-Works Evades raced to victory by Mark Cavendish on the final stage of the Tour de San Luis.
The final helmet of note comes from a company entirely new to cycling. Suomy has previously made a name for itself in motorcycling, sponsoring a number of riders across MotoGP, Superbikes and Motocross, and has moved into partnership with Lampre-Merida for 2015.
No details are available for the new Suomy helmet, indeed their website makes no mention of cycling. The helmet, which, like the Lampre-Merida kit, is “highly visible”, features plenty more vents than the other new releases from Giant and Bontrager, and from what we can see doesn’t have a large rear vent.