Met Codatronca time trial helmet review

A short tail helmet designed for those who find it hard to lock into the ideal position at all times - which is pretty much all of us

Cycling Weekly Verdict

Whilst the ideal aero helmet for each rider is body shape dependant, this short tail should prove more versatile for most riders, providing aero gains without the potential sacrifices a long tail may present on sporting courses or headwind riddled race days. It's a very comfortable lid which provided a close fit, enough ventilation to race on hot days and a clever magnetic visor system - though the visor was quite long and took some getting used to. 

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    Visor shape

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What's faster: a long tail or a short tail helmet?

With the human body completely removed from the equation, the answer is nearly always a long tail helmet. However, the bike isn't going anywhere without a rider on it, and very few of us are able to hold our heads in the absolute optimum "turtle" position - particularly when faced with sporting courses - which is where a lid like Met's Codatronca comes in.

The Codatronca is one of a plethora of stubby time trial helmets designed to do away with the huge potential wattage drains that can arise from sticking the tail of a long helmet in the air, or turning it to the side, during hard efforts.

I tested this lid during several 25-mile time trials over the summer, putting it through its paces in hot weather and checking out the anti-fog properties of the all important visor.

First donning the helmet, I was immediately struck by the comfort on offer from this lid. Time trial helmets have come on in leaps and bounds in the last few years - and Met's 'Safe-T Orbital' fit system with with its retention dial didn't feel too dissimilar to fitting a standard road helmet, albeit with a large round fairing surrounding much more of my head.

The fit system also feels much safer than some of the styles of old - though Met doesn't offer this helmet with an anti-rotational system such as a MIPS layer, which you can get on TT lids elsewhere.

When hunching into the TT position, I could feel the short tail contacting my upper back - and this was particularly reassuring, since I was immediately aware if I came out of the aero tuck.

At the front, there's three small vents, with a further two 'exhaust' holes at the rear, the idea being to channel air out the back. Leaving the house in this helmet for pre-race test rides, I did feel my head becoming a little bit hot. However, in actual races - when my attention was directed elsewhere - I never overheated.

The visor clips on via four magnetic connections around the edge. In the event that you should suddenly decide you don't want it during a race, you can simply flip it around and attach it to the front - a bit like removing standard glasses and placing them in the vents on a wet day. I didn't find the visor ever fogged up - however, it did come very far down my (admittedly quite small) face. Initially I found it a little bit claustrophobia inducing - but did race in it and become used to it.

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Met has used a magnetic clasp at the chinstrap, which is a nice nod to quality, the comfort pads are removable and the helmet comes delivered in a soft bag.

Aero performance wise, it's hard to justify aero claims without windtunnel data. However, I did wear this lid for two 25-mile time trials using courses where I've previously raced with a long tail helmet.

The first gave me a 57-18 on the R25/H, this was not a personal best but compatible to performances in similar conditions (headwind 15 miles out, tailwind 10 miles back - PB is 56-03 but with the wind switched round). The second was a 59-24 on my nemesis - the H25/8 between Bentley and Farnham. This was a personal best. Whilst I can't say that the Codatronca was faster than a long tail helmet in either case, it certainly didn't cause me to lose time - and it was a lot more comfortable.

When it comes to value, the MET Codatronca's £270 RRP does illicit quite an intake of breath - however, it's in-line with competitors such as the Giro Aerohead (£269, though with MIPS), Kask Bambino Pro (£289) and Lazer Victor (£249). 

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