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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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.
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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