When you buy a $500 helmet

and it’s slower than a bell javelin.

What are some strategies for finding the fastest helmet w/o breaking the bank?

What’s wrong with specialized prevail, evade, trek velocis, ballista, giro synthe, Aries?


All fine helmets. Except for the Aries I’ve tried all those. For sure, they synth saved me from being a permanent vegetable & I’ve ridden thousands of miles in a velocis…which is stealth a lot more aero than people think…maybe the best value/ventillation/aero combo on the market ever.

But all those helmets are slow enough to cost real time on the course. Especially if your yaw distribution is likely to trend toward double digits.

But I will say if you’re determined to go with a road aero helmet the fastest is none of those. The fastest is the Vanquish stock out of the box. If you do some things with the chinstrap, the Kali Tava can be faster, tho.

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I’ve wondered why we don’t have helmet cda data before. I think one important reason is it is very sensitive to your position on the bike, so a number might not really mean a lot. Therefore only/mostly manufacturers use those numbers.
For now, bike numbers focus on safety, and I think that is a good thing.

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Yes, that’s the main reason. Josh Poertner said something along the same lines.

He also said that some of the cheapest helmets out there are more likely to be more aero because they have fewer vents.

So @Brennus, if can tolerate the heat, you can probably try a very cheap one.

Another option, for road, is one of the Lazer models that have the attachable shell covering.

That’s something can do if you aren’t able to test them individually.

If you already have javelin, I’d stick to that.


eBay used TT helmets might be an option

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Make friends with lots of other riders and borrow theirs for a test.

You could even organise a helmet testing day, where everybody has to bring a helmet or two, happy to lend them out for the day. At a good test track of even windtunnel. Then let everybody test the ones they want for 10 minutes or so.


Is the vanquish consistently faster than most road helemts or is it individual? TT helmets have been banned from the TT road bike catergory so i need to swap to a road helmet and wondered what would be best

You could also host a similar party for testing bib shorts.


Yep. You’ll probably find the large faster than the medium. That sounds absurd but, for real, the large will probably be faster.

I have not tried the new poc aero helmet, procen or whatever. Generally, POC don’t put trip lines on their helmets and that makes it hard for them to beat the best in a legit TT pos’n.

The new gen ballista might possibly be better under higher yaw I don’t have good data yet.

The toughest thing for me in a road bike TT is just holding the pos’n. So mad respect to all you athletes that can do it.

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Holding the position for a 10 mile is ok but the 25 I did last year was a struggle. Not often my arms hurt more than my legs during a bike race :joy:

I’ll see if i can grab a Vanquish in large then. I should be 25 mph + in all my races so I think vanquish over the ballista regarding yaw.


Aero gains from a helmet is a very tricky cost/benefit calculation in a marketing industry that has gone wild.

Unless you are riding the helmets like @Brennus, you’ve got nothing to go on but marketing material. And that material tells you wind tunnel testing is no use as riders are so different :man_shrugging:

I liked my Velocis, comfort and ventilation, no way I can talk to aero gains though. Looked out of place in a TT on the bars.

Basically I’ll be buying my next based on how it looks and how relatively cheap it is, then complaining if it doesn’t feel good. An additional £/$200+ based on nothing objective seems inappropriate, imo.

I’m looking at the Ekoi Aero16 and Van Rysel Triathlon - neither seem to have any stats to compare…


that was a great idea.

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For me, and for a great many heads in this helmet testing outbreak, the winner was a freakin’ $40 helmet off aliexpress. Which I bought because, why not? It’s only 40 bucks.

Right from the get go I was sub 0.2 with it…but that was with a swim cap on underneath. Today I rode a 40k TT and the data say 0.19 or about? That sounds too good to be true but during relative comparison better than a kask mistral, rudy wing, giro aerohead, bell javelin, POC tempor. Pfft. Crazy. Although I would say when the POC tempor works for the rider it’s the fastest…it just doesn’t work for me.


Super cool that you went ahead with it!

Lol about the cheap helmet. Though I guess it’s better than finding out the fastest one is the most expensive.

Interesting what you say about the Tempor. Alex Dowsett has a video on youtube about helmet testing, and he says the same thing - its very fast when it works, but for him, his shoulders are too wide.

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I think it’s two things…one is that, shoulder width vs helmet width. Just as important: how long is your neck? If your nickname is elasmosaurus the Tempor probably isn’t going to be your best helmet.

Now looking at the Ballista.

Trek say it’s saves 32 seconds over the Velocis over an hour at 300W.

I can’t do a hour at 300W…so…Why am I not buying the Velocis…?!

I’d like to test the new Ballista, too, but haven’t got my hands on one yet. It’s got some interesting design features.

Could you give me a link to the Aliexpress helmet?

let me just take the data ONE MORE TIME. I’m not trying to hide it…but absurd claims require exceptional evidence.