When you buy a $500 helmet

Just curious… how much time are we talking about here?

40k race, 40 to 50 seconds. That’s vs the Mistral, which was my next best option. About 70 seconds vs my old Bell Javelin. But keep in mind my best ever 40k time is a shade over 55 minutes. So we’re not talking Nielson Powless type speeds, here. (that guy is really little, btw)

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Stolen from elsewhere

Cycling news released a aero helmet wind tunnel test including the new Poc Procen Air.

Credits to reddit user Lopsided_Prior3801 for posting the data.

Helmet | CdA average | Power at 40km/h | Speed at 250w (km/h) | 40km TT at 250w

  1. POC Procen Air w/Visor 0.3501 288.15 38.15 01:02:55

  2. Specialized S-Works Evade III 0.3523 289.96 38.07 01:03:02

  3. POC Procen Air w/out Visor 0.3529 290.45 38.05 01:03:05

  4. Scott Cadence 0.3531 290.62 38.04 01:03:05

  5. Van Rysel FCR 0.3531 290.62 38.04 01:03:05

  6. Giro Eclipse 0.3541 291.44 38.01 01:03:09

  7. Trek Ballista 0.3542 291.52 38.00 01:03:09

  8. Trek Velocis 0.3549 292.10 37.98 01:03:12

  9. Julbo Sprint 0.356 293.00 37.94 01:03:16

  10. Kask Utopia Y 0.3563 293.25 37.93 01:03:17

  11. Lazer Vento Kineticore 0.3564 293.33 37.92 01:03:17

  12. MET Manta 0.357 293.83 37.90 01:03:19

  13. Smith Ignite 0.3572 293.99 37.90 01:03:20

  14. Sweet Protection Tucker 2Vi 0.3573 294.07 37.89 01:03:20

  15. Kask Elemento 0.3574 294.16 37.89 01:03:21

  16. Limar Air Atlas 0.3577 294.40 37.88 01:03:22

  17. ABUS Gamechanger 2.0 0.3581 294.73 37.86 01:03:23

  18. Oakley ARO7 w/out Visor 0.3586 295.14 37.85 01:03:25

  19. Carnac Evo 0.3588 295.31 37.84 01:03:26

  20. Specialized S-Works Prevail III 0.3588 295.31 37.84 01:03:26

  21. Rudy Project Nytron 0.3589 295.39 37.84 01:03:26

  22. Oakley ARO7 w/Visor 0.3607 296.87 37.77 01:03:32

  23. Uvex Rise Pro 0.3621 298.02 37.72 01:03:37

  24. POC Ventral Tempus 0.3624 298.27 37.71 01:03:38

  25. POC Ventral 0.3656 300.91 37.60 01:03:49


I liked the look of the Van Rysel, but was on the fence. Off the fence now and order in!

I also would pick-up the Van Rysel FCR in a heartbeat but unfortunately it isn’t sold in Canada and because of certification it’s currently not in the plan to sell it according to their customer service. It’s really a shame because my other helmet option is the S-Works Evade III which is twice the price of the FCR…

I couldn’t justify the price of the evade 3. So I got the specialized propero 4 helmet. Even got it on sale for Easter weekend. Have a look.

Hey all. Josh here - assistant editor at CN and the nerd who took 24 helmets to a wind tunnel and then spent way too many hours analysing the numbers, doing the math(s - I’m British) and writing the feature. Also a TR user for years.

The full article with plenty more data beyond that table here at CN

It’s paywalled (sorry). Mainly because it was membership fees that helped make it happen. Wind tunnels aren’t cheap! But I’m happy to answer any questions about protocol, testing etc. I can’t give away the results - sorry - although I’m aware someone’s already done that! There’s a load more data in there, including Watts saved at 30kmh, 40kmh and 50kmh, time saved at 250, 350 and 450 watts, as well as a calculation for time over a 40km TT for those outputs. I even worked out how much Cav was giving up by wearing a Limar Air Atlas.

Anyway, I’m happy to share my experience with the helmets too. I’m now (early on) in the process of testing them all in the wild! My early impressions of the Van Rysel are good - excellent given the price! - There’s no MIPS(/equivalent), but there are no uncomfortable pressure points (as I found on the very-budget Carnac also tested). The rear cradle material and dial are perhaps a bit ‘budget’ in feel, but it’s secure, and they do the job they’re supposed to do. As a few have pointed out, it’s not the easiest to find/buy, but I get the impression that it’s a case of a new brand gaining scale. Can’t imagine it’ll take long given the behemoth behind it.

Fire away with questions and I’ll do my best to answer. (I will take no questions about our new green logo :rofl: )


@joshcroxton that’s the most recent ballista, correct?

The CdA average is composed of…? (what yaw angles?) I wouldn’t ask you to post this data…but just give us a clue, does this list change materially if it’s just 6 degree yaw…or is the order pretty much the same.

And, I’ll just say this explicitly again: the velocis is the best value/aero/vented nexus on the market. Every time I test it or see it compared in test results it’s hard to believe that helmet can be that fast.

Is the non-adjustable strap a potential problem (pinching the earlobe) like the POC Ventral/Ventral Air? The limited images I’ve found on google seem to suggest it could potentially be an issue as it was/is for me on the Ventral.

That Van Rysel FCR is a little bit like the original ballista and the original evade had a kid. But it’s never seen in the wild in this region.

Actually there’s now a MPIS FCR on the Decathlon UK website, just like the Pro are using. Out of stock and not available in North America unfortunately.

Correct re Ballista.

CdA was captured at 0, 5, 10 and 15 degrees (no point going negative because helmets are symmetrical).

When I order the data by CdA at 5 degrees, most of the helmets jump up or down by a place or two, but the table looks similar overall. There are some outliers that really performed well at low yaw, but failed miserably at high yaw, and some that were consistently good across all four angles.

Looking at the data shared above, the Carnac and the Prevail look equal, but the breakdown of those averages is vastly different. (I doubt anyone will ever be weighing up which of those two to buy, but it’s the most extreme example I have).

The Velocis was a surprise, I nearly didn’t take it with me!


If anything it’s slightly worse than the Ventral. I just checked both and the Y adaptor is ever so slightly closer to the underside of my ears on the FCR than on the Ventral.

Naturally, it won’t be something that affects everyone - I tend to be fine with POC, VR and others (I think the original Gamechanger was another) but if the Ventral is an issue, I fear the VR would be too.

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bummer. thanks for the reply. I’ll check it out in the local Decathlon once it’s back in stock. Going to stick with the plan and swallow the cost of the Evade III…

Interesting, thanks - I hadn’t spotted that. Also out of stock here though!

$300 helmet, thankfully I didn’t pay $300 or the $500 of thread title. Coming from a Ballista, and despite not doing any 40km TT recently I immediately noticed the 7 second #gainz :rofl:

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Thanks for doing this.

Was the test done with the same rider or with a dummy?

How did you choose the position in either case? Are the results significantly affected by this?

In other words. Would the ranking be moreorless similar for different positions and different riders?

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:popcorn: :face_with_peeking_eye:

@Ahmad the test was done with a rider. It was the same rider throughout, and the SSE Hub projects an outline of your baseline position so that it’s fairly easy to replicate throughout subsequent runs.

We chose a fast-ish (but not aggressive-solo-breakaway) ‘hoods’ position. We felt it was more reflective of the position that people will use ‘on average’ across all of their riding, rather than the odd occasion they’ll be in a solo breakaway, and thus would be more useful to the masses.

It also helped that the slightly more relaxed position meant less of the airflow hitting the helmet was then interacting with Tom’s shoulders/body downwind, and that gave us a bit more confidence that the results are reflective of the helmet (rather than how it works with Tom — we know TT helmets are highly individual for similar reasons).

Additional benefit of not going ‘full-aggressive’ with the position was avoiding promoting the not-looking-where-you’re-going position, which I personally didn’t want to do!

As for whether it would be different: it almost certainly would change things if we tested at a more head-down angle, but I’m not sure by how much.

I guess (but don’t know) that helmets like the Ballista, Sweet Protection, etc, would fare a bit better. Maybe one for next time!


Poor Tom. That’s a lot of helmets!

Just out of curiosity. How long does it take to complete the test?

Thanks for the detailed answer. It’s very helpful to have this information. I’ll consider getting the subscription to read more details.