Ok, so let’s face it, almost everybody who sees an aero cycling helmet thinks they look a little silly, but secretly harbors a desire to strap one on and see what it can do. I know I did!
Earlier this year, I got my hands on the Advantage 2 from the Giro company. If you’re a cyclist at all, you know Giro as one of the leading helmet manufacturers around. In fact, if you’ve seen any ad with Lance Armstrong in it riding a bike, then you’ve seen him in a Giro (Ionos). The Advantage 2 was my first opportunity to try out a cycling icon and to get under and aero helmet.
First, you should know the purpose of an aero helmet. As the name suggests, it helps to make you more aerodynamic and thus, more efficient. On top of that, an aero helmet is, dollar-for-dollar, a MASSIVE savings over other aero components such as wheels. Click here for an article that has a very good breakdown of cost per watt saved.
Now, on to my thoughts on the Giro Advantage 2. Like I said, this was the first aero helmet I’ve gotten the chance to try out. At first, like many athletes, I was a bit concerned about the heat factor. The Advantage 2 doesn’t have the huge amount of vents that an every day cycling helmet has, rather, it has only five vents. These vents are right on the peak of the front of the head and do indeed get all the air. So, what I noticed was that, not only was I cooled enough, but the vent channels running along the inside of the top of the helmet allowed for a small vortex Giro Cycling Helmats, Advantage 2, Aero Helmets, Benefits of and Aerodynamic Cycling Helmet of air (like a mini tornado) at the back of my head that felt like a constant air conditioner. I was completely shocked. This is what the Giro website has to say about venting in the Advantage 2:
By definition, a channel is; a route through which anything passes or progresses. In the case of Giro helmets, we utilize channels on the inner portion of the helmet to move air. These internal channels are carefully crafted and are one of the keys to a well ventilated helmet. When combined with our external vents, they help move hot, stale air across the riders head and force it out the back of the helmet. This is a proprietary Giro technology that we call WindTunnel Ventilation.
On top of the amazing heat dispersion, the Giro did indeed seem to allow me to feel more like I was splitting the air, rather than pushing it out of my way.
Another really great feature of the Advantage 2 is the foresight to put channels in the ear flaps to allow sunglasses to be worn. Not once did any of the glasses that I tried with the helmet feel pushed either down on my face or squeezed in from the stems.
About those ear flaps; I was concerned about comfort due to the fact that my ears stick out a bit more than most. This causes them to feel pinched and generally sore after wearing, say, a swim cap for too long. However, the ear flaps on the Advantage 2 gave my ears plenty of room without being uncomfortable. The one slight detractor I found was hearing. Because of the positioning of the ear flaps, it does make hearing everything you’re use to with nothing but straps on either side of your ear tricky. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like you “can’t hear” it’s just a bit muffled relative to unobstructed hearing. That said, I had zero troubles with that both in workouts (on NYC streets where hearing is VERY important) or in the Ironman Mooseman 70.3.
So, if you’re in the market for things to make you more aerodynamic, rather than dropping $2000 on a new pair of wheels, why not just take $160 and get a helmet that will give you more aerodynamic advantage anyway?! I really like the Advantage 2 and I look forward to trying it out when it get’s truly hot this summer, so be on the lookout for updates.
P.S. Look out for some new helmets from Giro very soon!
Buy on Amazon: Giro Advantage 2
Born and raised in the great state of Virginia, Brandon is a former opera singer (true story) who’s had the outdoors flowing through his veins since day one. Brandon now lives in Colorado with his daughter Sydney (AKA, Baby Gearist).