Knowledge Level: Intermediate
Whether you’re riding a time trial or racing on the track, your helmet choice can have a significant impact on your performance. We speak to British Cycling’s official helmet supplier Lazer about what you should consider when picking a performance helmet and the development and features of their multiple medal winning Victor helmet.
Your position on the bike is a huge determining factor in helmet choice. Although with an optimal and still position, a long tailed helmet can smooth the transition between head and back and be very fast, in the real world, outside of the wind tunnel, this is often not the case.
Many riders drop or move their heads as they ride, often due to fatigue, and this can cause a long tail to move out of alignment with their upper back and adversely affect their aerodynamics.
In cross-wind conditions when riding outdoors, the wind pushing against the side profile of a long tailed helmet can put a noticeable strain on a rider's neck, impacting on their ability to hold their position.
With rider head movement, wind and other factors that can negatively affect the performance of a long tailed helmet in mind, we took our Wasp helmet and reimagined it for the real world. Rather than simply testing in a wind tunnel for optimal conditions and positions, we modelled using CFD for the real demands of the track and the road.
The result was the shorter tailed Victor, a far more versatile helmet, that, from subsequent testing, we have found even outperforms the Wasp aerodynamically in optimal scenarios.
Although you may be able to hold a fixed position during a time trial or an individual pursuit, bunch races and sprints all require turning your head.
The Victor’s teardrop shape has been designed to be aerodynamically efficient from all angles.
During the cut and thrust of a bunch race or sprint, excellent peripheral vision is a must. The short tail of the Victor allows for easy and comfortable head movement to facilitate this and the panoramic lens also allows a wide field of vision and high optical clarity.
There’s no point in a helmet being aerodynamic if it’s not comfortable and securely fitting. The Victor uses Lazer’s Advanced Turnfit system which offers both vertical and horizontal adjustment for a perfect fit.
Although not an issue for shorter events, for longer races in warm conditions, overheating can negatively effect performance. To cover all racing eventualities, the lens on the Victor is adjustable to change the degree of ventilation. When aero is everything, have the lens flush to the helmet and cheeks. For the summer’s evening club 10, push the lens forward for front ventilation.