Monday, May 26, 2008

Testing the new aero helmet

Yesterday on a calm day on a flat road I rode about 37 miles with the regular helmet (first chart), and today I rode 26 miles in high winds (18-20 mph) in the aero helmet on part of the same course. Both days I tried to keep the heart rate between 145 and 150. It's not an exact repeat of the ride, so it's not a great comparison, but FWIW:

Without aero helmet:
Average heart rate 144
Average speed: 16.1 mph
Maximum speed: 20.6 mph

With aero helmet:
Average heart rate 143
Average speed: 16.6 mph
Maximum speed: 21.9 mph

I'd call the aero helmet a success! Faster at a similar heart rate in tougher conditions works for me! If I see that kind of improvement on the 56-mile bike course at Eagleman in 2 weeks it will cut my time something like 6 to 8 minutes.

It was quite comfortable, too. It seemed to work especially well going into the wind where I felt I was able to maintain my speed better. I was also more conscious of my position and maintained it more steadily. I just have to get over feeling like a total dork poser when I'm wearing it.

I was just glad I didn't try putting on my new wheel cover yet, because I would have been blown all over the road.


GeekGirl said...

The one thing I noticed right way with the aero helmet was that I didn't notice it. That, and my neck didn't feel stiff during a ride. I don't know yet if it makes me fast because I haven't done a race with it that I can compare to a previous race. But it's lighter and more comfortable to wear and that to me is worth it!

Lana said...

Hmmm...that's some pretty convincing data right there. I've been thinking about getting an aerohelmet, but was haven't been able to get past the "poser" part...but you might have just convinced me that's it worth it!

ShirleyPerly said...

Interesting results! I've never done such a comparison but know I am motivated to ride much faster with it on in races. I have to be careful not to ride too hard, though!

Look forward to hearing how the disk cover works out. Does your bike have 650 or 700 wheels? I haven't yet seen one for 650, which is what I have.