You can't even buy Bell's aero road helmet yet, but Viagra stock is already leaping (it's what economists call a complementary good).
Purity Ring of helmets:
The problem I have with the current crop of road helmets is simple:they just aren't expensive enough. I picked up the ~1992 helmet below at a yard sale for $5, and it offers the same aesthetic and aero specs as the current aero helmet market offers.
2008 Duke study); in the same way, expensive helmets work better.
That is, I don't just want a mildly aero and ugly helmet that is expensive. I want a ridiculously aero helmet that is ridiculously ugly and insanely expensive.
Thankfully, helmet makers are already anticipating my helmet needs with the release of two new helmets just along these lines.
Giro Air Pantani Attack
Sheldon Brown found that "aero helmets, as they are used for racing, which do not however meet the ANSI safety requirements, reduce the aero drag by approximately 2% compared to a bald head or a rubber cap over the hair. Of course, the exception to this was the cranium of Pantani, which studies found to reduce aero drag by a shit-ton.
Research was underway on Pantani's head before he tragically died, but the requirement to wear helmets obviated the results in any case. These days wearing a helmet is required, basically, from the moment one enters the hallowed grounds of a bike race. If Joe Jefferson doesn't ream you a new one for going lidless, Mimi Newcastle will smack you off your chamois. Aside from the legal requirement to wear a helmet, it's probably a good safety idea.
So, how to achieve that Pantani-headed aero effect while wearing a helmet? Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Giro Air Pantani Attack:
At a cost of $3,200, buyers are sure to be faster. Note, earring not included, but is available for another $2,100.
POC-ted Plant Helmet
Swedish helmet maker POC comes to cycling from downhill skiing and other outdoor sports, which gives them a fresh take on what should go on the heads of athletes. POC designers use natural patterns as inspiration for many of their designs, drawing on bullfrog underbellies and zucchini squash for inspiration in designing their TT helmet.
"Our aim in helmet design," said chief designer Hjalmver Svenquistsonnen, "is to remove the human-nature wall, to bring man back to his surroundings and to nature."
With that in mind, POC designed a helmet with a small, live shrub actually planted inside it.
POC suggests watering your POCted Plant helmet prior to racing events offers even greater cooling benefits.
At $42,000, the POCted Plant is the most expensive helmet ever made, including helmets used in astronaut suits. It comes with its own evergreen maintenance system. Visor not included.
The Giro Air Pantani attack and POCted Plant helmet will soon be available, so however you decide to go, get ready to ditch your current expensive supposedly aero road helmet and blow your wad, because the next wave of innovation in head protection--nay, head enhancement--is here!