Big Island Innovation

  • By Aaron Hersh
  • Published Oct 4, 2012
  • Updated Oct 31, 2014 at 4:39 PM UTC
Photo: Nils Nilsen

Straight from the engineering lab to the Queen K, these five trends are making Kona’s fastest athletes look more and more like they’re racing Olympic distance.

1. Cool heads prevail

Kona is the last refuge of standard road helmets in the pro triathlon field. Still, countless wind tunnel tests have inarguably shown that aero helmets make a cyclist faster (most tests show a time savings of 3 to 5 minutes in an Ironman), and successful races in Kona—by athletes big and small—have demonstrated controlling core temp is still possible while riding with an aero helmet.

Every one of the top 15 male finishers in 2011 raced in an aero helmet. Many of the women, however, still favor road helmets. Of the favorites in 2012—Carfrae, Joyce, Cave and Steffen—only Carfrae, the weakest rider of the bunch, opted for the aero helmet last year.

RELATED VIDEO: Crowie’s Aero Helmet Decision

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FILED UNDER: Bike / Gear & Tech / Ironman / Pro Bikes

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh

Aaron Hersh is the Senior Tech Editor of Triathlete magazine. To submit a question, write Aaron at

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