In the market for a fast (albeit ostentatious) aero helmet? Look no further than the POC Tempor.
This article was originally published in the Jan/Feb 2013 issue of Inside Triathlon magazine.
The Concept: Design an aero helmet that treats “the rider as one body mass rather than isolating the head,” says POC, to smoothly direct airflow over the rider’s shoulders and well as the head.
The Execution: The broad extensions jutting out to the side of the head—the ones that make it look like Dark Helmet’s lid from Spaceballs—are intended to help air transition up and around the shoulders.
Beneath the wings is another plastic piece that rests against the tester’s neck. These pieces cut so far in toward the head that delicately putting the Tempor on doesn’t work; to get it on quickly, simply situate the helmet above the ears then yank it downward onto the head. It occasionally hurts a little but still goes on quickly.
Further shielding the rider from oncoming wind is a visor Velcroed to the helmet. The connection was weak, and I opted to race wearing glasses rather than the visor for fear it would get knocked out of place in transition. Fitting the glasses through the small helmet opening took some patience. Even with glasses instead of the visor, the Tempor created a quiet cocoon, giving the impression that passing wind was being funneled around the rider.
The Result: Without wind tunnel testing, we can’t say whether or not the Tempor is faster than a traditional aero helmet. Furthermore, aerodynamic performance depends on the individual. Functionally, however, it is notably different than traditionally shaped aero lids. For one, it reduces the sensation of air whizzing by the ears and neck. Looking downward changed the passing airflow so significantly it could be felt reconnecting with the back at a different point. Despite two substantial vents above the forehead, the Tempor created the perception of less air rushing by then head than a more typical aero option.
The Verdict: It’s hard to pass judgment without knowing its impacts on aerodynamic performance, but the Tempor certainly achieves its objective of blending the head with the body.