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Tour Tech: Specialized Evade Aero Road Helmet

  • By Caley Fretz | Velonews.com
  • Published Jul 2, 2013
  • Updated Jul 15, 2013 at 7:03 PM UTC
The new Evade is claimed to save 10 watts at 40kph over Specialized's own Prevail model. Photo: Caley Fretz | VeloNews.com

Specialized unveiled its new aero road helmet, the Evade, at the Tour de France. The combination of cooling and aerodynamic improvement over standard road helmets could prove beneficial for triathletes in long, hot events such as the Ironman World Championship and Wildflower. Read more about the helmet from Velonews.com below.

Specialized’s secret black aero road helmet, worn this spring by Mark Cavendish and Vincenzo Nibali, now has a name, and that name is Evade.

Apparently, the new helmet does quite well at evading aerodynamic drag, saving a claimed 20 watts at 50kph and 10 watts at a slightly more reasonable 40kph. And it does so while keeping a rider’s head cool, according to Specialized.

That’s because the design team spent nearly half their time working on ventilation, explained Specialized aerodynamicist Chris Yu.

“We saw that the guys (in last year’s Tour) were just refusing to wear some of the helmets. It was just too hot. So we knew we needed to start with a helmet that can be ridden in the heat and go from there,” he told VeloNews.

The front section of the Evade is based loosely on the McLaren time trial helmet, while the back tapers to a more normal road-helmet shape. The vents, which are far more numerous than on other aero road helmets, like Giro’s Air Attack or even Kask’s new adjustable Infinity, are more slits than holes, and are situated so that they do a minimal amount of damage to overall drag.

“We left the top alone for that reason,” Yu said. “If you put vents there, it just does terrible things to the aerodynamics. But if you put them on the sides and the front, and shape them correctly, you can minimize the impact.”

In fact, Yu says that when Specialized compared a mock-up Evade without any vent holes with the final vented version, the difference between the two was minute.

For more about the helmet, plus a few additional photos, visit Velonews.com.

RELATED: Giro Air Attack Shield Helmet Review

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