Tour de France 2020

Evans to wear a shorter TT lid

There is what’s best theoretically, and then what’s best in practical application. As applies to time trial aerodynamics, riders and engineers are always struggling to balance the very best position and design with what’s realistic out on the road. This year, Specialized tweaked the design of its TT3 helmet to better match how its sponsored riders like Cadel Evans actually ride.[nid:79530]

Specialized tightens fit of aero helmet for pros

By Ben Delaney

Specialized TT3: Cadel Evans' Tour TT lid.

Specialized TT3: Cadel Evans’ Tour TT lid.

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There is what’s best theoretically, and then what’s best in practical application.

As applies to time trial aerodynamics, riders and engineers are always struggling to balance the very best position and design with what’s realistic out on the road. This year, Specialized tweaked the design of its TT3 helmet to better match how its sponsored riders like Cadel Evans actually ride.

Specialized TT3: For 2008, the TT3 features a shorter tail than last year's model.

Specialized TT3: For 2008, the TT3 features a shorter tail than last year’s model.

Photo:

Last year, the TT3 had a much longer tail, which in the wind tunnel reduces drag considerably over a standard helmet. The catch, however, is that the long design is only beneficial when in a certain position. When the rider drops or turns his head, the huge tail immediately becomes a wind-dragging sail.

Specialized TT3: The helmet features an internal shelf to hold a radio.

Specialized TT3: The helmet features an internal shelf to hold a radio.

Photo:

So this year, Specialized aerodynamics product engineer Mark Cote trimmed the tail and molded the side pieces to fit closer to the face.

“The shorter tail works better in more real-world conditions than last year’s model,” said Cote, a graduate of MIT who has worked extensively in wind tunnels.

Underneath the tail, the helmet has a built-in shelf to hold a race radio, the antennae of which pokes out a hole at the very rear.

Beneath the aero shell, the helmet’s structure is identical to the S-Works models you see Evans and his Silence-Lotto teammates riding on regular Tour days.

As for retail price, well, there is none. The TT3 is a pro-only piece of equipment.

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