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Tech talk: Is that a new helmet, Mr. Armstrong?

Sharp eyes may have spotted Lance and the boys sporting new Giro helmets during these first few days of the Tour. We contacted Giro regarding the new lids and got this response from spokesman Eric Richter: “Lance has been testing this helmet in his lead-up to the Tour, and he has already given us important, positive feedback,” Richter said. “The testing will continue at the Tour, and we'll now look forward to getting feedback from all of our teams as they grind out the miles on the way to Paris," he noted. "It should be interesting! And we'll be happy to keep you posted on the progress.”

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By Andrew Juskaitis, VeloNews Technical Editor

Photo: AFP

Sharp eyes may have spotted Lance and the boys sporting new Giro helmets during these first few days of the Tour. We contacted Giro regarding the new lids and got this response from spokesman Eric Richter: “Lance has been testing this helmet in his lead-up to the Tour, and he has already given us important, positive feedback,” Richter said.

“The testing will continue at the Tour, and we’ll now look forward to getting feedback from all of our teams as they grind out the miles on the way to Paris,” he noted. “It should be interesting! And we’ll be happy to keep you posted on the progress.” Details about the helmetIt’s lighter than the Pneumo. The first goal with the new design was to reduce weight as much as possible, and currently the helmets at the Tour are about 15- to 20-percent lighter than a comparable Pneumo.We’re engineering a radical new carbon fiber reinforcement system, which is visible at certain points around the helmet (front, top ribs).We’ve also designed a new strapping system, which eliminates the external “strap bones” that you’ve see on earlier helmets.It features a Wind Tunnel ventilation design (26 vents), a multi-piece In-molded shell and a Roc Loc 4 fit system (just like the Pneumo).It does not have a visor. It was eliminated to save weight.

“One of our goals as a company has always been to create a helmet that even climbers would be willing to wear on the hottest days,” Richter noted. “It’s become especially important to us since the UCI mandated helmet use this spring. To achieve this goal we have to focus on reducing weight and improving ventilation and cooling – without sacrificing strength – just like we always do. But what makes this helmet different from previous designs is that we’ve gone beyond traditional helmet materials and construction methods – which are very well evolved – to new stuff like carbon fiber in order to reduce weight while maintaining the strength that Giro helmets are known for. “It’s important to remember that this helmet is a working prototype,” he added. “It is not a replacement for the Pneumo. We do have a name for it – ‘Atmos.’”

Photo: Giro

Okay, so there you have it. Look for more details as the Tour continues.

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