Improving your aerodynamics is one of the easiest and most effective ways to get faster on the bike. In triathlon, where you spend a good chunk of your overall race time on the bike, aerodynamic equipment can save you minutes depending on the course distance, terrain, and conditions.
The IRONMAN World Championship course in Kona features particularly challenging weather and terrain. Hot and humid conditions are coupled with strong winds that swirl off the ocean and sporadically change direction. Picking the right aero equipment for this course is challenging but can make a significant difference in your overall time. No matter if you are racing to win or fighting to finish, maximizing your aerodynamic efficiency on the bike in Kona is crucial.
Aero helmets are one of the most cost-effective and easiest ways to improve your aerodynamics and thus improve your time. However, there are some considerations to think about when choosing what aero helmet is right for you.
First, consider where are you racing and how hot the conditions will be. In Kona, you can expect warm and humid weather with strong headwinds and blustery side winds throughout the course. A helmet with good ventilation is critical in preventing your body from overheating.
Second, think about how accustomed you are to racing with a traditional aero helmet and if you can keep your head in the aero position throughout the entire bike leg. If you tend to move your head around while racing, or if you drop your head when pushing hard on the bike like many riders do, an aero-road helmet may be the right answer for you.
For Kona, the Lazer Wasp Air Tri and Bullet 2.0 are two excellent options for improving your aerodynamics on the bike. The Wasp Air Tri has a shortened tail to make holding your head in place easier while offering the sleek aerodynamic design of a more traditional aero helmet. The aero-road Bullet 2.0 is fast and comfortable while providing more ventilation without sacrificing speed. Which helmet is right for you?
The Wasp Air Tri is an evolution of the traditional aero helmet with several triathlon-specific benefits. It has an elongated, yet blunted, teardrop shape that cuts through the wind while allowing riders to move their heads more freely. The shorter design also reduces weight and makes staying in the aero position easier for longer.
Ventilation and cooling are maximized throughout the Wasp Air Tri thanks to a frontal ventilation grid that draws air into the helmet. This air is channeled over the head to increase cooling without sacrificing speed. Additionally, the Wasp Air Tri features Lazer’s unique Aquaport evaporative cooling system. A small, spring-loaded trap door on top of the helmet allows riders to squirt water from a water bottle into the helmet to quickly and effectively cool the head.
Further enhancing the aerodynamics and ventilation of the Wasp Air Tri is the helmet’s integrated panoramic lens. The adjustable lens maximizes aerodynamics around the face but can be moved forward to increase airflow when the temperature starts to rise.
For exceptionally hot and windy races like Kona, the Bullet 2.0 aero road helmet offers the perfect blend of aerodynamics and ventilation so riders can stay cool while riding fast. The helmet has a narrow shape and closed-shell design, which helps it sneak through the wind like a traditional aero helmet.
Lazer’s Airslide system allows riders to quickly increase airflow through the helmet by sliding the front panel up to open additional ventilation channels. When maximizing aerodynamics and speed are the main concerns, simply slide the Airslide down and the Bullet 2.0 reverts back to a super fast and sleek aero road helmet.
A wide, magnetic aero lens attaches to the front of the Bullet 2.0, which increases aerodynamic performance and protection. The lens bends around your face, providing a panoramic view and sits comfortably away from your face to reduce fogging. If the temperate spikes during your race, the lens can quickly be removed and stowed on the back of the helmet for better airflow on the face.