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Check out the four helmets from the 2014 Triathlete Buyer’s Guide here and check back to Triathlete.com for more Buyer’s Guide content.
Giro Air Attack Shield
The draw: Versatility
Is it a road helmet or a time trial helmet? It’s both, actually. And if you can get over the skate-lid aesthetic, the Air Attack Shield is the only helmet you’ll ever need. Proven to be nearly as fast as traditional TT helmets in the wind tunnel, the Air Attack is significantly lighter and cooler than its long-tailed counterparts. The lack of vents is definitely noticeable while climbing at low speeds, but the internal channels suck air over your head to keep you from overheating once you’re up to speed. The optical clarity of the shield (not pictured) is as good as most high-end sunglasses, and the shield can easily be fastened upside down if you need to take it off.
Specialized S-Works Evade
The draw: All-around performance
As the helmet of choice for cycling super-sprinter Mark Cavendish and many Ironman pros racing in Hawaii, the Evade has proven itself as a versatile option suited for many different riding styles. Its truncated tail sacrifices a few grams of drag compared with full blown aero helmets, but the relatively familiar shape and effective venting make it a good choice for any ride where speed matters—racing or training.
The draw: Full-on aero shape
The Split is a hybrid between the longer tailed helmets popular five years ago and the recent trend toward rounded, shorter tails. The wings don’t play nicely with sunglasses and make it tricky to put on quickly in T1, especially for people with wider heads. Four massive channels under the brow suck air over the head and out the back of the helmet through an exhaust port, cooling effectively while traveling at high speed. Testers found it to be hot on long climbs. Three size options make finding the perfect fit easy.
Rudy Wing 57
The draw: Comfy and vented
Like the increasingly popular hybrid road-and-aero helmets, Rudy Project’s newest offering combines some of the best features of both styles, with one major difference. The Wing 57 prioritizes aero performance and borrows a few important attributes typically reserved for road helmets. It mounts comfortably and offers nearly as much perceived ventilation (when the visor is lifted) as the Air Attack. For race day, this helmet is one of the best.