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Specialized Is Aiming to Make Aero Helmets Cool

The brand is saying the new helmet is "as cool as a bare head" at speeds of 20 mph.

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Is it cool to be fast or fast to be cool? Velonews.com’s Spencer Powlison takes a look at the updated version of the Evade from Specialized—which the brand is saying is “as cool as a bare head” at speeds of 20 mph. 

Specialized is hoping an updated version of the Evade can make it easier for its athletes to choose aero and stay cool.

As is the case with all aero road helmets, efficiency in the wind tunnel usually comes at the expense of cooling vents. Some helmets, like Lazer’s Bullet, employ sliding vents that open and close. Others simply forgo cooling for the sake of speed.

The funny thing about the Evade II is that it looks a lot like the old Evade. In fact, it has four fewer vents. So what did Specialized do improve ventilation?

Specialized says the helmet’s internal channels and exhaust ports are the keys to making the new Evade cooler. Using a mannequin head with 12 different temperature sensors, Specialized sculpted a new helmet interior. Engineers focused on boosting the volume of air coming out of the rear vents, which they feel is more important to cooling than the intake vents.

According to Specialized, all of this R&D resulted in a helmet that is as cool as a bare head at speeds of around 20mph. Our initial ride impressions confirm that. The design seems especially suited to cool off your forehead—understandable, given the vent placement. Once we started climbing at little-ring speed, the Evade II felt a bit warm, as most aero helmets do. Specialized is closing the gap between comfort and aerodynamics, but don’t expect pure climbers to give up their Prevail helmets entirely.