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Specialized’s new S-Works+McLaren TT helmet made its professional debut on Saturday in the Tour de France’s prologue. The new lid was designed in conjunction with McLaren and features a redesigned shape, a better retention system and a new feature Specialized calls Gill Venting.
The new shape is shorter than the previous TT3. The goal, Specialized says, is to increase aerodynamic “robustness,” increasing the variety of positions and wind angles in which the helmet retains its low drag figures. The goal, of course, is to make the helmet work well within a wide variety of positions and wind conditions.
“The new helmet is faster than anything we’ve tested at every wind angle,” said Chris Yu, a Specialized R&D engineer and aerodynamicist who was intimately involved with the helmet’s design and was in Liège to ensure the new lid matched up well with each athlete’s position.
Speaking with VeloNews.com before Saturday’s prologue, he explained that while of course low drag in the optimal position was key, keeping drag low as a rider moves his head around was equally important. That led to the shape changes, and in particular the much shorter tail.
Read more: VeloNews.com
Note: This helmet is not currently certified for use in the U.S. and is not available for consumer purchase at this time.