I did a post on David Millar’s aero helmet that he sported on the Champs Elysees in this year’s tour. Here is my own, somewhat lower tech prototype.
Part inspired by the delightfully eccentric Fun Run Robbie’s packing tape disc wheel, and part by another friend who mentioned naively turning up to the Tour of the Meldons without a scrap of aero kit on him. There, guys had taped up the holes in their helmets – “Not such a daft idea after all?” I thought.
I ran this for a club-confined hilly TT round on lap of the Battle of the Braes course, from Thornhill. It provoked laughter, smiles and reactions including you look ridiculous, that’s brilliant (not in a good way), great idea, and it’s bound to make you faster.
It certainly felt faster, with no air coming in the vents, and I was on a good ride that night, managing to keep the intesity high all the way round and benefiting from my position on the start sheet by catching several riders, and getting the boost in confidence that that brings.
Tangible though I think the effect was, I don’t recommend this! The packing tape left a sticky residue on the helmet that will be a bit of a fiddle to remove.
• Light hearted footnote: clubmate Andrew Wilson took the daftness to a new level the following week at the club hill climb up to the Wallace Monument.
• Serious footnote: if you’re looking to gain time in your next TT, but the thought of the price of a Cervelo P3, a pair of Zipps or a visit to the wind tunnel makes you want to close all your accounts and live in a Yurt, then a skinsuit, aero helmet, tri bars and shoe covers are probably the most cost-effective way to reduce drag on a budget: Cycling Tips blog