Professional racing cyclists often lose out in the compromise between aero- dynamics and comfort, sacrificing ventilation and neck comfort in favour of faster times.
Their aerodynamic helmets have a pointed rear tip that rests on their backs. This forces their heads into an uncomfortable fixed position, risking turbulence and slower times if they move.
Also, racing helmets have no vents, which can create slowing air disturbances, so the heat soon builds up.
To enable cyclists to ride in more comfort, the Fraunhofer Technology Development Group TEG in Stuttgart has developed a specialised helmet, called ‘Movaero’.
‘It consists of two helmets inside one another: a protective helmet and an aerodynamic cover,’ said Christian Hart, practice leader of sports equipment at TEG. ‘They are connected via a hinged joint.’
The outer helmet cover is attached to the rider’s jersey with a Velcro fastener or a spring mechanism. The inner one follows any head motion, while the outer cover stays put and ensures optimum aerodynamics. When not racing, the cover can be taken off and the protective helmet used on its own.
The helmet also features an active cooling system of phase-changing materials which go from solid to liquid depending on temperature, preventing heat build-up. If the cyclist gets a hot head, the materials liquefy and soak up the heat, maintaining a constant temperature.
The Movaero is designed to make professional cyclists more comfortable