So began the debate - go aero or not?
Don an aero helmet and you might as well put a giant sign on your head that says "I am serious about racing" and paint a target on your back. I am serious, in that I want to do my best, but I have no delusions of racing grandeur either.
A few days ago I was in the local bike shop (the one most aligned with competitive cycling). I stopped in solely to get new tubes with long valve stems (DISlike valve extenders...no way to get an accurate pressure reading) and next thing I know, we are talking aero helmets. The two shop folks are saying of course you are at a point in racing where you really need/should have an aero helmet. Excellent sales tactic!! Normally this type of approach makes me dig my heels in and respond with a resounding NO, but hear myself say, yeah, OK, sure!
They ordered one (Bell, same brand I have now) for me to try with no obligation to buy. It will come in this week. Will I/would I/should I take the plunge? I acknowledge a helmet is no substitute for good coaching, training, hard work, and nutrition/weight, but if those are in place, does it make sense to squeeze out that last bit of speed in this way?
- potential time savings - up to 30s on a sprint, a minute on an Olympic (source)
- the whole "seriousness" factor
- greatest benefit if you keep your head up and tail down...not sure if I do that.
- greatest benefit at higher speeds
- less venting
Maybe I should go the total opposite direction, and cram my head in this cool kid's helmet (they get all the great designs).