Through the increasing use of aerodynamic testing in the wind tunnel, the development of time trial specific helmets has changed significantly over the years. From the original long tail designs of the past to more modern short tail designs and everything in between.

Aerodynamic testing has highlighted the significant performance benefits a rider can achieve by wearing a time trial specific helmet versus that of a standard ventilated one. This is largely due to the way modern helmets have been developed to smooth the transition between the rider’s head and body. This level of integration assists in stabilising the airflow as it hits the rider, keeping it attached for longer as it passes over the body, reducing turbulence and thus aerodynamic drag. As a result, it has been shown that a suitably fitting time trial helmet can be one of the most cost-effective aerodynamic gains a rider can make in their pursuit of speed.

As for which brand, or shape is most suitable, unfortunately this is not quite so clear cut. Both the physiology and position of the rider on the bike can vary greatly; consequently, so can the way in which the air interacts with the rider. Therefore, a helmet which tests fastest for one rider may not be the fastest for another.

Fortunately, through the use of our Equipment Room, SSEH is able to provide the perfect solution. We have created, with the support of many of the leading cycling brands, a variety of options which can be included in a customer’s test programme. This provides the rider with the opportunity to test products in the market, to ensure they are maximising their aerodynamic potential.

The Sports Performance Wind Tunnel is capable of simulating speeds of up to 80kph (approx. 50mph) and a range of yaw angles from 0 to +/- 30 degrees. This provides the rider the opportunity to collect a wide range of data which can be used to make an informed decision as to which helmet offers them the optimum performance for their target event/ speed.

If you would be interested in making use of our Equipment Room on your next visit to the Sports Performance Wind Tunnel, please do not hesitate to get in touch via email at or via phone on 01327 222 830.


Click the download button above to find out more about our Equipment Room.