- - Limar Air Atlas Helmet with MIPS Reviewed

Limar Air Atlas Helmet with MIPS Reviewed

Having reviewed several Limar helmets over the last few years, I was eager to get my hands on the Italian brand’s latest flagship lid called the Air Atlas with MIPS.

The Air Atlas first broke cover during last year’s Giro d’Italia under the auspices of the Astana Qazaqstan Team, bearing a similar shape to Limar’s Air Speed.

Now in full-production, the up-close features include increased ventilation, less weight and a better aerodynamic signature courtesy of four NACA ducts that are strategically placed along the sides and top of the helmet, resulting in air that’s drawn into the shell without disturbing the external flow of air around the helmet.

But, perhaps, the most standout feature of the Air Atlas is the new U.F.O. attachable tail cone that extends the tear-drop shape of the helmet by a few centimeters to further enhance the its wind-cheating capabilities, which Limar claims results in a 0.7 savings in watts at 40 km / h and 1.4 watts at 50 km / h compared to the Air Speed.

“We created U.F.O., an “unidentified object” with a highly effective function to bring aerodynamics to new records. Unique, in the cycling universe, U.F.O can be locked onto the AIR ATLAS tail or removed, depending on weather conditions, type of race, providing you the top performance,” explains Limar.

Elsewhere, the Air Atlas comprises a three-part, polycarbonate shell that over-lays a hollowed-out EPS construction, along with Limar’s Air Fit Evo dial retention system, light webbing straps and Fidlock magnetic buckle, while head protection is further enhanced by the MIPS Air rotational management system.

For those unfamiliar with the system, Limar provides the following:

“The MIPS Air is a rotational management system developed and designed to be the lightest system possible to help reduce rotational energies otherwise transferred to the head during an impact or crash. The MIPS Air technology is integrated into the padding of the helmet and enables the 10-15mm of relative movement between the energy absorbing layer and the padding.”

So, how does the Air Atlas perform?

For starters, since the Air Atlas is available in three sizes, the fit is more accommodating to a wider range of cyclists, while Limar’s uncomplicated retention system is a cinch to fine-tune fit. Also, the helmet achieves an average weight savings of 20 grams across all sizes, enough to win some plaudits from members of the weight weenies faction. 

Out the road, the Air Atlas proved to be light and airy thanks to its 23 vents, delivering excellent comfort and optimal ventilation during even the hottest of rides, attributes that are foremost for any high end helmet hoping to be embraced by enthusiasts.

“Ventilation is essential for the rider’s performance. With Air Atlas, ventilation is guaranteed by specific air intakes that allow a large amount of air to blow fast through the internal channels, cooling the rider’s head, and by Venturi effect to come out at the back, rejoining the flow that runs along the external surface of the helmet, free from obstacles: no vortex, no turbulence, just pure speed,” boasts Limar.

Where does Limar’s U.F.O tail cone come in?

Well, without a wind tunnel of my own to validate Limar’s claims, I can simply say that Air Atlas felt like it was slicing through the air about as well as any other aero helmet that I’ve donned.

Just as importantly, the Air Atlas also looks great, which to an inveterate euro-geek such as myself, looking good is the equivalent of riding faster.

Enough said!

The Air Atlas with MIPS sells for a hefty $320, which is available in a number of stylish colorways.





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