While the Air Speed helmet was first spotted being worn under the auspices of Team Astana at the start of the 2018 season, it wasn’t until recently that I had the opportunity to review the new aero lid.
According to Limar, the new Air Speed carries forth all of the same wind cheating capabilities as its popular Speed King model, albeit in a more streamline shape with better ventilation courtesy of 12 air vents and 3 longitudinal channeling ports.
Limar says, they spent considerable time developing the aerodynamic properties of the Air Speed at the ACE Wind Tunnel in Magny-Cours, France, where the helmet reached performance levels previously achieved by only full-on time trial helmets.
The Air Speed features an in-mold polycarbonate shell with an EPS liner, the company’s Air Fit System adjustment system, ergonomic anti-bacterial replaceable pads and a buckle closure, with availability in two sizes – Medium (53-57 cm / 19.7″-22.4″) and Large (57-61 cm / 22.4″-24″).
How does the Air Speed perform?
For starters, sizing is a little tricky with the Air Speed. As mentioned, the helmet is only available in two sizes, which some riders like myself might find themselves caught somewhere in the middle of at first.
For example, while the medium initially seemed to be the right choice, it proved to be too small for my noggin, requiring me to step-up to the large which was almost on the cusp of being too big. But, thanks to Limar’s widely adjustable retention system, I was able to tension the Air Speed to a near perfect fit.
Additionally, at 270g, the Air Speed isn’t the lightest helmet of its kind either, but it sure feels plenty light when worn.
Just as record hot temperatures have been blanketing most of Europe this summer, the mercury was also spiking here in New England, creating the perfect opportunity to test the Air Speed’s comfort and ventilation properties.
The easy part about reviewing a helmet, is it either works or it doesn’t, leaving the rider in a state of discomfort when it doesn’t. And, when hot weather prevails, this is exacerbated by a sense of overheating attended by a continuous flow of perspiration that stings the eyes and face.
Neither was the case with the Air Speed, which kept Limar’s promise of delivering excellent comfort and optimal ventilation during even the hottest and longest of rides.
So, where does the aero come in?
I envy any cycling journalist who has access to a wind-tunnel in order to validate the claims of the manufacturer when it comes to aerodynamics.
Nevertheless, perhaps it was purely psychological in the case of the Air Speed, but I swear this helmet felt faster than any other so called aero helmet I’ve reviewed, creating a feeling that I was slicing through the air.
On the other hand, the Air Speed also looks great, and to the inveterate roadie, looking good is the equivalent of riding faster.
Special thanks to Albabici, Limar’s official importer for the USA, for providing the Air Speed for review.
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