If you want top aero performance for that final burst to the line at the end of a race, coupled with reasonable ventilation, the BBB Tithon is a great option.
Let's start with that ventilation, which you'd be right in thinking isn't spectacular. Of course it isn't: there are only two holes at the front and three at the rear. However, the way they work in practice by pulling air through from a high pressure to low pressure area means you do still get a surprisingly good level of airflow in spite of appearances.
I'll be honest – a warm summer's day will defeat me in this – but anything less than that and I'm impressed. It's one of those helmets where, if all you're interested in is saving the odd watt here or there at the end of a race, then it's going to appeal; if not, then it's likely you'd be better suited to one with more ventilation.
The aero profiling comes from extensive wind-tunnel testing and 3D modelling, and BBB has won the Red Dot Design Award and the Taipei Bike Show Design and Innovation Award for its efforts. Not bad.
On the road, it's hard to tell if it has a huge effect on your performance without access to the kind of data reserved for pros, but you can certainly feel how smoothly the Tithon deflects wind around your head. It certainly feels fast.
It's not at all uncomfortable to wear, either. Padding from high density foam is effective, and rings right around the front of the helmet to catch any extra sweat that the ventilation system hasn't been able to deal with.
The helmet is retained by a ratchet system BBB calls FlexClose, which works in fundamentally the same way as any other cranium retention setup by taking up the slack of the shell and fixing the helmet to your head. There's also a six-step system to adjust how far down the back of the head the system reaches too – good for those with 'long' heads.
The straps and clasps are lightweight yet sturdy – easy to do up and undo at the start and end of a ride, and serve their purpose competently. The helmet also conforms to all EU safety regulations, too.
In terms of style, personally I like the sleek lines, although I didn't like the white colourway of the helmet on test. Stick with the matt black unless you want to resemble a mushroom on your rides.
I also think it's very good value for money, especially considering the R&D that's gone into developing it. Okay, so you can't use it on the hottest days for fear of cooking, but other than that it's a great option for race cyclists looking for that last bit of speed on their sprint, or for anyone hoping to buy themselves an extra bit of aero efficiency.
Top performance and good levels of comfort and cooling in a package that won't break the bank
road.cc test report
Make and model: BBB Tithon
Size tested: 58-62cm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
For racers, sporty riders looking for that extra aero gain.
BBB says: "Our dedication has resulted in a new sprint helmet called the Tithon, offering superb aerodynamics in combination with great ventilation. The teams started calling it 'free speed'. BBB has spent a year finetuning the balance between low drag and maximum ventilation for the Tithon helmet. This special design is developed in cooperation with the Technical University of Delft and was thoroughly tested in the windtunnel. From the start of the design process our goal was to find the perfect balance between low drag and excellent ventilation. It's now our favored helmet on high speed days without feeling like your head is in a microwave. What else do you need as a superfast sprinter? The unique design of the Tithon combines an aerodynamic surface with an enormous amount of ventilation through the two big vents in the front of the helmet. This way you maintain speed, while keeping your head cool."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
- Best balance between aerodynamics and thermodynamics.
- Windtunnel tested.
- Airflow Cooling System (ACS) design.
- Double In-mold shell construction.
- High density EPS foam.
- Hidden strap anchors.
- 5 air vents.
- Venturi channeling for optimum airflow.
- Lightweight adjustable straps for a perfect and comfortable fit.
- Lightweight multi angle strap dividers.
- Easy to use height and length adjustable FlexClose system.
- Optimized airflow padding design.
- QuickDry padding.
- Sizes: M (55-58 cm) and L (58-62 cm).
- Colors: matt black and white.
Possibly the best fitting, most comfortable aero helmet I've ever ridden with.
No suggestion of problems, but the straps could arguably be a little beefier.
280g is a tidy weight for the larger size I had on test.
Surprisingly comfortable for an aero shell.
As a whole package, £79.95 RRP can't really be criticised.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Efficiency of Venturi channelling for air flow, comfort.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The white colour. Go black or look like a mushroom.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Even though I'm not a keen racer, yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A great aero lid with loads of R&D behind it for less than £80. Excellent.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Allez Sport My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding