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Low volume design for Spanish company’s new helmet is claimed to reduce drag

More and more bicycle manufacturers are getting into the helmet business and Spanish company Orbea is no exception. It has recently unveiled its new £150 R10 aero helmet.

Every helmet has to offer something unique to the customer. It might be aerodynamics, ventilation or lightness. Orbea has aimed to make the R10 as slim as possible. By reducing the volume, material and contact patches, Orbea reckons the R10 combines good ventilation with low weight, and even claims the aero performance rivals the best aero helmets on the market.

Orbea claims its own wind-tunnel testing has shown that the reduced profile of a helmet are as important as the number of air vents for reducing drag. Most bike designers have been concerned with reducing the frontal surface area of a bike, clothing manufacturers concentrating on tighter fitting materials and hidden seams, and Orbea is applying similar thinking to its R10 helmet.

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“If the shape of the helmet is closely adjusted to the rider’s head and doesn’t lie too far above the skull, the helmet will produce more efficient results than a standard high-volume helmet,” says Orbea

An optional UCI-legal cover can be attached to offer aerodynamic performance that matches other aero helmets. Orbea isn’t the first company to offer a clip-on cover, Lazer has been doing that for many years, as one of the first companies to commercialise the concept.

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“If it's windy or rainy, cover up. If it's 35º C on the Tourmalet, let the breeze in. Instead of owning two helmets that may or may not do what they look like they do, choose the R10 and win in all conditions,” claims Orbea.

The R10 helmet is constructed with a polycarbonate injection in-mould shell with nylon reinforced EPS layers. There are 29 vents to suck and push air through internal channels and the reduced contact patches are claimed to help increase ventilation.

A micro-adjust dial retention system is said to be easy to use with one hand, and the cushion pads are washable. Straps are a breathable mesh material with an adjustable closure buckle.

The R10 costs £150 and is available in three sizes and a choice of colours. More at www.orbea.com/gb-en/gear/r-10-eu/

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.