Aero road helmets have become hugely popular over the past handful of years, and they’re developing at a rapid rate. Scott has just launched the Cadence Plus, an aero road helmet that it claims to offer “class leading ventilation without compromising aerodynamic performance.”
Scott has actually launched two new helmets. The Cadence Plus is aimed at road racers and focuses on aerodynamics, the Centric Plus is designed to provide a high level of ventilation, yet maintain good aero efficiency, and is aimed at mountain bike racers as well as roadies.
With the Cadence Plus, Scott says it set out to develop the fastest road stage racing helmet. It’s claiming the new helmet will save up to 13 seconds compared to competitor aero road helmets, when riding at 40kph over a distance of 40km. It doesn’t, though, specify which competitor helmet was used for the aero test. An additional 5 seconds can be gained by clicking in the “aero plugs” that smooth out the air vents.
It’s not just about aerodynamic performance, Scott has also focused on providing superior ventilation to other aero road helmets. It’s boldly claiming wearing the Cadence Plus is cooler than not wearing a helmet. To validate this, Scott used 36 sensors to test the temperature of the head while wearing the helmet, at a speed of 40kph with a 15-degree head tilt angle and 0-degree yaw angle, and concludes that it cools your head 1.1% better than if not wearing a helmet at all. Marginal gains people… Compared to Scott’s previous Vanish Aero, the new Cadence Plus is 23% cooler.
If maximum ventilation for hot weather riding is a bigger concern to you than outright aero performance, Scott has developed the new Centric Plus. Compared to the Cadence Plus, it has a lot more vents in the front, sides and rear, and this apparently contributes to a 2.5% improvement in head cooling compared to not wearing a helmet at all.
While ventilation was a key design concern of the new Centric Plus, aerodynamic improvements haven’t been ignored. Scott is saying it will save you 12 seconds over 40km at 40kph compared to its previous Vanish aero helmet, and between one and six seconds when compared to the competition.
Scott’s designers worked with the University of Adelaide’s Richard Kelso, an expert in fluid dynamics, to develop what it claims to be the fastest possible shaped for a road stage racing helmet. Coupled with aerodynamic and ventilation testing, Scott reckons it has designed a helmet that maximises airflow inside the helmet to keep your head cool, while also minimising drag over the outer surface.
As well as aerodynamics and ventilation, Scott takes safety seriously, as you’d hope from a helmet manufacturer. It has incorporated MIPS technology into the Cadence Plus and Centric Plus, a system comprising a plastic liner that serves as a low-friction layer between the head and helmet that, during an impact, allows the head to rotate relative to the helmet in an angled impact.
To provide a comfortable fit, Scott uses its Halo Fit System in each helmet. This comprises a micro adjustment retention system integrated into the MIPS liner, with ergonomically shaped arms and rear cradle.
Pricing and availability information hasn’t been confirmed yet. You can read more about the new helmets at http://www.scott-sports.com/gb/en/page/get-your-head-in-the-game
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.