Cyclists beware. The Course aero road helmet by Louis Garneau isn’t just another bike helmet. Aided by advanced Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software and wind tunnel testing, Garneau engineers managed to create a lightning fast aero road helmet in a traditional looking shell.
On Performance and Design…
Clear and crisp blue skies, a gentle westerly breeze and no rain in the forecast makes for great spring riding conditions. Unfortunately it’s winter time in drought-ridden California. But, with Mother Nature on hiatus from winter, we were afforded the perfect opportunity to put the Course Aero Road Helmet though its paces.
At first glance, the Course looks like just about every other road helmet on the market; functional, but plain and uninspired. In comparison, its competitors aero road helmets look advanced and aerodynamic; fast and appealing. But as we’ve always been told, don’t judge a book by the cover.
Despite it’s humble looks, the Course is designed crush the competition – and they’ve done the scientific research to prove it. Using CFD software and wind tunnel testing, Garneau achieves aerodynamic improvements by optimizing the frontal openings and directing airflow through the interior helmet and out the back. The result is a helmet which follows the shape of the head without excess of material at the back, allowing better air evacuation, from the front helmet to the cyclist’s back.
Remarkably with this design, according to Louis Garneau, the Course is 2 minutes and 40 seconds faster over a “regular” road helmet on a 40km time trial course when traveling at 45km/h or 28mph. And, it clocks in at nearly 2 minutes faster than one of its skateboard helmet looking competitors over the same course.
Unfortunately Gumption Gear Review HQ doesn’t have a wind tunnel, advanced computational software or a velodrome with an aero track system to conduct our own independent testing. Our test trials take place on the open road chasing the white line, and whether we were riding solo or pushing the pace in the peloton, one thing was for certain – that helmet sure didn’t slow us down.
Free speed isn’t the only thing the Course does well. A comfortable and well-fitting helmet is just as important as impressive aerodynamics. Thanks to the Spiderlock II Pro retention system, the wearer can adjust the tightness of the inner frame with one hand using a single dial keeping the helmet dialed in an in place over the duration of your ride. The height of the helmet is also adjustable, but it requires a little more patience.
Protecting your noggin from potential impacts is a full time job. While not the lightest helmet in it’s class – weighing in at 263 g, the Course provides multiple layers of protection. Inside the helmet there is an integrated strap system which is intended to distribute the shock of impacts throughout the system, minimizing impacts. The helmet also uses Garneau’s X-static XT2™ quick-drying antimicrobial padding protect against the rigors of normal usage.
Rounding out the Course’s protective layers is an included Spiderlock Vision which attaches to the back of the helmet. It’s intended to make sure you’ll be seen no matter the lighting conditions.
Whether your riding solo through the backcountry or pushing the pace in the peloton, you deserve a helmet that works with you, not against you. By providing superior aerodynamics and head protection second to known, the Course is worthy of your consideration.
*Gumption Gear Review received a product sample of the item featured in this review from Louis Garneau at no cost, and receives no monetary compensation for this or any related review. The item featured was provided solely in return for our honest views and opinions.