While major helmet makers continue to incorporate new tech to boost rider safety like variations on MIPS, materials like Koroyd, extended rear occipital coverage & smart crash sensors like ANGi, the basic half-shell road bike helmet remains mostly unchanged. Now a French designer’s new Ventoux concept reimagines how enduro full-face protection could be adapted for light, even aero road use as well…

Ventoux aero full-face road bike helmet concept

Ventoux aero full-face road bike helmet concept
photos courtesy Studio Accent

A product of the imagination of young French designer Jean-Baptiste Petricoul, the Ventoux aero hybrid protection full-face road bike helmet is meant to blend the best of lightweight, multi-purpose road helmets with the extra protection of full-face gravity lids. Road, cross-country, and even urban helmets have resisted the chin bar – probably most because of the added complication, extra weight, and inconvenience of their closed-in designs. Petricoul imagines that with modern materials, a hybrid solution between open & full-face designs could offer the best of both worlds.

Ventoux aero full-face road bike helmet concept

The heart of the Ventoux aero hybrid protection helmet is a multi-layered construction, and a lightweight removable chin bar. Much like some modern light enduro helmets, the Ventoux chin bar could be attached at four points into the main EPS foam body & polycarbonate shell of the helmet to distribute impact forces to the front of the face. Petricoul’s design relies on a stiff chin bar with either a metal or carbon composite construction – designed to somewhat limit sliding on your face in a crash. The design is much more open than conventional mountain bike full face helmets, so as to not impede ventilation, visibility, or the ability to eat or drink with the helmet.

Equally important in the design is an inner shell of the helmet that would incorporate padding, chin straps, and fit retention – rotating in the manner of a MIPS liner to allow the low chin protection to rotate up in the event of a crash. Presumably this could prevent neck injury from rotation or include a break away feature as well?

Ventoux aero full-face road bike helmet concept

The helmet concept also incorporates deep occipital protection at the rear of the head, much like seen on more aggressive current mountain bike helmets. That also provides plenty of room for large rear opening vents to extract hot air with less negative impacts on drag.

Ventoux aero full-face road bike helmet conceptThe Ventoux aero hybrid protection concept is an aero road helmet first, so ventilation intakes are limited to a few forward facing openings just above the brow, and two along the centerline of the helmet. Then, deep continuous internal air channels would move air across the top of the head and out that large rear-facing opening for optimized ventilation.

Ventoux aero full-face road bike helmet conceptStill purely a concept, we don’t expect a Ventoux aero full-face road helmet to be popping up on our road rides too soon. But with recent advances in materials, technologies & helmet safety progression, Petricoul’s claim of building a full-face aero road bike helmet at just 367g certainly makes this an interesting concept. And it is surely one we would be curious to see an established helmet manufacturer take a shot at.

Studio-Accent.com

39 COMMENTS

  1. Not the worst idea and pretty decent looking concept. Getting it to pass testing/regulations and then market could be a project. Nice renders too.

  2. Nice. I’d pay good money for a proper chinbar on a road helmet. Coming from the motorcycling world, it’s baffling to me that such a thing isn’t common. For moto, fully 35% of all first-impact in a crash is the chin bar (see the Otte helmet-impact study). I’d guess the numbers are lower for bicycles, but I’m sure it’s still a serious fraction. I know a fair few folks who have broken teeth or broken jaws from bouncing a chin or jaw off the pavement.

    • I agree Jon. I came from Superbike racing and like the idea of this helmet. I’ve been drawing pics and ideas for years for a full face helmet. Mostly of the hockey helmet design. I like it!

  3. I could see this being adopted by the XC mountain bike crowd, since more and more courses have a decent amount of features. Also possibly good for the 24 your and endurance crowd if there was an integrated lighting or drinking system.

    • Hard yes for XC use. Speeds on XC get pretty high on some pretty sketch stuff. I would love something like this if reasonably light and breathable.

  4. First off….great idea. Interesting they went with the road market rather than XC guys. I’d happily buy one of these if they offered a bit more coverage for side/rear in-line with a typical MTB helmet.

  5. Count me as interested for XC type use (noting the chin bar will need to protrude further than pictured to actually be functional). In my 45 years I’ve only had two crashes where I have face-planted in the dirt, and have to say the time I was wearing a full-face DH helmet was much less unpleasant despite being a much bigger hit at much higher speed. In the DH helmet all I got was a faceful of dust and a mild headache.

  6. Finally! I’ve been waiting for something like this. It really made me wonder why helmet manufactureres never made something like this for road/tri and even XC/trail riding. Speeds can reach up to 80km+ on descents and I’ve seen my fair share of people with mangled faces from crashing onto the pavement. I looked into ski slalom helmets but would have been like sticking my head in an oven. I really hope they actually make this.

  7. Weird choice for road cycling, like others have mentioned. I’ve crashed hard head-first before and your face actually heals pretty well. I went from no skin on half of my head to not a single scar. Would I have liked riding with a chin bar for the one time out of 25 years this was an issue? Not at all.
    Also, wind noise? Seems like this thing would get loud at high speeds.

    • You should try out some of the other injuries that can come with heads impacting the ground, trees, and other things: broken jaws, faces; broken teeth/lost teeth……the list goes on. Many of those things don’t heal as quickly and/or as nicely your n=1 sampling of annecdotal “evidence”.

      • Well, I broke a tooth, cracked a cheek bone, compressed a disk in my neck and fractured a vertebrae as well. Really doubt a chin bar would have mattered as I hit the ground on my eye socket and my helmet slid out of the way. I was lucky, but I still wouldn’t want a chin bar.

        • It wouldn’t prevent all issues, but if it reduced the initial impact you may be surprised at the reduction in injury.

          Example – your eye socket…a normal helmet does rotate up and away to some degree, and it essentially provide no protection to your face. A chin bar allows a “bridge” to form which should keep the majority of contact between chin bar and top of helmet, saving said face from full contact with the ground.

          I mean, really, there is an actual reason full face helmets are used in DH/Enduro mountain biking, motor sports, contact sports…its not just for style.

    • Matt you should thank your lucky stars. I’ve had friends who have received far worse when face planting on pavement. One of them tore up his mouth and his lips were just dangling by threads of skin. He had to have intensive surgery to repair his teeth and have his lips/mouth stitched back together.

  8. I like it and hope it expands, especially to youth helmets. My kids have ridden since very young and one thing they don’t have the strength/coordination for it bracing and rolling from a face plant.

    As others have noted…on my motorcycle, I’m in a full Aerostich suit, full face helmet, boots, gloves. I wear it to prevent road rash as its not really going to do much if I get hit by a car. This often cross my mind when doing long mountain rides on my road bike where I will hit speeds well over 50 mph, comically, all while wearing less clothing than I go to bed in.

  9. I’ve always found it kind of odd that mountain bikers wear full face for riding at 20mph on trails with no vehicles while roadies reaching much higher speeds next to 2 ton vehicles wear much less protection.

  10. After a nasty road bike accident, I fractured my jaw in 3 places. Suspect this helmet would have reduced or eliminated my facial trauma.

  11. Interesting design and am also surprised this hasn’t sprung up sooner. Seems like it still leaves the face quite vulnerable, though. Yes, it offers much more protection than nothing at all, but it seems like you could still destroy your face in a gnarly crash.

  12. I have a concern, but I’ll preface it by saying I enthusiastically support improved protection. Bike helmets are toys compared to motorcycle and automotive helmets! It’s nice to see this topic being raised and I hope it develops into something worthwhile.

    I’ve used lightweight helmets with chin bars, including the ancient TL Edge Comp, Giro Switchblade, and MET Parachute, and they all have the same problem: the helmet isn’t sufficiently secure on the head to resist any force on the chin bar. Lightly pressing on the bar with one finger will push it straight into your face. My motocross helmet, however, is secure enough that I simply cannot push the bar onto my face. My throat would be bruised and I might even be lightly concussed before my chin would feel a thing.

    Unfortunately, I’m not convinced there’s a solution to this with a shell that has less coverage or with a low-profile chin bar.

  13. Reading about this helmet, while sat recovering from an operation to plate back together my broken jaw (diesel spill on a roundabout) Perhaps it would have prevented my jaw break? Its maybe not the best looking helmet, but it’s much better than what i’v gone through I’m sure! If it gets to the shops… ‘I’m in’

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