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
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.
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?
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.
The 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.
Still 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.