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Louis Garneau Course Helmet

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Item # LGN0833

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Item # LGN0833

The helmet Team Europcar wears.

When the engineers at Louis Garneau began researching the history of aerodynamics for its new Course Helmet, they found that there were considerable differences between aerodynamic equations and practical applications. In other words, the extensive research and wind tunnel testing would only take them so far -- real-life racing conditions that included heat management, pressure drag, varying yaw angles, weight, and a rider's ability were all crucial factors that would ultimately determine how effective a helmet's design really was. Aided by the feedback provided from professional cyclists on Team Europcar, Garneau tested both out on the road and in the wind tunnel in order to create one of the most effective and aerodynamic road helmets on the market.

Extensive testing at the Canadian National Research Council's wind tunnel facility showed Garneau that a helmet's ability to manage airflow is centralized around its frontal surface. Because of this, Garneau designed the Course Helmet directly on the head of a rider in the cycling position as a means to focus on this high pressure zone up front. Each ventilation opening was then specifically oriented in a manner that efficiently pulls air into the helmet. You'll notice two distinct teardrop-shaped ventilation holes on the forehead, directly below the larger main vents. These facilitate airflow into the helmet, at which point the air effectively begins its path of moving moisture and heat over the rider's head before exiting through the helmet's 'evacuation channels' at the rear.

Garneau built the Course using an in-mold EPS construction and incorporated its 'Aero Inner Nerve' frame system. This lightweight structure serves as the helmet's internal skeleton, which evenly distributes the shock of impacts throughout the shell. The strap system was integrated into the inner nerves, providing solid retention from within the shell of the helmet. The straps also provide quick adjustability using Garneau's Pro-lock Divider cam-locking device. Simply flip open the mechanism, slide the straps to your desired position, then lock it down. Rounding out the bottom of the helmet, Garneau integrated its Super MSB technology. This is a durable, ring-shaped plastic layer that reinforces the perimeter of the helmet for enhanced protection.

The Course was finished off with Garneau's Spiderlock PRO II retention system in the back. It's easily adjusted on the head with a single hand using its textured, anti-slip wheel. Lining the inside of the helmet is the quick-drying, anti-microbial X-static XT2 padding system to provide optimal comfort.

The Louis Garneau Course Helmet weighs around 250g and features 31 vents. It complies with CPSC, ASTM, and CEN safety standards. 

  • Aerodynamic design
  • In-mold EPS construction
  • Spiderlock PRO II retention

Tech Specs

Shell Material:
polycarbonate
Impact Foam:
EPS foam
Fit Adjustment:
Spiderlock Pro
Certifications:
CPSC, ASTM, CEN-AS 2063
Claimed Weight:
250 g
Recommended Use:
road
Manufacturer Warranty:
1 year

Size chart

Louis Garneau

Helmets
 Sized S-XL
  S M L XL
Hat Size  6 1/2 - 7  7 - 7 3/8  7 3/8 - 7 3/4  7 3/4 - 8
Head Circumference 20.5 - 22in
(52.1 - 55.9cm)
22 - 23.3in
(55.9 - 59.2cm)
23.3 - 24.8in
(59.2 - 63.0cm)
24.8 - 25.3in
(63.0 - 64.3cm)
 Sized S/M and M/L
  S/M M/L  
Hat Size  6 1/2 - 7 1/8  6 3/4 - 7 5/8    
Head Circumference 20.5 - 22.8in
(52.1 - 57.9cm)
21.3 - 24in
(54.1 - 61.0cm)
   
 Universal Sizing
  Men's Women's  
 Hat Size  6 3/4  6 1/2 - 7 1/8    
Head Circumference 21.3 - 24in
(54.1 - 61.0cm)
20.5 - 22.8in
(52.1 - 57.9cm)
   
Head Circumference:
Measure around your head where your hat would fit comfortably.

Reviews & Community

REVIEWS

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Avg. ride time: 3h 27m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

I like it but not not enough to keep it

  • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

I bought this helmet from Backcountry and returned it. Thank you Backcountry for making returns easy! I would have kept it if I didn’t already have two helmets but since this was a somewhat frivolous purchase I sent it back. It’s fairly low profile, round, light, and well vented. The rear blinky is an awesome bonus feature but the retention system seemed cheap and not very comfortable. Overall I didn’t like the helmet enough to replace my Giro Atmos and since it’s expensive I had to really like it to keep it.

The original aero road helmet

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

This lid is well ventilated, light, compact and aero. It works well for road racing and tri's. For triathlon and TT, traditional aero helmets are only aero with your head up. Once you put your head down they are like air brakes. This helmet allows you to relax your head a bit and still be aero. Excellent product.

Good Quality. Good aero qualities.

  • Fit: True to size

First Ride: Just got back from a long windy hard ride and this helmet seems much more aero than my Specialized S-works or Giro. It was kind of cold out so I can't honestly say how well it breaths/cools. The fit is good, but honestly, most helmets seem to fit my melon pretty well. Maybe a little less comfortable than my Atmos. Several folks have mentioned the Course's poor quality, frankly, I don't agree. Maybe these people aren't familiar with "race" helmets or got a few bad-apples. But as far as I can tell, this helmet's quality is on par with any helmet I've ever owned.

Unanswered Question

What is the actual weight of the large helmet, with and WITHOUT light installed? Claimed weights are so often incorrect. Thanks!

Avg. ride time: 13h 42m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Good aero and ventilation, poor clips

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

PRO -

- good aerodynamics, seems just as good or better compared to the Giro Air Attack (I've ridden both extensively)
- good cooling, a little (but not a lot) better than the air attack
- significantly better looking than the air attack, in my opinion

CON:

- catches bees in the helmet over 10x more frequently than the air attack, get stung in the head about once every two or three rides (>150km) during the summer
- strap clip (I think they are called strap dividers) broke spontaneously, I substituted a heavy rubber band meant for mounting a bike computer that seems to work well, actually better than the fancy clip. I hope it's not meant to be functional in the event of a crash (though the clips are clearly brittle and flimsy so I'm guessing they are meant to break off in the event of an impact).
- much less comfortable than the air attack, presses against forehead due to minimal padding vs the air attack that has a terrific suspension system that holds the shell away from the head. My head circumference is 58.7cm and I wear a Medium in both helmets.
- because it holds the foam pressed so close to the skin on the forehead, it leaves tan marks that are exactly shaped like the front openings of the helmet, these marks make you look a bit like a klingon when off the bike and are basically permanent throughout the summer. The correct solution of course is to spend as much time on the bike wearing the helmet as possible so that nobody will notice.

This review is based on 10000km+ on both this helmet and the Air Attack. In spite of the negatives with this helmet, I continue to use both helmets quite extensively. I choose the air attack in cold/rain/snow/sleet and the Garneau Course in high heat and sun particularly above 30C (my air attack is black and my course is white which also affects this choice).

Avg. ride time: 12h 35m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Good helmet for racing

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

(Updated) I've used this helmet for over a year. As is obvious from the picture, the Course looks rather like a compact regular road helmet but with an unusual vent scheme. Where most aero helmets present a smooth surface to the wind to limit drag, the Course is designed to simply let air straight through. So ventilation is what makes the helmet aero. Exactly how many watts you'll save at race speed I cannot say. Assuming it works, and it seems to, this is a clever solution to helmet aerodynamics. Looking at the helmet straight-on, the structural parts of the helmet present a minimal profile to the wind, so air flows right through almost as if nothing is there.

No question that this is an expensive helmet, and its target audience is those who race who are looking for marginal gains. If you're a commuter who simply wants to get somewhere fast, this kind of helmet won't increase your speed enough to justify the cost. In bike racing, even a savings of 5 watts means faster recovery, fewer matches burned, and more speed in a breakaway or pursuit situation. For them, this helmet can be worth its cost. But this is also a first-generation aero road helmet and there may be better options if performance is the key variable in a purchasing decision.

Summary of the advantages: First, the helmet is aero, at least in the optimum position(s)--headwind and head tilted just so. Second, the helmet looks good. Third, the adjustment system works efficiently. Fourth, I love the LED light that comes with the helmet and attaches to the back harness so drivers can see you.

The downsides to this helmet, as I see them. First, I don't think the helmet is well designed to handle crosswind situations and may be as bad or worse than a non-aero helmet. This is speculative, but it is hard to believe that the structural ridges handle wind well from the side (which can happen simply from turning your head, too, as well as from a crosswind). Second, the internal padding is not exceptional and will absorb sweat quickly...eventually to trickle into your eyes. Third, the padding has a tendency to leave indentations on my forehead. As another reviewer mentioned, it's kind of Klingon-like.

I can recommend this helmet, but only if the opportunity arises to get it at a discount (or for aesthetic reasons). At full cost, there are more recent designs that offer better performance and look pretty good too.

Avg. ride time: 10h 8m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

comfy, well vented, & understated looks.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This helmet fits great and stays put. The frontal vents do an excellent job of pulling in plenty of airflow to keep things cool. Also, in an era of loud, obnoxious looking helmets, I really like the simple and clean design, especially with the white color option. It's tail has a more rounded profile which ought to help in the aero department when you've got your head down, suffering like a dog (and the tail of the helmet up) in the winds. Though it's noted to be recommend for road usage, it's equally well suited for XC mountain bike application.

Avg. ride time: 12h 21m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

holds your glasses well, too.

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Fits my head, straps feel minimalistic, retention dial is easy to find, and my sunglasses go easily into the vents as long as I flip them upside down (which is the best way to do it, anyway, so the lenses don't hang down into your field of vision).

Avg. ride time: 9h 4m per week
  • Average ride time is based on Strava activity over the last 3 months. Give your reviews credibility by connecting your account.

Course Helmet at Tour Down Under

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Team Europcar the Course helmet at the Tour Down Under in 100 degree heat!!

Great aero helmet

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have used this helmet in 90 degree days and it cools as well as a Giro Aeron but is much quieter. If less wind noise means smoother air flow, it must be doing the job aerodynamically but I have no way to measure this directly. It fits great and the light on the back is reassuring in the evening.

Comfy helmet that's aero ?

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I really like this helmet. Apparently it is quite aero for a road helmet (I have no way of testing that myself), but it vents well and is more than sufficiently adjustable. I'm not sure what else I would expect from a helmet. :)