We've come a long way from the Giro 'ice chest' aero helmet that Greg Lemond wore when he rode to a last stage upset of Laurent Fignon in the '89 Tour. In a similar twist of the general classification, Levi Leipheimer overcame a two minute deficit coming into a last stage time trial to leapfrog up the standings to win his first Tour de Suisse in 2011. He did this while wearing the Giro Selector Helmet. It's the successor to the longstanding benchmark for aero helmets, the Giro Advantage.
As you might expect, Giro has used wind tunnel data to sculpt the new helmet in order to make it slicker and faster than the Advantage. And for most riders, a sleek helmet will do as much, or more, for lessening the overall drag coefficient as any other static change that you make to your bike or personal gear. The Selector has two significant upgrades that not only make it your best choice for aerodynamics, but that necessitate necessary changes towards comfort.
The first thing that you'll notice is the eye shield -- its purpose is to enhance the aero properties of the helmet by smoothing the leading surface. A more subtle benefit that you'll notice is a quieter experience as you ride. If nothing else, we've found that this perception of less wind noise acts as a placebo -- less noise, less resistance, more speed, etc.. However, the lens is removable if you prefer to wear sunglasses. The lens also has two vents, located on either side of the center line at the top edge. They minimize the chance for fogging on humid days, and they duct a sizeable volume of cooling air to flow over the head and out the twin exhaust ports in the tail of the helmet.
The back of the helmet is where you'll find the other big changes. Where the Advantage had a tail that was open on the underside, the Selector Helmet is closed, more akin to a belly pan on an F1 car. The helmet comes with two versions of the lower cover, one that extends down 10mm and another that extends 45mm. This design promotes smoother airflow around the helmet, and it gives you the opportunity to dial-in the fit between the tail of the helmet and your back. The selection between the two choices depends on your position on the bike and how low your arms and shoulders are, relative to your hips. For reference, Leipheimer used the 10mm cover as did stage winner Fabian Cancellara (though his Selector wore a Bell label on the brow to appease team sponsors).
The Roc Loc 5 of the Advantage has been replaced in favor of a special new retention system designed just for this helmet. The Roc Loc TT uses a new system based on a leaf spring type design that applies an even amount of tension to the back of your head in order to keep the Selector in place as you ride. The preload can be adjusted, as the base of the retention spring can be set in one of three positions before you don the helmet. Like the Advantage, the Selector employs an EPS injection molded liner, Giro's SL Roll Cage reinforcement, and a tough polycarbonate shell.
The Giro Selector Helmet is available in the sizes Small/medium and Medium/large and in the colors Black, Matte Blue/black, Red/black, and White/silver.