This bicycle helmet is officially banned

A helmet is obligatory when cycling, both for racing and for leisure.

This bicycle helmet is officially banned

A helmet is obligatory when cycling, both for racing and for leisure. However, this helmet will soon no longer be authorized.

Performance in cycling is often associated with the repeated exploits of riders like Mathieu van der Poel, Wout van Aert, Remco Evenepoel or Tadej Pogacar for the strong men of the moment. It is also their regular demonstrations of strength on the passes of the Tour de France or on the spring classics that bring the crowds and cycling fans to their feet.

However, the search for performance also involves the evolution of equipment and the means put in by the teams to provide riders with the latest technologies. We particularly remember Christopher Froome's oval crankset on the Tour de France a few years ago, on the descent from Peyragudes.

In this area, the most impressive developments are undoubtedly being made in time trial equipment. Between the wheels, the helmets and the bike itself, each equipment manufacturer works to gain the extra gram to lighten the rider and optimize aerodynamics. Like Formula 1 or the America's Cup in sailing, penetration into the air is now observed in the wind tunnel to adjust each element and save a few seconds. For several years, the shape of helmets has continued to become more complex, forcing the International Cycling Union (UCI) to examine the legality of this or that innovation.

Recently, it was the helmet manufactured by the equipment manufacturer Specialized and used by the Soudal-QuickStep team of Remco Evenepoel which was singled out by the UCI. In question, the “Head Sock” integrated into the American brand’s helmet. This neck warmer directly implemented in the helmet has just been deemed non-essential by the UCI, which announced its ban from April 2. However, the 2022 world champion's squad has been using this helmet for two years, and it had been approved by the International Cycling Union at the time of its first use. The Belgian rider was also equipped with it last August when he won the world championship time trial. The UCI's change of heart therefore provoked its reaction in the media: "It's laughable", he declared during Paris-Nice. He also added "frankly, I feel like they're playing with our balls" about the regular changes in equipment regulations.

Recently, another headset has caused a lot of talk. This is the one used by Jonas Vingegaard and his team Visma | Lease a Bike during Tirreno-Adriatico. Developed by the Giro brand, this time trial helmet has a flying saucer shape at the back never before seen in the peloton. The UCI has announced that it is opening an investigation into the conformity of this innovation.