Giro's ATMOS debuts at 2003 Tour de France
By Tim Maloney, European editor
Lance's new lid
Photo: © CN
Giro's new ATMOS helmet has made its worldwide debut at this year's Centenary
Tour De France, being worn by the US Postal-Berry Floor and Rabobank teams
during the opening stages.
"ATMOS is a working prototype", explained Giro's senior sports marketing
manager Toshi Corbet. Giro was kind enough to allow Cyclingnews a peek
at Giro's innovative new helmet. However, Corbet stressed that the ATMOS
was still a just a working prototype, not a production model and that
the commercialisation of this new Giro helmet was well in the future.
"Our main objectives with the ATMOS were focused on reducing the weight,
while maintaining or even improving the performance and strength", said
Corbet. "But with the new UCI helmet mandate, we went back to the development
cycle to further improve the passive ventilation of the ATMOS."
Cobert described that the effect of active ventilation was due to the
speed of the airflow from the rider's progress, but with further wind
tunnel research, Giro has been able to enable the ATMOS prototype vent
more efficiently at lower speeds, such as when climbing l'Alpe d'Huez.
"We belive that the ATMOS prototype is the most efficiently ventilated
helmet on the market."
Rabobank has them too
Photo: © CN
Besides a target weight that's 15-20% lower than Giro's current PNEUMO
model, ATMOS sports a unique evolution of Giro's internal roll cage design.
"Giro has eliminated the front 'strap bones' where the webbing is attached
on the PNEUMO and we are incorporating the webbing into the helmet structure
to reduce weight," said Corbet. "Additionally, we've upgraded the roll
cage by using carbon fiber inserts that reduce the weight and increase
Look for Lance Armstrong and the USPS-Berry Floor squad, as well as
Giro's other TDF squads to have the new Giro's new ATMOS helmet prototype.