Louis Garneau Vorttice Helmet
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WHAT YOU GET

A time trial helmet that leaves you wondering whether you should put it on and yell "FORE" or just strap it on and go FAST.

WHAT WE'D LIKE TO SEE

The weight to be trimmed down a bit and a slightly smaller profile.

WHAT WE THINK

This time trial helmet features the latest aero goodies developed by spending some serious time in the wind tunnel.

Detailed Review

Summary

We've now had a couple of months to test this TT helmet. It's definitely a good helmet, but we feel there are several areas that could be improved. You can easily distinguish our updates and comments to this final review as they will be contained in grey boxes, like what you are reading.

Our first thoughts when opening the box were, "Wow, that looks like a golf ball" and "Man, that's a pretty nice helmet". Louis Garneau has spent some serious time trying to develop a very aero helmet while keeping comfort in mind.

We will go from front to back here. The first thing you'll notice are the oversized dimples on the top half of the helmet. These dimples are supposed to create a texturized surface that helps with the laminar (fancy word for streamlined) air flow. (Side note: so if I gain some weight and get some dimples on my legs, will I be more aero? Just a thought.)



Next, you will notice the giant vent directly in the center of the front of the helmet. According to LG, this is the perfect place to position the vent as this is a high pressure air flow area so it makes it easy for the air to flow directly through the vent. We will skip to the back of the helmet quickly here since it is related. Once the air passes through the vent, it is passed through evacuation channels, which help regulate temperature and moisture, and finally exits the back of the helmet through the huge exit vent, which looks like it was created by taking a hacksaw to the tail of the helmet.

That's exactly what it looks like, in fact, we feel that LG could have done a little better job in the finishing of this area.





In our limited testing, we can attest that airflow in this helmet works exactly as it designed to do. As soon as you start your ride, you can literally hear and feel the air flow through the helmet. We would still like to test it during some longer, warmer events to make sure we are comfortable recommending it for all conditions.

In our extremely hot summer rides we felt this helmet was a little toasty, in fairness many aero helmets are, but this one seems to run hot even with the giant air vent in the front.



Another item that is not present on all time trial helmets, but one you will find on the Vorttice, is the Visor. Once again, LG states that this improves aerodynamics by directing airflow around the helmet as it should while avoiding the irregularities of your face. We weren't sure if they were making fun of our faces or saying that everyone has an irregular face?



The visor does work with the airflow and it is nice not to have to fumble with sunglasses in T1. However, during our few events, we were not real crazy about the visor. Multiple times we managed to get either sweat or some type of moisture on the visor and it was impossible to get it clearly wiped off. Maybe our clumsy asses need more practice with the helmet or maybe LG needs to put a windshield wiper on the Vorttice. (or leave the visor off) If you are not a fan of the visor, it is very simple to remove.

Although we're sure the helmet tested faster with the visor in place, we opted to wear sunglasses for the majority of our testing. Mainly because of the lack of tint on the visor that came with ours. When we did test the helmet with the visor, it seemed to be quite a pain as moisture from sweat or wet hair from the swim would build up on the visor.



Back to the top of the helmet, you will notice little ridges or "blades" that are positioned to create vortices (huh, wonder where the name came from?) which again help with the laminar air flow. How cool is that? You are creating tiny little tornadoes around your head every time you ride. Beyond the blades, the tail of the helmet is fairly short and fades into the large exit vent which we described above.



Fit
The Vorttice helmet fits snug, as we feel a time trial helmet should. Hence the reason that each Tour de France rider has a custom helmet which molds perfectly with their (irregular) face. We liked the fact that the side flaps are a tad flexible which allows for easy entry and a snug fit against your face. This makes for a comfortable helmet. It weighs in a 340 grams, which we feel is a tad heavy for a time trial helmet. It's not like your neck is breaking, but you will notice it if you are used to a lighter helmet.

Our biggest complaints with this helmet are the weight and very bulbous profile. Bulbous may be more aero but the extra bulk makes it less comfortable. The fit is pretty good overall and the side flaps seem to be well made and have held up for us so far. On longer rides the helmet was not as comfortable as some other TT helmets we have tested.

The tail cover that many people have had issues with has remained intact on our test model. For people with larger melons the dial on the retention system can get lost under the tail cover, making it basically impossible to adjust the fit on the fly.



Sizing

Price Range
The Vorttice falls into the mid to high price level of newer time trial helmets.

TriBomb Bottom Line
A "cool" helmet if you are more concerned with aerodynamics than you are with style.

 

Manufacturer's Website
www.louisgarneau.com