Oak­ley Aro 5 hel­met

£199, uk.oak­ley.com

Cyclist - - New Gear -

t’s fair to say that Oak­ley has the cycling sun­glasses mar­ket pretty well sewn up, so the Us-based op­tics spe­cial­ist has di­verted its at­ten­tion to the pro­duc­tion of a new road hel­met line, called Aro.

As with its MOD range of snow sports hel­mets last year, Oak­ley says it has de­vel­oped road lids be­cause it wanted to make the in­te­gra­tion of op­tics and hel­mets bet­ter, given that the two are so closely linked in fit and per­for­mance.

How has it gone about achiev­ing its aim? Pri­mar­ily through the choice of a Boa re­ten­tion sys­tem as op­posed to the more usual ad­justable cage adopted by most brands. Oak­ley says the Boa’s soft, flat TX1 lace cre­ates a sin­gu­lar band of ten­sion that wraps around the head, se­cur­ing the hel­met in the sim­plest way so as to not in­ter­fere with sun­glasses arms.

It also helps keep the phys­i­cal bulk of the hel­met to a min­i­mum, which is par­tic­u­larly per­ti­nent con­sid­er­ing the Aro 5 is Oak­ley’s aero of­fer­ing, whose wind-tun­nel tested shape is trun­cated in an at­tempt to en­sure aero­dy­nam­ics are main­tained even when a rider’s head is dipped in hard ef­forts. That should be wel­come news for the Word­tour team se­cretly con­firmed to be us­ing Oak­ley’s hel­mets next sea­son.

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