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The Limar Air Speed helmet is designed to deliver in terms of speed and performance, with high-ranking aero test results. It's light for an aero lid and well ventilated too, but it doesn't feature much in the way of padding and I found it uncomfortable out on the road.
Designed in collaboration with the Astana pro cycling team, the prime focus of this helmet is to provide the best aerodynamic performance possible. The classic domed aero shape is claimed to be in the top three of aero helmets currently available, based on wind tunnel testing. Limar's key claim is that this helmet is the best on the market when crosswinds come into play. The large side-vents are meant to provide increased performance in this area.
Although I can't verify the aero claims, it certainly didn't feel as if the helmet was creating any excessive drag, and logically I can see how the shape would be significantly faster than my usual Specialized S-Works Prevail II, though I'm not convinced that this alone would tempt me to buy it.
Much of Limar's marketing of this helmet concentrates around performance, with very little mention made of comfort, and personally I didn't find it very comfortable. That said, plenty of riders would be happy to sacrifice a little comfort for extra aero credentials when it comes to racing.
The padding inside the helmet is minimal, which has the advantage of saving weight and fitting the aero shell, but it didn't make for a very comfortable experience for me, with the helmet digging into my forehead while I was in a low riding position and looking forward.
I also found the Air Fit retention system at the rear of the helmet uncomfortable on the back of my neck, despite it having good levels of adjustability.
The helmet comes with a Velcro padded cover to go over the straps underneath your chin, which supposedly improves comfort and keeps your excess straps from dangling loose, but this made the helmet less comfortable for me, and more fiddly.
This model also features a magnetic buckle, something new to me. Limar's marketing implies that this was included to help the helmet appeal to the triathlon market, making strapping your helmet on much quicker in transition. To me, as a road bike rider, it felt a little unnecessary and slightly more bulky than a conventional buckle. (It's available with a standard buckle as well, for the same price and claimed weight.)
My comfort issues aside, the retention system and straps are easy to adjust, with side buckles allowing you to tailor the fit around your ears.
It's also important to consider how a helmet interacts with your choice of sunglasses. I tried both my Oakley Jawbreaker and Flight Jacket sunnies with the Air Speed and neither interacted too well with its shape. In both cases I shortened the adjustable arm of the sunglasses to reduce the clash with the retention system, but I couldn't avoid the problem entirely.
For an aero helmet, the Air Speed is a good weight. Our medium helmet weighed in at 259g (Limar claims 250g), which is significantly lighter than some aero competitors, such as the Giant Pursuit Mips at 328g, though it's within a barely noticeable 15g margin of others such as the Kask Utopia at 235g and the Specialized S-Works Evade II at 254g. I was positively surprised by this, and didn't feel like the helmet was noticeably heavier than my usual lightweight lid.
Ventilation is very good, too. The numerous large vents at the front and the 'exhaust system' at the back create a good airflow though the helmet; it performed well in this aspect on a humid evening ride at 25 degrees.
I also think the Air Speed is a good looking lid. Mostly, I tend to find aero helmets pretty ugly, but I grew to like the Limar, with its nice detailing on the colour scheme of the model on test, though the buckles on the strap and the retention system would have looked better in black, to match the rest of the helmet. It's also available in three other colour schemes which also look good.
In terms of value, a retail price of £179.99 isn't bad for an aero helmet at this weight. The Met Manta is just a penny more at £180, while the Giant Pursuit comes in at £189.99 and the S-Works Evade is £230, though both feature MIPS crash protection technology.
Overall, the Limar Air Speed has some good features and its impressive ventilation overcomes one of the key criticisms of many aero helmets. I found it uncomfortable, which rather overshadowed the positives for me, but you might get on better with it – or be happy to sacrifice some comfort for the promised aero gains.
Looks fast and probably is fast, but try before you buy as the minimal padding won't suit all
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Limar Air Speed Road Helmet With Magnetic Buckle
Size tested: Medium
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
This road bike helmet is designed with aerodynamic performance in mind. It is claimed to be in the top three wind-tunnel performing helmets currently available, with top ranking performance when crosswind or 'yaw angle' comes into play. It's hard to argue with these claims as they are backed up by strong test results.
This helmet is also partially targeted at the triathlon market, with a magnetic buckle being one of the features designed to attract this market.
Official Helmet Of British Triathlon
The Air Revolution range was a design collaboration with the Astana Pro Cycling Team to create a range of aero helmets that are all based around the fully functioning aerodynamics and specialising in different features.
This resulted in the team having a helmet that would absolutely specialise in that races profile or that days weather conditions because what a classics rider needs in early spring is very different to what a grand tour rider requires in the height of summer.
The Air Speed is the fastest helmet in the Air Revolution Range and is used by World Tour Team Astana, UCI UK Continental Pro teams Vitus Pro Cycling, Swift Carbon Pro Cycling, Cams Tifosi Womens Pro Team and GB Triathletes.
Why because we proved through wind tunnel testing that it would improve their performance on the bicycle.
The Air Speeds performance is already proven in the wind tunnel and has been winning at world tour, grand tour stages, UK national series and tour series races.
The Air Speed has been further developed with the GB Olympic Triathletes with the addition of the magnetic buckle. You still get the proven aero gains which are now coupled with the magnetic buckle for smooth transitions. The Air Speed is now the perfect helmet for triathlon and is used by Great Britains world leading triathletes. We went beyond Wind Tunnel, Studies have proved that about 20% of the aerodynamic drag depends on the bicycle used during competitions, while the remaining 80% is due to the athlete's position on the saddle.
The helmet is therefore the fundamental element to minimize the frontal area and to determine a better aerodynamic penetration. Not only did we do three-dimensional simulation supports, using CFD software, but we also took into account the numerous variables, especially in competitions, when the rider hardly remains on the saddle in the same position, moving the head countless times.
Designers found the perfect combination between aerodynamic advantage (wind tunnel test) and better dynamics both on open roads and in velodromes (tests in real-life environmental conditions). It was during one of the recent road training sessions in Calpe and indoor at the Valencia velodrome, that the Astana Team riders were able to really test the helmet.
Further testing at the Boardman Performance Centre against 5 other major brands similar helmets cemented the Air Speed as the ultimate aero road helmet.
If you want to improve your performance on the bike in any discipline then make the Air Speed your helmet of choice and start #savingwattswithlimar
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
TECHNOLOGY Monoshell in-mould
AIR VENTS 12 airvents, 3 longitudinal inner air flow channels
SIZING SYSTEM AirFit-System with height adjustment and webbing connection
PADS Antibacterial and washable comfort pads
SIZE (CM) S (52-56) – M (54-58) – L (57-61)
WEIGHT (G) S 253 – M 250 – L 270
Limar has also produced a video to explain the features of the helmet. https://youtu.be/g89YBxs1bxM
The internal shell of the helmet is quite basic, with basic padding.
The helmet undoubtedly performs very highly in terms of aerodynamics. It also provides good ventilation.
Early days, so hard to judge, but nothing to suggest it won't last a long time. Minor point is that finger marks will quickly show up on the matt black finish.
This is not a lightweight helmet, but 259g for an aero helmet is very good.
I found the helmet uncomfortable on the forehead and back of the neck. Particularly when riding in an aero position.
An RRP of £179.99 is reasonable for a high-performance helmet.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It performed well, although we can't verify the aero claims. I didn't overheat when riding in warm conditions, but I didn't find it very comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The promised aero gains appeal, and I thought the matt black colour scheme looked good.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
I found it uncomfortable and didn't like the padding.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
It's the same price as the Met Manta, and cheaper than the S-Works Evade at £230 and Giant Pursuit at £189.99, though it doesn't feature MIPS technology.
Did you enjoy using the product? No
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Maybe
Use this box to explain your overall score
I didn't get on with the Air Speed's minimal padding, but comfort is subjective and as it performs and scores well in terms of weight and ventilation, I'm giving it 7/good overall; if the fit/comfort is to your liking – or speed is a priority over comfort (and you believe the claims) – you could consider it an 8.
About the tester
I usually ride: Specialized Tarmac Pro My best bike is: Specialized CruX Expert
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, club rides, Gravel on a CX bike