We were fortunate to be invited to the launch of the new Gamechanger 2.0 helmet from ABUS, which also coincided with the start of the Tour De France in Bilbao, Spain. Today, Flamme Rouge owner Jamie talks about meeting the product manager behind this new lightweight aero helmet and the incredible lengths ABUS went to to achieve improvements in speed, comfort and safety.
We recently listed ABUS helmets in Flamme Rouge with a range including family, commuting, mountain and road helmets, available from £50. The pinnacle of these is the Gamechanger aero helmet and we were excited to see the new generation and understand how it had changed with the latest version.
Our first pleasant surprise was when we met Lukas Tamajka (pictured above, left, with Jamie, centre, and Jim from 73 Degrees Bicycle Shop, Bristol), who is the product manager responsible for the Gamechanger 2.0. It’s not often you meet the people behind a product from a large brand and also have time with them to understand what goes on behind the scenes. It’s clear that Lukas is passionate about his new Gamechanger 2.0 product, and when designing the helmet was determined to make significant improvements to speed, comfort and safety.
Lukas explained the challenge he was given and took time to explain the process ABUS went through when designing the helmet. His challenge was to create a helmet as fast as a TT helmet but with the ventilation of a climbing helmet. No small feat I’m sure!
He talked us through the extensive design and testing process and it’s clear the Gamechanger 2.0 is a quality product heaped with attention to detail. For example, to be faster required extensive team input, CFD (computational fluid dynamics) design work and over 80 aerodynamic tests across three months of wind tunnel testing in multiple sites in Europe. We were amazed to hear that Lukas had even tested over 100 variations of the rear vent parts to get the airflow how he wanted it to work. And the details then extended to the aero straps which had different shapes tested so that they hold an aerodynamic position against the head as speed increases. Not to mention all the international safety standard testing nuances that need to be passed.
The outcome of the process appears to have worked: faster than the original and 32% more airflow through the helmet, specifically focusing on the heat box forehead and temple areas. This was achieved through a new front vent design, deeper channels to push air through the helmet and a larger outlet area at the rear. Air flowing through the helmet is also sped up towards the rear exit through a top vent – known as Aero Blade – creating a vacuum cleaner effect. This is the part where over 100 designs of this grid were tested!
Photo credit: Leon Von Bon
As for comfort, the Gamechanger 2.0 has ingenious floating padding at the front of the helmet which improves comfort and sweat absorption. The middle pad is removable as a lower helmet on the head is more aerodynamic. Not to mention that the frontal area has been redesigned to allow for larger eyewear models. And all this in a 260g lightweight package. We’ve not had a chance to ride with the helmet yet, but given it’s being ridden in this year’s Tour De France by both the Movistar and Alpecin Fenix teams then it must be good!
The new helmet has been debuted at the Tour de France and is being worn by Movistar Team, including Alex Aranburu (above). Pricing for Gamechanger 2.0 starts at £249.99 and it is available initially in velvet black or shiny white and in three sizes.
Availability – We’ve got the first helmet in store from the launch event with stock arriving within the next few days. As this is a brand-new product, production is limited initially and we’re lucky enough to be one of 10 dealers nationwide with this initial availability.