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Why do the tour pros ride with no helmets on mountain stages?(8 posts)

Why do the tour pros ride with no helmets on mountain stages?Chen2
Jan 10, 2003 2:44 PM
The top tour riders choose to ride helmetless on mountain stages. Is this simply a weight issue? Seems to me that the mountain stages is where a helmet is needed most.
re: Why do the tour pros ride with no helmets on mountain stages?No_sprint
Jan 10, 2003 2:52 PM
During steep mountain top finish stages they'll figure they'll be going slow enough not to need it. If they're doing sick descents after topping hills, you'll see them sportin' their buckets.
exactly. (nm)CHRoadie
Jan 10, 2003 3:05 PM
I said (nm).
Jan 10, 2003 3:28 PM
I heard Lance respond to this question, and he said because it gets hot. Remember he's making 500 watts continuously, too.

It gets too hot n/mBigLeadOutGuy
Jan 10, 2003 7:00 PM
Carmicheal says...frankamo
Jan 11, 2003 6:05 AM
In one of his books that a helmet can actually keep you cooler on a hot day because it blocks some of the sun from hitting your scalp, but still allows airflow thru the vents.
Sounds good on paper . . .Look381i
Jan 11, 2003 6:57 AM
Perhaps under certain conditions -- maybe extremely hot, sunny days riding at higher speeds -- he is correct. In general, though, I find a helmet a net insulator. On cool and cold days, it keeps my head warmer. On warm days, it tends to overheat my head. My head is a main heat vent. Insulate it and inhibit heat flow and evaporation and I feel hotter. At higher speeds, with air moving through it, it's fine.

The only times I have ridden without a helmet are long, slow climbs on warm, windless days. The heat can become unbearable and the sweat blinding, so going helmetless can give a lot of relief. I even used one of those Pantani-style do-rags once and found it useful for wicking the sweat fom my head and brow (and I have hair).
Jan 11, 2003 8:47 AM
My first impression was that it must be the heat, because my head gets really hot when I climb, but on those high mountain stages it seems the air temperature should be low enough to offset the heat generated by the hard work, guess not. And I just didn't remember seeing the helmets going back on for the descent, 'course some of the big climb stages end at the top.