Giro recently made a time trial helmet especially for Lance Armstrong which he wore on the 2010 Tour de France prologue. Named “LAX”, the TT helmet works to give Armstrong two to three second-advantage over his rivals.
One can say that the helmet proved to be an advantage since Armstrong finished fourth on the event. However, it is unlikely that Giro will create the “LAX” for commercial use since the helmet basically works for Armstrong because it was designed specifically for him.
Giro shared that it took several months to conceptualize and actualize the helmet’s design. This was also due to the fact that Armstrong was literally hard to get hold of because of his busy schedule. The only way to get around this challenge was to create a replica of the cyclist which cost $15,000.00. The testing of the helmet was done on this model of Armstrong.
Chris Bullock tells how the testing went to achieve LAX, “We made about a hundred different helmets and tried them on the model. We had five different wind tunnel sessions since the start of the year on this project.”
Armstrong explains, “I have seen tremendous technology changes throughout my career. There is demand all around to innovate and rapidly try and test new ideas and technologies… This project was really driven by Giro. They went way outside of cycling to look at different sports and concepts.”
Chuck Platt, senior manager of Giro, shares the reason behind the project, “Lance always puts 100-percent into the Tour and for this, his last go at it, he asked us to create something ultra special. The LAX was the first major project for our new Advanced Concepts Group and the challenge pushed our team to use new technology and methods in the hope that we could help Lance win his 8th Tour de France.”