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Why has the Wingspan been designed to have a small gap between the rider’s ears and the helmet’s ear covers?
The gap at the bottom of the ears was specifically designed to help with our goal of making a helmet that would work well with any shape shoulder or back. During earlier development, I used a Helium Bubble generator to study the flow characteristics around the cheekbones and jaw lines of many riders. This area is always problematic and effects how sunglasses fit, chin straps flow and how air will flow around the neck. A Helium Bubble generator makes very small bubbles that reflect light very well, this is used so you can see small directional changes at low wind speeds. The bottom 20mm of the helmet has a defined curve that pulls the air in around the neck, this acclerates the air down the back for riders with more rounded shoulders. The width over the upper ears is used to shield the shoulders of riders that have "square" type shoulders. This frontal gap is also aligned with the lower rear vents to help increase ventilation by pulling air off the front of the face. This area is one of the reasons that a face shield was not required, we achieved better ventilation by managing facial airflow. At the leading edge of the helmet, just above the riders eyes, there are two defined channels inside the helmet. These further guide the air off the face and help control sweat getting into the riders eyes.
Team Every Man Jack
Too many times a product is evaluated for just the aerodynamic advantage that it may have on its own. What really needs to be considered are what other changes in the athlete/bike system may occur when the new/modified product is added. Sometimes performance advantages are not just "plug and play".
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