Sweet Protection has unveiled the Redeemer 2Vi MIPS time trial helmet, designed to seamlessly integrate with the rider’ s upper body and shoulders to minimize aerodynamic drag. Following teases at the Volta ao Algarve and the Paris-Nice team time trial, the Redeemer 2Vi MIPS has now been officially introduced, along with insights into its design process.
The Norwegian brand collaborated with the Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, which it sponsors, and Kyle Forster, an aerodynamics expert with experience at the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team, to create the Redeemer 2Vi MIPS.
The Redeemer 2Vi MIPS from Sweet Protection seems to draw inspiration from the POC Tempor, a time trial helmet that's been in style for over a decade. However, it's not just an imitation, as Sweet Protection has added unique features to the Redeemer 2Vi MIPS, aiming to further reduce drag. These oversized and distinctively shaped time trial helmets made waves at last year's Tour de France, solidifying their presence at the forefront of the sport.
Shaping a helmet to work seamlessly with the rider’ s upper body isn't a new concept. While this idea has been applied in speed skiing helmets for years, it's still relatively rare in cycling. The dominance of teardrop-shaped time trial helmets has been the norm in recent years.
As suspected, the Redeemer 2Vi MIPS is specifically crafted to integrate with the rider’ s upper body. This design aims to minimize the overall aerodynamic drag by efficiently managing the airflow over the rider's torso.
Forster mentions that the width of the 'outwashing' edges has been optimized to accommodate the varying widths of riders' shoulders. Sweet Protection has created two helmet sizes, tailored to this area. One size suits smaller riders with narrower shoulders, while the larger size caters to bigger riders with broader shoulders.
As expected, the helmet has received UCI approval, ensuring that the larger size adheres to the dimensions specified in the recent update to the UCI’ s technical regulations.
Forster explains that the central hole on the forehead serves as a 'Laminar Flow Bypass Duct,' directing airflow through two internal channels within the helmet. Unlike typical helmets that cool the rider, Sweet Protection redirects this airflow, accelerating it towards exit slots at the rear edge.
Rather than cooling, the airflow is designed to flow over the rider’ s shoulders, aiming to reduce the overall drag for the rider.
Casper von Folsach, the performance coach at Uno-X Pro Cycling Team, points out that quoting watt savings at specific speeds is complicated due to variations in testing protocols and scenarios across manufacturers and facilities. However, having been part of the benchmarking process against competitors' helmets, Casper confidently states that "without a doubt, this is the helmet I would prefer our team to be riding."
Sweet Protection shares that Søren Wærenskjold, the 2022 U23 individual time trial World Champion from Uno-X, was 3D-scanned to serve as a model for the new helmet using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD), essentially a virtual wind tunnel. Wind tunnel tests were subsequently conducted with Wærenskjold and Joss Lowden, the former Women’ s UCI Hour Record holder and current Uno-X team rider, at the Silverstone Sports Engineering Hub wind tunnel.
Interestingly, this mirrors the design approach of the POC Tempor, which was created around the riding position of Gustav Erik Larsson, the 2008 Olympic time trial silver medalist. The outcome of this process, centered on a single rider and their specific riding position, resulted in a helmet reportedly more responsive to a rider’ s head position than traditional designs.
Our tester observed that it was essential to adopt a low head position to fully appreciate the benefits of the Tempor's design, for instance.
Could Sweet Protection’ s Redeemer 2Vi MIPS exhibit similar characteristics? Forster notes that wind tunnel tests confirmed the helmet performed well on both Lowden and Wærenskjold, despite their distinct body shapes and riding positions. This indicates that the helmet isn’t optimized for just one rider and position.
He further mentions that the Redeemer 2Vi MIPS has been optimized to maintain its performance with different equipment and is "tolerant to various rider positions" and head angles.