Whilst not strictly targeted towards mountain bikers, the new Aro helmets from sporting eyewear brand Oakley presented an interesting development for a company that up until now, has kept it’s line quite specialised. The new Aro helmet range (and a separate road apparel line not pictured here) signals Oakley’s intention to broaden its cycling offerings, so don’t expect things to end here.
As for the helmets themselves, they’ve been in development for just under two years, after Oakley had already jumped into the snow helmet market twelve months prior. There are three models; the Aro 3 (ventilated road helmet), Aro 5 (aero road helmet) and Aro 7 (time trial helmet). The helmets feature sleek, aerodynamic shapes that were meticulously tested in the wind tunnel, and each lid is equipped with a MIPS liner to minimise the chance of rotational damage on the brain.
Also neat is the use of a BOA dial as the tensioning ratchet for the harness system, with specialist ‘Spectra Lace’ cords that are designed to sit comfortably against the head even with sunglasses fitted. And of course, each helmet is designed for integrated glasses storage when you’re not wearing them, with grooves moulded into the EPS liner that hold the glasses arms when you poke them through the vent holes.
There’ll be three sizes available in each Aro helmet, and pricing will be $180 USD for the Aro 3, $250 for the Aro 5, and a whopping $500 for the Aro 7 TT helmet (not pictured).
While some XC racers and long distance off-roaders will be interested in the new Aro lids, trail riders will be pleased to find out that Oakley is working on mountain bike lids as we speak. They were pretty tight-lipped about developments, but from what we could deduce, they’ll have both a trail/enduro helmet and a full-face downhill helmet out within the next six months – so stay tuned for more there.