Wout van Aert starts in Milan-Sanremo with self-designed helmet: “The coolest in the peloton”

New helmet van Aert x Lazer

Main image: © Het Nieuwsblad

Great achievement with origins in SIM M3 projects

Wout van Aert looked slightly different at Milan-Sanremo on Saturday 18 March 2023. Our 28-year-old compatriot swapped his previous Red Bull helmet for a new one designed by himself. Van Aert did so in collaboration with Red Bull and Lazer, his personal sponsor and that of Jumbo-Visma.

“I have the coolest helmet of the entire peloton,” van Aert comments on the Lazer website. “It’s unique and I am proud of it.” For van Aert, Lazer has been his favourite helmet brand for many years now, even before he turned pro. In line with that long-standing and especially successful collaboration, he got the chance to design his own helmet together with Lazer and Red Bull. The result: the Strada KinetiCore and the Vento KinetiCore. Both models are on sale for fans. The first one costs around 80 euros. The second one is slightly more unique, aerodynamic and costs 180 euros. Only 1994 copies of the Vento KenitiCore helmet are available – not coincidentally, this also happens to be van Aert’s birth year.

Roots in the SIM M3 program

KinetiCore helmets are not just any newly designed head protection. In fact, they are the result of years of research and knowledge accumulated through participation in SIM funding projects. After all, as the spearhead cluster for innovative materials, SIM wants to strengthen the materials industry in Flanders by funding material innovation. The KinetiCore helmets are therefore nice realisations that have their origins in previous SIM M3 projects.

M3 stands for “MacroModelMat” and is about predictive modelling, design and optimisation of advanced lightweight material systems at macro level. The MacroModelMat program covers predictive CAE modelling for multiple functional performance attributes such as static strength and stiffness, dynamic strength (fatigue), crashworthiness & crush and NVH/Acoustics.

The knowledge needed for the development of the KinetiCore helmets was acquired as a result of Lazer‘s participation in the M3 projects M3Strength and FATAM. In these projects, Lazer actually built up knowledge on the digital design of impact-resistant bicycle helmets in collaboration with UGent and Siemens Industry Software. Lazer then spent over five years conducting further research together with UGent-MMS to design a lightweight bicycle helmet that offers good rotational impact protection in addition to classic impact resistance.

In 2022, the successful lightweight cycling helmet KinetiCore was introduced for both professional cyclists, involving the Jumbo-Visma team as a test team, and recreational cyclists. The helmet has EPS foam padding inside and the supports that protect against impact are in the crucial places (digital design), leaving plenty of openings for ventilation inside the helmet. Consequently, the helmet received the highest score of 5 stars in impact-resistance tests at the University of Strasbourg and the Virginia Tech Institute.

Want to know more about this helmet concept? Read more about the KinetiCore and the story behind it via this page.

Source first text part: Jonas Withouck, nieuwsblad.be