So much has happened in cycling in the last three decades. We’ve seen the rise and reprise of Lance, followed by his spectacular comeuppance that transcended the sport and even Oprah got involved. There have been innumerable triumphs and tragedies along the way. The former outweighing the latter, thankfully, but in that time frame one tragedy brought about a seismic change for companies like MET, the Italian helmet brand who turn thirty this year.
It was in March 2003 that 29 year-old Andrei Kivilev was an hour from completing the second stage of Paris-Nice when he crashed, hit his head, and fell into a coma. He died the following morning. At the same race, in 1991, the UCI had tried to enforce the use of helmets, but riders protested and the idea was scrapped. By the end of the 2003 season, the UCI made helmets mandatory.
Helmet design and technology then progressed to meet growing demand. They got much lighter, offered more protection and fitted better. Now, they’re as much part of our attire as padded shorts (which were invented long before anyone thought about protecting their heads).
To mark the brand’s thirtieth anniversary, MET has released the carbon Trenta 3K road helmet. By using carbon, MET found it could ditch 20% of the EPS foam inside the helmet without losing strength. And at 215g, it’s light and aerodynamic (the two don’t often mix). MET reckon it’ll knock off 7% of a rider’s aerodynamic drag at 45km/h.
And it looks cool.