A wind tunnel day with Crowie

3-time Ironman World Champion Craig Alexander came to the A2 Wind Tunnel in Mooresville, NC today to test out a few helmets in his quest for another title in Kona.

At the 2010 Ironman World Championships Crowie was sporting a road helmet, recorded a 4:39:35 bike split and finished fourth, and was not too happy with his outing. He then returned to Kona in 2011 with a new attitude, aboard a Specialized Shiv and a Giro Advantage 2 aero helmet and took the win with a very fast 4:24:05 bike split.

As he is now getting ready to defend his title in October, Crowie is fine tuning a few details, and looking closer at the helmet situation is one of those tasks. The Giro Advantage 2 has tested very well and is popular with many athletes, but there are many more choices out there.

During a day at the A2 wind tunnel in Mooresville the team around Craig Alexander tested several helmets and the new Specialized S-Works McLaren helmet was very impressive. The improvements over said Advantage 2 for one were significant and we actually observed that the data closely matched numbers Specialized had published when the helmet was released at the beginning of the Tour de France. But with its CE certification this helmet is only legal in Europe and for the Ironman World Championships in Kona.

All images Herbert Krabel / slowtwitch.com

Trusted adviser and fit expert Mat Steinmetz was on hand.

Chris Yu of Specialized's R&D department goes over the new Specialized McLaren helmet with a very attentive Crowie.

Crowie inspected the new helmet very closely.

The Specialized Shiv of Crowie is being set up in the A2 Wind Tunnel where the new platform now allows yaw angle adjustments on the fly.

The Shiv is waiting for the pedals and Crowie.

Dave Salazar is at the control at A2.

Moving through the yaw angles is now a breeze, saving the test objects quite a bit of time and money.

Mat Steinmetz showed Crowie before the test one more time where he was in terms of helmet position.

Various helmets were tested but the run started with Crowie's beautifully custom painted Giro Advantage 2.

Ready for another run.

A little breather after some hard efforts in the tunnel.

The Specialized S-Works McLaren helmet will be put through the paces next.

Crowie is getting settled before the next run with Mat Steinmetz looking on.

The frontal surface of this Specialized S-Works McLaren helmet is quite small.

Mat Steinmetz also worked on some hand positions with Craig Alexander.

Here the Specialized TT02 helmet was tested with Chris Yu lending a hand.

Hmmm, maybe the next smaller size.

Crowie really wanted to test as many helmets as possible.

The slowtwitch moto helmet looked good, but was just too heavy.

Chris Yu with the Specialized S-Works McLaren helmet that really shined today.