Oakley has long been ingrained in cycling vernacular - from its humble beginnings in 1984 making handlebar grips, to becoming arguably the performance eyewear of choice for professional and amateur athletes alike.
New for 2018, Oakley delves into cycling helmets with the ARO series. The three-tiered lineup covers a range of disciplines and is also complemented by a range of cycling goodies. Featuring strong aero credentials, impressive weights, and slick eyewear integration, here are ten things to know about the 2018 range of Oakley Aro cycling helmets.
1. They’re pro tested
With a history of producing quality ski helmets, the step from winter sports to cycling helmets isn’t that drastic. With a long list of sponsored professionals, it’s not surprising to see a number of world-class athletes are already donning the ARO lineup. These include Olympic Gold medalist and two-time Ironman World Champion Jan Frodeno and Ironman 70.3 World Champion Holly Lawrence.These pro triathletes are currently racing in the Oakley ARO7 and training in Oakley's ARO5.
Outside of the tri world, Team Dimension Data has been using the lids in training for R&D purposes and will start racing in the ARO range from 2018.
2. BOA and MIPS equipped
Oakley has integrated technology from retention-system leaders BOA that allows riders to dial in adjustments, meaning a balance between a firm and comfortable fit. Oakley claim that the collaboration is a never-seen-before technology, engineered specifically for less interference with glasses and pressure against the temple
In addition to a dialled fit, Oakley has integrated German impact-protection technology, MIPS, into the entire range of ARO helmets. MIPS works by absorbing and redirecting the energy and force generated during a crash that is otherwise transmitted to the brain.
3. One for the sprinters
ARO5 is optimised for speed and competition. Oakley claim that the polycarbonate semi-aero shell offers a balance between weight and ventilation. The low profile design looks best suited to the discerning criterium racer or sprinters in the peloton.
Offering a healthy selection of colours, the ARO5 looks set to be available in three variations of black, three of gloss white and one neon-yellow for the visibility conscious.
4. There’s an all-round option
While maintaining some aerodynamic characteristics found in the ARO5, the ARO 3 looks to be pitched as more of an all-round offering. Featuring 12 large vents, cooling your dome on those tedious climbs or blistering hot days in the saddle looks set to be a breeze. The ARO3 is aligned to the signature style of the ARO5 and ARO7 and is offered in the same gamut of colours as the ARO5, perfect for getting matchy-matchy with your kit.
5. Aero is everything
Headlining the range, The ARO7 looks set to be the helmet of choice for time trial specialists and triathletes alike. Oakley claim its top of the line lid has been wind-tunnel optimised to reduce drag and maximise aerodynamics. For ease of use, the helmet strap utilises magnetic fastening system, which should assist with quick transitions during a triathlon.
Utilising Oakley's patented Prizm technology, the Road Prizm shield equipped to the ARO7 is fine-tuned for road cyclists by emphasising colours where the eye is most sensitive. This means riders are able to spot subtle changes in the texture of road surfaces and have contrasting road features such as white lines and potholes stand out. Additionally, the shields naturally offer the same trusted protection qualities and UV A, B and C protection offered to the range of Oakley performance eyewear.
In addition to the Road Prizm shield, the ARO7 is shipped with a spare clear lens which Oakley claim is best suited to overcast conditions. Colour choices for the helmet are matte black or matte white.
6. Added strength, without the weight
The helmets are constructed from lightweight polycarbonate shell and EPS protective foam – which has superior ability to absorb impact energy over EVA foam. The EPS foam is favoured thanks to its lightweight and Oakley claim it does not bounce back after a compressing impact. CPSC weights for size medium are as follows:
Oakley ARO3: 295g
Oakley ARO5: 300g
Oakley ARO7: 410g
7. Eyewear Integration
Familiar with the anxiety about sunglasses flying off the back of the helmet mid bunch sprint? Fret no more - enter the Eyewear Dock. For the ARO series, (unsurprisingly) Oakley has strongly considered the integration of its sports sunglasses range. Riders can relax knowing their shades are securely stored in an easy to access position at the rear of the helmet. How is this achieved? A braided textile lace lies flat against the rider's head, allowing eyewear to sit naturally while still providing a comfortably secure fit without uneven pressure points.
8. Stop the Stink
Let’s face it, how often do you really wash your helmet? All ARO helmets include an antimicrobial brow pad that Oakley claim prevents odour by inhibiting the growth of bacteria in the fabric. Whilst it won’t stop you from sweating or make you smell like fresh cologne, we would welcome a bit of extra hygiene for our heads!
9. There’s kit to match!
High-tech kit manufacturer BioRacer Speedwear has collaborated with Oakley to bring about the ‘Jawbreaker’ kit collection, boasting some tidy yet not too understated designs. Coupled with moisture-wicking fabrics and a micro-ventilated chamois, Oakley claim the Jawbreaker kits will offer comfort, functionality, as well as a flattering cut.
The Jawbreaker kit is available in two assortments, Premium and Road, which both include jerseys, bibs, a gilet, lightweight jacket and accessories. Completing the package is the aforementioned accessories haul. Gloves, socks, and a neat little cap keep it uniform and round out the Oakley cycling collection.
10. Australian Pricing and Availability
Global release is rumoured to be around February 2018 - keep an eye on BikeExchange for more details surrounding the Australian launch.
The ARO Helmet Series carries the following suggested retail prices;
ARO 7 - AU$600
ARO 5 - AU$300
ARO 3 - AU$220
The Jawbreaker Cycling Kits will also be available around the same time, with pieces ranging in price from AU$24.95 to AU$299.95.
For more information on how to choose the right lid to protect your head, check out our comprehensive guide to cycling helmets
Don’t want to wait till 2018 to get your hands on a new stack hat? Shop a wide range of Cycling Helmets available right now from leading retailers and private sellers across the country