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BELL DESIGNS WORLD'S FASTEST TIME TRIAL HELMET FOR U.S. CYCLING TEAM COMPETING IN THE 1992 BARCELONA OLYMPICS

BELL DESIGNS WORLD'S FASTEST TIME TRIAL HELMET FOR U.S. CYCLING TEAM
 COMPETING IN THE 1992 BARCELONA OLYMPICS
 NORWALK, Calif., July 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The Vortex (tm) helmet, designed by Bell Sports, Inc. for competition at the Barcelona Olympics, has been proven to be almost two minutes faster than its closest competitor over a 100-kilometer distance in wind tunnel tests conducted by the U.S. Cycling Federation at Texas A&M and by Airflow Sciences Corp. in Michigan.
 "The Vortex is the fastest helmet," said John Sipay, equipment manager of the U.S. Olympic Cycling Team. "We believe the technology that Bell has incorporated should be the benchmark for future helmet designs."
 The Bell Vortex helmet incorporates technology never before used in a cycling helmet and features: a patented aerodynamic shape, an optical shield, Reebok's The Pump (tm) technology for a custom fit, a solid Kevlar (R) shell, a vortex generator for speed and ventilation and a patented retention system strengthened with Kevlar gold weave.
 "By applying this new technology, we were able to create a six-ounce helmet which enhances comfort and speed without compromising safety," said Doug Poe, director of product design for Bell Sports, Inc. "As a result of wind tunnel tests conducted at 30 miles per hour, the Vortex is expected to improve race times by as much as three minutes in a 100-kilometer race where a rider is not wearing any helmet, and it is almost two minutes faster than its closest competitor. This is especially important where the difference between winning and losing can be a fraction of one second."
 By integrating Reebok's The Pump technology, a custom fit can be achieved. By pressing a button, the strategically placed air chambers can be inflated to provide a customized fit. Another button can be pressed to release air as needed for added comfort.
 To reduce the weight of the helmet to six ounces (most bicycle helmets are more than eight ounces), a Kevlar weave was substituted for the traditional plastic shell. "Kevlar is one of the lightest and strongest materials available," claimed Poe. "It's used for race car helmets, the bodies of race cars, bicycle frames, and for bulletproofing."
 The Bell Vortex has a vortex generator, an inverted V-shaped recess in the rear that is used to increase aerodynamic efficiency, thus reducing wind drag and improving the rider's speed. "We've designed many high performance auto racing helmets incorporating vortex generators, including Mario Andretti's, and knew that it would make a considerable difference in a bicycle helmet as well," said Poe.
 To further enhance comfort, the Vortex offers a lighter, more streamlined retention system made of Kevlar gold weave. "Kevlar's strength allowed us to reduce the size of the straps to 1/4 inches and still pass the ANSI performance standard," said Poe.
 The Bell Vortex will be available at bicycle shops nationwide this fall and will have a suggested retail price of $149.99.
 Bell Sports, Inc., headquartered in Rantoul, Ill., is the leading manufacturer of bicycle, auto racing and ski helmets. Bell has pioneered virtually every major innovation and technological advancement in sports helmets in its 38 years, from the winning entry in the Indy 500 in 1958 to the helmets used by the U.S. Speed Skiing Team and the U.S. Ski Team in the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France.
 Bell is the official supplier to the U.S. Cycling Team.
 -0- 7/8/92 R
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Press kits, with photos and wind tunnel test results chart, are available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Christa Shermer of Bell Sports, 310-921-9451/ CO: Bell Sports Inc. ST: California IN: SU: PDT


SM -- NYOFNS11R -- 7463 07/08/92 13:50 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 8, 1992
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