Review: Scott Split Aero Helmet
article & images by Nick Salazar
Mar 26, 2015
This is the Scott Split helmet, the lid that's won several World Championship titles in the last couple years on the head of one Sebastian Kienle. It's a helmet I really wanted to love, because of its slick, minimal (read: fast), elegant design. It sports a visor (which I love), and that visor even comes in a mirrored finish! But sadly, me and the Split aren't exactly a match made in heaven.
For me, the trouble with the Split really comes down to the fact that it's really tough to get on and off. The ear flaps are very stiff, making it tough to pry the lid open to get it on in the first place. And since the visor doesn't flip up (it clips into place), there's that much less space to 'climb in' to the helmet when donning it in transition. Of course, helmet fit is rather personal, and some riders may have an easier time than others. But I had a much easier time getting in to the similarly-shaped Louis Garneau P-09, which has some very smart movable earflaps that get out of the way when you need to get in (and a flip-up visor as well). The lid is only marginally easier to get into if you skip the visor and just use sunglasses, but the stiff earflaps still cause the bulk of the problem. They end up scraping my face on the way in and out of the helmet, and generally squish my ears in the process. I'd probably have an easier time if I chose the next size up, but that would be too big on my head, and certainly slower as it would add significant frontal area. I generally prefer how things were done on the P-09 and the Giro Selector, where the ear flaps are kept flexible to greatly ease in donning the lid.
Moreover, the Split is probably the hottest aero helmet I've ever worn. Generally, I don't mind aero helmets, as even the minimally-vented ones do a good enough job of keeping me cool (enough). But the Split was a bit of an oven for me.
Of course, Sebastian Kienle didn't have a problem with the heat on his way to Ironman World Championship titles at both the 70.3 and 140.6 distance! And to be clear, the Scott Split has a great aero pedigree and is undeniably fast. But it proved not to be the helmet of choice for me. Maybe it will be for you. As with all things helmet, I recommend finding somewhere you can try it on before buying. Enjoy the gallery below!
Slick lid, but a bit tricky to use