Here's a closeup of Crowie's 2012 Kona helmet. It's quite the gesture for Specialized to set Craig up with these custom MacLaren lids. Specialized engineer Mark Cote told me that the helmets are enormously difficult to produce. For every four that come out of their molds, three are rejected. That's a lot of waste to get a few good pieces.
It wasn't long ago that most of the lids you saw on the heads of pro triathlete were standard, off-the-shelf fare. But in recent years, manufacturers have taken advantage of the unique marketing opportunity that is the Ironman World Championships, and more and more athletes are getting the full custom treatment, with one-off paint jobs not available to consumers. We're going to take a look at several of them here, as well as a few other pieces of custom or interesting kit elsewhere on the athletes' bikes. This will be our last article for this Kona block, before we bid it adieu and look forward to next year's race.