Kona 2012: Custom Lids
images by Nick Salazar
Oct 29, 2012  hits 185,723

Our first stop is Linsey Corbin, wearing a custom painted Giro Advantage 2.
Our first stop is Linsey Corbin, wearing a custom painted Giro Advantage 2.

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.

Tags » hawaii2012,  helmets
  • Our first stop is Linsey Corbin, wearing a custom painted Giro Advantage 2.
  • Linsey Corbin definitely had the shiniest lid on the island. Her Giro Advantage had custom chrome paint all over, with Corbin's 'Montana Made' logo up front.
  • Next up we're taking a look at three-time Kona Champ Craig Alexander. All week he was training in his flame-riddled Specialized MacLaren lid that he wore at the 70.3 World Championships. But Specialized set him up with another custom helmet just for Kona.
  • 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.
  • The top of Crowie's helmet gets the man's name.
  • Sebastian Kienle, Mr. Aero himself, was on a custom-painted Scott Split. Like the Specialized MacLaren, it's unavailable in any form, so I guess every paint job is custom to some extent.
  • Sebastian Kienle's custom Scott Split.
  • Michael Lovato showed up with his stealth-painted Kestrel 4000 SL and Louis Garneau lid.
  • Lovato's custom-painted Louis Garneau Vortice is as stealth as his rig, and looks great.
  • Paul Amey is in something of a sponsorship transition, wearing an unlabeled helmet (actually a Specialized TT2), unlabeled wheels, and has ditched his Blue Triad SL for a Cervelo P5.
  • Amey's unbadged Specialized TT2 helmet still gets custom colors to match his kit.
  • Amey reached out to TriRig and told us he wanted to run the Omega on his P5 both front and rear. I'm delighted to have Amey representing the brand. We've been very lucky that pros and age groupers alike have that kind of confidence in the product.
  • Natascha Badmann is as integral to the legend of Kona as the island itself. The six-time World Champion is one of the sport's heroes, and it's great to see her still competing at the age of forty-five.
  • Badmann was on a custom-painted Rudy Project Wingspan helmet with Red Bull livery, and a custom-installed visor. Personally, I'm a huge fan of visors when the lens is high-quality.
  • Many people have forgotten by now, but Specialized didn't invent the concept of an integrated hydration bladder. The custom Cat Cheetah bikes, which Badmann has ridden for many years, predates the Fuelselage by about a decade. I think
  • Rinny didn't repeat her winning performance of 2010, but she put together a fantastic race nonetheless, leaving everything out on the course on her way to a third-place finish. Her rig is all custom-painted in a subdued white, pastel green, and baby blue color scheme that just screams Hawaii.
  • Here's Rinny's custom-painted LG Vortice.
  • We pointed it out in our race-day gallery, but it's worth mentioning again that Rinny rode the world's ONLY prototype Zipp Firecrest wheels in 650c. These are 404's, but aren't a 58mm depth like 700c 404's. They are actually scaled down in terms of rim depth, probably to somewhere around 52 or 53mm.
  • Rinny's front end also had a custom storage unit that Felt made for her, just aft of her Speedfil A2 hydration.
  • There were a lot of Giro Air Attacks out on course, including this one beloning to Bruno Clerbout. He also gets a custom lens with a green mirror to match his kit. Hey Giro, how about one in TriRig Orange?
  • Luke McKenzie is also wearing a custom-painted Scott Split.
  • Marino Vanhoenacker's custom Scott Split matches the orange and white theme of his whole setup. Flawless.
  • Frederick VanLierde is wearing Ekoi's new no-tail lid.
  • I think this paint scheme is really weird, and frankly ugly. It's weird, because I think the Giro Air Attack looks awesome in all of its color schemes. But these Ekoi lids, which were seen this year on some Pro Tour riders, just look weird. The shape doesn't rub me the right way, there are no integrated visors, and they have no venting.

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