The aero road helmet that's already a firm favourite in the pro peloton
The last few years have seen an explosion in the popularity of aero road helmets, and the marketplace is currently full of them. With design and aero properties getting better and better, it’s getting harder and harder for brands to make something that stands out.
Step forward Giro with their Synthe, a helmet that really took things up another notch. The California-based company call it the pinnacle of road helmet design and you can’t argue with the fact it’s certainly innovative.
But you wouldn’t expect anything else from a company in their fourth decade. Innovation is the bedrock on which they built their reputation, and Giro are showing no signs of slowing down. Ever since the world’s first all EPS foam helmet, the lightweight and functional ProLight, emerged from their factory in the mid-1980s, Giro have been at the forefront of bike helmet design.
But what makes the Synthe so good? Well, not only is it a high performance aero lid, it’s also as lightweight and well ventilated as some of the top class road helmets that have helped make their name, like the super cool Aeon.
And on top of those performance benefits, the Synthe brings an unmatched, sleek look to the party to help it stand head and shoulders above the competition.
Not only is the Synthe aero, it's also as light and well ventilated as some of the top road helmets on the market
Giro already had an aero helmet in their range – the Air Attack, favourite of Luca Paolini – when they launched the Synthe, but the Synthe not only outperforms the Air Attack in the aero stakes, it also matches the aforementioned Aeon when it comes to ventilation.
Aerodynamically, Giro say the Synthe is the best helmet they’ve made to date, so aero, in fact, they’re happy to boldly claim it can compete in the wind tunnel with the likes of Specialized’s Evade. But crucially, that performance doesn’t come at the cost of ventilation thanks to the slit-style vents on the front and rear and the Roc Loc Air retention system, which lifts the helmet away from the top of the head to aid air channeling.
It’s a marginal difference – raising the helmet by just 3mm – but the difference that makes in ventilation is profound, so much so that you’ll definitely want to wear a skull cap or headband underneath on cold days.
As for weight, well the Synthe is only 232g for a medium. It’s not quite as light as the Aeon, but you won’t find yourself with neck ache after a day in the saddle.
One small finishing touch that made us smile is the two small vents at the front aren’t just designed to keep you cool, they’re docking ports for your sunglasses as well.
BMC, Katusha and IAM Cycling all adopted the Synthe for the Tour de France Grand Depart in Yorkshire, two years ago, and since hitting the shelves for consumers in January last year it’s found many fans among the cycling public as well. We’d count ourselves in that number, and were pleased to find when testing that comfort hadn’t been forgotten, in fact it’s simple and light enough that you can find yourself forgetting you have a helmet on at all.