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Nearly as efficient as the fastest time trial helmets but with more comfort and ventilation, says Giro

Giro are launching a new road helmet called the Synthe which they say offers impressive cooling, minimal weight, supreme fit and aerodynamic efficiency.

“The Synthe is the pinnacle of road helmet design,” say Giro, which is strange because only this morning Smith told us that their new Overtake helmet is, “The most comprehensive road helmet on the market.” 

Ah well, such is the world of PR. It has been a big day for aero-optimised road helmets.

Giro already have a road-style aero helmet in the range in the shape of the Air Attack (£149.99). That helmet looks very much like an aero helmet; a lot of people don’t like its dome-like appearance at all. The Synthe looks more like a regular road helmet with extensive venting and traditional-style ridges.

Giro claim that the Synthe (don't miss the 'n' out or you'll give the wrong impression entirely) is nearly as efficient as the fastest time trial helmets but with much more comfort and ventilation.

Giro have been running teasers on social media over the past couple of weeks saying that the Synthe is 16% faster, 13% lighter and 2% cooler – but faster, lighter and cooler than what?

It looks like they’re claiming the Synthe is 16% faster and 2% cooler than their existing lightweight Aeon helmet, and 13% lighter than the Air Attack.

The weight is a claimed 250g (CPSC version, the US safety standard, in a size medium). The European version might be a little lighter. 250g is pretty light. To put it in context, the Aeon (size medium) we reviewed was 197g while the Air Attack (size medium) was 275g.

Like the Air Attack, the Synthe uses Giro’s Roc Loc Air fit system which comprises a flexible plastic cradle that attaches to the helmet shell at the temples. You get the choice of three height adjustment positions at the back and you control tightness with a clicky wheel. Winding it up and letting out the slack are equally easily sorted with one hand. What's different from Giro's standard Roc Loc System is that there's an inner cradle over your forehead and the top of your head as well, keeping the shell slightly raised to allow air to flow inside.

“Cooling power is further boosted by elaborate internal channeling and a series of massive vents; the Synthe sets a new bar for ventilation,” say Giro.

The Synthe also features integrated mesh panels which we’ve not seen before, lightweight webbing and eyewear docking ports for stashing your glasses when you don’t want to wear them.

 

This is what US pro Taylor Phinney has to say about it:

The price will be £199.99 and UK distributor Zyro expects to have stock in January 2015.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.

17 comments

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cat1commuter [1422 posts] 3 years ago
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First rule of aerodynamics: does it look like a fish?

If it doesn't, it's probably not very aerodynamic.

This helmet doesn't look much like a fish.

I'm sure it is more aero than their completely non-aero Aeon helmet! I'm equally sure that it will be draggier than their Air Attack aero helmet.

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Mr Turning [124 posts] 3 years ago
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No, it doesn't look like a fish. But the problem you have there is that the first rule of aerodynamics isn't whether it looks like a fish or not.

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Jacob [40 posts] 3 years ago
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Can't wait to buy it and be 1.34 seconds faster on my next ride...

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Simon E [3124 posts] 3 years ago
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More ventilation usually means more drag. You can't have it both ways kids, though the marketing bods will have you believe differently.

For those with a greater interest in this things, more detail here:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/06/news/first-look-giro-synthe-semi-...

Helmets aren't compulsory yet, so you could save 250g and $250 by not buying it.

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leqin [216 posts] 3 years ago
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And from where I am sitting those claims sound like 100% more bhullshit (you have to roll the h or not get the true effect of how sthinky and great big a dhollop of bhullshit it is)

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cat1commuter [1422 posts] 3 years ago
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Mr Turning wrote:

No, it doesn't look like a fish. But the problem you have there is that the first rule of aerodynamics isn't whether it looks like a fish or not.

I was quoting Tony Purnell, the new head of technical development for British Cycling, in a lecture I went to here in Cambridge.

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midschool [54 posts] 3 years ago
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Simon E wrote:

More ventilation usually means more drag. You can't have it both ways kids, though the marketing bods will have you believe differently.

For those with a greater interest in this things, more detail here:
http://velonews.competitor.com/2014/06/news/first-look-giro-synthe-semi-...

Helmets aren't compulsory yet, so you could save 250g and $250 by not buying it.

It doesn't have more venting, it has less. For someone who posts a link based on "greater interest" it would benefit if you paid more attention to the details.  3

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picko [71 posts] 3 years ago
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Fish are adapted for hydrodynamics, not aerodynamics. Totally different medium, velocity and flow regime. Now if it looked like a bird...

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TheDoctor [245 posts] 3 years ago
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picko wrote:

hydrodynamics, not aerodynamics. Totally different medium

nope!

the physics is the same

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Quince [381 posts] 3 years ago
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Aerodynamics and Hydrodynamics both come under the broader field of 'Fluid Dynamics'. I don't believe they're identical (clearly the difference in density should have some effect), but they are highly related. So it's not a totally different medium at all, but neither EXACTLY the same (just... ALMOST exactly the same).

Anyway, fish come in all shapes and sizes! Maybe there's a funky creature at the bottom of the sea that looks exactly like a Giro Synth Road Helmet! And maybe it's 16% faster, 13% lighter and 2% cooler than... another fish. The world is full of mysteries...

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muffies [79 posts] 3 years ago
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heres a simple difference: fish dont need much forward momentum to stay at the same "altitude" birds do - but since they cant get enough, they generate a lot of lift instead.

Same reason for ailerons on some aquatic life.

Otherwise, both are indeed, fluids, and share a lot of characteristics. and if you forget about the lift because you already get enough force from the earth to stay at the same "altitude" (distance from the center of gravity that attracts you the most really), you dont need much lift, you need low drag. fish provides low drag. wings do not.

the reason cars have wings is because that either lower the friction, either changes the pressure from under the chassis - again, two problems that you do not care for bikes.

So in the end, for bikes, looking like a fish indeed makes it "faster".

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ade [74 posts] 3 years ago
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cat1commuter wrote:

First rule of aerodynamics: does it look like a fish?

If it doesn't, it's probably not very aerodynamic.

This helmet doesn't look much like a fish.

The POC Tempor aero lid is pretty fish-like, but POC themselves admit that it's only fast if you're the kind of rider who can keep your head in a very static forward-facing position, hence more rounded lids like their Cerebel and the Kask Bambino which are more aero in real-world use, i.e. head down, head up, wind from the side...

Golf balls don't look like fish but they're pretty aerodynamic. Horses for courses, innit?

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Peowpeowpeowlasers [536 posts] 3 years ago
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Another helmet article utterly bereft of the most important information - HOW GOOD IS IT AT PROTECTING YOUR HEAD?

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andyp [1509 posts] 3 years ago
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Peowpeowpeowlasers wrote:

Another helmet article utterly bereft of the most important information - HOW GOOD IS IT AT PROTECTING YOUR HEAD?

as with all other helmets - not very. Probably why that isn't in the review.
HTH.

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andyp [1509 posts] 3 years ago
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'eyewear docking ports for stashing your glasses when you don’t want to wear them.'

'vents', in other words?  3

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adrianoconnor [84 posts] 3 years ago
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Title is "Giro launch Synthe road helmet + video"

I thought this was going to be a helmet with a built in helmet-cam that could record your ride. That'd be pretty cool. Wonder why nobody has done that yet?

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andyp [1509 posts] 3 years ago
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adrianoconnor wrote:

Title is "Giro launch Synthe road helmet + video"

I thought this was going to be a helmet with a built in helmet-cam that could record your ride. That'd be pretty cool. Wonder why nobody has done that yet?

It really wouldn't be cool. HTH.