Cannondale's Cypher Aero is essentially its Cypher race helmet with an aero shell. It's a sleek and well-ventilated design that is light – and now aerodynamic too. Cannondale has stuck with its traditional look, a plus point in my book, rather than following the current trend of weird and wonderful aero designs.
Weighing in at just 240g without the aero shell, its light weight is probably the first thing you notice. Cannondale has used its 'Peak Protection technology', with dual-density EPS foam reducing weight while keeping rigidity high. Combine that with the wide distribution of internal padding, and it's easy to forget you have it on. Even with the shell on, 285g isn't exactly heavy.
The shape and soft padding mean there are no annoying pressure points or itching. The micro-dial tension adjuster at the back makes for incredibly precise adjustment and a perfect fit. It needs minimal force and can easily be done on the move with just two fingers.
This is integrated into the Ergo-fit EVA pad with a three-position height adjustment system. It all makes for an incredibly comfortable fit with no worries about it shifting while riding.
The aero shell is a useful addition to the Cypher (which is available on its own for £99.99). The aerodynamic advantage means saved watts, although how many isn't stated, which will undoubtedly frustrate the data-savvy out there.
The livery of the shell matches the colour scheme of the helmet nicely, unlike the clear Lazer Z1 helmet shells. It's a simple solution, which overlaps with the front and top rear vent to sit snuggly in place while remaining easy to remove. Extra double-sided tape is provided in case you'd rather stick it down permanently.
The shell covers the prominent central vents, but allows airflow through the sides, which helps to keep your head cool. It is certainly hotter with the shell, but I found it useful on cold and wet morning commutes, keeping my head warm and dry, even if I had to deal with the social stigma of wearing an aero helmet on a bike path...
Without the shell attached, the Cypher helmet has great ventilation, with 32 vents to allow airflow around your head. This will help to keep your head cool even in the hottest of weather.
At a penny under £110, the Cypher Aero is in a similar market to the recently tested Giant Rivet and Bontrager Ballista aero helmets. To my mind, though, the versatility of a shell as opposed to a straight aero helmet adds far greater benefit. Possibly a better comparison is with the already mentioned Lazer Z1 – in which case the Cypher Aero seems like a bargain, seeming to be of very similar quality.
I've been impressed by the Cypher Aero, particularly the quality. The price tag, although fairly high for your average helmet, is very reasonable compared with most race-orientated designs. The added aero shell keeps the worst of the weather off while remaining – to my mind – a little more aesthetically pleasing than other brands. The savings in terms of effort can be debated, but there's nothing out there that I've worn with a better fit and adjustment for comfort.
A light, comfortable helmet with the shell adding versatility
road.cc test report
Make and model: Cannondale Cypher Aero Helmet
Size tested: Adult Small/Medium, 52-58 cm
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The Cannonade Cypher Aero Helmet is its top of the range race helmet. Despite this, it is great for everyday use especially with the removable aero shell. It has good ventilation and fits very well, making it very comfortable for long rides and general use. Good quality finish to it too.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Peak Protection technology uses dual-density EPS foam to reduce weight while maintaining the highest industry safety standards.
Aerodynamic design for less drag.
System Integrated Fit. A 3-position height adjustment allows 'just-right' placement of the Ergo-fit EVA occipital pad and the micro-dial tension adjuster delivers a precise fit.
Extremely well made, a very good quality product. Tight fit when attaching the aero shell and no worries about it moving around or falling off. Straps and buckles all working well along with the tension adjusters. Good quality padding on the inside too.
Very light weight, especially without the aero shell, and 285g total including the shell is still very light.
Excellent comfort, no pressure points. Well ventilated to keep your head cool. Adjustment mechanism allows for very precise changes and can easily be done on the move. Straps easily adjustable too.
Good price for high quality and well designed helmet. When compared with some of its far more expensive competitors, seems like the Cypher Aero is the way to go.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Designed as a race helmet, the Cypher is certainly fit for purpose. The aero shell will undoubtedly add some benefits for effort.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The adjustment system and lightness of the helmet was a big plus for me. I barely noticed it on my head and had no worries of it ever moving around.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
There really wasn't anything to criticise.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes most definitely.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
Certainly one of the best helmets I've ever used and when compared with others around the same price, it comes out far ahead. The aero shell is a nice added benefit which I found more useful in poor weather than for direct aerodynamic benefit. The fit and ventilation are exceptional, making for an extremely comfortable helmet.
About the tester
I usually ride: Cannondale CAADX My best bike is: Scott CR1 Pro
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives