Home
Verdict: 
Aero helmet that's comfortable and much better ventilated than you'd expect.
Weight: 
275g
Contact: 
www.zyro.co.uk
Giro Air Attack helmet
8 10

The Giro Air Attack has a similar overall profile to a standard road helmet but it's designed to be more aerodynamic to help you save time whether you're road riding, time trialling, or racing a triathlon.

The Air Attack fits like a standard road helmet using Giro's Roc Loc Air System. The flexible plastic cradle attaches to the helmet shell at your temples so the helmet will fit the vast majority of people well. Giro reckon their system works for 98% of the population.

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.

As you'll have noticed, there are far fewer vents here than you find on most road helmets. I started using the Air Attack a few weeks ago when the weather was quite a lot hotter than it is now – in the mid-20s – and conditions inside the helmet were a bit warmer and more humid than usual, but not nearly to the degree that I'd expected. I didn't find it uncomfortably hot and sweaty, just a little more so than normal.

Giro reckon that with its deep internal channelling the Air Attack has 97% of the cooling efficiency of their lightweight and well-vented Aeon helmet. My perception wasn't quite that, but it wasn't a million miles off. You certainly don't feel like you're burning up in there. Or, at least, I didn't; I know that other people are more sensitive on that front. I've used a lot of different long-tailed time trial helmets for triathlon in the past and the Air Attack is better ventilated than any of them, and a lot more airy than anything that covers your ears.

Removable X-Static antibacterial padding inside adds to the comfort, as do the soft and lightweight webbing straps. Oh, and while we're mentioning weight, the Air Attack hit the road.cc Scales of Truth at 275g, which is pretty light seeing as a helmet with more holes than a Swiss cheese is doing well to get down to about 200g.

The main reason for buying the Air Attack is for the aerodynamic benefit but we simply have no way of measuring how it compares to the opposition on that front. We can only report Giro's claims and they say that the Air Attack has 11% less wind averaged aerodynamic drag that their Aeon. They also say that if you rode in the Aeon for an hour at 25mph, then switched to the Aeon and rode for at the same power, you'd cover the same ground 17secs quicker. It's not a massive saving but, hey, it all counts. Ask Dave Brailsford.

In terms of looks, well, you can make your own mind up. It's certainly designed with performance rather than aesthetics in mind, but if you spend half your life clad in Lycra, a pisspot helmet is probably the least of your worries. Admittedly, you'll be doing well if you manage to look cool in this lid, but that really isn't the point.

One other thing that didn't even cross my mind before using the Air Attack is that the fewer vents result in less noise when you're riding fast. It's noticeable.

The Shield version of the Air Attack (£179.99) comes with a removable eye shield that's held in place with magnets.

Verdict

Aero helmet that's comfortable and much better ventilated than you'd expect.

road.cc test report

Make and model: Giro Air Attack helmet

Size tested: Medium, titanium

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?

Aerodynamics is key here but, as mentioned, we can't offer you any aero stats other than those provided by Giro. We've reported them rather than endorsed them.

Here's what Giro say:

Our first Air Attack was a revelation in styling and performance for all types of riding''from track to triathlon, road and mountain biking to cyclocross. Inspired by the original, the new generation Air Attack fine-tunes the design for a lightweight, compact and extremely efficient aerodynamic shape that slices through air. Add in the comfort, adjustability and enhanced airflow of the Roc Loc Air system, and the Air Attack re-imagines what your helmet can be.

SUGGESTED USE: Road, Aero/Tri

FEATURES: Wind tunnel aided design, Removable X-Static comfort padding, Featherweight webbing with Slimline buckle

CONSTRUCTION: In-Mold polycarbonate shell with EPS liner

FIT SYSTEM: Roc Loc Air

VENTILATION: 6 vents, internal channeling

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
8/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10

The in-mould construction should result in a helmet that lasts (as well as making for a lighter weight). It's all good so far.

Rate the product for weight, if applicable:
 
7/10

It's heavier than other road helmets of this price - but not massively heavier. It's lighter than long-tailed aero helmets.

Rate the product for comfort, if applicable:
 
8/10

The retention system is among the best out there, and I was surprised by the airflow through the helmet.

Rate the product for value:
 
7/10

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.

Would you consider buying the product? Yes.

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 42  Height: 190cm  Weight: 75kg

I usually ride:   My best bike is:

I've been riding for: Over 20 years  I ride: Most days  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding,

 

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over the past 20 years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for seven 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 youthful 45-year-old 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.

33 comments

Avatar
thelimopit [136 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I do really like the design to be honest, definitely stands out and it has a certain sci-fi je ne sais quoi.

Avatar
samwstraw [27 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

17 seconds over an hour, if you're riding at 25mph. So that's.... nothing in the real world. If you're riding on your own you aren't going to average 25mph, if you're riding a chain gang you won't be riding into the wind most of the time, and if you're riding a TT you'll wear a proper aero helmet! Pointless!

Avatar
HowardR [22 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

What!!....... You mean that.... The Emperor .. Has no clothes???? Surely not!

Can it really be that nice old Mr Giro is turning out this new model, which looks suspiciously like my 1990's soft-shell from Specialized, purely to gain our hard won groats & pennies?

Avatar
Mr Turning [97 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
samwstraw wrote:

17 seconds over an hour, if you're riding at 25mph. So that's.... nothing in the real world. If you're riding on your own you aren't going to average 25mph

If you're going slower than 25mph, you'll get a bigger time saving not less.

Avatar
Paul J [839 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Short hair-cut and no helmet is even more aero ;).

Avatar
eddie11 [110 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

so assuming all the conditions are met (and ive got my maths right) its 0.007% faster?  7

Avatar
samwstraw [27 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Really, how you work that one out? Surely you'll get a greater proportional saving at a higher speed with greater drag?

Avatar
Chuck [521 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
HowardR wrote:

What!!....... You mean that.... The Emperor .. Has no clothes???? Surely not!

Can it really be that nice old Mr Giro is turning out this new model, which looks suspiciously like my 1990's soft-shell from Specialized, purely to gain our hard won groats & pennies?

A company that exists to sell stuff looking to sell more stuff?
Surely not.

Avatar
Raleigh [1665 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Looked at my mates new one yesterday.

The strap feels really cheapo, and the visor was a pig to get on without lining it up in the mirror.

Still cool though.

Especially in matte black.

Avatar
BigDummy [314 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

It looks oddly like that one they made with the integrated base-ball cap peak, but without the peak...

Avatar
jarredscycling [456 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Mr Turning wrote:
samwstraw wrote:

17 seconds over an hour, if you're riding at 25mph. So that's.... nothing in the real world. If you're riding on your own you aren't going to average 25mph

If you're going slower than 25mph, you'll get a bigger time saving not less.

No the savings would be less at a slower speed and higher at speeds over 25mph

Avatar
rockfield [67 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
jarredscycling wrote:
Mr Turning wrote:
samwstraw wrote:

17 seconds over an hour, if you're riding at 25mph. So that's.... nothing in the real world. If you're riding on your own you aren't going to average 25mph

If you're going slower than 25mph, you'll get a bigger time saving not less.

No the savings would be less at a slower speed and higher at speeds over 25mph

I thought the reasoning was that the total time savings were greater at a lower speed because for a certain distance you will be taking longer to do it?

Avatar
brackley88 [135 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

All this misses a key benefit of this lid. It is perfect for northern european riding outside of the summer as it acts as an 'Air Defence'. Yes, it is well ventliated, but it does keep the direct windchill off my head brilliantly and is going to be my helmet of choice until we have much warmer weather back. It will hold me off needing a beanie for longer and can keep rain off too...interesting that they have not marketed it for this....

So, get it for the 17 seconds theoretical aero saving, but definitely get it for comfy winter riding!!

Avatar
Mr Turning [97 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
jarredscycling wrote:
Mr Turning wrote:
samwstraw wrote:

17 seconds over an hour, if you're riding at 25mph. So that's.... nothing in the real world. If you're riding on your own you aren't going to average 25mph

If you're going slower than 25mph, you'll get a bigger time saving not less.

No the savings would be less at a slower speed and higher at speeds over 25mph

You'll save more time doing 25 miles at 20mph than at 25mph because rather than being out there for 60mins, you'll be out there for 75mins. Counterintuitive, but true.

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1637 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
Mr Turning wrote:
jarredscycling wrote:
Mr Turning wrote:
samwstraw wrote:

17 seconds over an hour, if you're riding at 25mph. So that's.... nothing in the real world. If you're riding on your own you aren't going to average 25mph

If you're going slower than 25mph, you'll get a bigger time saving not less.

No the savings would be less at a slower speed and higher at speeds over 25mph

You'll save more time doing 25 miles at 20mph than at 25mph because rather than being out there for 60mins, you'll be out there for 75mins. Counterintuitive, but true.

That's just the craziest thing I have ever read.  38 102 35

1) It's talking about 1 hour - not 25 miles....so your argument sort of fails just there because it's not about distance covered, but time.....
2) Air moved around the helmet is a greater volume at a higher speed, so the benefit is greater to someone going faster. Drag is increased precisely because of the volume. Less volume, less drag - less space covered.
3) Someone travelling 75 minutes at 25 mph moves through more air than someone travelling 20mph....
4) If you travel slowly enough (low volume, low drag etc.) there is virtually no point in having anything that is aero dynamic....I think that's the basis for mountain biking isn't it?

Avatar
Leviathan [1788 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Is it matt black? or is it just grey? The visor into helmet aspect has to be the best feature for aero. I tried a Hoy type Casco once but the visor dug into my nose, hope this is better.

Avatar
700c [819 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

@ Colin Peyresourde,

yes it's silly argument on here, and you have rightly pointed a fact neglected by the other contributers that at different speeds, aerodynamic efficiencies have a different effect. This is why the manufacturer only states 17 secs are saved when travelling for one hour at 25mph. It will be a different amount of time saved going at a different speed, not least because speed, time and distance are inextricably linked! (I think this is the basic point @ Mr. Turning was making)

However your point 1 is not valid, because the manufacturer is talking about going a certain speed for a given period of time which is necessarily linked to distance!

Avatar
jayme [117 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

If the helmet saves 17 seconds over 1 hour then if I wear 10 will get round in 57 mins?

Avatar
velotech_cycling [79 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

There are those of old enough to remember (in fact, still have, somewhere) the original Air Attack - looked slightly but not radically different, same philosophy .... and this idea has only taken 15 years to resurface, not the usual full generation  1

Avatar
guyw1lson [13 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Fd =1/2 ρ x v^2 x CdA

where

Fd is the drag force, which is by definition the force component in the direction of the flow velocity (Force opposing your forward movement)

ρ is the mass density of the fluid (fluid = air)

v is the velocity of the object relative to the fluid (speed you are traveling)

A is the reference area (frontal area)

Cd is the drag coefficient – a dimensionless coefficient related to the object's geometry and taking into account both skin friction (not your skin but the skin of the object) and form drag.

So drag increases by the square of speed. Reduce the drag co-efficient and frontal area to reduce overall drag at given speed. Simple physics!

Avatar
velotech_cycling [79 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
guyw1lson wrote:

Fd =1/2 ρ x v^2 x CdA

where

Fd is the drag force, which is by definition the force component in the direction of the flow velocity (Force opposing your forward movement)

ρ is the mass density of the fluid (fluid = air)

v is the velocity of the object relative to the fluid (speed you are traveling)

A is the reference area (frontal area)

Cd is the drag coefficient – a dimensionless coefficient related to the object's geometry and taking into account both skin friction (not your skin but the skin of the object) and form drag.

So drag increases by the square of speed. Reduce the drag co-efficient and frontal area to reduce overall drag at given speed. Simple physics!

Err, no - the simple physics is that drag increases in direct proportion to the square of the speed ...

There are other constants in their that are multipliers, not additives ...

Sorry to get all mathematical on you but this is the type of misconception / misrepresentation that marketing departments love to use and it is simply inaccurate & can lead to a false impression of the marginal gains that are possible.

If you think about it, claims that are often made, like "can save you 17 sec over 1 hour at 40 km/h" are nonsensical - what it can do is reduce your time from 3600 sec to 3583 sec over 40 km. That is something quite different.

I saw a great illustration of this once, showing a graphic of a front wheel with a regular width front hub but with hub flanges closer together, shading in the area enclosed by the spokes and claiming that that factor alone resulted in a lower frontal area for the wheel, so it would be "faster" ... I seem to recall the claim at the time was something like "17 sec over 1 hour" & the claimants felt it appropriate to insult the reader's intelligence even further by not adding a caveat about speed at all ... and what is all this 17 sec stuff anyway? Same ad agency, maybe?

Avatar
Colin Peyresourde [1637 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Yep. It would probably be safer to say "proven to be faster" than regular helmets/no helmet etc. but the marginal gain on these things can be so small - perhaps a "proven to be faster than x, y and z".

It's like these triathlon helmets - faster if the rider maintains the same position, but if the rider lifts or turns his head the tail increases drag (hence the snub tailed Kask helmets).

In the right conditions it all adds up, but I would guess if you're cycling in hilly/mountainous terrain in summer you want the ventilation and the due to slower speeds the benefit is reduced.

I can understand that if you are on the flat in a sprint (like Cav) you'd prefer it for some aero edge.

Avatar
Mr Turning [97 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Here you go, as explained by Jeff Jones at BikeRadar:

You can do the sums yourselves with analyticcycling.com. You save more time at slower speeds by improving your drag, all things being equal.

Take two riders with identical drag (CdA = 0.25), rolling resistance (say 0.004) and weight (80kg inc bike). The first can manage 300W for 10 miles, the other can manage 200W.

The first rider will do 10 miles in 22'25 (26.76mph)

The second rider will do 10 miles in 26'00 (23.07mph)

Both riders now make some aero improvements to lower their CdA to 0.23

The first rider will do 10 miles in 21'49 (27.5mph) - saving 36 seconds

The second rider will do 10 miles in 25'21 (23.66mph) - saving 39 seconds

Now both riders reduce their CdAs to 0.2

The first rider will do 10 miles in 20'53 (28.73mph) - another 56 seconds saved, 1'32 total from initial position

The second rider will do 10 miles in 24'16 (24.7mph) - 1'05 saved, 1'44 total from initial position

It's perhaps a little counter intuitive but there's nothing wrong with the physics.

Avatar
seanieh66 [196 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

" I started using the Air Attack a few weeks ago when the weather was quite a lot hotter than it is now – in the mid-20s – and conditions inside the helmet were a bit warmer and more humid than usual, but not nearly to the degree that I'd expected"

Hmmm, I can see that being an issue here where its 20c on my 5am rides and usually high 20s to mid 30s on club rides at the weekend all year round.

Avatar
monty dog [446 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I don't care much for the performance improvements as after having seen someone wearing one at a race yesterday, it has all the sartorial elegance of a pudding basin! Maybe it was the dark grey colour that accentuated the cheap, plastic mushroom-head look - not what you'd want for 150 quid!

Avatar
rix [91 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes
brackley88 wrote:

It is perfect for northern european riding outside of the summer as it acts as an 'Air Defence'. Yes, it is well ventliated, but it does keep the direct windchill off my head brilliantly and is going to be my helmet of choice until we have much warmer weather back.

Exactly my experience! In summer at +27 it was sufficiently ventilated, small holes kept the bugs and bees out, visor is definitely more comfy than goggles sitting on your nose. In autumn rain, my head stayed fairly dry... and if it gives me some advantage on my TT and triathlon runs, well, that's a nice bonus!

P.S. If you think that you'd look weird in it, just ask bystanders what they think of your lycra...  21

Avatar
hugo_rune [2 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I'm using my Air Attack as my only helmet and commuting 10 miles each way through northern Sydney in late spring (afternoon temps 30+ degrees) and as a blue skinned sweaty scotsman I've not noticed any real difference in cooling from my Giro Aeon. Great Helmet and I bought the shield version so I use it for triathlon too  1

Avatar
midschool [48 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

Was interesting watching the track worlds in Manchester this weekend. Did any of you notice how many riders were using this helmet? Even the riders and teams who were sponsored by other brands chose to wear it in competition. I don't have one, and have never ridden in one, but seeing athletes choose the Air Attack over their sponsors helmet has to say something for its performance.

Avatar
DanielsLeDomestique [4 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

I have had an Air Attack for maybe 8 or 9 months now. I got it because it is a good shape for my big head and not having any hair on top it stops me getting the tiger stripes I used to get from the better ventilated helmets when the sun is out. I get pretty hot generally and I think it is slightly warmer than my old helmet in mid summer but not so much that I feel the need to swap back. I may not notice the aero benefits but it is a great helmet and if you fall on the side of the camp that thinks it looks cool then I would certainly recommend it.

Avatar
Metjas [359 posts] 2 years ago
0 likes

anyone care to comment on whether they prefer this helmet during winter, i.e. a bit more insulation?

Pages