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 been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been road.cc technical editor for over a decade, 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 winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now pushing 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.