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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.
Aero helmet that's comfortable and much better ventilated than you'd expect.
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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
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.
It's heavier than other road helmets of this price - but not massively heavier. It's lighter than long-tailed aero helmets.
The retention system is among the best out there, and I was surprised by the airflow through the helmet.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes.
Would you consider buying the product? Yes.
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes.
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 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 over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.