'Pro-Level' Air Attack Helmet Put to Test

We covered the Giro Air Attack bike helmet launch last week in a photo-heavy “first look” post. Today, we dig in with a review of the helmet, which was debuted at the Tour de France last summer and went on sale this spring to speed-crazy cyclists everywhere.

(See more photos of the Giro Air Attack helmet line on this page)

I’ve been wearing the streamlined Air Attack on training rides this spring. The high-end helmet, $200, is unique in that it balances a cut-through-the-wind design with comfort and ventilation.

Air Attack Shield version on sprint test

Traditionally, serious time-trial bike racers and triathletes wear helmets with dramatic, swoop-away tails. These “aero” helmets cut wind drag but are heavier and hotter than regular road helmets.

Giro’s offering sits in between a highly-vented road bike helmet and the “speed racer” look of the aero design.

The Air Attack is touted to reduce wind drag yet remain comfortable for the long haul on a hot road.

Three helmet types: The Air Attack is designed to occupy the middle place between a full aero (right) and a vented, but less aerodynamic, helmet (on left)

I could feel the difference. Tucking on a road bike to 30mph, the Air Attack was noticeably quieter than my normal helmet. Air seemed to split off my forehead.

Giro tested its Air Attack models extensively in wind tunnels. The company cites figures on increased speed and touts the “lowest wind-averaged aerodynamic drag” of any road-helmet design.

In truth, mainly experienced road racers will notice a big change. The average cyclist may gain a few seconds of time over a long ride with the Air Attack’s aero advantage.

Air Attack helmet

But the helmet breathes and vents similar to its road-helmet cousins, so even with the subtle gain it may have wide appeal.

Vents on the helmet let air flow through. An internal harness system keeps the head a few millimeters from the inside of the shell, allowing air to swirl in and cool.

On a recent hot day I could feel the effect. Indeed, the helmet seems like it’d be hot when you’re standing still. But air flows in with ease as soon as a bike gets up to speed.

continued on next page. . .

Posted by James Kennedy - 05/20/2013 12:48 PM

It’s great that the shield has enough room for prescription glasses. Some of us blind people can’t wear contacts, so when shielded gear is presented to me I’m always worried that my glasses wont fit.

Posted by Brian - 05/20/2013 02:10 PM

I would love to have one of these for my Challenge Event Rides with http://www.ride2recovery.com!!
Would definitely be useful!!

Posted by Bill B - 05/20/2013 02:11 PM

I NEED this helmet because I have my first Olympic distance triathlon this summer and I am still stuck using my several years old Livestrong branded helmet that has seen one too many spills.

Posted by Donald Edinborough - 05/20/2013 02:39 PM

Saftey! Have you tried to bike accross town?

Posted by Suzann Lankford - 05/20/2013 02:48 PM

Would LOVE to ride this helmet in my first ever Ironman 70.3 on June 8th!!! I currently have (not kidding!) a Walmart Bell helmet that’s blue with little birds on it that I was going to sport, but this would make me look like I was actually competing and not a novice! Please make me COOL!

Posted by Nate - 05/21/2013 11:12 AM

I need this helmet because it seems easier to put this on my head than it does dropping three pounds to gain an eight-second advantage over 40K.

Posted by wunnspeed - 05/22/2013 12:51 AM

I’ve seen these pop up in the Giro and some of the Classics this year and each time I say… outloud… my god that’s an ugly helmet. If course, this year seems to be the year of “Can we design the ugliest helmet?” by many of the companies. Weird.

Posted by Guido Del Giudice - 05/28/2013 09:50 AM

my main problem with it is the very strong wind that I feel on my eyes at anything over 30km\hr…on a long descent at 60-70 my eyes were watering so badly I could hardly see…

Posted by Rodger - 05/29/2013 08:24 PM

Is this still happening?
Well, I’m still running a rinky-dink skateboard helmet :)

Posted by Tim Rice - 06/03/2013 01:04 AM

I need this as my Giro Aeon is busted in 7 places. I might not have replaced the road bike yet… But I am pushing my hybrid pretty hard. I 1. Need a helmet replacement. 2. Need any advantage I can get for the up coming 40, 60, and then the actual charity ride of 84 miles each day. Do the optional second day century on the hybrid? Ouch… We will see… We will see.

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