Weighing 283g (size medium), the $200/£120 Giro Air Attack helmet is a compromise between the practicality and light weight of a regular road helmet and the aerodynamic slickness of a long-tailed lid.
If you do time trials or triathlons, it’s definitely worth a look. Or, if you are road racer looking to remove every last sliver of aerodynamic drag, then read on. The question is whether the small aero gains are worth a small sacrifice in cooling and – for many – fashion.
According to Giro’s wind-tunnel testing, the Air Attack is 17 seconds faster over 40km at a steady 40kph than the Aeon model. In most road riding or even racing situations, you are not going to be in the wind for an hour doing 40kph, so the gains will be smaller – perhaps just a handful of seconds over the course of a ride.
One UK tester found that the Air Attack was quieter than a standard road helmet by swapping back and forth for 15-minute bursts.
Webbing keeps the shell lifted off the head for a little circulation: Ben Delaney/BikeRadar
Webbing keeps the shell slightly off the forehead for a little circulation
UK and US testers found the helmet comfortable with Giro’s Roc Loc Air four-way adjustment system and X-Static antibacterial pads.
Compared to a full-on, long-tailed aero helmet, the Air Attack has great air flow. Compared to a standard road helmet, it’s not bad. With six simple vents, the majority of the air comes in through two vents in the front. With the helmet shell suspended off the head, air can circulate a bit inside the helmet. On long, warm rides we didn’t find the Air Attack stifling. But the helmet’s ventilation is designed with airflow in mind – if you’re creeping up a steep climb on a hot day, this is not the ideal lid.
After testing the helmet against others in a wind tunnel with heat units and thermometers, Giro found the Air Attack to be 1 degree F (0.5 C) warmer – when tested at 40kph/25mph.
The air attack promises a few seconds of aerodynamic benefit in exchange for reduced cooling and a unique look: Courtesy Giro d'Italia Gran Fondo
We found the Air Attack comfortable and relatively quiet on long rides
And then there is the look of the thing. In our experience, wearing it often induced smiles and jokes among fellow riders.
Bottom line? If you’re bent on speed at all costs, the Air Attack promises a few seconds. You’ll just have to pay a bit on hot climbs – and perhaps with your riding mates.
The Air Attack comes in six color options. There’s also a visor-equipped version (the Air Attack Shield) for £159/$240.