MET’s Rivale MIPS is the brand’s lightweight aero helmet, but this time it gets added protection.
Aerodynamic design in road helmets is a big factor in saving you energy. The downside to your average aero helmet, however, is an increase in weight because the aero design usually has more volume.
Another potential mass-adding element is MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System). This is a patented design using a slip-plane technology that reduces rotational forces that can come from angled impacts, so the helmet slides relative to the movement of your head.
Here it’s the C2 version of MIPS, which has a cutaway inner panel that’s anchored to the helmet with elastic tethers.
The Italian company MET seems to have overcome these weight issues though, because my large size Rivale tips the scales at a very scant 268.6g.
MET also claims the Rivale has a 3-watt advantage over similar vented aero helmets, and with its low-volume design, you can see how that saving could be possible.
Aero is all well and good, but for me the most important element of any helmet, aside from protection, is comfort. And the Rivale scores well here. Its low weight, 18 vents and deep internal channelling create a light and airy feel.
When I tipped my head into a headwind I could feel the air being forced through the large forward-facing vents and flowing over the crown of my head.
Its soft, minimalist elastomer pads add comfort as well as being fast-wicking, removable and washable.
The soft-touch straps are equally comfortable, though I’d have also preferred these to be removable for cleaning.
Vertical adjustment on the rear is generous and the slimline dial on the Safe-T Upsilon retention system is easy to operate even in full-finger cycling gloves.
MET’s Rivale has the feel of a high-quality lid; it’s light, comfortable and good looking. The finish is exemplary and the smooth integration of the shell into the EPS – expanded polystyrene – foam core is very tidy.
The hard polycarbonate shell also offers coverage over the lip of the exposed edges to protect the foam core from accidental damage.