Giro Vanquish claims speed increases without ventilation sacrifice

MIPS integrated into heavily channeled helmet with Zeiss magnetic shield

After two teams raced it at the Tour de France, the Giro Vanquish MIPS aero road helmet was launched today with a price of $275 / £239 and claims of aerodynamic speed increases over the company’s Synthe helmet (by 13 percent) and Air Attack (by seven percent).

A magnetic shield with a Zeiss lens is included — something Katusha and BMC racers didn’t use at the Tour. Giro says the shield improves aero speed by another two percent versus the Synthe when tested at 40kph.

Vanquish replaces Air Attack

Giro kick-started the aero road helmet trend years ago with the Air Attack. That rounded helmet also came with an integrated shield option, but Giro creative director Eric Horton said the company didn’t understand the shield’s aerodynamics as well at that time as it does now.

Giro designers claim the slight ledge (highlighted by the color change, not the vents) acts as an aero trip layer so air flows smoothly back as if around a teardrop shape
Giro designers claim the slight ledge (highlighted by the color change, not the vents) acts as an aero trip layer so air flows smoothly back as if around a teardrop shape

The elongated shape channels air through and around the Vanquish, providing ventilation as well a relative drag reduction.

Giro claims that the Vanquish’s ventilation is seven percent better than the Air Attack and virtually on par with the Synthe, which Giro created as a happy medium of good aerodynamics and open ventilation.

The Vanquish MIPS doesn’t look like a MIPS helmet on the inside, as the MIPS liner is integrated with Giro’s Roc Loc Air fit system. Ventilation is notably better than many early MIPS helmets, and the Giro fit also seems much more like pre-MIPS sizing.

The MIPS liner is integrated into Giro's RocLoc 3 retention system, and it sits off the head for better ventilation
The MIPS liner is integrated into Giro's RocLoc 3 retention system, and it sits off the head for better ventilation

MIPS CEO Johan Thiel said liner-and-helmet construction is becoming more cohesive.

“At first we had to retrofit into helmets,” Theil said. “Now we are getting integrated into the design process, so it becomes more a part of a complete system.”

A multi-density foam construction keeps the helmet relatively light at 305g (medium) without the 50g Zeiss lens shield.

Cycling-specific Zeiss lens shield

Zeiss tuned the lens for Giro to increase contrast on the road. When not using the shield, the rider can pull it off and secure it upside-down over the front of the helmet, with magnets again holding it in place.

For riders who don’t want to use the shield, Giro added sunglass arm grippers in the front vents for housing sunglasses.

The Giro Vanquish goes on sale this December for $275 / £239
The Giro Vanquish goes on sale this December for $275 / £239

The helmet will come in three sizes, and six colors with four lens options (full sun, two mixed conditions: green and amber, and one overcast/rain: clear silver)

It will be available December 1, although Giro will have a limited run at the Kona Ironman world championships in October.

A four-piece polycarbonate shell wrap around the bottom edge of the helmet where EPS foam is typically exposed. This will likely prolong the new aesthetics of the helmet and does give it a more finished look.

Like Giro's Aerohead TT lid, the Vanquish shield can be magnetically stored upside down
Like Giro's Aerohead TT lid, the Vanquish shield can be magnetically stored upside down

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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