A few weeks back MET announced its latest high-end road lid, the MET Strale, and we’ve just got our mitts on one to put through its paces.
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Pitched as the Italian brand's new airy road helmet, the Strale only features 14 vents — that’s half the number of some well-vented brain buckets from brands like Giro and Lazer, and even fewer than MET’s own Rivale HES.
MET Strale highlights
- 14 vents
- Two sizes: M (52-58) and L (59-62)
- Size M weighs 230g
- Duo LED light compatible
- Adjustable strap splitters
Instead of using lots vents for cooling, the MET has instead opted to 'channel the wind.' While there aren't many vents, the few that are present are a decent size with MET saying the helmet is designed around the Venturi concept — a fluid dynamic principle that says when a fluid hits a choke point its velocity will increase. So when air enters the helmet and is channelled through, it should speed up the ejection of hot humid air from the rear exhaust ports.
MET has used this principle in the past with its Rivale HES helmet, and in our test it was noted that despite the lack of vents it offered a surprising amount of airflow.
MET Strale design
With so few holes and its snub tail design, we’re a bit surprised there isn’t more emphasis on a possible aerodynamic advantage offered by this helmet. There are plenty of aesthetic and design similarities to other helmets like the Giro Synthe and Kask Protone, where equal emphasis is put on cooling and time saved over a 40km time trial.
From the front and side vents there is fairly pronounced channelling, which gives the air sucked in through the vents somewhere to go. However, the channelling beneath the front brow of the helmet isn’t as deep as on the Rivale or Manta and appears to be mostly blocked by the front padding and front portion of the retention system.
The helmet is definitely based around an egg or oval shaped head, so those with round heads may not be able to achieve a great fit. There are only two sizes available (M: 52-58 and L: 59-62) and the helmet may not suit riders with smaller heads.
Our size medium sample helmet is pretty light, weighing in at 235g — well below the 255g claimed weight.
MET Strale fit
The Strale also gets MET’s new Safe-T Duo retention system. With four positions, the Safe-T Duo offers 4cm of vertical adjustability and a micro adjustment dial. Instead of just cinching down from the back, the dial tightens a pliable plastic headband that encompasses the wearer's entire head in an effort to apply even pressure throughout. It’s ponytail friendly too.
The micro-adjustment dial is also compatible with the Duo LED light. Weighing just 6g, the three LED tail light has both steady and blinking modes and is powered by a coin cell battery. It's not uber bright, but will definitely provide some added visibility. There is also a reflective strip on the rear of the helmet.
The straps are anchored high in the shell of the helmet and are made from webbing that’s not particularly lightweight. The strap dividers are adjustable and open and close with a satisfying snap, though we’re not sure why MET hasn’t opted for fixed dividers as they suit the majority of riders and offer a more comfortable fit.
It’s also a bit disappointing to see the shell of the helmet stop short, leaving the bottom section of EPS foam exposed to gashes, gouges and dings. It does save a bit of weight and extending the hard shell isn’t something we’ve previously seen on helmets from MET.
Priced at £79 / €89 / AU$139 (US pricing TBC) the MET Strale is well below the price point for other lids with a similar set of features.
We'll be testing the Strale over the next couple of months, so stay tuned for a full review. Check out the gallery above for a closer look at MET's new Strale helmet.