Rapha Helmet review

Giro's Synthe gets Rapha'd

This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

Giro's popular Synthe's simple, almost classical looks and low-volume shape — with a design that mixes clean lines with aero considerations — has proved to be a winning formula. It can also be styled to match a variety of outfits, which has not gone unnoticed by Rapha.

  • Highs: Solid colours, subtle style, performance
  • Lows: Limited colour options
  • Buy if: You're a fan of the Synthe and love Rapha's styling

Expanding on its long-standing shoe collaboration, Rapha has restyled Giro's MIPS-equipped [Multi-Directional Impact Protection System] Synthe, by painting all of the shell in white, black or chartreuse.

Less obviously, the ventilating aero mesh on either side of the silicone-edged sunglasses ports has been replaced by a finely ribbed plastic. The Giro logo and aero mesh covering the truncated tail's central port have gone too, and the only branding on the helmet is a single Rapha logo on the very top.

The featherweight webbing straps have been exchanged for slightly thicker reflective webbing, which is a bonus in our book.

Our large example weighed 295g, which is quite reasonable, and only a 34g increase over our non-MIPS Synthe. The addition of MIPS only enhances the Roc Loc Air retention system's already excellent fit and security, while increasing impact protection. Two X-Static pads at the brow and crown are sufficient for comfort and long-term freshness.

Those redesigned panels cover two vents, leaving 17, but seven generous internal channels and the open rear port ensure no noticeable difference in cooling. No additional aerodynamic claims are made, but from lengthy testing, they're no hindrance to performance.

On the road, wind noise is a rarity, and however you hold or move your head, airflow around and through the smoothly contoured helmet is constant. It's one of the easiest helmets to live with and now includes subtle Rapha style.

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