For whatever reason, Giant's riding gear doesn't command the same street cred as the likes of other in-house brands; the Rev Pro MIPS should change that perception
- Shell doesn't come around the bottom edge to protect foam
In terms of the best road bike helmets, Giant's lids don't garner the same level of recognition as in-house offerings from other bike brands such as Specialized or Trek/Bontrager, and I’m not sure why. I do believe the perception of Giant's parts and accessories will change with the re-launch of CADEX, but to date, every Giant shoe, helmet, or whatever else I’ve used has left me thoroughly impressed.
The Rev Pro is the brand’s latest flagship road, XC, and gravel lid; we first spotted the Giant Rev Pro strapped to the heads of the CCC Team at the 2020 Tour Down Under in Adelaide.
According to Giant, it borrows features from the Pursuit aero lid in a bid to create a helmet that melds the best of both worlds.
Design and aesthetics
At first glance, the Rev Pro isn’t what I would traditionally label as an aero lid. While the silhouette with the extended rear end does hint at an aero design ethos, the open profile and 21 vents would usually tell a different story.
According to Giant, it used CFD analysis to optimise the shape and venting to encourage airflow without adding drag but doesn’t make specific claims about watts saved at a certain speed or time over a 40km time trial.
The vents are backed by deep channelling that runs the length of the helmet, providing air that is sucked into the vents at the front a straight shot through the shell. The vents are also big enough to allow for some radiative cooling when you’re moving too slow for torrents of air to flow through the helmet — they are also well-sized and placed for fingers searching for itches.
Inside, you’ll find a MIPS liner integrated into the retention system and multi-density EPS foam. Lighter-density foam is utilised on the upper levels of the helmet to handle energy from moderate impacts, while the lower parts of the shell are made using higher-density foam designed to contend with more significant impacts at higher speeds. These work in tandem with dual in-moulded shells which Giant tells us help to further absorb energy and prevent the helmet from disintegrating in a crash.
With the talk of dual shells, I should note that neither comes down around the bottom edge of the helmet, leaving the foam exposed. After a few months of use, there are a few minor dents. Ultimately these won't propagate into anything that will affect the performance of the helmet, but the full wrap shell that prevents these is a finishing element found on many a premium lid.
The Cinch Pro retention system integrates into the MIPS liner and runs the entire circumference of your head. At the back, the micro-adjust dial is rubberised for easy on-the-go adjustments and the low-profile cradle has five height positions.
Tipping the scales at 291g (AU/NZS 2063), it’s not the lightest helmet on the market, but it's not heavy either — the CSPC and CE versions will be a few grams lighter.
With so many helmets moving towards a smooth and snub nose profile, the wavey, almost jagged styling of the Rev Pro is distinctive. It still has a streamlined look but stands out among the crowd for dynamite aesthetic.
We are just moving into summer here in Australia and temperatures are soaring where I live in southeast Queensland. That said, the Rev Pro has fared well in the through scorching temps and manages heat and airflow with aplomb. Through my testing period, I've been on multiple rides where the average temp hovered around 32C/ 91F, and while I was expectedly warm, I neither felt on the verge of overheating nor did I have a stream of sunscreen infused sweat pouring out of the brow pad.
Inside, the padding is made from what Giant calls Trans Textura Plus; a techy fabric said to fight bacterial growth by pulling sweat away from the rider’s head to prevent odour. I can't say I’ve ever had the padding in a helmet go stinky, but this padding does seem to dry quickly, preventing that horrible feeling of putting on a sweaty helmet after a coffee stop.
When I first plonked the Rev Pro on my head, I did notice a pressure spot right in the middle of my forehead. To call it light pressure would be overdramatic, but this very light pressure is due to the round head form used for the Rev Pro and my melon being slightly more oval-shaped. It’s not something that builds or gets irritated over the course of a few hours, and the moment I start to focus on riding, it disappears from my consciousness — all the more reason to try on a helmet before you buy. Even though the Rev Pro isn't a perfect fit for my head, it’s still a supremely comfortable lid, which should reassure those who are buying online without the luxury of trying it first.
The shell itself is relatively low slung, covering your temples, a plus for the safety element, but this does also mean that larger sunnies like the Smith Wild Cat sunglasses do touch. There is decent rear coverage as well, not the level that would see on a dedicated mountain bike helmet, but more so than you get with a lot of road airy lids.
The straps are made from flexible, lightweight webbing that is unobtrusive. I would usually complain about the non-fixed ear splitters but the plastic clips that Giant has employed to wrangle the straps are easily adjustable.
The Giant Rev Pro wasn’t a perfect fit for the shape of my head, which makes it all the more impressive how much I liked this helmet. It’s great-looking, vents well, and even though it wasn't a perfect fit, I still happily wore it during bike four and five-hour expeditions.
Priced at $260 / £190 / AU$350, you wouldn't settle for anything except for a helmet that can hang with the best, and the Rev Pro MIPS delivers. If you have a round noggin, the Rev Pro MIPS won't disappoint.
Tech specs: Giant Rev Pro MIPS helmet
- Price: $260 / £190 / AU$350
- Weight: 291g (actual)
- Sizes: S, M, L
- Aero: Yes
- Rotational safety: MIPS
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