FIRST LOOK: Giro Air Attack Helmet

 Jun 19, 2012 article by Nick Salazar, images by Giro

Giro's new lid was made to deliver aero lid performance in a road helmet package. It looks RAD.

Giro has just unveiled what might turn out to be my favorite helmet ever, and it's called the Air Attack. It is a road-like helmet, with TT helmet DNA. At first blush, it actually looks a lot like the Casco lid that TJ Tollakson has been riding for the last few years. But the Air Attack is actually a very nuanced, thoughtful product, poised to become the first in a sort of 'hybrid aero' helmet category. The Air Attack has been engineered to offer excellent aerodynamics given its form factor, while offering road-like ventilation and light weight. And because it's from Giro, you won't have to source one from an obscure foreign distributor for princely sums. These will be available in your local bike shop, at a retail price of $200 for the base model, $240 with the integrated visor. Sadly, we're going to have to wait quite a while for these, as the projected availability date is Spring of 2013.

Speaking of the visor, it looks awesome. I've long preached the benefits of an integrated visor for riding in aero, and loved the one in Giro's pure TT lid, the Selector. The Air Attack one-ups the Selector by using a magnetic snap system to mount the visor. The only other helmet I'm aware of that uses this concept is the Kask Bambino, which is not yet to market, doesn't have the same ventilation that the Air Attack does, and uses a rather rudimentary retention system (at least in the prototype I saw). Giro's product looks refined, elegant, and highly versatile.

I love the idea of an all-in-one helmet. Reasonably aero, but comfortable enough for long training rides. If it's as good as Giro suggests, it could save the average triathlete money versus buying a road helmet plus an aero helmet. In point of fact, the rounded back may be faster than a long tail when moving the head from side to side, up and down, etc. To that end, it may be the better choice for triathletes who move around a lot, versus the pure TT specialists who try to keep their head in one spot. Personally, I can see myself using this both training and racing.

Have a look at the video Giro put together to make its case for the Air Attack. They call it the Swiss Army knife of helmets. They say it's an entirely new product category, and I'm inclined to agree. I cannot WAIT to get my hands on one of these ... and I'll be waiting (im)patiently until they're available next year.

Tags » giro,  helmets
  • Giro had some innovative ideas to improve both the aerodynamics and ventilation of the Air Attack in harmony, to ensure one didn't come too far at the expense of the other.
  • My favorite part of the Air Attack: a magnetic visor that snaps into place. Visors provide far and away the best visibility in an aggressive aero position.
  • Change your mind on the visor?  You can easily flip it upside down.
  • So far, Giro has shown off this white/silver version, and the black version with a few different color accents. You can bet the Garmin boys will have blue ones next month at the Tour.
  • If you don't want the visor at all, the helmet is still designed to work well with regular shades.
  • The Roc Lock retention mechanism looks similar to other Giro offerings that work well.
  • Though the shape looks simple, it's in fact fairly nuanced.  And the overall profile is much smaller than a standard lid, to improve aerodynamics.  It's a smart helmet built for speed without discomfort.

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