Rapha has taken a unique step for them and reshaped the Synthe aero helmet in a partnership with Giro for a slightly retuned look and at the same time lowered the cost of entry.  While they are normally known to add a premium to their products, Rapha’s first foray into helmets has actually gone the other way, and brought with it both their typical clean lined design and strangely enough a bit of improved affordability. The original Giro Synthe has received a pretty much positive response since its introduction a little over two years ago, and now Rapha has put their take on a MIPS version of the lid…

Rapha-aero-helmet_Giro_Synthe_charteuse_side_MIPS Rapha-aero-helmet_Giro_Synthe_charteuse_front_MIPS

Rapha took the popular aero road Synthe shape and made some minor modifications. Rapha had always liked Giro’s helmet, but thought they could even improve on the look and performance a bit by reshaping the Synthe’s perforated ‘mesh’ side openings with a more closed plastic insert, while preserving its forward facing ventilation inlet port. What that means is that the Rapha helmet pretty much keeps the full ventilation capabilities of the Synthe, but actually improves on aerodynamics a quite a bit.

Rapha has moved a bit in the direction of long quick riding, like multi-day and super long events, so this starts to really make sense. The helmet remains quite open with ports open directly from front to back and offering internal channels for through venting.


At a Claimed 234g , the helmet is available in black, all white, and chartreuse yellow, plus a restricted gray and black RCC Rapha cycle club special edition.

Rapha-aero-helmet_Giro_Synthe_black-rear_MIPS Rapha-aero-helmet_Giro_Synthe_black-reflective-straps_MIPS

The helmet gets the same large exhaust port as the standard Synthe. In addition, from black to white the standard color Rapha Helmets use a pearlescent paint to give a bit of depth to the paint schemes. Under direct sunlight, both helmets show a pretty string purple looks.

Rapha-aero-helmet_Giro_Synthe_charteuse_inner_MIPS Rapha-aero-helmet_Giro_Synthe_black-side_MIPS

Inside the helmets, it is highlighted by a MIPS liner for maximum safety. It uses the latest version of MIPS that means it is one of the best ventilated MIPS helmets on the market. Retention uses the same Slimeline buckle and Roc Loc Air fit system. It also gets Aero Mesh Panels and Roll Cage internal reinforcement. A unique feature of Rapha’s iteration is that it includes lightweight chin strap webbing that incorporates a strongly reflective strip for improved visibility.

The helmet also gets anti-microbial padding made by X-Static. A size medium helmet is claimed to weigh just 234g. Retail price is slated for £225/~300€, vs. the slightly higher £230 for the original Giro Synthe. It is oddly one of the few products where Rapha’s price may actually be lower in some markets. In any case, with unique colors, reflective and iridescent color options, Rapha’s take on the road helmet is worth looking into.



  1. Really disappointed, Rapha helmet without any touches of pink or other cool color is a shame, we waited for something cooler than the rest of the market.

  2. This should be proof that Rapha uses brand recognition to push their products, rather than focus on the tech behind it.. What a lazy move. There is absolutely no reason that any of their products should cost as much as they do. It’s like buying one of Kanye’s white t-shirts. It’s just a t-shirt, but with a fancy name attached to it.

  3. “but were never really fans of the small perforated ‘mesh’ openings in the transition channels, so they closed that plastic insert while preserving its forward facing ventilation inlet port. What that means is that the Rapha helmet pretty much keeps the full ventilation capabilities of the Synthe, but actually improves on aerodynamics a quite a bit.”

    Yet according to Giro …

    “Giro reckon that these reduce drag by covering the edges of the side vents. They also say that the holes in the panels alter the boundary layer of air in this area by slowing down the movement of air from the inside to the outside of the helmet, improving the aerodynamic efficiency.

    “Using Wind Averaged Drag, a formula that takes into account 72 different yaw angles and calculates a single drag measurement for a standard head angle of 30 degrees and speed of 25mph, the Synthe is more aerodynamically efficient than any road helmet [we] tested, including the acclaimed Air Attack,” say Giro.”

    So which is it, either Rapha or Giro marketing depts are telling porkies?

  4. the only thing that Rapha is good at is marketing and it proves that marketing works. The product really isn’t that good but people think it’s cool so they buy it.

    The shops in my area that used to stock Rapha (before Rapha decided to pull out of bike shops and sell direct) used to tell me that they knew it was not that great but stocked it because they knew it would sell.

    Take a look at a brand like 7 MESH out of Canada. Similar pricing to Rapha but the technology and fit of the apparel is second to none.

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