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 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.
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.
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.