Rapha has launched its first cycling helmet at Eurobike in Germany this morning. It’s based on the Giro Synthe but with a slightly more streamlined design, MIPS and a choice of three colours, plus one colour option that is exclusive to Rapha Cycling Club members. It will cost £225 and should be available on the Rapha website soon.
While it’s based on the Giro Synthe, there are some details that help it stand out, quite literally: it has reflective straps. There’s also an integrated aero vent at the rear and aero side panels that distinguish it from the regular Synthe.
It’s MIPS only, an added safety feature designed to reduce the impact of a crash with a small degree of rotational movement. The plastic lining can move as much as 5mm in an impact.
Other features carry over from the regular Synthe, such as the Roc Loc Air retention device, in-mould polycarbonate shell with EPS liner and an internal Roll Cage reinforcement.
It will be available in three colours - yellow, white and black, plus a grey option for Rapha Cycling Club (RCC) members. Rapha has used a pearlescent paint finish that looks really nice in the flesh, unfortunately, my photos don’t really do it justice.
Those are all the details we have at the moment - we’ll have a more in-depth look at the helmet once we get back to the UK. We can presume the helmet will weigh about the same as a regular Synthe MIPS helmet, which is 254g for a medium.
The Synthe is an aero helmet that aims to offer good ventilation, and when Mat tested it he found it to be “lightweight, comfortable and very well ventilated helmet.” You can read that review here.
Rapha clearly has a close relationship with Giro, as it has previously launched its shoe range using technology developed by Giro. Utilising a partnership such as this to launch a helmet does make a lot of sense, the helmet market is hugely competitive and there are some very established brands with a lot of experience, so it's been able to fast track its helmet range instead of starting from scratch and developing its own helmet, especially with the huge funds leading brands are now putting into aerodynamic testing.
The Rapha helmet costs £225, and before you start, that's £5 less than the £230 RRP for the regular Giro Synthe MIPS helmet it's based on. Okay, so you can find that helmet discounted if you shop around, it has after all been around for a couple of years now.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.