The Met Rivale offers a decent level of ventilation, for an aero helmet, combined with comfort and a good fit. There are also some nice design features such as a low, racy profile and, best of all, you can store your glasses in it!
The Rivale is Met's second tier helmet, one down from the Mantra, which is Met's even more aero option. You might have seen it on the heads of Steve Cummings and Mark Cavendish towards the end of last season and beginning of this, as it is used by the Dimension Data team.
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As with all helmets, the most important element is safety, and here the Rivale uses Met's HES construction system, designed to allow the impact of any collision to be spread throughout the entire helmet. During the test period I was lucky enough not to need to test it out, but going purely on feel and some experimental knocks, it seems like it would fare well in a crash...
The Safe-T Advanced fitting system adjusts the fit around the entire head rather than just at the back. It reminds me of the Rollsys system used on the Lazer Z1, and it works very effectively. The Airlite straps are also some of the best I've used – not too thick that they feel heavy, and not too thin that they twist. Met bills them quite high in its marketing material for the helmet (‘15% lighter than a standard helmet strap’), which I would say is justified.
Thanks to the micro-adjustability (the dial at the rear of the helmet adjusts the fit by 2mm for each click), it was easy to get an exact fit. The dial at the back can also be fitted with a light, which you buy separately; it's not the best, but it's a well thought out touch for increasing your safety.
The cradle at the rear of the helmet also has four heights, so you can adjust it for comfort. Some really good padding helps here – it's not only soft, but also after hundreds of miles covered during the review period, it didn't smell.
As for aerodynamics, Met claims the Rivale gives you an extra three watts of power. The road.cc labs are currently being used to test the latest and greatest developments in the aerodynamics of seat clamp bolts, so I couldn't test it that accurately... but it's certainly low slung and could perhaps give you a '1 second advantage' as Met also claims.
The helmet comes in nine different colour combinations, so you should be able to find one you like. I think it looks great, sitting really low on the head, and the large vents at the front remind me of a car grille. The vent at the top also looks like a scoop on a 70s muscle car...
Not only do the vents make me think about cars, they are also very effective for an aero helmet. They don't have the same kind of airflow as a Lazer Z1 or Catlike Mixino, for instance, but for an aero helmet designed for speed over ventilation, they work surprisingly well. They also let you store your glasses in them, which is great – although perhaps avoid doing that in a TT.
> Should you buy an aero helmet?
One of the biggest pluses of this helmet, though, is its weight. It comes in at 229g on the road.cc scales, 1g lighter than Met claims. To put this into perspective, the Catlike Mixino is only 2g lighter and has 34 vents compared with the Rivale's 16. This is really impressive, especially given that the Mixino is £70 more. That makes the Met a bit of a bargain at £109.99 RRP, even more so if you can get it for less (under £100 if you shop around).
> Check out our guide to the best cheap helmets
Overall I really enjoyed using this helmet. It brings together some really strong design elements with a very lightweight aero shape, and it's comfortable to use over long period thanks to the retention system and decent ventilation. In fact it's hard to find something about the helmet I don't like, and that isn't something I can always say.
A well thought out helmet that combines an aero design with some good innovative elements
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Make and model: Met Rivale
Size tested: Medium 54/58
Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
An aero helmet with the practicalities you sometimes don't get from similar offerings, like a very light weight and decent ventilation.
Met says: '[it] provides the perfect marriage of aerodynamic efficiency and cooling airflow thanks to its unique Venturi effect air intake. The low profile HES design is safe, comfortable and light at just 230 grams in the medium size. '
It more or less fits that description; the aerodynamics aren't something I can easily measure, but it has decent ventilation, is light and low profile.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Extremely aerodynamic and low profile shape
The Venturi effect allows for maximum air intake which is then pulled through the helmet to the rear exhaust vents
HES construction helps the energy management of the helmet
In-mould Intelligent Fusion provides the optimal ratio of impact resistance and weight
Lightest open aero road helmet available at only 230g for a medium size
Reflective stickers at the rear of the helmet
Coolmax internal padding
Breathable Airlite straps
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Very well made with a strong shell over a well constructed exoskeleton.
Rate the product for performance:
Decent level of ventilation combined with comfortable elements and low-slung aero design.
Rate the product for durability:
As it's well made it is likely to last for a long time if you don't smash it up in a crash.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
Very impressive, lighter than a Catlike Mixino despite having less than half the number of vents.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
The straps, pads and fit are really comfortable and the ventilation makes it pleasant to wear over several hours of riding.
Rate the product for value:
Given that you can pay double this for a helmet that weighs about the same and has about the same level of comfort shows this is a good price – despite being slightly north of £100.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Very well, it's comfortable, light, well ventilated and has a good retention system.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
Its weight – it weighs hardly anything compared with many others I have used that cost more.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Didn't find anything that I particularly disliked.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your score
A strong performing aero helmet that includes some practical elements you often don't find on purely aero offerings.
Age: 27 Height: 6 ft Weight:
I usually ride: Cannondale Supersix Evo 6 My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, mountain biking
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