Giro launched a new helmet today called Air Attack, and as the name somehow implies this new helmet is an aero helmet. But this new Air Attack does not really look the part at first glance. That though is not really a problem for Giro, after all it is meant to define a new category - the aero road helmet.
This new helmet will be available in two models, Air Attack and Air Attack Shield, with the latter featuring a magnetically anchored optical shield with Carl Zeiss Vision optics. Weight for a size medium is 264g and 296g respectively.
The target audience for the Air Attack according to Giro is anyone that understands the benefits of aerodynamics - people who use deep section wheels and ride aero road bikes. For triathlon Giro considers this helmet to be a game changer, and we were told that some might be in action in Nice this weekend. Of course there are a few short tailed aero helmets like the Kask Bambino for example, or the no-tail Casco Warp III, but those are considered TT / track helmets.
According to Giro, the Air Attack (Air Attack Shield featured below) fits right between a Selector and an Aeon in terms of aerodynamic drag and is 12% slower / faster than these respectively. Look around or up and down and those numbers will most likely change favorably for the Air Attack. With its 6 Wind Tunnel™ vents and deep internal channeling it has tested cooler than a Selector, but not as cool as an Aeon. The latter though is said to be cooler than a bare head.
When no shield is desired it can either be snapped in place upside down as shown below, or simply detached and put in your back pocket. The back pocket has the advantage the shield does not interfere with the vents, but now you are giving up storage space.
As we mentioned earlier the helmet is also available without a shield, for $40 less, but it makes more sense to buy one with the shield and then not use it when not needed. For those folks concerned or obsessed with matching the helmet to the bike, Giro will offer the Air Attack and the Air Attack Shield in quite a few different color ways.
A look at the development process of the Giro Air Attack / Air Attack Shield.
The helmet comes in three sizes fitting heads from 51 - 63 cm circumference, features several color options, and will be available Spring 2013. MSRP is $200 for Air Attack and $240 for Air Attack Shield.