The Giant Rivet Aero Helmet is a premium aero road helmet, developed in the wind tunnel, and proven in race wins against the fastest pro sprinters in the world.
I have wanted an aero helmet for some time now, but I didn’t want a Specialized Evade or a Giro Air Attack because so many people have got them. Of course, the fact that so many people have these would indicate that they are pretty good. The Rivet has a lot to prove.
After some careful research I had a field of four helmets that were aero, not too expensive, and fairly new out; the Giant Rivet, Bontrager Ballista, Bolle The One and Kali Tava. Unfortunately Bolle’s helmet isn’t quite in the shops yet and although Kali say the Tava is available, I couldn’t find anywhere to buy it. If I get a chance to try any of these helmets then I’ll update this review.
The only helmet that I could try on somewhere near me was the Giant. I have a Giant TCR road bike and the Team edition matches the colours on it. The Rivet was also a reasonable price, but it doesn’t skimp on the features. The other colour schemes don’t have such obvious branding for those of you who don’t want ‘Giant’ prominently on your forehead!
The Element Strap System is made out of Liteform webbing, it almost feels a bit too minimal. The straps are fairly soft to the touch, and once on you hardly notice they’re there. The Cinch Pro Fit system cradles your occipital bone (it’s at the lower back of your skull) and adjusts with a dial at the back of the head. The Transtextura Plus antimicrobial padding is soft and supportive, and you even get a spare set of pads with your helmet.
The large front openings of the Aerovent System look a bit like overkill. The fact you can see quite a lot of your forehead may put some of the less hirsute prospective buyers off. On the head you can’t feel a massive draft as you’d expect to, and in fact the enclosed top helps keep rain off and the cooling feels about right in the mild and then colder weather we’ve had recently. I haven’t tested it in very hot weather yet so I can’t tell you if it will boil your head in the Summer.
The other point about the large vents is that the arrangement of the internal venting channels means that inside is a pad that ends up sitting in the middle of your forehead. If you don’t adjust the helmet right, this could be quite uncomfortable on a long ride. It took me a few goes to get it sitting where I wanted it. Even then, on a hot day you might find people laughing at your ‘markings’ when you take your helmet off.
It’s not the lightest helmet, my digital scales made it 344g in size large, the sticker inside says 345g. The Evade weighs 277g. It doesn’t feel heavy though and of course feels lighter on my head than my old Specialized Echelon. Part of this extra weight is down to the design. It’s quite bulbous looking once on.
The Rivet was developed in the wind tunnel with aerodynamics experts at the Aero Concept Engineering Facility in France. I can’t tell you if it’s more or less aero than other helmets. What I can tell you is that due to a rugby injury, a particular tendon in my neck always makes itself known when I do shoulder checks. Wearing the Rivet I found it noticeably easier to turn my head for these vital looks over my shoulder. This may have been partly because it’s lighter, but I’m pretty sure there was less wind resistance pushing against my poor neck too. You can sometimes hear a slight wind noise when riding in high winds, but it’s not deafening and no worse than I’ve experienced on other helmets.
So to round-up, the Giant Rivet Aero Helmet is a premium quality helmet. I have the Team Edition which goes with my bike, but isn’t to everyone’s taste. The other colour schemes have less branding on. I also like the matt finish on mine as it’s easy to clean and doesn’t show fingerprints and smudges. It’s comfortable and both the straps and fit are easy to adjust, but it needs time and a bit of patience to fit correctly.
Also it’s aero, and looks pro! If it’s good enough for Degenkolb and Kittel to win races in, then it might just be good enough for me to wear at the back of a Cat 4 race in Essex. I actually saw another rider wearing one at my last race. Whether it’s comfortable enough to wear on a 100 mile epic in the middle of Summer, I can’t tell you yet, but I’ll update this review when I can.