Giro’s Synthe MIPS helmet is a common sight on the heads of many cyclists. You go down to the starting line on race day, and you’ll see hundreds of the Synhe MIPS helmets.
The helmet was launched in 2014 and has seen a few updates over the years. These updates have only served to increase the popularity and customer base of the helmet.
Today, the Giro Synthe is one of the most popular helmets amongst competitive and hobbyist cyclists.
It boasts a wide range of safety features including but not limited to the MIPS technology, Roll Cage inserts, and a dual shell design.
The fit is said to be more accommodating and comfortable for a wide range of users thanks to its wrap around design.
Let’s take a look and see if it lives up to the hype.
The Giro Synthe MIPS helmet is a sleek, well ventilated helmet that is aerodynamic and technical enough for race day, but comfortable enough for practice too.
The body of the helmet comprises a harder outer shell and a softer polycarbonate inner shell. The two shells are permanently fused together to create a durable but lightweight helmet.
One of the coolest things about the Synthe helmets is the Roc Loc Air Fit system. The Roc Loc system essentially holds the helmet just off the head allowing air to flow through the whole system.
The Roc Loc system is wonderful in a lot of ways. First and foremost, it helps keep your head cool and improves the aerodynamic design of the helmet. However, it also makes the helmet much easier to adjust single handedly while cycling.
Inside the foam liner, Roll Cage technology is used. This is a mesh of webbed fibers that offer an extra layer of protection in case of an accident. These fibers are encased in the injection molded foam which means that you don’t see it unless you’ve had an accident.
Naturally, we’re glad the Roll Cage is there, but we absolutely do not want to see it!
As the name suggests, this helmet utilizes MIPS technology. MIPS or multi-directional impact protection systems are designed to reduce the rotational force that acts on your brain during an angled impact.
In the case of the Synthe helmet, a standard MIPS insert is used to offer an additional layer of protection. This insert is able to move slightly in the direction of impact to prevent a harsh stop that can cause the brain to smash into the skull.
The helmet is available in three sizes, S, M, and L and is available in a handful of colors and designs. There are a few limited reflective elements on the helmets.
In terms of certification, the Giro Synthe MIPS helmet complies with the US CPSC safety standards for bicycle helmets for persons aged 5 and older. It also conforms to EU regulations surrounding bicycle safety equipment.
- 26 vents and channels to move air through the helmet.
- MIPS insert to protect the brain during angled falls.
- Dual shell system designed for extra protection.
- Roc Loc system keeps foam off your head.
- Fits wonderfully on all kinds of head shapes.
- Awfully expensive.
- Lacks reflective elements.
Things We Love
Let’s start with the Roc Loc fitting system. We absolutely love Roc Loc helmets. You see this technology more frequently in mountain biking helmets. We’re delighted to see it make its way into road helmets too.
The Roc Loc system essentially holds that warm inner foam slightly above your head. This means that you get better airflow over your head which helps to keep you cool.
The Roc Loc system also features a wraparound design that cradles the back of your head. Thanks to this system, you don’t end up with tension or tightness around your temples. This is a common problem with helmets that use a headband fitting system.
At the back of the head, you’ll find an adjustment knob that allows you to easily and quickly make adjustments to the fitting. The knob can be used one handed for ease.
At the ears, you have some Y buckles. These let you add the smaller, finishing touch to your overall fit. We love that these buckles don’t create lots of force or tension on the sides of the face.
This whole system is awesome. It fits much more comfortably on larger and wider heads compared to a traditional system.
Then, of course, you have the benefit of space between your head and the foam. It is so much cooler than other helmets. You don’t feel like you’re desperate to rip the helmet off when you stop because you get so much air under the helmet.
While we’re talking about the air we get with this helmet, let’s take a look at the ventilation system.
The Synthe helmet has a whopping 26 vents. These vents have both quality and quantity on their side.
Giro uses wind tunnels to check the airflow through their helmets which enables them to refine the placement and performance of the vents.
In essence, they have created channels within the helmet that pull cold air into the helmet and over the head. At the same time, the stale sweaty air is pushed out of the helmet.
Honestly, at high speeds, this is one of the coolest helmets we have ever seen. It is phenomenal.
The vents and overall design help to create an incredibly aerodynamic helmet. This is definitely a helmet you could wear to race however it has the added bonus of being comfortable for everyday wear.
At close to $200, we definitely love the fact that you can use this helmet daily. It makes us feel like we’re getting our money’s worth out of this helmet.
Finally, the most important of all features, the Giro Synthe MIPS helmet has a dedicated sunglasses port! No more accidentally dropping those expensive frames! This is a bit of a luxury feature, but we genuinely love it.
Room for Improvement?
As much as we absolutely love this helmet, we do have a few small niggles.
Firstly, the price is an issue for us. It comes in almost at the very top of the list for overall cost. In fact, it’s only really cheaper than the POC Ventral Spin.
If you can find this helmet for under $200, you’re getting yourself a bargain.
Now, we recognize that this is an awesome helmet. It is packed with features and technology that make it one of the safest, most comfortable, and best ventilated helmets we have ever seen.
However, the price is so prohibitive that many people aren’t going to experience the awesomeness of the helmet.
Like we said, we’re only glad that this is an all-round helmet. You’ll get plenty of use out of it in training, in competition, and for leisure rides.
Another issue we have is with the lack of reflective elements along the helmet. Giro did bring out the Synthe Reflective to combat this issue, but it seems like a bit of an oversight on an otherwise great helmet.
The exterior of the Synthe is fairly prone to scuffing and aesthetic damage. In all honesty it scuffs like a banana bruises.
If you’re not putting the helmet in a silk lined box as soon as you take it off, you’re going to scrape and scuff it up.
This is incredibly irritating considering how much money you’ve spent on the helmet. We would have expected a slightly more durable exterior that can take a bump or a drop.
We’d like to point out that these scuff marks and scratches are all aesthetic. They don’t threaten the integrity of the helmet at all. As such, we’re aware that we are nit picking when we discuss this issue.
The thing is this helmet is genuinely so great we struggled to think of things we’d improve!
The Giro Synthe MIPS helmet is utterly incredible. In a market that is over saturated with products and technology, the Synth manages to stand out thanks to the phenomenally high quality of the construction.
When you put this helmet on, you feel comfortable, protected, and cool. It utilizes top of the range materials and technology to protect your noggin.
The MIPS insert might be fairly standard, but everything else is excellent. The density of the foam and exterior materials strikes a perfect balance between weight and safety. The Roc Loc system keeps this foam off of your head to allow airflow in the helmet.
Working in conjunction with the Roc Loc system, you have the air vents and channels that move cool air into the helmet.
Every part of this helmet is designed to work perfectly with every other part. It is like a perfect ecosystem that you wear on your head!