Last week at Sea Otter Giant released not one, but two aero new aero helmets – the Rivet for road racing and the Rivet TT for time trials. To be honest, we had been expecting the announcement of the aero road helmet for a while now; we’d seen it atop multiple pro tour riders on the Giant-Alpecin team for a while now. But the Rivet TT caught us by surprise. The good news is that the AeroGeeks like a good surprise, especially when that surprise comes wrapped in an aerodynamic shell.
The Rivet is Giant’s entry into the aero road category, and judging by the wins it’s already racked up, it appears to be a good one. Certain design characteristics are becoming central to the aero road helmet category, and the Rivet is no exception. You’ll find a smooth aero surface (first popularized by the Giro Air Attack) meant to provide an aero advantage for a rider who is either head-up, like what you’d expect in a more traditional road position, or head down in a full sprint. The Rivet’s round shape is also fairly standard versus some of the more elongated helmets, such as the Specialized Evade.
To aid in ventilation, the Rivet features a total of nine AeroVent ports. Three large vents in the front and two smaller side vents act as “drag-neutral” intake ports, and four rear vents (two large, two small) push air out the back. Air passes through the intake ports via three AeroVent channels that run down the center of the helmet to provide a consistent cooling experience.
The Rivet also features the element strap system, which brings together Giant’s Cinch Pro and LiteForm webbing into a single fit and retention system. The Cinch Pro fit system cradles the occipital bone for full protection, support, and comfort. While the LiteForm webbing wraps around the head for a secure fit, its hydrophobic construction helps avoid sweat absorption. Additionally, the TransTextura Plus anti-microbial padding inhibits microbes that can cause odors.
The Rivet is CPSC, CE, and AS/NZS certified, and Giant claims a weight of 300g for size M CPSC. It will be available in three sizes and four color schemes at launch (personally, we’re fond of the black with blue accents). The best news is that the Rivet will sell for $160, which undercuts many of the other aero road helmets on the market.
The Rivet TT
While the Rivet was developed with a balance of aero and comfort in mind, the Rivet TT’s first priority is all about aerodynamics. Fit and comfort were a definitive second. The front of the TT is radius shaped and designed to reduce drag across all angles. From the crown of the helmet to the rear, two dimples channel airflow toward the tail. The dimples combined with the shortened tail optimize average aero performance across multiple wind directions.
Up front are four enlarged AeroVent ports to aid in ventilation, taking in air and channeling it across your head. The air exits out a single large port at the rear of the TT. Giant claims the four ports are “drag-neutral” and help optimize the overall aerodynamics of the TT.
Like the Rivet, the Rivet TT features the element strap system with Cinch Pro and LiteForm. The TT also gets the TransTextura Plus antimicrobial padding for odor reduction.
Also like the Rivet, The Rivet TT is CPSC, CE, and AS/NZS certified, and Giant claims a weight of 300g for size M CPSC. Only available in two colors (black and white), the Rivet TT will be available in three sizes for an MSRP of $229—again, undercutting quite a few of its competitors.
Two things lead us to believe that Giant has a winner on its hands. First is the number of wins the Rivet is already racking up in the pro peloton. Just last week, John Degenkolb won Paris-Roubaix with a Rivet strapped to his head, and we expect to see them quite often as the grand tours start. Secondly, the pricing is right for both the Rivet and Rivet TT. Both are at the low end of the pricing spectrum in their categories. Obviously we need to see some independent aero data along with some saddle time to make a final judgment. But as First Looks go, the Rivet is looking good.