It was just over two years ago that we got our first official details regarding the Giant Rivet. Before then, we had seen plenty of it on the heads of pro tour cyclists. And then finally, in late April of 2015, the Rivet was officially unveiled. The Rivet was Giant’s initial foray into the world of aero road helmets, and at the time of the unveiling had already claimed an impressive list of wins. And while it was clear that sprinters and classics riders would benefit from this helmet, would it be a helmet for triathletes as well? Only a long-term review would be able to answer that. And in 2016, our test sample arrived for us to find out.
The Giant Rivet
The shape of the Rivet is more Giro Air Attack than Specialized Evade. It features a smooth aero surface meant to provide an aero advantage for a rider who is head down in a full sprint, different from the more elongated helmets meant to provide better aero dynamics for riders with a more heads-up position.
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 and 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 (we found our medium to weigh 308g). It is available in three sizes and retails for $160.
The Giant Pursuit
Before we dive deeper into the review, we wanted to touch on the Giant Pursuit and how it differs from the Rivet. The Pursuit is Giant’s other aero road helmet, and where the Rivet is for heads-down sprinting, the Pursuit is Giant’s ultimate all-around aero performance helmet. Overall aerodynamics are optimized to perform in a wide variety of yaw angles that are seen in typical riding conditions.
The Rivet is positioned where it really shines; sprinting. While the Rivet also boasts great all-around aero performance, it is simply unbeatable in a head-down sprinting situation.
Getting back to the Rivet, we have to start off with just how comfortable it was. We have all been there – 80 miles into a ride and dying to throw an uncomfortable helmet to the side of the road. The Rivet will not be that helmet. The straps hug your face comfortably without rubbing or harassing you. The padding was comfortable without being over bearing.
The ventilation is as advertised. While at first you may worry that the similarities to the Air Attack will mean that the Rivet might not have been able to keep up with the ventilation improvements found in the newest aero road helmets, the reality is that Giant clearly did their homework here. No, it’s up to Synthe levels of ventilation, but we never over heated, even on the hottest of South Florida rides.
For us, the one place the Rivet missed was simply that it was not designed for our specific use case – the AeroGeeks team are triathletes only. We aren’t triathletes AND roadies. So, a helmet that was more aero in the sprint than in the aero bars just really isn’t our cup of tea. But that’s ok, because we aren’t who this helmet is built for. Now if you are a triathlete that is also a road cyclist (or maybe just a road cyclist…though really, who wants to train in only one sport?) The Rivet may be exactly what you are looking for. It’s a helmet designed to be aero, ventilated, and give you a real advantage in the last 100 meters of the race.
Sometimes we have to look past our own needs and accept that not everything is designed purely with triathletes in mind. The Rivet is built to deliver you to the line the fastest, and based on our time with it, we see no reason to question that. And the list of wins notched into the Rivet’s belt clearly gives credence to those who choose this helmet. So while you may not regularly find this helmet atop an AeroGeeks editor on a training ride, you can bet that if we ever did decide to leave our running shoes and swim goggles at home and take up sprinting on our bike, the Rivet would be a helmet we’d reach for.