Rapha has long been the leader in design-driven cycling apparel, though in recent years Giro has made a play for the space, carving out a sizable niche with the New Road initiative. Though the two brands aren’t exactly competitors—in fact they often collaborate, and Rapha’s Head of Design, Alex Valdman, was formerly Giro’s Design Director (and worked with Levi’s Commuter before that).
The latest collab isn’t exactly being billed as such though. The Rapha Helmet, released this week, is Rapha’s first foray into the egg-protection category, extending the brand’s reach to now cover cyclists from head to toe, quite literally. It’s also more or less an updated version of Giro’s Synthe helmet, which everyone (TF included) seems to be just fine with, considering it’s one of the more attractive, well-designed helmets on the market.
What’s new about the Rapha Helmet then, you ask? Well, Rapha has taken the familiar Giro design and added reflective straps, opened the rear vent for increased airflow, and spiced up the paint with an iridescent glow. Not to mention all the Rapha logos. Three colorways include black, white, and a hi-vis yellow, plus an exclusive Rapha Cycling Club edition (if you have to ask how you get the RCC model you can’t have it). MIPS technology is of course worked into the design, reading a low-friction layer between the outer shell and liner to help guard against brain injury during impacts (Ed Note: Please knock on wood 3 times now).
As Alex Valdman puts it, the Rapha Helmet is “a sleek, pared-back aerodynamic helmet with superior cooling, visibility, and performance.” Hard to argue there. Plus it’s designed for both men and women, and available at the same price as its Giro cousin.