Tour de France Tech: Giro unveils new aero road helmet, super light lace-up shoes

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Meet the new Giro Synthe aero road helmet and Empire SLX super light road shoe.

With equal emphasis on fashion and function, Giro unveiled a new aero road helmet and a pair of super light lace-up road shoes on the eve of the Tour de France. The helmet, known as the Synthe (short for synthesis), will be worn by three teams in the world’s most important bike race: BMC, Katusha and Iam Cycling. The rest of the cycling world will have to wait until early December when the 250-gram $250 lid starts showing up in bike shop stores.

The wispy Giro Empire SLX lace-up shoes (175 grams for size 42.5) will retail for $350 and come on-line sometime in October.

The Synthe, says Giro, took all the best features of its Air Attack aero road helmet and melded them with its lightweight Aeon brain protector in hopes of splitting the difference. Instead, using wind average drag (a formula that takes into account a variety of yaw angles to calculate a single drag measurement) as a driving design force, Giro claims its designed a new lid that’s actually more aero efficient than the Air Attack and many other helmets on the market, but with far better cooling. But perhaps best of all the Synthe looks like a traditional helmet, not the undeniable aesthetic statement of the polarizing Air Attack.

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The Empire SLX comes in anodized red or white with black, while the Synthe will be available in a wide range of colorways.

Besides claims of top tier aero efficiency and enhanced cooling, marquee features include convenient eyewear docking ports, 19 vents with internal channeling, and integrated aero mesh panels. The mesh panels help further enhance ventilation, and improve aerodynamics by creating a boundary layer for air passing across the helmet.

An easy-to-use fit system can be adjusted with one hand and is designed to suspend the helmet 3mm over a rider’s head so air can better flow through the helmet for improved cooling.

Meanwhile, the new lightweight shoes build on the previous Empire, shedding weight but retaining the lace-up styling. Giro says that while some might be scared off by the laces, they believe the system provides a more custom fit unequaled by more traditional strap-and-buckle shoes.

An Easton-made carbon fiber outsole keeps stack height and weight low, while retaining stiffness. Sizes will range from 39-48 and the shoes will come in two colors, anodized glowing red and white with black. Giro says it’s also working on a MTB/cyclocross version but didn’t reveal a release date.

Tour de France Tech: Giro unveils new aero road helmet, super light lace-up shoes Gallery
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Giro Synthe

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Out and About

BMC's Taylor Phinney rocking the new Synthe.
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Giro Synthe

BMC's Taylor Phinney played a role in development of the new helmet.
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Vos is Boss

Many-time world champ Marianne Vos is among the Giro sponsored athletes who will be sporting the new Synthe.
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Giro Synthe Rear View

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Giro Synthe Highlight Yellow

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Giro Synthe Interior Fit System

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Giro Synthe Matte Black

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Giro Synthe Matte Black

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Giro Synthe Matte Black Gloss

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Giro Synthe Matte Titanium

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Giro Synthe Matte White Silver

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Giro Synthe Red Matte Black

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Giro Synthe Sunglasses Dock_

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Giro Synthe in White, Red, Blue

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Giro Empire SLX Anodized Red

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Giro Empire SLX Lace Loop

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Giro Empire SLX in White/Black

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Giro Empire SLX

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Giro Empire SLX

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Giro Empire SLX

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Giro Empire SLX

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Three for the Tour

Look for the Giro Synthe on the heads of riders from Iam, Katusha and BMC.
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World Champs Colors

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Giro Synthe

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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