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by Anne-Marije Rook
March 4, 2016
WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
Nowadays it seems that if your helmet isn’t aero, it’s no good. All big brands have jumped on the bandwagon, each with their own aerodynamic interpretations. Giant and its Liv women’s line are no different. When they debuted their new line of helmets at Sea Otter last year it included four aero helmets, two per gender and one for each purpose: road riding and time trialing or triathlons.
The Liv Attacca is Giant’s entry in the aero road market but the women of the Liv-Plantur team having been using them since last season.
Carlee Taylor (Liv-Plantur) wearing the Liv Attacca during Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Photo by Cor Vos
Available in solid white or shiny black, the Liv Attacca is characterised by its round design and three massive front vents. Similar to Giro’s Air Attack, the helmet has a round, smooth aero surface and no elongated tail (like Specialized’s Evade for example). To aid in ventilation, the Attaca features a total of nine “aerovent” ports –three big vents on the front, two more small ones on the side and four big ones on the rear.
The recognisable massive front vents
The vents are meant to channel the air through the helmet instead of just around it, aiding in ventilation and keeping the head cool. Giant also claims the ports to be “drag neutral”, meaning that they create no more drag than if they weren’t there at all.
At just over 270 grams, the helmet is fairly lightweight and Giant’s adjustable Cinch Pro™ fit system is straight forward, comfortable and secure right out of the box.
The helmet sits quite high on the head, with a bit of space between the brow and the helmet. And without the racing stripe down the middle like the Liv-Plantur version of the helmet, the helmet does look a bit bulky and old school. On the other hand, smooth surface does offer plenty of retail space should you want to get creative with custom graphics.
Any good helmet should ‘disappear’ while wearing it. It shouldn’t be too tight, obstruct your visibility or be too hot. The Attacca did all that, and certainly has some of the best airflow I have felt in an aero helmet – even when the sun was beaming down on the all-black surface.
It also provides ample of coverage and felt safe.
However, for a women’s helmet, it has one major flaw: the Cinch Pro™ doesn’t provide enough space for a pony tail. Most helmets, women’s specific or not, have enough space between the rear rim of the helmet and its ractcheting system to pull a pony tail through. The Attacca sits too low on the back, limiting those with long hair to either wear a braid or a low pony tail, which isn’t very comfortable.
Lots of vents and airflow throughout the helmet.