The Giro Air Attack Shield was one of the first of a new sub-genre of road cycling helmets that bridge the gap between teardrop shaped time trial helmets and traditional road helmets. This type of helmet is supposed to reduce aerodynamic drag over traditional helmets without the inconvenience and ridiculousness of a full on teardrop time trial helmet. The Air Attack is an excellent option as an aero helmet for occasional time trialists or for triathlon competitors. Also, because it is much warmer than other helmets we tested due to the lack of vents, we think it is an excellent helmet for both rainy cyclocross racing as well as winter time training rides.
Does the Air Attack actually make you faster? Our gut feeling says that yes, it probably does to some very small degree, but you would need to do wind tunnel testing to truly prove that. We did not perform this type of testing, so we can only tell you what we experienced when riding in this helmet in real world settings. What our testers found is that as soon as they put the Air Attack on, they felt a bit like Fabian Cancellara. In case you don't know who that is, he's the Swiss time trial specialist once accused of having a motor driving his bike. His response to that false accusation was that he in fact had two motors: a right leg and a left leg. Basically what we are saying is that the Air Attack made us feel faster before we even touched the pedals, and we think there is something to be said about that. If you believe you are fast, you are likely to smash the pedals just a bit harder. So, our very non-wind tunnel opinion is that yes, the Air Attack makes you faster.
Let's just get to the part that you really want to know about the Air Attack Shield: the Shield. We had serious doubts about this thing. Before we tried this helmet, we thought that the shield would fog, bounce around, pop off, not cover our field of view, or let in too much air at high speed. Once we rode with the shield we realized that all of these things were not a problem, and the shield proved to be downright awesome. It attaches to the front of the helmet with three magnets. Yes, magnets. How well does this work? Again, awesome. The best part is you can flip the shield upside down and store it on the front of the helmet using the same three magnets. This proved to be easier to do with one hand while riding than stashing a pair of regular sunglasses on the front of a traditional helmet, and a whole lot more secure.