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Met Rivale Mips helmet review

23 Nov 2020

The Met Rivale Mips is a strong all-round helmet with slick looks

Cyclist Rating: 
• Good fit • Mips included • Great colours • Light for an aero helmet
Flappy straps

New for 2020, the updated Met Rivale Mips helmet has a clue in its title as to the main addition – a Mips slip liner – but there is a host of other changes too.

It remains the Italian company’s mid-range, do-it-all helmet, sitting below the super-ventilated Trenta and the super-aero Manta, and coming in around £40-£50 cheaper than either.

The new version of the Rivale looks like a cross between its two pricier siblings, having a similar shape to the Manta but with more and larger vents. Compared to its previous version, the new Rivale looks a little slicker, with a more rounded profile and fewer sharp edges.

Buy the Met Rivale MIPS helmet now from Wiggle.

It manages to pull off the trick of looking sleek and aerodynamic without looking like a bowling ball. In fact, it’s fair to say that the Rivale Mips is an elegantly shaped helmet and the mixture of matt black and glossy colours makes it look sophisticated.

There are seven colourways to choose from, with this deep, claret red colour being the pick of the bunch.



It goes without saying that the Met Rivale Mips surpasses the safety certifications for every area around the world – as with any decent helmet – but the addition of Mips brings a new level of safety.

Mips is becoming more common across all the major helmet brands, and is instantly recognisable by the yellow plastic structure that sits inside the helmet, just next to the EPS shell.

The idea is that the plastic liner can move within the shell, meaning that in the event of a crash, Mips can help to reduce some of the rotational forces acting on the skull, potentially lessening the impact on the brain in certain crash situations.

It’s a welcome addition, which Met claims adds 10% to the overall safety of the helmet, and elevates the Rivale to a place in the helmet hierarchy above its mid-range status.



As do-it-all helmets go, the Met Rivale leans more to the aero side than most of its rivals. It certainly looks aero, and Met claimed that the previous version saved three watts over a conventional helmet, or about a second in a race situation.

This new version is apparently even more aerodynamic, although Met doesn’t state by how much. Maybe two seconds, who knows? Without the benefits of a wind-tunnel for hi-tech analysis, it’s impossible to tell, but the Rivale should prove to be aero enough for most people short of those attempting to break the Hour Record.


According to Met, much of the aerodynamic efficiency is down to the NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics) vent at the top-rear of the helmet, which directs air through the back of the helmet in such a way as to reduce drag.

We’ll just have to take Met’s word that it works.



The Rivale boasts 18 vents, and these ones are generally longer and wider than the previous version, making the new helmet better ventilated than it was, according to Met. There’s also an internal channel that directs cool air over the scalp, and the big front ports are positioned to accept sunglasses securely.

It’s hard to tell any difference in the ventilation in practice, however the new Rivale Mips is remarkably cool and breezy considering its aero pretensions.

Buy the Met Rivale MIPS helmet now from Wiggle.

Most aero helmets are like shoving your head in a pressure cooker, so the ventilation on offer here has to be applauded, even if it can’t match up to its more expensive sibling, the Trenta.



How a helmet fits is very much down to the shape of the wearer’s head, however Met has done everything in its power to accommodate even the most misshapen bonces.

What it calls a 360° headbelt is a plastic strip that runs around the inside of the helmet, meaning that adjustment happens from all angles and not just from the rear. It certainly makes for a snug fit that prevents wobble without rubbing or pinching.

Vertical adjustment allows the rear of the cradle to sit in just the right place at the base of the skull and ensures the dial doesn’t rub on your skin. The dial itself works in sufficiently small increments to allow for fine-tuning of the fit.


Inside, the pads are quite thin, but comfortable enough, and their lack of bulk means they don’t collect sweat and get squishy like some pads can do. The padding is made up of lots of separate bits, which make cleaning a bit fiddly, but at least makes for easy replacement if they get damaged or worn.

The chinstraps are equally easy to adjust, and light enough that they feel cool and comfortable around the face. However, that lightness means the straps are liable to twisting and flapping, whereas a slightly stiffer material (such as found on the Kask Mojito) would keep things neat and unfussy.



Even with the addition of the Mips slip liner, the new Rivale weighs only 10g more then the old version, according to Met.

The company claims a size medium weighs 250g, although on the Cyclist scales it came out at 242g, which is perhaps the first time ever that we have weighed a helmet at less than the stated weight in the marketing blurb.

Essentially, this makes the Rivale a touch heavier than some of its mid-range, do-it-all rivals, such as the aforementioned Kask Mojito, but it’s still pretty decent considering it has the Mips liner (which the Mojito doesn’t) and its aero qualities mean it has a fair amount of material.

In truth, the weight will not be an issue for all but the most militant of weight weenies, and it would be hard to tell it apart from many top-end helmets. Certainly, it never felt like an encumbrance.



At £140 the Rivale Mips could not be called cheap, however it actually represents pretty good value when you consider that it performs well above its status as a mid-range helmet.

There are very few compromises going on, and although hardcore racers would be happy to fork out the extra for a lightweight Trenta or super-aero Manta, the Rivale actually represents the best option for the majority of riders who want a balanced mixture of weight, aerodynamics and comfort.

And if it’s good enough for Tadej Pogačar to wear for a stage of the Tour de France on his way to overall victory, then it should be more than sufficient for the rest of us.

All reviews are fully independent and no payments have been made by companies featured in reviews


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