The Met Manta is Mark Cavendish’s helmet of choice. We’ve tested the CVNDSH edition of the sprint king’s lid
The Met Manta is a helmet we saw a lot of last year. Met is the helmet provider to Team Dimension Data and the Manta is Mark Cavendish’s helmet of choice, with its aero features a bonus in sprint finishes. Our test model comes in CVNDSH livery too, a mix of matt black and gloss sparkly deep green, although the Manta is available in six other colours. Met also sponsors Team UAE Emirates, so there’ll be a red and black version soon too for its fans.
The design stands out from the aero helmet crowd. There are two front slot vents, a couple more on each side and another slot around half way along the helmet’s crest, so the Manta looks relatively enclosed from the front.
At the rear, out of the wind, it’s more open with six vents to let warm air escape. Inside, there’s a complex pattern of ribs and ridges to direct air across the top of the head. Even the rear cradle fits close under the shell to keep it out of the wind.
Despite being quite enclosed, the Manta was not hot in use. The vents work well to channel air over the head. In particular, the side vents keep the temples cool; an area where heat build-up can become uncomfortable on hotter rides.
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There’s not exactly a surfeit of padding, but it’s well placed to keep the helmet sitting comfortably on the head without pressure points. There’s an optional 9 Euro pad across the forehead which includes gel inserts for increased comfort and reduced chance of sweat dripping into the eyes.
Met claims the Manta is 10 watts more efficient at 50kph than other aero road helmets it’s tested. At 252 grams for a size large, the Manta is relatively light too. It’s also reasonably priced for a high-end aero lid.
For the safety-conscious, Met sells a USB rear safety light which fits to the dial of the adjuster, for increased visibility to other traffic.
Met’s Manta has a distinctive, purposeful design, but is still comfortable for the average cyclist to use. Met claims superior aerodynamics; the Manta certainly didn’t hold Mark Cavendish back in 2016.