By Simon Smythe
MET has redesigned the Manta, one of the most recognisable aero helmets that was debuted by Mark Cavendish in 2015.
MET says the design of the all-new Manta MIPS was led by the insight of pros and the demands of cyclists, taking on four areas of focus: safety, aerodynamics, fit, and style.
With these elements in mind, says MET, the design of the new Manta MIPS draws on the natural geometry of its predecessor as a guide. In MET’s words, it’s as brilliant as the original, but with sharper looks and cutting-edge performance.
The colour way of the launch helmet pictured is a 'liquid red' that MET says is inspired by the UAE Team Emirates livery. The team will be using the Manta MIPS in the WorldTour this year.
MET is claiming better aerodynamics for the new Manta compared to its predecessor thanks to its lower and tube-shaped profile at the rear. This was developed with specific wind-tunnel testing in the Newton laboratory of Milan.
As for comfort, MET says the 360° head belt ensures that there are no pressure points on the skull. Its internal shape is inspired by the MET Trenta 3K Carbon.
The internal shape has been engineered to channel the air via MET’s signature NACA – as used in the previous Manta – which works with the exhaust port to ensure a constant airflow through the helmet without catching the wind and creating drag.
The new Manta uses a Fidlock magnetic buckle to make it easier and faster to fasten the helmet. MET is clearly eyeing the triathlon market with this particular feature.
For protection, the MET Manta features the MIPS-C2 brain protection system, which allows the helmet shell to slide 10-15mm in any direction relative to the head in the event of a crash with the aim of redirecting potentially harmful rotational energy.
The addition of MIPS inevitably increases its weight: the original Manta was one of the lightest in its class at 200g for the size medium: add 50 grams to that with the new version. That’s still pretty competitive for a MIPS helmet: the new Manta is 10g lighter than the Giro Helios we reviewed recently, which uses Spherical MIPS.
MET says every single production batch of helmets is strictly tested in its own lab.
And last but not least, the new Manta features two dedicated ports for docking sunglasses.
Most recently the original MIPS-less Manta was retailing at £179.99 with plenty of reductions from online retailers. A hike of £20 for the new version to £200 seems fairly reasonable. The aforementioned Giro Helios goes for £229.
The new MET Manta MIPS is available immediately.
Weight: M size: 250g
Sizes: S (52-56cm), M (56-58cm), L (58-61cm)
Certifications: CE; AS/NZS; US
MIPS-C2 brain protection system, sunglasses port, Fidlock® magnetic buckle, Safe-T Orbital Fit System, 360° head belt, vertical and occipital adjustments, ponytail compatible, adjustable cam divider, 15 vents, internal air channeling, helmet soft bag
Simon Smythe is Cycling Weekly's senior tech writer and has been in various roles at CW since 2003. His first job was as a sub editor on the magazine following an MA in online journalism (yes, it was just after the dot-com bubble burst).
In his cycling career Simon has mostly focused on time trialling with a national medal, a few open wins and his club's 30-mile record in his palmares. These days he spends a bit more time testing road bikes, or on a tandem doing the school run with his younger son.
What's in the stable? There's a Colnago Master Olympic, a Hotta TT700, an ex-Castorama lo-pro that was ridden in the 1993 Tour de France, a Pinarello Montello, an Independent Fabrication Club Racer, a Shorter fixed winter bike and a renovated Roberts with a modern Campag groupset.
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