As a long time user of Giro helmets it is safe to say that I’ve been swallowed up by the brand, whether it’s for road or MTB I have a Giro helmet to suit the job. It was a relatively easy conversion for me, because as a soon as I tried a Giro helmet on for the first time, I immediately noticed a greatly improved fit than the helmets I had previously worn. That was over 10 years ago and a number of helmets later, that time has come again where I need to replace my road helmet. This isn’t because it doesn’t match my new bikes colour scheme, that would be absurd to replace helmet for a bit of a colour clashing…(honest!) It is because the magical 3 year figure when helmets should be replaced has come upon me once again. For those who don’t realise, it is recommended to replace your helmet every three years with the deterioration of the construction due to sweat and temperature changes.
So before I tell you about my new helmet choice, there are a number of reasons I can tell you about why I’ve stayed loyal to Giro for so long.
We all know it can be the design that will draw you to a brand and the simple fact of the way the helmet looks. I will hold my hands up and say I’ve come very close to buying a different brand of helmet just because I thought they looked cool. In fact, when I tried this helmet on, it came down to the simple fact that it did not fit anywhere near as well as the Giro I was replacing.
The Giro fit comes from their RocLoc system they use through their range of helmets. It’s a simple little device that securely fits to the back of your head making the helmet fit like a glove. There are 3 vertical adjustments you can make to the rear strap to get the strap to fit in just the right place and the ease of this system means that it’s easy to readjust your helmet after wearing a scull cap for example. Their new RocLoc SL system is all set to create a new benchmark for helmet fitments with its elasticated system. Supposed to be a more snug fit than traditional systems and just as secure, be sure to keep a look out for this on Giro’s new Prolight helmet.
Giro spends a lot of time and money in research and development of its helmets especially with aerodynamics. Wind tunnel testing is used to reduce the drag of not only time trail helmets, but also road and MTB helmets don’t escape this scrutiny. Giro can mathematically work out that a 100g saving in drag reduction can save 46 seconds in a 40km time trial. Now that is something to take note of! Not only are wind tunnels put to use at the University of Washington, but Giro also make use of flow tanks. Here they put scale models of helmets into the tank and using dyes in the water they look at the flow of water through the helmets. Giro put heat removal as the single most important performance benefit from a helmet design, so the flow tanks help with the design of the ventilation flow through the helmets as well as helping with the aerodynamic drag. With active external vents feeding the air into the internal exhaust channels, this forces cool air over the head whilst at the rear the vents also pull heat and stale air out at the same time. A lot goes into keeping your head cool.
The construction of Giro helmets have been taking huge steps in advancements, where the outer shell of the helmet is no longer a plastic shell fitted to a polystyrene construction. With Giro’s ‘In-Mold Technology’, the shell becomes a structural part of the helmet. During moulding the polycarbonate shell is fused with the absorbent EPS liner, which makes the helmets lighter, more durable and with a better ventilation design, it can be used as a reinforcement around the vents, creating an exoskeleton in the helmet.
So with all these features showing up throughout Giro’s helmet range, you know you’re in safe hands. With a lifetime warranty against manufacturers defects plus a crash replacement program, they really now how to look after the consumer.
So my choice this time around has been the Ionos. I have chosen this over the new Prolight for the simple reason of ventilation. I get very hot very quickly whilst out on my bike and this helmet offers the best in ventilation and fit over a reduced weight. You might notice that it is currently the most expensive helmet Giro offers, but as far as I’m concerned you can’t put a price on safety and comfort.
Now the fact they do a colour scheme which matches my new bike perfectly is purely a coincidence, but Giro helmets are definitely worth a much closer look!