by Marc Basiliere
September 4, 2013
Classy lid or mountain bike lite? Marc B. puts his oar in.
There’s no question: Giro’s 2014 Aspect helmet that solidly divides opinion. The road-oriented helmet is part of Giro’s New Road collection: kit that can be seen as either urban clothing designed for riding- or mountain bike gear made to work on the road.
I may be alone at Singletrack in thinking so, but have really taken to the aesthetic shared by the New Road collection, Mission Workshop’s Indian Summer kit, and high-end mountain brands like Kitsbow. Neither fussy nor flashy, they may not be as much fun as much as bright colours and bold patterns- but the more subtle combinations are certain to look less dated in a few seasons’ time.
Introduced at Eurobike last month, Giro’s Aspect helmet could be just the thing to go with that New Road kit (and Ti hardtail, naturally). The inspiration seems to have been drawn from the leather “hairnet” helmets of the ’60s and ’70s- but should offer considerably more protection. While the cycling cap-style peak has been seen on fixie-inspired brands, the synthetic suede interior and chin strap pad may be firsts on a modern helmet.
The most interesting version may well be the “transparent” model. The helmet isn’t invisible, but the see-through shell does provide a clear look at those brain-saving polystyrene bubbles. Both its inspiration and technology are clear. Ventilation in any of the four colours probably can’t match a true hairnet, but the minimal Roc Loc Air retention system and 19 vents won’t hurt. No word if the peak can be flipped up- but it is removable. One of the interesting things about the Aspect is that all this design doesn’t come at a weight penalty – the Aspect weighs barely 15g more than Giro’s super-light, top end, Aeon road helmet.
Now, it’s over to you. The $175 helmet seems to trigger strong reactions: is the Aspect needlessly retro or a compelling mix of new and old?
Giro is distributed in the UK by Zyro.