Giro has been cranking out some fine new helmets in the last couple of years, with the top-end helmets, the road bike Aether and the mountain bike Manifest helmet, using the new ‘MIPS Spherical’ system. The new Helios Spherical might borrow an older Giro helmet name, but it also borrows from both of these helmets to make a well vented road-shaped helmet that’s also going to appeal to, dare we say it, the off road, drop-bar movement too.
MIPS is a system that uses a floating helmet liner to help reduce head rotation in a crash by slipping within the outer helmet. However, it’s not without its critics, who find it can be a little warm and a little uncomfortable if you don’t have the right shaped head. It can also catch or pull hair (not that I’d know about that). MIPS Spherical helmets like the new Helios Spherical use a ‘ball and socket’ pair of thinner helmets, one inside the other. The inner helmet can be made to fit extremely well and the outer helmet it free to slide over the inner helmet. It can also be made of denser materials to resist damage, while the inner helmet can be made more shock-absorbing. The two helmets in one idea can also open up the venting in the helmet too – something that the Aether does very well.
So where does the Helios Spherical come in? Giro says “It’s an ideal match for riders who are going farther and faster in pursuit of fun, whether they’re on paved roads or gritty, gravel-lined adventures”. So what makes it a gravel helmet, apart from that last line?
Well, the Helios Spherical sits a little lower on the temples and deeper at the back of the head than many ‘bobbed’ road helmets We did fear that there’d be a clip-on cotton cap peak, but luckily Giro hasn’t gone down that avenue. The MIPS Spherical design, surprisingly isn’t any more bulky looking than a regular helmet and there’s barely a weight penalty. And compared to the Aether, which has huge vents (and a bigger price tag) there’s perhaps a 5g difference.
Talking of price, the UK price we’ve been told is £229, which is chunky for a helmet – although the Aether is £269.99 and the Manifest is £249.99.
There’ll be five colours to choose from and we have one on the way for a proper hands-on, so stay tuned for that.