A solid helmet that I'm using basically every day. Not the best at anything but a great all-round performer.
Dec 25 2017
Solid all-round performer
Very comfortable fit
Perfect for long days spent gravel-grinding
Questionable premium for MIPS
Not the absolute best at anything
You're after a solid all-round helmet for road and off-road duties for your adventure biking.
Giro's Cinder helmet is essentially the smaller brother of the top of the range Synthe helmet. Taking it's styling cues from it, the Cinder simply lacks some of the top end features available on the Synthe, though whether that matters on a daily riding basis is questionable
I was testing the MIPS version of the helmet, which commands a £25 premium over the non-MIPS version. The ideas of MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is to incorporate an extra “slip plane” into the helmet, reducing the rotational forces that are transmitted to your brain when your head hits the ground.
A plastic sheet inside the helmet can slide inside the shell of the helmet, providing this movement. There are varying opinions on the effectiveness of MIPS, I’m still undecided myself and it is very difficult to find independent studies verifying its effectiveness. Arguably though, £25 is not a huge premium to pay for potentially increased protection of your noggin.
As with any helmet, fit is the most important (yet also personal) thing. I have always found that my head fits the Giro helmet mould very well – obviously this helps with overall comfort. In use I found the helmet, unobtrusive, comfortable and adequately ventilated.
It is not the lightest helmet ever, though is nonetheless comfortable to wear for extended periods. It doesn’t have the best ventilation, though arguably this is preferable for cooler climates (i.e. the UK) and colder days. I’ve used it throughout the summer (admittedly in Scotland) without any issues, whilst wearing a cap underneath. It's not the best at any one thing but instead performs solidly in all conditions.
The Roc Loc 5 adjustment dial gives precise control and cradles the head nicely. Whilst it does take many of its styling cues from the Synthe, I feel this is a solid helmet in its own right that can be worn on a day to day basis, without the huge outlay of the significantly more expensive “bigger brother”. At around half the price, you’re only really giving up better aerodynamics which I’d argue at off-road speeds isn’t really going to hold you back.
I really like this helmet, and think it represents good value for money. Obviously fit is king, but I like the styling, fit and comfort for an everyday riding helmet at an affordable price. It’s marketed as a road helmet, but as a lightweight lid for days spent gravel grinding it’s perfect.