If you watch peloton racing frequently, you probably already noticed a new Giro helmet perched atop the riders. At least we sure did. Although every time we asked Giro about it, we got a firm “no comment” and what we can only assume was their best attempt to hide a smile. Well as of today their answer has changed, and we get a look at not one, but two new helmets from Giro – Aerohead MIPS and Aerohead Ultimate MIPS.
The Aerohead MIPS and Aerohead Ultimate MIPS
So what special sauce did Giro start with to make these new helmets? The Aerohead MIPS starts with a polycarbonate shell with built-in MIPS technology and features four integrated wind tunnel vents and overbrow ventilation to help with cooling, as well as a vented eye shield from ZEISS Optics with a magnetic lens anchor attachment. To ensure maximum comfortable for even an Ironman-length ride, Giro went with their Roc Loc Air® system that we so enjoyed on the Air Attack.
For those looking for something just a touch faster, the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS is built with a TeXtreme® carbon fiber shell to combine a smaller frontal area and reduced venting for even less drag. You still get the overbrow ventilation, but you do lose out on the found wind tunnel vents you’ll find with the Aerohead MIPS. You also still get the ZEISS Optics with a magnetic lens anchor attachment and the Roc Loc Air system.
So lets begin by taking a look at just how fast these new helmets are. Giro tells us the Aerohead MIPS is 42.4 seconds faster over 180km (at 250 watts) than the Giro Advantage (and 25.5 seconds faster that the Air Attack Shield). The Aerohead Ultimate MIPS is an additional five seconds faster than the standard Aerohead. At the track, Giro found the Aerohead saved 15 watts when compared to the Advantage (nine watts versus the Air Attack Shield), and the Ultimate saved an additional two watts.
And because over 180km you tend to warm up a bit, Giro also made sure to make cooling a priority. When we tested the Air Attack Shield, we never had any issues with overheating—even in the hot South Florida sun. Being that these are full-aero helmets, we would expect them to be warmer. But it looks like Giro kept the heat increase to a minimum. The Aerohead MIPS is 14.3% warmer than the Air Attack Shield, and the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS ends up being 22.3% warmer than the baseline Shield.
Giro tells us that both the Aerohead MIPS and Aerohead Ultimate MIPS both weigh in at 455g. The helmet will be available this summer: the Aerohead MIPS at $250/ €299 / £299 and the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS at $550/ €599 / £599. A helmet pod and both eye shields – clear and smoke – are included with the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS,a grey shield with silver mirror only for the Aerohead MIPS. Additional accessories can be purchased separately with the Helmet pod at $50 and and eye shield at $60.
“In 1985, Giro pioneered the aerodynamic helmet with the original Advantage,” said Rob Wesson, Giro Director of Helmet R&D. “The Aerohead MIPS is our fastest helmet ever and represents the culmination of everything we have learned over the past 30 years. In addition, we have been able to integrate MIPS to provide more protection in certain impacts, as well as including the Roc Loc Air fit system and hydrophilic padding to improve ventilation and cooling. With its combination of reduced drag, MIPS, and increased comfort, the Aerohead MIPS simply wouldn’t have been possible only a few years ago. By utilizing a TeXtreme carbon fiber shell for the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS, we were able to further reduce frontal area, making our fastest shape ever even faster.”
The Aerohead Ultimate MIPS has already been raced to victory by the world’s top professionals on both the road and the track. It will make its official debut later this afternoon (May 19) at the Amgen Tour of California time trial stage, with BMC Racing Team, Team Katusha, and Team WIGGINS. The Aerohead MIPS will also be worn by professional triathletes competing this summer, including Linsey Corbin and brothers Andreas and Michael Raelert.
Like bike manufacturers have already started to figure out, Giro recognizes that time trialists and triathletes have different needs. For those looking to go the distance, there is the Aerohead MIPS. And for those looking for a single-event race against the clock, there is the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS.
Giro is leveraging the short-tail design that has become much more prevalent in transition, benefiting those of us who cannot keep our heads in the absolute perfect position through the length of an event.
The price seems right for the Aerohead MIPS (if not on the more economical side of some of its aero brethren). And while the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS is definitely on the expensive side, its full carbon fiber construction and no-compromise aero will make it well worth the money to those who look for every advantage possible when it comes to racing the clock.
When we see a product that data claims is faster, and the price is right, we get a little excited. And considering that the Aerohead MIPS and Aerohead Ultimate MIPS already have victories under their belts, we would even go as far as to say that we are a little giddy.
Next up will be our full review process where we will put some miles on the Aerohead MIPS under the hot Florida sun. But until then, stay tuned for the “Mailroom” section of our Week in Reviews to see when one arrives at AeroGeeks HQ and the “Current Reviews” for when we start riding it. And of course be sure to check it out Friday during the Tour of California.