Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Product Review: Giro Atmos

Got this for Christmas - thanks Mom and Dad!

Giro Atmos
The Giro Atmos gets a 10 out of 10 on the DiabloScott Helmet Form and Fashion Rating Scale.  

I bought my first helmet in 1984; a Bell V1-Pro (also a gift from Mom!).  I think this new one is at least my 10th helmet in 27 years so this is a review with some righteous cred.

First, the three tell-tale signs that you need a new helmet:
  1. Crumbly or brittle foam bits.
  2. Cracked plastic shell bits.
  3. Frayed straps.
Now my helmet replacement procedure is that I have a good helmet for my serious riding, and an older helmet for commuting.  The commuting helmet gets banged around a lot, thrown into lockers, dropped at the bike rack, etc.  So when it's time to get rid of the commuting helmet, I rotate my good helmet down to commuting use, and get a new good helmet.  Usually I don't have any trouble convincing myself to get a slightly better model than I had before, and I've never had trouble paying more than the last one cost.

My last 5 or 6 helmets have all been Giros.  The conventional wisdom says that some people have a Giro head and other helmets will never fit them as well, and I'm one of those guys.  I quit even trying on Bell or Specialized; Giros are stylish and available everywhere so I'm good with that.

OK, here's a close-up on my old commute helmet - a Giro Eclipse - note crack, and frayed straps.

My previous good helmet and now my commute helmet is a Giro Monza.

Here's the lineup: Eclipse (purple with stickers and crack), Monza (blue with white stripes), and Atmos (white).

This ID sticker seems like a good idea, until you realize there 
is literally no surface on the helmet big enough to stick it on. 

I was a little surprised at the weight-vs-cost relationship.  The most expensive one is 21g more than the least expensive one... at least according to the tags.

Even though the Atmos is presumably a little heavier, it feels less bulky... it sits nicely on my head and is comfortable... so maybe the design is more important than the weight, or maybe I just have new helmet bias.  Anyway, 21g isn't enough to worry about... and I don't think I could tell in a blind weight test... and the cheap one really wasn't that bulky either.

This is kind of a new adjustment - the straps actually 
go through the  doo-dads that used to control the adjustment, 
and now we have a little knob... BRILLIANT!

Extra pads... seems like a good idea.  
Estimate how long your helmet will last, divide by two, 
and that's the time to put them in.  
Tip:  you can use fabric glue to keep these things together 
when the sweat breaks down the pads.  Bonus:  another sticker!


Anonymous said...

My nine year old Giro Eclipse may have saved my life on a high speed crash on Page Mill this past May. Hit the top of my head--gouges taken out of the helmet--but don't remember my head even hitting the road, only sliding for about five seconds.

I bought a Bell Helmet at WalMart to replace it (for now) and it seems some of the technology of the high zoot helmets have filtered down as it also has the micro adjustment dial in the back.

Bike shop owner told me that fit is the most important thing about a helmet; a higher priced ones can get you more vents and lighter weight, but they all do a good job if they are fitted and adjusted correctly.

Also product plug from my accident: Exteondo shorts I hit pavement at 35+ mph and slip several seconds, yet the shorts didn't tear and are still quite useable. The nurses at El Camino said that the while there was pretty severe internal bleeding in the hip/leg, the shorts prevented external wounds from opening.

Diablo Scott said...

Thanks Anonymous... my only helmet story is similar; it wasn't a high speed crash. My pedal broke while I was cornering and I went down and my helmet skidded for quite a distance just an inch from my eyeball... freaky experience.