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2015 helmet roundup: Giro, Bell, Poc, Kask & Mavic

New performance urban and aero lids - big vents, little vents, system integration, MIPs and more

Giro and Bell have both launched new helmet models featuring MIPS (Multidirectional Impact Protection System) technologies designed to reduce rotational impact energy in the event of a slam. We’ve recently reported that both Lazer and Smith have added MIPS technology to their bike helmet lineups. 

MIPS was developed by scientists at the Karolinska Hospital and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden.

There are three main components to a MIPS-equipped helmet

• An EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner.
• A low friction liner.
• An elastomeric attachment system between them.

The idea is that in an impact, the elastomeric attachment system stretches to allow the EPS liner to rotate independently around your head. The system is designed to move just a few millimetres, but it is designed to reduce the amount of rotational force transferred to your brain.

Giro believes that helmets equipped with MIPS technology may provide an additional measure of protection in some impacts, and our inside man reckons that MIPS will extend over the entire range within a couple of years.

So, that’s the theory. Giro are adding MIPs to five helmets, all of which will be available worldwide this autumn.

The road helmets to feature MIPS are the Savant – which we rated highly when we reviewed it here on – and its equivalent in the women’s range, the Sonnet, which also impressed us.

The Savant and Sonnet are in-moulded helmets that uses Giro’s excellent Roc Loc 5 fit system.

The Sutton urban helmet also gets MIPS. This one comes with a detachable/integrated light clip, a soft leather peak, and reinforced vents that double as lock ports.

The other MIPS-equipped helmets in the Giro range are the Feature mountain bike lid and it’s women’s-specific equivalent, the Feather.

We showed you Giro’s Synthe (it's not a MIPS helmet) when it was launched at this year’s Tour de France.

It’s an aero helmet that doesn’t really look like an aero helmet. Giro reckon that it’s nearly as efficient as the fastest time trial helmets but with much more comfort and ventilation.



Bell, sister brand to Giro, are also adding MIPS technology to their range, along with ICEdot emergency notification.

ICEdot provides first responders access to pre-designated emergency contact and personal health information following an impact. A sticker on the helmet with a unique code links to a secure online profile via text, allowing people to retrieve emergency information stored there. 

Both MIPS and ICEdot will be offered in Bell’s Super 2 (red version higher up the page) and Super2R helmets from November while MIPS will be offered in the Stoker and ICEdot will also be provided with the new Star Pro road helmet (above) – which we first showed you when it was launched at the Tour de France – and Full Flex action sports helmet. 

Bell have a few more new helmets in the lineup for 2015, including a couple for the road.

The in-moulded Overdrive (£79.99) comes with Bell’s Twin Axis Gear (TAG) fit system that adjusts both circumferentially (hurrah for the word 'circumferentially') and horizontally. It has a claimed weight of 285g and looks pretty neat to us.

The Event (£49.99) uses the same TAG fit system and weighs just 5g more.

The Intersect (£49.99) is a new urban helmet with a flexible fit inner, an integrated rear light port and a removable peak.

Giro and Bell are both distributed in the UK by Zyro



POC are also offering a new MIPS-equipped helmet, the new Octal launched at Eurobike and currently being used in the Tour of Spain. The MIPS system adds about 15g to the weight of the helmet, taking it to 215g.

POC also introduce ‘Eye Park’ which was developed with the Garmin-Sharp Pro Cycling Team. A small magnet in the helmet and eyewear allows the cyclist to push the glasses up so you can see under when riding in low light or through tunnels.

"The idea was born at a training camp in Mallorca," said Nathan Haas from Team Garmin-Sharp. "I shared a thought I had about using magnets on the helmet and eyewear, to avoid having to take your glasses on and off and put them in pockets or the team car. POC listened and here we are."

It's a little bit like Lazer's Magdoc system.  

POC also showed new colour options for the regular Octal as part of a new Raceday range which includes colour-matched Fizik saddles, clothing, gloves and socks. Here are the Fluorescent Pink and Granite Red options. Tthere will also be Hydrogen White (hydrogen is white? Who knew?), Nickel Blue (nickel is blue? Etc.) and Garminium Blue (as in Team Garmin Sharp).



We showed you Kask’s new Protone helmet when we spotted it on the heads of Team Sky riders at the Tour de France, and we got the chance to get all a touchy feely with it for the first time at Eurobike.

Kask say that the Protone has one of the lowest levels of drag of any ventilated helmet, and one of the fastest rates of heat dissipation too. It weighs in at a claimed 230g.



Mavic’s CXR Ultimate helmet uses their existing Ergo Hold SL retention system that, like most, is adjusted via a clicky wheel at the back. This is designed as an aero helmet but, like the Giro Synthe (above), it has much more venting than on a traditional aero lid. It's also designed to work as part of a a complete aero system (more on that in a separate story) but the idea is that to get the full aero benefit you team CXR Ultimate up with matching kit and of course wheels.


Click here to read all of our stories from Eurobike 2014 - the world's biggest bike show.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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CJSTEVENS1955 | 9 years ago

I'm amazed. If you go back 20 the hot tub time machine...cycle helmets were just bloody awful, with tiny vents etc. Now everyone wants that in essence has 20 year old technology. Give me the original Giro Air Attack any day!

rggfddne | 9 years ago

To be fair, they're all fugly and mostly uninteresting. With the possible of the octal, apparently the only one that tries to improve the safety rating of a light helmet (shocking that, for an industry so apparently concerned with "safety", so little research actually goes into... safety)

JMcWatt | 9 years ago

I'm sure some will love the looks but congrats to Mavic for producing the ugliest helmet currently on the market, the designers have obviously taken inspiration from the land of the rising sun with that frontal area...

Vin Cox replied to JMcWatt | 9 years ago
McD wrote:

I'm sure some will love the looks but congrats to Mavic for producing the ugliest helmet currently on the market, the designers have obviously taken inspiration from the land of the rising sun with that frontal area...

Oh! That's the front is it?

jollygoodvelo replied to Vin Cox | 9 years ago
Vin Cox wrote:
McD wrote:

I'm sure some will love the looks but congrats to Mavic for producing the ugliest helmet currently on the market, the designers have obviously taken inspiration from the land of the rising sun with that frontal area...

Oh! That's the front is it?

Mavic clearly making a play for the Macedonian market.  4


imaca replied to JMcWatt | 9 years ago

Yeah, it is astonishingly hideous, but I think you spoke too soon, there is competition......

CJSTEVENS1955 replied to imaca | 9 years ago

Your right...that really is a shower of s***t

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