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Giro Cinder MIPS



A smart looking and solid feeling road helmet that is just so comfortable to wear

At every product is thoroughly tested for as long as it takes to get a proper insight into how well it works. Our reviewers are experienced cyclists that we trust to be objective. While we strive to ensure that opinions expressed are backed up by facts, reviews are by their nature an informed opinion, not a definitive verdict. We don't intentionally try to break anything (except locks) but we do try to look for weak points in any design. The overall score is not just an average of the other scores: it reflects both a product's function and value – with value determined by how a product compares with items of similar spec, quality, and price.

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The new Cinder MIPS from Giro shares a lot of technology and styling cues from its top end Synthe model, but considering it comes in at half the price it's certainly a helmet you should put on your 'must try' list. Especially when you take into account how comfortable the fit is.

The Synthe MIPS is an awesome helmet, but most of us probably can't lay down 250 quid on a brain box without wincing, so the Cinder is a very viable alternative.

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You get, as you'd no doubt expect, an expanded polystyrene shell with a polycarbonate shell. Nothing out of the ordinary here but an added bonus is the thermoplastic skeleton that'll keep the helmet together after that initial impact. In the past I've crashed a similar helmet and the skeletal structure certainly held it together, so that if I'd bounced from road to kerb for the secondary clout, my head was likely to have still been protected.

Over the past few months you might have seen the MIPS acronym being bandied about behind helmet names and wondered what it meant. Well, MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, a standalone company that has developed an inner cradle to resist rotational forces of the head should you crash. See more here. It's not much to look at, being a thin piece of plastic inside the helmet, but the theory behind it is pretty sound.

Giro Cinder MIPS - inside.jpg

If you look at the photo of the inside of the helmet you'll see the MIPS liner and the four yellow dots are elastomers. MIPS is basically a cradle for your head, and should you hit the deck the liner and elastomers let your head move in relation to the helmet, almost like a shock absorber.

It's a comfortable fit, as is the rest of the helmet. The Cinder uses Giro's Roc Loc 5 adjustment system, which allows you to tweak the fit at the rear of the head. It's not as advanced as some as it'll only synch things in at the rear rather than all the way around, but it does provide a comfortable fit. There is some up and down adjustment too, which Giro describes as single-handed – it's true, but you have to take the helmet off first, so that's a bit of a misnomer.

Giro Cinder MIPS - back.jpg

As far as ventilation goes, the Cinder gets 26 vents and they offer pretty good airflow. The Thermoformed skeleton takes up quite a bit of space but a solid structure certainly outweighs the slight offset to venting.

Giro Cinder MIPS - front.jpg

It's 90g heavier than my current favourite the Met Manta and it is noticeable, but when you compare it with similar MIPS helmets we've tested the Cinder sits somewhere in the middle. It's the same when it comes to value for money compared with other MIPS helmets we've looked at – it sits alongside the Smith Route, midway between the Bern FL-1 and the Bell Gage. The Giro scores well on aesthetics for me too.

> Read our guide to performance helmets here 

Overall, the Cinder is a great helmet that has some really classy looks, an impressive structure and a great fit. The only thing that strikes me as odd is that the MIPS version is £25 more expensive than the standard Cinder. How much can a small piece of plastic cost? That aside, when taking everything else into account I'd happily shell out for the Cinder.


A smart looking and solid feeling road helmet that is just so comfortable to wear

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Make and model: Giro Cinder MIPS

Size tested: Medium

Tell us what the product is for, and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?

Giro says: "The Cinder™ MIPS provides all the features an avid road rider wants in a lightweight package. The design is inspired by the classic aesthetic of our premium Synthe™ helmet, offering similar performance and style. Key features include the Roc Loc® 5 fit system, which allows you to easily dial-in both fit tension and adjust vertical position with a single hand. Air-FX padding offers comfort on your longest rides, and the helmet is equipped with MIPS to redirect impact energy, providing more protection in certain impacts."

I think the Cinder is a very comfortable helmet that matches the competition on price and weight.

Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?


Compact shape

Air-FX padding

Ponytail compatabile

MIPS equipped


In-mold polycarbonate shell with EPS liner

Thermoformed SL Roll Cage™ reinforcement


Roc Loc® 5


26 Wind Tunnel™ vents with internal chanelling

Sizes Available:

L 59-63CM

M 55-59CM

S 51-55CM

Colours Available:







Rate the product for quality of construction:

Real attention to detail in its construction and a smooth transition between the EPS liner and outer shell.

Rate the product for performance:

Pretty impressive for riding in. Everything just feels right and venting is acceptable too.

Rate the product for durability:
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)

About 90g heavier than my normal aero helmet, but against other Mips equipped helmets it sits somewhere in the middle.

Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)

Plenty of adjustment available to get things just right.

Rate the product for value:

On par with other similar helmets.

Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose

I can't vouch for its head saving capabilities but as a piece of apparel it's comfortable and unobtrusive.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

The fit.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

It's £25 more expensive than the non-MIPS version which seems a bit pricey.

Did you enjoy using the product? Yes

Would you consider buying the product? Yes

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes

Use this box to explain your score

The Cinder is a well-thought-out helmet that is highly adjustable so you can get the perfect fit, and with the MIPS and roll cage adding structural stiffness it's well up there in terms of the latest technology.

Overall rating: 8/10

About the tester

Age: 38  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: Kinesis Aithien

I've been riding for: 10-20 years  I ride: Every day  I would class myself as: Expert

I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

With 20 years of road cycling and over 150,000 miles in his legs it's safe to say Stu is happiest when on the bike whatever the weather. Since writing his first review for back in 2009 he has also had a career in engineering including 3D-CAD design and product development, so has a real passion for all of the latest technology coming through in the industry but is also a sucker for a classic steel frame, skinny tyres, rim brakes and a damn good paintjob.
His fascination with gravel bikes is getting out of control too!

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