The Venus II Women's Helmet by Giro does a fine job for a budget helmet, good for the beginner cyclist or for occasional longer rides. It is a basic, easy fit with the bonus that it goes down to 50cm to fit smaller heads.
Pros: Fits smaller heads
Cons: No vertical adjustment of the cradle
The Venus II is a universal fit helmet to suit recreational riding and commuting. Its 'universal fit' means it comes in just one size, but to suit quite a wide range – 50cm to 57cm. I'd say it comes up on the small side – I have a small head and it doesn't look huge on me, considering it should fit both a 57cm head and a 50cm head. It's a helmet for a small head.
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It has an in-mould construction, meaning the outer shell is fused with an impact-absorbing EPS liner during the manufacturing process. The idea is that it makes it durable and long lasting. It also keeps the weight down at 292g (286g claimed); okay, it's not super-light, but it's not too heavy for a £35 helmet.
It only has 10 vents, so it might get warm in the summer, but this was a cold weather test so I can't really comment on that at the moment. It comes with the usual padding which is Velcro-ed on and removable for washing if needed.
It comes with a snap-fit visor. Whether you rock the visor look or not, I'd say the helmet looks better with the visor on, because when you pull it off there are four unsightly holes showing where it attaches. I'd suggest it's better to just leave it on and use it to keep the sun out of your eyes.
Looks-wise, it is a little bit mushroom-like on my small head (it's not me in the pics) compared with more expensive helmets such as the Lazer Cosmo, or the Bell Tempo MIPS I tested alongside it, which looks more sporty.
When you compare the fit to more expensive models, it does feel like it perches on your head a bit. The cradle doesn't come as far down at the back of the head, and there is no vertical adjustment to give room for a ponytail.
The Acu Dial fit system is a simple dial to tighten and loosen the helmet and worked well even with gloves on. Although it is a little basic-looking, I found it fitted okay and there were no pressure points, even on long rides. Wearing sunglasses with the helmet wasn't an issue, either inside or outside the straps.
I reviewed the Bell Tempo Mips at the same time, which is a more expensive but similar-fitting helmet to the Giro – both being suitable for small heads. Out of the two, I preferred the fit of the Bell on my head, but my sunglasses were a more comfortable fit with the Giro helmet. It's always best to try helmets and compare because they all fit differently.
> Buyer's Guide: 8 of the best cheap cycling helmets
Overall, the Giro Venus II is a good helmet for the recreational user and very well priced. If you are starting to do more regular riding, though, I'd suggest looking at the Bell; it would be my preferred choice, with more protection features and, for me, a better fit, but it is nearly twice the price.
Good basic helmet for the recreational user with a small head
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Make and model: Giro Venus II Women's helmet
Tell us what the product is for
Giro's Venus II Women's Helmet is a budget helmet, ideal for the beginner cyclist, and suits a smaller head.
Giro says, "Designed with style and protection in mind, the Venus™ II is White / Silver Tallac a super choice for riders who put a premium on comfort and convenience in an easy-to-adjust, versatile design. Featuring In-Mold construction to keep it light and breezy, and our easy-to-tune Acu Dial™ system that lets you quickly adjust the fit on the fly. It's minimalist style with maximum protection."
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Shell construction: In-Mold polycarbonate shell with EPS liner
Fit system: Acu Dial
Ventilation: 10 vents
Visor: Snap fit visor
Rate the product for quality of construction:
Helmet seems very well made and meets safety standards.
Rate the product for performance:
As a recreational helmet it was good.
Rate the product for durability:
Over a month of testing there were no problems with durability.
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
OK weight for an entry-level helmet.
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
Comfort was OK; it feels a little more perched on your head compared with some more expensive models with cradles that come further down the back of head.
Rate the product for value:
Well-priced for the quality.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
Used on rides up to five hours, it felt comfortable.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
I like that Giro is catering for a smaller head, making a shell that goes down to 50cm.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
The cradle doesn't move up and down so it feels a bit perched on the head.
Did you enjoy using the product? It was okay.
Would you consider buying the product? No
Would you recommend the product to a friend? If they want a cheap recreational helmet.
Use this box to explain your overall score
A good option as a recreational helmet, comfortable enough and affordable.
Age: 36 Height: 168cm Weight: 60kg
I usually ride: Specailized Dolce My best bike is:
I've been riding for: 5-10 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mountain biking
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