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...and a new fit system too

Helmet manufacturers Giro are launching a new all-mountain helmet called the Xar for 2011, but we reckon it’ll cut it just as well for urban cyclists who want something a bit different.

The in-molded Xar is an evolution of the ever-popular Xen, and it comes with an adjustable peak that both keeps the rain out of your eyes and increases airflow to your head. Although we’ve not tried it yet, Giro reckon the breathability of this helmet is incredible.

Like several other models in Giro’s range for next year, the Xar features an updated retention device. Whereas previously you adjusted the tension via two buttons at the rear, with the Roc Loc 5 you turn a micro dial back there. Several other manufacturers – Bell and Specialized, for example – use dial-adjustment.

Roc Loc 5 gives you a three-position vertical fit with up to 15mm of adjustment. In other words, you can move the cradle up or down on a three-position bracket – and you can do this without removing the helmet. The arms are designed to work without getting in the way of Giro eyewear, and the helmet straps fit through them so should always be in the right place.

Giro say this design is 40% lighter than Roc Loc 4 and, as well as the Xar, it’ll be used on high-end helmets like the Ionos and more affordable options like the Monza.

The Xar will cost £114.99, but you’ll have to wait a bit because the first delivery isn’t expected until February.

Mat has worked for loads of bike magazines over 20+ years, and been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. He's been road.cc technical editor for eight years, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. 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 past winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer.