At first glance, this helmet isn't too dissimilar to the 'potty lids' we used to wear on our skateboards back in the 70s, but it's brought up to date with a lower profile shape and it's a lot safer too.
The polycarbonate shell has an in-mould expanded polystyrene liner that's fused to the harder outer shell to save weight and distribute the force of an impact. The straps are basic with no clever, easy-adjustment clips, but once you have them correct and the foam padding inserts positioned right, this helmet has a comfortingly snug fit.
The Section is designed to take lots of minor impacts – after all, it is primarily designed for skateboarders and BMXers – so it's great for daily commutes where it's likely to get the occasional knock when you're carrying it to and from your desk or carting it around the supermarket in your trolley.
With fewer vents than a roadie style helmet, this lid gets pretty warm if you like to work the pedals but the generous soft foam padding inserts do a good job of mopping up your sweat. The eight slotted vents do allow excess heat to evacuate but they don't really channel much air over your head. On the plus side, this could be an advantage in the cold months.
The design leaves plenty of space at the front for great visibility and allows you to wear fashion sunglasses without interference from the helmet shell. To give this helmet a less back street look and more high street appeal, Giro have decorated the exterior with a chocolate brown leather cover which goes terribly well with a Brooks saddle. If the leather look isn't your bag – or it just doesn't match your bag – it's available in several other colour/graphics options, including a sedate matt black finish.
A stylish skate-style helmet with a twist. Great for short commutes, skateparks and winter rides.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Section leather helmet
Size tested: M
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?
The Section takes the skate-style look to a higher level. Apart from venting, every element of the helmet is an improvement over the 70s skateboarding lids it resembles.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner
Construction: In-Mold Technology
3 sizes: small 51-55cm, Medium 55-59cm, Large 59-63cm
Built to take knocks although the leather can get a bit scraped and tarnished, like your shoes can, so a bit of extra care is needed to keep it looking good.
The in-mould fused shell and liner make a lighter and stronger helmet.
If you're after something to protect your head and keep it warm at the same time, this will do just that. If you are looking for a helmet to wear for your next sportive, you will be lucky if your head doesn't resemble a beetroot at the end of it.
Structurally, it's highly durable although the leather will look a bit scuffed if not treated kindly.
The shape is best suited to round heads
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
This is an understated helmet that can deal with the commuter grind yet look refined and subtle enough to go with finer togs.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It looks good and offers excellent protection.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It does get a bit hot and sweaty on enthusiastic rides.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yup
About the tester
Age: 37 Height: 180 Weight: 80
I usually ride: Bike that I am testing at the time My best bike is: Giant CFR pro. Old school carbon converted to fixed. Kinesis Convert 2 fixed. Shorter cafe racer
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed, bare back