Effective and good-looking helmet, its price, weight and the warranty reassurance from Giro and Madison make it good value for money
Weight: 256g Contact: www.madison.co.uk
This highly adjustable Giro lid is more air vent than helmet. The 2013 version of Giro's successful Atmos does not disappoint. With easy adjustability and huge cooling vents, the Latest incarnation of this high end offering gets the job done.
Aesthetically speaking very little has changed from previous models. The Atmos is still a compact helmet that sits tight to the head and does well at avoiding the dreaded 'mushroom' look. The particular black, white and blue model that I tested might not be to everyone's taste, covered as it is in what looks like text from a promotional poster.
If you take the time to look you'll find the words 'Easter Sunday' and 'Proudly Presents' scattered around the top of the Atmos. Why? I have absolutely no idea, and I feel it would be a bit too geeky to email Giro and ask. Personally I like the look of it. From a distance especially, the flecks of white and blue jump out and look great.
As we would expect for a helmet at this price point, it's reasonably light. Giro list the weight as 280grams but our test model (in medium) came in under that at 256 grams.
It's easy to see where the weight savings have been made. For starters, most of the helmet is air. The vents that keep your head wind cooled and supposedly make it more aerodynamic are enormous. The buckles are super light, the strapping is very thin and Giro's Roc Loc 5 fit system continues the minimalist theme.
There are lighter helmets on the market for this budget, but the weight of the Atmos is more than respectable. This is not a helmet for true weight weenies though. They will be looking higher in the Giro range to shave more unwanted grams.
Once it's on your head, the Atmos' adjustability is very good. Giro provide the Atmos with ample chin strap slack for its customers to find their ideal fit. The Roc Loc 5 system is carried through into 2013 from earlier Giro helmet ranges and it continues to do an admirable job of allowing one handed changes to the fit of the helmet while in the saddle.
Lateral adjustment is made with a twist of the 'micro dial', a small rotating disk located at the back of the helmet. With exposed fingertips you have no problem making changes on the fly but it might prove difficult to adjust whilst wearing full fingered winter gloves. However that is a problem shared by the majority of helmets.
Vertical movement is slightly more awkward. There are three settings to choose from and they are best selected while the helmet is off your head as it is hard to determine which setting you are using without looking at it.
You are far less likely to need vertical adjustment when you are riding though. I haven't moved it since I initially put the helmet on and set it up for my head. Any changes I have made were to the width of the fit, to accommodate for a cap.
With the range of sizes (small/medium/large) and the built in adjustability of the Atmos, Giro have designed a helmet that will be a reasonable fit for most people. Added to that, there is a women specific version, the Amare, that will be added to the Giro range for 2013.
Despite the range of fit, everybody's head is a different shape. Some might find that the top of the helmet sits too low in the centre and presses slightly on the top of the head in one small spot. For me it's as though there is a lump in either my head or the helmet.
You don't feel it when riding though, only when you initially place it on your head. It is particularly noticeable if you are wearing a cap as the bunched seams and material exaggerate the problem. I initially thought this would hurt if you were to crash in the helmet, but as I would find out on numerous occasions during a very wet and slippery cyclocross race, it doesn't.
In fact the Atmos performs admirably at its primary objective, protecting your head when you and bike part company. Despite repeatedly crashing on it, there was very little wear on the helmet, a small dent in the back and a lot of mud, but nothing that would worry me.
That's a good sign for a helmet that is going to cost you £130. For that money I would expect some longevity. I also expect a good crash replacement policy, which Giro and their UK distributors Madison provide. The current replacement cost of a damaged Atmos is £65.
Effective and good-looking helmet, its price, weight and the warranty reassurance from Giro and Madison make it good value for money.
road.cc test report
Make and model: Giro Atmos 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?
Giro say that the Atmos "continues to set the standard for high performance, matchless style and comfortable fit. Its low profile silhouette, 26 Wind Tunnel vents and benchmark in mold Roll Cage make it a top choice for road, cross and XC riders alike".
I would agree with them. It has certainly proved up to the job of both road and cross use. The only reason I could see to move up in the range would be to save weight. I'd rather eat less cake and save the £'s.
The massive air vents kept my head cool, to the extent that I didnt really notice the helmet.
It seems to to have lasted the battering I gave it quite well. Only a small dent after numerous falls.
It would have to lose at least 50 grams to be considered a superlight road helmet.
Despite my initial worries as to the shape of my head and the helmet, I was very happy with the comfort level.
I think it represents good value for money when its position in the giro range and the prices of its competition are taken into account, but still... £130 for a helmet. I would struggle to justify that purchase.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
It protected my head when I crashed, but I didnt crash very hard.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
The style and fit. And that it matched my Giro Trans and Gauge shoes.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
It is a little heavier than many helmets in this price range.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Yes
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
About the tester
I usually ride: In summer Rose Pro Carbon RS, In Winter Graham Weigh cross bike. My best bike is:
I've been riding for: Under 5 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: road racing, cyclo cross, commuting, touring, club rides, sportives, general fitness riding, mtb, I have been known to ride round in wooden circles.