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Verdict: 
A comfortable helmet that has okay venting but is a bit on the weighty side for long rides
Weight: 
328g

The Giant Pursuit MIPS Aero road helmet is its attempt to bring the wind-cheating effects of a time trial helmet to the road without sacrificing ventilation. It's an interesting shape and comfortable to wear, and you can feel the cold wind passing over your head once you're up to speed, but it is on the porky side.

  • Pros: Good ventilation at speed, comfortable padding and cradle shape
  • Cons: Heavy, slab sided shape can catch the wind

Giant hasn't made any massive claims about how many watts you'll save over a standard helmet but it says that its design 'minimises drag, producing maximum speed in real-world rider positions'.

> Find your nearest dealer here

Without a session in the wind tunnel it's hard to quantify just what difference it does make against a vented helmet, but I didn't really notice any gains, though that's not to say they aren't there.

I will say this about the shape, mind: with a blustery crosswind your head doesn't half get blown about.

Giant Pursuit Mips Aero road helmet - side 2.jpg

The biggest issue with most aero helmets is venting, but the Giant does a pretty good job of getting the air through from the front to the back. The Pursuit has eight large vents at the front and another seven at the rear, and when you are travelling above 20mph you can really feel the cold air entering and removing the heat from your head.

Giant Pursuit Mips Aero road helmet - front.jpg

Once you start to slow, though, it isn't all that effective, especially if your head is pointing slightly to the ground like when you are climbing up a steep hill or grovelling through a headwind on the flat.

Other aero helmets I've worn, like the Met Manta – one of my favourites – manage to feel much cooler throughout the ride.

> Should you buy an aero helmet?

Another problem with the Giant is its weight. This medium (55-59cm) tips the scales at 328g – that's 113g heavier than the Met and 74g more than the Specialized S-Works Evade II aero helmet. That's noticeable on your bonce, especially on a long ride of over four hours.

Giant has teamed up with MIPS to fit its safety system inside the Pursuit helmet. If you aren't already aware, MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System which uses slip-plane technology inside the helmet to reduce rotational forces from impacts. (Read more here.)

Giant Pursuit Mips Aero road helmet - inside.jpg

If you look at the pic above of the inside of the helmet you'll see the little yellow tabs. There are four of these flexible mounts, with one end mounted to the polystyrene shell and the other to the helmet cradle which allows it to float. The theory is that should the helmet suffer an impact, your head has a small amount of independence to move around and not be subjected to rotational forces as well as the linear ones.

There are various tests and results on the internet on the benefits of MIPS, but I haven't crashed while wearing one yet so I can't give any real hard evidence on the subject.

The cradle itself offers a comfortable fit and is easily adjusted by the thumb wheel at the rear. There is also up and down adjustment at the back of the helmet.

Giant Pursuit Mips Aero road helmet - back.jpg

The padding isn't massively thick but it is comfortable against the skin and does a good job of soaking up any sweat; it's anti-microbial too, so that should stop any unwanted whiffs from bacteria growth.

The straps are easy to adjust and feel fine against the skin under your neck. Giant also says that these are hydrophobic, so they won't absorb sweat as you ride.

Giant Pursuit Mips Aero road helmet - strap.jpg

Stick the word 'aero' in the title of any cycling product and the price normally goes up, so it's no surprise to see a £189.99 price tag for the Pursuit. That isn't overly excessive for a top flight aero race lid – the Specialized Evade II mentioned above has an rrp of £200 and it doesn't come with the MIPS technology which will add to the price of the Giant.

Another similar but more expensive helmet is the Giro Vanquish MIPS Aero at £239 – and it's heavier, though that probably comes down to the included visor.

> Buyer's Guide: 18 of the best high-performance helmets

Overall, the Giant has some good and some not so good traits. Aero helmets always have compromises for the majority of riding, ventilation being the top one. Here, that works at the speed the Pursuit is designed to be ridden at, so it's just a shame the helmet is so noticeably heavy.

The Pursuit helmet is available in three sizes and comes in black, white and black/cyan.

Verdict

A comfortable helmet that has okay venting but is a bit on the weighty side for long rides

If you're thinking of buying this product using a cashback deal why not use the road.cc Top Cashback page and get some top cashback while helping to support your favourite independent cycling website

road.cc test report

Make and model: Giant Pursuit Mips Aero road helmet

Size tested: 55-59cm

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?

Giant says, "INTEGRATED FOR SPEED. Pursuit combines the aero speed of a TT helmet with the head-cooling ventilation of a pro road racing helmet. Pursuit brings together innovative technologies to optimize aerodynamics, ventilation and comfort, all in one helmet"

I couldn't notice any massive gains in performance during real world testing, and the ventilation is okay rather than great.

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

Giant lists these features:

Sizes: S (51-55cm), M (55-59cm), L (59-63cm)

Optimized ventilated aerodynamics design

Design minimizes drag, producing maximum speed in real-world rider positions

Strategically placed AeroVent ports optimize airflow through the helmet, which improves aerodynamics and adds head-cooling ventilation

AeroVent ports pull incoming air through the helmet and streams it through deep internal channels to regulate temperatures during hard efforts

TransTextura Plus™ anti-microbial padding helps fight bacteria growth and the natural property of the fabric inhibits microbes that cause odors

Low and high-speed impact-tuned construction with optimized low-density EPS, and an ultra-thin toughened polycarbonate shell

Element Strap System (ESS) brings together Cinch Pro™, adjustable locking dividers, and LiteForm™ webbing into one fit and retention system for superior fit and comfort right out of the box

Integrated MIPS Cinch Pro™ fit system offers optimal coverage by cradling the occipital bone for full protection, support and comfort

Lightweight, LiteForm™ webbing wraps around the head better for a more secure fit and is hydrophobic so it won't absorb sweat or stretch out like other webbing

Rate the product for quality of construction:
 
8/10
Rate the product for performance:
 
7/10
Rate the product for durability:
 
8/10
Rate the product for weight (if applicable)
 
5/10
Rate the product for comfort (if applicable)
 
6/10

The shape of the cradle and padding works very well, but its weight means it can become uncomfortable if worn for a long time.

Rate the product for value:
 
6/10

Against specific aero helmets like the few mentioned in the review, it isn't actually that expensive.

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

As a helmet designed for riding fast it does a pretty good job.

Tell us what you particularly liked about the product

Comfortable.

Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product

Heavy.

Did you enjoy using the product? On the whole it was okay, but it wouldn't be my go-to helmet for the majority of rides.

Would you consider buying the product? No

Would you recommend the product to a friend? Possibly

Use this box to explain your overall score

There is a lot to like with the Giant Pursuit: it's comfortable, and the venting is okay for an aero lid, but its weight and ability to get blown about in a crosswind take the shine off for me.

Overall rating: 6/10

About the tester

Age: 40  Height: 180cm  Weight: 76kg

I usually ride: This month's test bike  My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components

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: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed

Stu knocked out his first road.cc review back in 2009 and since then he's chucked the best part of seventy test bikes around the West Country, a couple of them quite literally! With three alloy and two steel bikes in his fleet he's definitely a metal man (that'll be the engineering background) but is slowly warming to that modern carbon fibre stuff along with fat tyres & disc brakes.
It's not all nostalgia though, after spending the last few years in product design Stu keeps banging on about how 3D printing is going to be the next big thing and he's a sucker for a beautiful paint job too.

8 comments

Avatar
peted76 [1532 posts] 5 months ago
4 likes

The model looks like he needs a cuddle, someone give this man a hug!

Avatar
peted76 [1532 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Helmet looks good mind  1

Avatar
Fluffed [139 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Ugly, (relatively) heavy, expensive.. hmm, pass.

Spesh Evade II does have a MIPS option now fyi.

Avatar
mylesrants [500 posts] 5 months ago
2 likes
peted76 wrote:

The model looks like he needs a cuddle, someone give this man a hug!

We here here for him.

Recommendations:

Get good sleep. For lots of people who experience (HMS) helmet modelling sadness, sleeping too little or too much can be a daily problem. ... 
Eat well. Eating a balanced and nutritious diet can help you feel well, think clearly and increase your energy levels pre and post helmet shoot.
Keep active and focus on other things in life other than helmet modelling.

Avatar
Prosper0 [227 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Lol, that poor model. I hope he’s getting paid!

Avatar
Liam Cahill [184 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
fluffed wrote:

Ugly, (relatively) heavy, expensive.. hmm, pass.

Spesh Evade II does have a MIPS option now fyi.

Well, that's not a very nice thing to say... oh, you're talking about that helmet!
My resting b1tch face (RBF) was extra salty that day.

Avatar
hawkinspeter [3905 posts] 5 months ago
1 like
Liam Cahill wrote:
fluffed wrote:

Ugly, (relatively) heavy, expensive.. hmm, pass.

Spesh Evade II does have a MIPS option now fyi.

Well, that's not a very nice thing to say... oh, you're talking about that helmet! My resting b1tch face (RBF) was extra salty that day.

I think that your next photo-shoot should be extra happy to offset this one.

Maybe wearing a helmet whilst eating cake or performing a little happy dance. (We can chip in to get you some cake if needs be)

Avatar
handlebarcam [1322 posts] 5 months ago
0 likes

Cheer up fella, it could be worse: you could be wearing the naff gold-spray-painted version that Greg Van Avermaet has been sporting this season, since the Olympic champion moved to his new Giant-equipped CCC team.