It’s the week leading up to the Tour de France and that means the bike industry is gearing up to launch lots of shiny new products, and kicking things off is this brand new Giro Aether MIPS helmet.
Giro tells us the new Aether was designed to meet its aim to “advance the state of head protection while delivering comfort, low weight, and extreme ventilation needed for elite-level racing.”
What it is is a £260 helmet showcasing the latest MIPS Spherical technology inside a helmet that weighs a claimed 250g, comes in three sizes and uses a 6-piece shell that has allowed it to increase the size of the vents for improved cooling, while AURA reinforcement adds structural integrity.
MIPS Spherical is an evolution of the technology designed to reduce the impact of a crash by providing a small range of rotational movement. You might be familiar with the bright yellow plastic liner now appearing in a lot of helmets, and testing by Virginia Tech showed MIPS-equipped helmets coming out on top in its tests.
There are downsides to MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) though, chief of which is compromised fit as most helmet manufacturers just seem to add the liner to an existing helmet, not taking into consideration the impact it has on fit and sizing. It also impacts internal ventilation.
What Giro has done with the Aether is develop a helmet with a two-piece shell that does the job of the plastic liner, thus eliminating the need for the separate liner completely.
Developed by Giro and MIPS, this new design mimics a ball-and-socket, the two layers of dual-density Nanobead EPS foam providing several millimetres of movement in any direction to reduce the rotational energy during certain impacts.
The result should be improved comfort for starters. But there’s more, Giro has used the removal of the yellow liner to improve ventilation by adding deep channels inside the helmet.
The outside of the helmet is formed from six pieces with large vents and it has added a shatterproof AURA reinforcement for good measure. There are docking points for glasses.
An upgrade Roc Loc 5+ Air Fit retention system provides 3-way fit tuning.
CooFit Anti-microbial padding takes care of comfort and sweat management inside the helmet.
The Giro Aether will be debuted by the BMC team at the Tour de France and you’ll be able to get your hands on one from 1st August.
More info at www.giro.com
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.