It’s not often you find a cycling product, like the Giro Atmos, that gets 18 five stars, 5 four stars, and ZERO three, two, and one stars. The cumulative ranking is as close to a five star ranking as you’ll find for any item with more than a handful of reviews. But that’s what you see when you read the 23 reviews of the Giro Atmos over at Amazon.
What’s there to say about a cycling helmet?
Seems to me the way you go about evaluating a bike helmet is to figure out the most important and/or the most frequent problems with wearing a cycling helmet…and figure out if the Giro Atmos solves them. In this case, the most irritating features of a bike helmet are…
- Heat. A bike helmet is hot. It’s like putting a miniature foam chest on your head and then putting a heating element (your blood-perfused brain) under it.
- An irritating attachment system. There aren’t many things more uncomfortable than a helmet that digs into your scalp.
- Weight. Cheaper helmets are heavier than the Giro Atmos.
- Cycling helmets look ugly.
How Does The Giro Atmos Handle Heat?
I’m glad you asked…this helmet handles heat with what Giro calls ‘Wind Tunnel Ventilation’. There are 26 vents in the Giro Atmos, and they aren’t just drilled into the helmet willie-nilly style. They’re channeled into the helmet so that the wind is directed across the scalp, cooling off even the most extreme ‘hot head’.
Check out this short video that the Giro
propagandists research and development team published…
Here’s how Kevin Franks puts it: “this forces cool air over the rider’s head”. He also makes note of the active external vents, which “pull heat and stale air” off the cyclist’s noggin.
There is a lot of talk about how cool this helmet is. There’s even one reviewer who muses that he may need to get another helmet for cool weather (50 degrees or cooler in his world). I wonder why he doesn’t just get a cloth bandanna at the Dollar Store so that he can wear it like a doo-rag.
It worked for Kip in ‘Napoleon Dynamite’.
I thought another user’s experience was peculiar…until I learned about the pseudo-turbo style of ventilation. He said that the helmet was noisy and that he sometimes mistook the wind noise for an approaching car.
Well, now I know what was going on. The wind channels that were flushing the stale air away from his scalp were simulating the sound of a ‘whooshing’ car.
What About The Comfort Of The Attachment System?
I could go on and on about the Roc Loc 5 system, but this video explains it thoroughly.
A couple of thoughts that weren’t covered in the video…
- Those arms that Giro touts as being excellent sunglass holders are the slimmest Giro has offered. Once again, the less contact the helmet has with your head, the cooler it is.
- The ‘dual pods’ that contact the back of your skull are large and disperse the pressure across your occiput. I have a Louis Garneau helmet that has small pads, and it consistently gives me a head-ache…I don’t wear it anymore.
So Light You’ll Forget It’s There
“This Giro is so light that you quickly forget that you’re even wearing it”. That’s what ‘mgonzales‘ said after he embarrassed his wife and kids by showing up poolside wearing nothing but his Speedo and Giro Atmos.
Need I say more?
And The Giro Atmos Looks Good, Too!
In the spirit of ‘Looking Good’, the Giro Atmos does about as well as anything out there on the market. To a cyclist, these helmets look good. To the rest of the world, one silly looking cycling helmet looks as goofy as the next one.
But what do we care about those non-cyclists’ opinions anyway…we know that these miniature Coleman Coolers make us look ‘mighty fine’.
What About The Cost Of The Giro Atmos?
These brain-buckets aren’t cheap. They list for $180.00. But don’t despair too much…depending on the size of your head and your desired color pattern, they are listed over at Amazon for as little as $104.61. Of course that lowest price is for the least desirable combination, but there are a bunch of them for around $120.00.
If you’re a casual cyclist, you may be experiencing a bit of sticker shock. On the other hand, that rider who has to have the best of everything may be embarrassed to put such an ‘everyday priced’ helmet on his swelled head.
But, I’ll bet you’re somewhere in between. And if you can find the Giro Atmos you like on Amazon, it may be worth it to you to ride along forgetting that you have an annoying helmet on your head.