By Evan Rudd
Giro offered a behind the scenes look at their headquarters in Scotts Valley, California, revealing a few secrets and insights into the process of creating new products and their constant quest for innovation.
The theme of the tour centered on the handmade approach Giro's designers and engineers take when creating products. From the initial sketch of a new helmet to the graphics that adorn the finished product, the development process is far more hands on than one may expect.
"You just can't design something you wear that's beautiful using a computer," said Eric Richter, Giro's Senior Brand Manager. “Function must drive design, but the trick is to combine appealing aesthetics with the data to back it up.”
Enter the Giro Air Attack. While the look of this aero helmet may be polarizing, initial orders have far surpassed estimated demand, suggesting a huge shift in consumer preference. You can't deny the technology built into the Air Attack, even if it resembles a throwback skate lid more than a wind-cheating road helmet.
The goal of the Air Attack is to create an entirely new category and set a standard for the design aesthetics of an aerodynamic helmet made for the road, according to Richter. Giro's tests revealed it to have the lowest wind-averaged aerodynamic drag of any other "road" helmet design on the market. It even came close to their time trial specific Selector helmet in the wind tunnel. If you're wondering how it feels out on the road, the RocLoc Air system keeps this helmet shockingly well ventilated by scooping air up underneath the helmet to keep your head cool.
A peek behind the locked doors of "The Dome," which is Easton-Bell Sports' creative epicenter, revealed a brain trust of industrial designers, engineers, model makers and graphic artists all working toward building the next "big thing." A state-of-the-art rapid prototyping room with several $40,000 machines allows designers to bring their ideas to life quickly and efficiently. A safety test facility, three CNC machines and 3-D printing capabilities allow Giro to stay at the forefront of the industry.