Photos by Maggie Kaiserman
Giro has a long history of developing gravity-oriented helmets starting with the Mad Max in 1995, followed by the Switchblade three years later and the Remedy in 2006. The venerable helmet company now starts a new chapter in its story with the Cipher, the first update to its full-face line in eight years.
"This isn't the Remedy, part two," said Rob Wesson, director of R & D for Giro, said during a media presentation at Crankworx. "This is made with all new technologies."
The fiberglass-shelled Cipher is made with a Vinyl Nitrile impact management system, borrowed from technology already used in football and hockey helmets by Giro’s parent Easton-Bell Sports. The Cipher comes with an in-molded EPS liner—the first full-face Giro has made to use in-molding technology—13 vents, quick-release Velcro cheek pads, TuneUps integrated audio speaker pockets with Giro's own O-Snap audio cable management system, two-bolt visor, removable anti-microbial X-Static interior and camera mounts for GoPro and Contour. It weighs 1,180 grams, slightly more than comparable fiberglass and composite lids from Troy Lee, Urge and POC, but also includes several more features. And at retail cost of $180, it's priced lower than similar offerings from most competitors.
The Cipher replaces Giro's Remedy line next year, but will not include a composite-shelled option right away, although that could happen down the road, Wesson said.
The Cipher debuted with a top podium spot at the Whistler Enduro race when Giro-sponsored rider Jared Graves took the win. I spent two days riding the Cipher during Crankworx, and found it to be breathable and comfortable during multi-hour excursions on Top of the World and through the bike park. The cheek pads felt snug and secure without squeezing too tight, a good thing. The helmet’s field of vision was wide due to a concerted effort by designers to set the shell back deeper, and goggle compatibility was no problem. I didn’t experience any problems with fogging, even when it started pouring mid-run.
The Cipher, which is certified to meet all the major test standards globally including CPSC, ASTM and CEN, is available at retail in December in a variety of glossy and matte paint and graphic schemes.
Also look for new additions to Giro's shoe line including mid-level options for the popular Jacket premium flat pedal shoe, and the Chamber, Giro's clipless gravity shoe. That's in addition to the Terraduro
all-mountain shoe. Read more about the Terraduro here.