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Giro Aether MIPS Helmet Review

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Giro Aether MIPS 2
Photo Credit : Giro

Riding bicycles is fun, but can also be dangerous. There is an expression in cycling that holds true for every rider, There are two types of cyclists, those that have crashed, and those that are going to crash.

It’s an evitable part of the sport and why wearing a helmet is critical for rider safety.

The Giro Aether first appeared in 2018 and is still the brand’s top road model available to date since it replaced Giro’s previous flagship model, the Synthe.

Being top dog also comes with a hefty price tag. Be prepared to shell out a fair bit of funds to make one your own. It’s an expensive item, but can you put a price on your health and added safety?

You’ll find the Giro Aether on the heads of several professional cycling teams such as Groupama-FDJ (Français des Jeux), NTT Pro Cycling, Team Total Direct Energie, and Israel Start-Up Nation.

Technical Specifications

  • Weight : 263g (size L)
  • Colors : 9
  • Number of vents : 11

Who is the Giro Aether For?

The Giro Aether is for cyclists that want to look good while benefiting from the latest in protection against harmful rotational forces that a head may receive as the result of a crash or impact. 

It’s the maximum fusion of design, safety, airflow and fit available.

What I Think About the Giro Aether?

I am a fan! 

I hadn’t purchased a new helmet in a while, but it was time. The Giro Aether’s style, impressive weight and many vents caught my eye immediately. It can get hot where I live, so excellent airflow played a big part in my choice and I got it right.

Its ventilation is impressive. I can feel the air circulating around my head as I ride. Less sweat forms and drips into my eyes as compared to my old helmet, so I feel cool and fresh. No matter what kind of riding you do, it’s a fantastic choice.

The Aether is comfortable, stylish and I feel confident knowing that I’m wearing the best helmet safety features available. It seamlessly combines MIPS with its proprietary Spherical Technology to solve the problem of multi-directional forces that cyclists suffer in crashes and impacts.

Aside from its fantastic looks, high safety rating and fit, there’s a lot more going on under this helmet’s laser-cut polycarbonate shell.

Let’s look at the technology that goes into the Giro Aether.

Pros

  • Spherical Technology. Giro’s proprietary safety feature brings MIPS to the next level of safety, saves overall weight and improves airflow too.
  • Multiple colors. At least 9 colors to choose from, something for everyone.
  • Lightweight and ventilated. Perfect for long days out in the saddle. Airflow debit is noticeable over the scalp, keeping you cool.

Cons

  • Price. Not in everyone’s budget.
  • No bag included in the box, and at this price, it should.

MIPS Safety Included

The Giro Aether is built with MIPS Spherical Technology. MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, a science developed in Sweden in 2007 with the help of a neurosurgeon. It proved to be a significant improvement in helmet safety.

The folks at MIPS shed light on the fact that crashes and impacts almost never occur
predictably in one plane, so helmets should be better equipped to handle this. In-lab testing moved from simple direct, head-on impacts to include multi-angled blows to the sides, top and rear, and MIPS is designed to reduce these rotational forces.

The Giro Aether combats these types of head injury due to malicious rotational and multi-angle forces by preventing them in the first place. Anyone who has been in an accident can appreciate the extra protection this can provide.

MIPS works in the form of a thin moveable plastic liner that sits inside the helmet between the padding and its foam body. It can slide between 10° to 15° in all directions in response to an impact. The sliding action disperses the shock over a greater number of angles, thus reducing the energy transferred to the brain and hopefully preventing any potentially severe head trauma.

Innovative Spherical Technology Pushes MIPS to The Next Level

With the Aether, Giro has taken MIPS to the next level by integrating it directly into the helmet. Two separate and independent nanobead EPS shells glide over a slip plane sandwiched between them. Pick the helmet up and you’ll see what I mean since you can physically rock the top layer right and left over the bottom one.

The two-layer sliding movement recreates the MIPS action that previously came from a separate liner. Giro calls this Spherical Technology, and it’s proprietary to them. It goes a long way in improving fit and airflow since the separate plastic liner is no longer a factor.

Multi-Density Zones and Structural Integrity

The Aether is composed of progressive layers of Giro’s Nanobead EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) foam that also do their part to absorb energy impacts. Nanobead refers to the use of micro-foam particles in the creation of the helmet body. The density of these particles can be controlled and fine-tuned over different parts of the helmet’s construction more or less susceptible to impact.

To further promote the helmet’s structural strength, the Aether is made with a translucent and shatter-resistant Aura Reinforcing Arch that runs throughout. The struts are visible between the 11 huge air vents. Hold the helmet up to the light and you’ll see it.

Precision Fit and Comfort

The Aether fits most heads thanks to Giro’s Roc Loc 5 + (that’s Five Plus) Air Fit system. As the name states, this retention system is in its fifth generation. Riders can custom fit the helmet with a precision dial and adjust the rear contact points asymmetrically. And since there is no need for a MIPS liner, there’s more real estate for your head.

Once I found my fit, the Aether didn’t budge. Even though the padding has lost some of its density over time, it’s still comfortable, fits me great, and I’ve never had any problems with pinching or squeezing.

Maximum Ventilation

The Aether contains 11 massive vents throughout that work with the Deep Inner Channels molded directly in the helmet’s inner body to promote airflow. It works great!. This is a particularly attractive feature if you live in hot weather.

The addition of Spherical Technology not only improves safety, but airflow too. The elimination of the liner means more room for air to circulate around your head. You’ll feel the breeze over the top and sides of your head.

Sleek and Modern Design Available In Many Colors

Security is important, but so is looking good! With the Aether, you get a sleek and modern design with performance and comfort in mind. Its laser-cut shell and rear silhouette make this helmet a real eye-catcher. The Aether has finally made it possible to combine safety without compromising on style.

Another added asset to the Aether is its Eyewear Docking Ports. When you aren’t wearing your glasses, they remain in place thanks to friction against small rubber grippers specifically designed for this task. Move your head side-to-side, up and down, or even turn around to look behind you in the wind, they aren’t going anywhere.

The Aether offers a large choice of colors, state-of-the-art safety, lots of comfort, airflow and good looks. How can you go wrong? The price may definitely put off some, but keep in mind that you only have one head and you can’t put a price on that.

What Others are Saying?

Great helmet!

I recently bought this for my wife. We ride around 50-60 miles a week and she hadn’t updated her helmet in years so we felt like we could splurge on a new one. We are both fans of the MIPS system. She loves the matte blue color and it is pretty rad!

John G, purchased from Competitive Cyclist

Great update

I’ve worn the Aether for the past 6 months and had the Giro Synthe before. The Synthe saved my brain in a crash in Lamb’s Canyon on my road bike which made me a loyal Giro fan. I replaced my cracked Synthe with the Aether because of it’s sleek look and updated MIPS tech. It is my #1 helmet of choice each morning when I ride because of the fit and aero design.

Stuart A, purchased from Competitive Cyclist

How Much Does the Giro Aether Cost?

The Giro Aether retails for :

Giro Aether Rating

  • Design and Aesthetics - 9/10
    9/10
  • Breathability - 8/10
    8/10
  • Fit and Comfort - 9/10
    9/10
  • Safety and Protection - 10/10
    10/10
  • Weight - 9/10
    9/10
9/10

Buy This If...

If you’re looking to upgrade your current helmet (every three to five years is a good guideline) or merely wish to wear the latest in safety technology. The 10° to 15° multi-directional movement of the integrated MIPS Spherical Technology will protect your head by reducing rotational forces in the event of a crash or impact.

Alternatives to the Giro Aether

Giro Cinder

The Giro Cinder also comes with the MIPS safety feature, but in a mid-range price tag. Giro made the helmet more durable by sacrificing a bit of ventilation. However, it does have 26 vents which produce a proper amount of airflow for most riding conditions.

It’s available in nine colors, something to go with anyone’s cycling wardrobe. The Cinder weights more, but offers similar performance, fit, features and style since it gets its inspiration from its more-premium sibling the Synthe.

Kask Valegro

Another option is the Kask Valegro. It was developed with the help of Team Ineos-Grenadier (formerly Team Sky) to be lightweight and offer an excellent level of ventilation when climbing or riding in extreme heat thanks to its 37 massive vents. The helmet fits in such a way that it really doesn’t touch your head, something that contributes to its airflow.

The overall padding is comfortable but thinner. It doesn’t have the MIPS safety feature, but does come in eight colors and has a comfortable eco-leather chin strap which gives it a premium feel while making it a good value for the price.