Giro Montaro MIPS 2016 Mountain Bike Review

Giro Montaro MIPS 2016

Reviews / Helmets

Giro 86,770

At A Glance

The Giro Montaro is in my eyes, a long awaited successor of the Giro Xen from way back in the 2000's and as such is aimed to cover all of your trail riding and enduro racing needs. Giro are arguably one of the biggest helmet manufacturers in the world yet they have been a touch slow on the uptake for the new high end 'trail' style lids which are now so common. As expected the helmet has bags of protection around the back of the head and it has plenty of vents, 16 in total. It comes in a multitude of colours, with or without M.I.Ps and there is an equivalent women's version; the Montara. With the classic Rocloc fitting system, full goggle integration and camera mount system, the Montaro is full of features.

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On The Trail

The Montaro feels secure on your head and seems to breathe well, the straps are simple and easy to adjust making it instantly comfortable. There are some great features on the Montaro including the P.O.V adjustable peak that allows you to put your goggles under it and a rubberized rear that holds your strap in place. There is also the classic Giro RocLoc which has been leaked down from helmet to helmet over the last decade and for good reason. They have however managed to make some nice adjustments on the cradle which will keep your head cool, all hail the new ‘RocLoc AIR’.

Other features include 'MIPS' as standard, and with most other helmets on the market featuring MIPS as a premium on top of the helmet's cost, this makes the Montaro amazing value. I love the idea behind MIPS, or Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, designed for those 'yard sale' crashes where you have somehow lost a shoe and your underpants are inside out. MIPS is designed to protect your head from impacts in different directions, a lot like when we are on our bikes. Classically helmets have been designed to brave one major impact and then be thrown away. This is still the case, but the MIPS in theory, allows the helmet to take more than one impact in that same crash. The biggest positive is that the MIPS system doesn’t seem to affect how this helmet fits unlike some other lids I have tried. In addition to saving your head, the Montaro also has a neat breakaway feature for you favourite helmet cam. This is designed to save the camera and your head if you do decide to have contact with the ground.

The styling of the helmet is right up my street, it isn’t too big, but covers your head where you need it. Giro offer a full size run from XS to XL so there is a good chance this could be a helmet that fits your head. It also seems to fit like previous Giro helmets I have worn, which can only be a good thing. One thing I did find with the helmet was it’s a little on the heavy side in comparison to what I'm used to, weighing in at 425g (large) it is a little overweight, but that has not affected my good feeling towards this super stylish, sleek looking lid.

Overall

I knew Giro would come up with something to remember, in days gone by the Xen was the only helmet I would consider but the revolution of the ‘trail’ style helmet has had me looking elsewhere recently. The Montaro, however, once again firmly establishes Giro in the trail/all mountain helmet category. Taking its legendary fit and build quality and wrapping it up into a new super-stylish package dripping with features to keep you safe.

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By Graham Beaumont
Graham Beaumont is a highly respected mountain bike coach, and has travelled the world riding his bike on the best trails the planet has to offer. His laid back attitude is in stark contrast to his hard riding style, and there are very few riders who have such exacting standards and demand so much from their bikes and kit.

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