Giro Aether MIPS helmet review

Light, comfortable, fast, and safer than before

Helmets
Riding some of the climbs featured in the Tour of California was a great way to show the cooling effects of the new Aether MIPS helmet.

Riding some of the climbs featured in the Tour of California was a great way to show the cooling effects of the new Aether MIPS helmet.

What is it

Giro recently launched its Aether MIPS cycling helmet. An all-around style helmet nearly three years in the making, it features MIPS Spherical, a new approach to rotational impact energy management. Inside the Aether, a dual-density EPS foam liner helps to manage a wide range of impact energies, while also boasting deep internal channeling to provide cooling airflow. Giro‘s proprietary MIPS Spherical technology is embedded between the layers of EPS foam – instead of against the rider’s head – giving riders the benefits of MIPS without any obstruction to comfort or cooling power.

Giro‘s proprietary MIPS Spherical technology is embedded between the layers of EPS foam – instead of against the rider’s head.

Giro‘s proprietary MIPS Spherical technology is embedded between the layers of EPS foam – instead of against the rider’s head.

Outside, a 6-piece shell forms a sleek silhouette around the vents, which get added structural reinforcement via a shatter-proof “halo” that runs throughout the helmet. The final touch is a Roc Loc Air fit system, featuring 3D fit tuning, that allows easy adjustment.

Pros
  • New protective features
  • Aerodynamic
  • Great ventilation
  • Classic look
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Unproven new technology
RoadBikeReview’s Take

Helmets are one of the most personal pieces of cycling equipment. Depending on a rider’s discipline they can choose from a variety of shapes and protection technologies. But in the search for the perfect helmet, sacrifices usually have to be made. More aero equals less air flow; Lightweight could mean less protection, and so on.

The Aether is up to 2.5% cooler than Synthe MIPS, as demonstrated by the Giro “Dome” with Therminator heat-sensing head unit.

The Aether is up to 2.5% cooler than Synthe MIPS, as demonstrated by the Giro “Dome” with Therminator heat-sensing head unit.

Personally, I’m a big fan of one helmet that does most things well. But I see the appeal for an aero design for fast races and crits, and a more open ventilated design for long days in the heat. And that is just for road cycling. There are many more options for mountain biking.

Enter Giro, which is looking to combat the garage of rotating helmets with its new Aether MIPS that attempts to bridge the gap between airflow, aerodynamics, and protection.

It took lots of iterations to come to the final design of the new Aether MIPS helmet.

It took lots of iterations to come to the final design of the new Aether MIPS helmet.

Previously, the MIPS Spherical design was only available in Giro’s high-end snow sport helmets. But after seeing the potential, design engineers sought ways to incorporate the protection technology into a maximum airflow cycling helmet design. For those unfamiliar, MIPS technology allows 10-15mm of relative motion between the head and helmet in a crash.

Riding with the Aether MIPS

From the first ride in the Aether it disappeared on my head. Airflow was so good my hair remained dry during most of a 70-mile ride through the Northern California hills. And that’s impressive considering I’m usually a sweat factory.

Turning my head to check position on downhills, the Aether remained silent, no odd noises or head tugs that accompany many of today’s aero style helmets.

Airflow testing at Giro HQ.

Airflow testing at Giro HQ.

Another notable features is the sunglasses holder, which are sturdy and barely detectable unless you’re looking. I tested the fitting of several different sunglasses and all secured nicely, even a pair of Dollar Store aviators.

Weight is also impressively low (250g size medium). Yet the Aether MIPS is 2.4% more aerodynamically efficient than the Giro Synthe MIPS. The Aether MIPS is also up to 2.5% cooler than Synthe MIPS, a fact born out of testing using a heat-sensing head unit.

MIPS Spherical is a new approach to rotational impact energy management.

MIPS Spherical is a new approach to rotational impact energy management.

I didn’t have any crashes in the Aether, but I feel confident in its protective design. The Aether delivered maximum comfort and airflow mile after mile, and has quickly become my go-to helmet for everything from crit races to XC mountain biking.

So while the $325 price tag is steep, if you believe in MIPS protection and one less helmet in the garage, the Giro Aether MIPS will be worth a long look when it becomes available later this summer.

Rating: 5 out of 5
Price: $325
More info: www.giro.com

Photo Thumbnails (click to enlarge)
About the author: Jordan Villella

Jordan comes from the steep streets of Pittsburgh PA, where he learned to dodge cars and rip single track. He has been involved in nearly every aspect of the cycling industry: from turning wrenches, store design, clothing production and bike park creation. Jordan spends his free time racing cross country and cyclocross around North America, though he has been know to enduro every now and then. His love of cycling is only second to his love of his family and punk rock.


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