If you read seemingly any mountain bike magazine or website these days, big Enduro-y mountain bike helmets are all the rage. Style, flashy colors, and maximum protection are what mountain biking is apparently all about.
The key component here is “maximum protection.” While tons of protection is great in theory, and I’ll gladly accept it for big mountain descents and balls-to-the-wall rock gardens, on my average rides I just don’t need that much coverage. Because you know what comes with a lot of helmet coverage? Weight.
Generally, my head is the last place where I want to carry around a lot of weight. If you’re logging 4-5 hours–not to mention 12-24 hours–in the saddle, having a ton of unnecessary weight swinging around on your noggin just isn’t fun. So, to balance out my personal helmet selection a bit, I got in touch with Giro to review one of their lightweight go-fast lids: the Giro Aeon.
The Aeon mountain bike helmet features “Thermoformed SL Roll Cage reinforcement, X-static padding, a Roc Loc 5 fit system, [and] Slimline webbing,” and is made with an “EPS liner. . .[and] polycarbonate shell,” according to Giro.
This helmet is designed with light weight and maximum ventilation in mind. Giro claims that the latest rendition of the Aeon weighs in at 28% less than it’s predecessor. My helmet, with some salt encrusted in the pads and straps, weighs in at a scant 220 grams. For comparison, that’s exactly half of what my Enduro-y helmet weighs.
As for ventilation, just look at these photos! While some companies claim you don’t need big vents, it’s hard to argue with the Aeon’s 24 huge vents and internal channeling to move the air over the rider’s head and out the rear of the helmet.
For a visual tour of the technology in the Aeon, check out this video:
Out on the Trail
Giro actually lists the Aeon under the “road” section on their website, but the company does indeed list XC MTB racing as an intended use. While I personally only dabble in racing, I have loved having the Aeon on my head!
Giro truly accomplished their mission to create a lightweight, well-ventilated lid. This light weight makes a huge difference out on the trail, and consequently I’ve found that selecting the right helmet for the ride can make a world of difference in how I perceive my overall MTB experience.
Sure, while the Aeon doesn’t provide as much coverage as a heavier-duty lid, what it does cover it protects very well. The construction is very solid, and while I haven’t crashed on it yet to test it first-hand, simply inspecting the design, the care taken with the construction, and the extremely high quality of craftsmanship makes me confident that if I ever were in a serious crash, the Aeon would keep the essentials safe.
Ventilation while wearing the Aeon has been superb! While some brands claim that you don’t need big vents on the helmet–just strategically-placed air channels–I don’t see how having big vents could possibly make a helmet less cool. While some could make the argument that most vents don’t actually catch outside air while moving, I think the sheer fact that there’s more room for the head to radiate heat away, thanks to the top and side vents, can only help with the cooling process.
Finally, the Aeon’s fit has been excellent! While the light weight definitely helps, the snug-yet-comfortable fit and easily-adjustable Roc Loc 5 system creates a helmet that I literally forget I’m wearing. And in my opinion, that’s the way things should be.
The Giro Aeon is a well-built helmet that will keep you safe in the event of a crash. But if you think that helmets are a necessary evil and you want to forget that you’re even wearing one, the comfortable fit, light weight, and impressive cooling of the Aeon will make your wish a reality!
A big thanks to Giro for sending the Aeon over for review.