Review

Giro Manifest Spherical review – Next level open-face helmet?

The Manifest Spherical is Giro’s brand-new, top of the range open-face trail helmet. It was designed to offer a variety of features and above all, to provide riders with a high level of protection. We’ve already tested one for you.

Our tester Felix has already had the opportunity to test the Giro Manifest Spherical, which at € 269,99 is very expensive. Given the exceptional circumstances, we were forced to cancel our yearly (and highly anticipated) trip to Finale Ligure. However, the clement weather allowed us to put Giro’s new 345g open face helmet through its paces on the trails of Southern Germany, where we assessed the fit, comfort and ventilation of the Manifest.

The special MIPS Spherical feature is mainly responsible for the new, unique, and rather exciting look of giro’s brand new trail lid. Safety systems designed to reduce the rotational forces of impacts have become a common feature among mountain bike helmets. Even in our big helmet group test, nine out of fourteen models came with MIPS. However, the latest GIRO model relies on an updated version of the popular safety feature: The Giro Manifest Spherical consists of two independent EPS shells, seamlessly connected by a low-friction MIPS sliding layer. In case of impact, the outer and inner shell can rotate independently and move by a few millimetres to reduce the impact. The innovative technology allowed Giro to ditch the plastic slip plane of conventional MIPS helmets and thus improve ventilation. At the same time, the simplified system allows for a thicker, high-quality padding which improves wearing comfort. Our tester Felix thinks this is great because it prevents his long hair from getting caught in the helmet or under the conventional MIPS liner.

No plastic liner
Thanks to the Spherical MIPS, the Manifest doesn’t need a conventional MIPS liner. This leaves room for additional padding and thus allows for increased comfort.
Smooth
The two shells of the Manifest can rotate independently of each other and move by a few millimetres. Even after a muddy session, the helmet was completely creak- and scratch-free.

The Roc Loc Trail Air adjustment system lets you adjust the height of the helmet in three stages. The big ratchet dial is easy to reach and locks into its different positions with defined clicks. With a head circumference of just under 57 cm, Felix finds the size M of the Manifest to sit well and very comfortably. The generous padding inside the helmet prevents pressure points and makes the Manifest a brilliant and very comfortable option for long rides. Nineteen generously sized vent holes ensure a pleasant climate even on long days in the saddle. At 345 g, the Giro would line up next to the lighter helmets in our latest group test.

Giro deliver the Manifest Spherical with a magnetic Fidlock buckle as standard. Our test helmet, however, is an early sample and comes with a conventional click buckle. That being said, Fidlock’s magnetic buckle has already proved its efficiency with many other helmets.
Like Giro’s high-end road helmet, the Aether MIPS, the Manifest is compatible with many different types of glasses. To hold them in place, Giro uses a clever eyewear docking port system that relies on a soft, non-slip rubber pad placed behind each of the front air intakes. When you stow your glasses under the visor, the pads grab the temples and hold them in place even when you take the helmet off. We tried the Manifest with many different riding glasses from our editorial team and all of them fit perfectly under the visor. Moreover, the additional rubber insert at the back of the helmet ensures good goggle compatibility. That being said, the restricted adjustment range of the visor doesn’t let you store the goggles under the visor.

Super firm and compatible
All of our test glasses fit under the visor. The eyewear grippers inside the vent holes hold the glasses in place.
Goggle compatible
A small rubber strip prevents goggles from sliding around. Unfortunately, there’s not enough room under the visor to store your goggles when not in use.

There’s still one important question: how safe is the Manifest? Unfortunately – or rather, luckily – we can’t answer this, because we didn’t crash hard enough – and even if we did, we wouldn’t be able to determine the efficiency of the safety system in strictly scientific terms.

Conclusion

With the Manifest Spherical, Giro bring the evolution of MIPS to the trail. While we can’t determine whether the new system can provide a higher degree of safety compared to conventional MIPS helmets, in terms of comfort and ventilation the advantages are clear. The high-quality workmanship and well-thought-out features make the Manifest an interesting option but unfortunately, the price is very steep.

Tops

  • lightweight
  • eyewear holder compatible with many glasses
  • high-quality adjustment system

Flops

  • limited adjustment range of the visor
  • Quite expensive

Tested by Felix
Test duration 2 Monate
Price 269,99 €
Weight 345 g (Size M)
More info at giro.com

Words & Photos: Felix Stix

About the author

Felix Stix

Felix is chief of testing and undoubtedly one of the best test riders in the world. With a degree in sports engineering, excellent mountain bike skills, his love of technology and as a certified bike guide, Felix has everything it takes to make comprehensive and fair assessments of bikes. His legendary group tests are internationally known and feared, though they tend to be a bit longer due to his love of detail and technical deep dives. Every year, he reviews around 100 bikes, specialising in the subject of tires, motors and suspension, before putting on his skis come winter! His know-how is incorporated into each of our reviews, ensuring the quality of our work stays high!