If you love watching reruns of “On Any Sunday” and dream of being as cool as Steve McQueen, then you will love the Giro Switchblade MIPS. The ASTM-certified Switchblade is unique in that its ear-covering shape brings enhanced protection even with the chin guard removed. Undoubtedly the heavyweight of the group at 1140 g, the Giro carries some serious bulk that can be felt when riding, but even without the chin guard it feels safe, enclosing, and substantial. The excellent height-adjustable Roc Loc Air DH cradle and padded straps feel like a comfortable hug, and despite its weight, the Giro Switchblade MIPS is incredibly stable. The coverage, padding, and feel are indistinguishable from the best full faces, and the double D-ring closure keeps everything secure and well balanced. The build quality feels exceptional, especially the fixing hardware which included stainless steel fittings and anchors. It’s a helmet that is easy to trust.
On the trail we love that the visor can be pushed nice and high out of the rider’s peripheral vision, and the ‘tilt and remove’ chin guard removal is so simple that even ham-fisted riders will not have to resort to swearing. Once removed, the small section of chin guard is easy to stow in even the most economical bag. Reinstallation is slightly trickier, but Giro have added dimples that you can easily locate with your fingers in order to find the locking mechanism. However, hot heads need not apply. On the trails it’s a very warm helmet with minimal venting; we found the interior very sweaty on long and slow climbs, and removing the chin guard has little effect as the trail configuration still covers the ears. Those with square jaws will need to check that the helmet does not pinch at the side too, as was reported by some testers. During our impact testing, the Giro Switchblade was easily the toughest of the removable chin guard full facers, absorbing the impacts well and surviving equal hits to a fully certified DH fixed chin guard helmet.
With class-leading coverage in the trail mode, the Giro Switchblade MIPS is a great helmet for those looking for maximum protection and deep rear coverage. Perfect for weekend racers or frequent crashers, the Evel Knievel styling is certainly unique and we cannot doubt the coverage, but it’s not a helmet for hot-heads..
– Huge coverage
– Great removal mechanism
– Very warm on long climbs
Weight: 1,126/809 g
Price: € 299
More info at: giro.com