We previously reviewed the Giro Aerohead time trial helmet, but this is its bigger brother, the Giro Aerohead Ultimate MIPS, which at £499 is more than twice the price
The Giro Aerohead Ultimate MIPS is the top-end time trial lid from the helmet specialists. At £499 it is more than twice the price of the lower spec Giro Aerohead MIPS we have previously reviewed. The Giro Aerohead has been worn by Rohan Dennis, while riding the fastest ever Tour de France time trial and more recently by Marcin Bialoblocki, while setting the outrageous 16-35 10 mile TT competition record. With its sweeping visor it looks unconventional in design but if it works for the pros, I’m sure it can work for us mortals too.
Video – Tech of the month, featuring the Giro Aerohead Ultimate MIPS
So why the massive jump in price for the Giro Aerohead Ultimate MIPS? Why does it cost so much? Firstly, the weight – the Ultimate is lighter than the standard version, but only by 30g or so, hitting the scales at 450g, v 480g.
The lower weight is attributed to a lighter helmet shell, fabricated from TeXtreme® carbon fibre. It saves some weight, but is also stronger and enhances the aesthetics of the design too.
The next big difference is the venting, or lack of it. The Ultimate features no venting on the shell, in a bid to save a couple of watts and optimise aerodynamics. There is still venting through the top of the visor, but the less expensive standard Aerohead is a cooler proposition – something which you should factor in if you intend to use it for both time trial and longer distance events in the summer.
Another option is to simply tape over the vents on the less expensive Giro Aerohead when not required.
The rear triangle of the Giro Aerohead Ultimate has a clever Lycra cover. This sits under the rear of the triangle to help optimise the aerodynamics. Previously, some riders have taken to taping up the rear open triangles of time trial helmets and this little Lycra cover cleverly addresses this, while still allowing access to the retention system.
Speaking of which, the RocLoc Air retention system is the same as found on other Giro helmets and works very well. Two magnetic lenses are included: a mirrored one and a clear one. The Zeiss optics of these are excellent and the large size of the lens provides superb field of vision. The field of vision is the best I have encountered on a TT helmet and is decent even when your head is in a very low position.
The standard version just comes in a box, but the Giro Aerohead Ultimate also comes with a ‘helmet pod’ or hard case (and I agree, it should do for the price!). The helmet pod is excellent quality and useful for keeping the lid safe. I have used the Giro Aerohead Ultimate MIPS in a couple of time trials so far. I have really been impressed with the comfort and fit and field of vision.
One thing worth considering is that Dan Bigham won a hat trick of national track titles wearing the standard version, and not this much more expensive Ultimate.
Regarding aerodynamics, crude analysis of my power data on well travelled roads, suggests the helmet is very fast, but I am planning some more quantitative aero testing of this helmet in the future. I will be updating the review once I have done this.
The Giro Aerohead Ultimate MIPS is fantastic time trial helmet, albeit with a prohibitive price tag. The lack of venting makes it less versatile for some riders and for those individuals I would suggest the less expensive Aerohead. The case, slightly lower weight and additional visor are great, but I feel they are very hard to justify at £260 over the standard version. I love this helmet but if I am honest I would buy the less expensive version. If you are serious about time trials and can afford it, this mega helmet will not leave you disappointed. It is also excellent for Star Wars fancy dress parties.