We test the Giro Cinder MIPS helmet, the brand's latest protective offering
Billed as the budget version of the Giro Synthe, the Giro Cinder MIPS features many of the premium features of its stable mate, at a sniff of the cost.
Both of the helmets includes MIPS helmet technology as an additional protective element. Basically, it’s a layer of plastic inside the helmet that helps reduce rotational impact of crashes and head knocks.
Read more: Bike helmets: A buyers guide
Giro have embraced the new technology in their helmet range and while the jury’s still out on its usefulness, there’s growing support for the new idea. While I never actually used the helmet or MIPS in anger, I did feel comforted knowing the technology was there.
So, what’s the difference between the two? Namely aerodynamics.
The Giro Synthe is considered the aero older sibling in the Giro helmet lineup. However, not holding its own in a wind tunnel isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sure, a limited aero design might cost you watts but it can stop you looking like you’re wearing a bunch of bananas.
In fact, the Cinder MIPS is an excellent looking helmet that will have near universal appeal.
Despite its wide profile, it still manages to look sleek, compact and fast when worn. No doubt the fast red and black colourway tested here helps.
Watch: Cycling Weekly’s helmet buyers guide
Looks aside, the Cinder MIPS is, for the most part, comfortable. It features Giro’s own Roc Loc 5 retention dial, which allows you to minutely click in the correct fit for your head – making it a ‘skull hugging luxury’ according to Giro.
And hug it does. Previously, I’ve found Giro helmets to feel as though they’re perched on top of your head but the Cinder comfortably cradles it instead, sitting snug and close.
In the past, I’ve also had issues with the Roc Loc 5 system dial, and some of these complaints did resurface when using the Cinder MIPS.
On long rides in particular, I’ve found the dial can create a pressure point on the back of the head that can be sore over sustained periods. However, other members of the CW team suffer no such issues from the dial, so it’s more than likely a head shape problem.
It’s worth bearing in mind though, and I would recommend trying before buying to make sure it’s right for you.
Happily, the Roc Loc 5 system does make it easy to rectify with one hand. The minute changes that the dial lets you make means you’re able to alter the fit easily.
The retention dial will also allow the helmet to comfortably accommodate winter hats, too. I managed to squeeze both slimline skull caps and larger peaked merino hats under the helmet without coming close to the limits of its retention.
Similarly, it’s easy to make fore and aft adjustments on the fly using just one hand.
Despite not having the same size vents as the Giro Synthe, the Cinder MIPS never felt stuffy, even when wearing a hat.
With its snug fit, good retention system, and multiple colourways, the Giro Cinder MIPS is well worth your time. However, be sure to try before you buy if you know you’re head is “unique”.
So, while the Giro Cinder MIPS looks good, sits snugly and features advanced technology such as MIPS and the excellent Roc Loc 5 retention dial, there is a cause for caution in terms of fit, for my shaped head anyway.