I hate full face helmets. They’re hot, restrictive, heavy, bulky, and a hassle to deal with compared to smaller lids when you need to take one off or put it on. I’ve been reaching for smaller, lighter helmets for years, preferring to ride within my limits and enjoy the fresh air hitting my face.
I love full face helmets. If I’m wearing one, it means I’m riding in burly terrain, usually fast, and some of my best riding experiences have come while doing the kind of riding that necessitates pulling on the big bean basket. On those days the added protection and confidence easily outweigh a bit of inconvenience and warmth.
So, I love full face helmets. And I hate ’em. But they are necessary if you want to ride a big bike, or get a bit rowdy on your smaller one. And the new Giro Cipher full face helmet, which replaces their popular Remedy, is worthy of your consideration if you’re in need of one.
Weighing 1,200 grams, and with a $249 MSRP, the Cipher costs a lot less but weighs a little bit more than its high-end carbon competitors. Given its list of features and the quality of construction, fit, and overall design, it represents good value for your money.
I was sent the Matte Red, White and Black version, which is unique-looking in a good way, and somehow the massive GIRO branding on the side is integrated in such a way that it is not at all unappealing. This is one of the best looking helmets I’ve seen, but I was glad to discover its beauty is not merely skin deep.
The Cipher’s M size was snug on my 59 cm head, but in just the right way: no pressure points or chafing to annoy me. The jawline isn’t too deep, but didn’t feel claustrophobic when I left the helmet on for pedaling or a climbing section. The D-ring buckle system with retention strap was really quick and easy to get used to, and the visor came with a sufficient range of motion to accommodate goggles at rest when needed.
All in, the Giro Cipher is the complete package in a full face helmet. Provided the fit works for you, it’s as good a choice as any, unless your case of carbonitis is too strong to resist.
Giro Cipher – CAD $249 / USD $249 (but you’re likely to find it available for less)
Does the Cipher fit your bill?