Giro Montaro MIPS helmet review

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Product Full Name: Giro Montaro MIPS helmet

Retail Price: £129.99

Available From: Zyro

The long awaited trail helmet doesn’t disappoint

Despite the popular Feature having decent coverage and now being available with the increased protection of the MIPS system, Giro has been missing a flag ship mountain bike helmet since the Xen was ceased in 2011.

The Montaro is the brand new trail focussed helmet that offers maximum protection and coverage, and has a few very neat features. It’s available in eight colours, and another three colours in the woman’s Montara version.

Read on for our Giro Montaro MIPS helmet review…

Giro Montaro MIPS helmet review

The Montaro helmet looks awesome. Our orange lid has a really nice matte finish with grey detailing – you’ll see us coming when wearing this helmet! Photo | Simon Nieborak

The details

With a large peak, and a deep profile that extends down the rear of the helmet, the Montaro shares the high protection trail look offered by other brands such as Bell, Troy Lee Designs and Seven Protection.

The peak has an indexed movement, and can move up high to accommodate a set of goggles under the peak – much like the Bell Super 2R.  The rear of the helmet has a channel for the goggle strap to sit in, and the three vents in the channel have a grippy rubber surround to keep the goggle strap in place.

Giro Montaro MIPS helmet review

The Montaro is cut well, with an extended rear and a fairly low profile design. Note the grey rubber surrounds on the vents in the goggle channel. Photo | Simon Nieborak

The Montaro features 16 vents in total, which although aren’t quite as large as the Specialized Ambush do work well – especially the vents on the front that dry the padding around your forehead, helping to stop sweat running in to your eyes.

A removable Go-Pro mount is included, and has a breakaway feature for safety.

As the full name suggests, the Montaro MIPS comes with the MIPS protection system as standard. This is a system that sits between your head and the helmet itself, and reduces the rotational effect that certain impacts can have.

Giro Montaro MIPS helmet review

The Multi-direction Impact Protection System (MIPS) is a sliding protective layer on the inside of the helmet, that allows slight rotation of the helmet during certain impacts. This reduces forces transmitted to the brain. Photo | Simon Nieborak

Check this video out to find out a bit more about the MIPS system, and how it increases the protection in Giro helmets:

Like other Giro helmets, there is a Roc-Loc cradle retention system in place to achieve the best fit possible. There is a single knurled knob at the rear of the helmet that is very easy to adjust with gloves on, and the cradle tightens all the way around your head – unlike older designs that just pinch at the rear.

The Roc-Loc Air system fitted to the Montaro also helps increase airflow between your head and the helmet shell.

Giro Montaro MIPS helmet review

Giro were the first bike helmet company to offer a cradle style retention system. The latest version – Roc-Loc Air is very comfortable, secure and helps aid ventilation. Photo | Simon Nieborak

On the trail

Giro Montaro MIPS helmet review

We’ve been using the Montaro a lot – it’s a great looking helmet and is super comfortable in use. Photo | Simon Nieborak

Whilst other manufacturers offer helmets in a S/M; M/L and L/XL size options, Giro has always offered theirs in individual sizes from XS through to XL. I found the size Medium a little on the snug side – so tested the Large model. This weighs 424grams, compared to a Troy Lee Designs A1 in M/L which weighs in at 372grams.

Although little roomy side-to-side, the size Large felt good once the Roc-Loc system was adjusted to my head.

You can definitely feel the extra weight of the Montaro on your head, but not in a tiring way – it feels really secure and envelopes your head well. It’s certainly a reassuring thing to have between your head and the ground.

At first I found the peak a little tricky to adjust, as it has an element of flex to it. When adjusting the peak with one hand you need to move it from the centre otherwise it can move in the indents on one side and not the other. I was collared by riding friends a couple of times with the peak not being straight – no biggie, but it does earn you negative style points! A big bonus of the peak material, is that it feels very durable – and far less likely to crack or snap in a crash. It will just bend and need adjusting.

Out of the other similar cut helmets on the market, I found the Giro nearest to the TLD A1 in terms of feel and weight. The Montaro does feel better ventilated though – in particular up front where air cools your fore head.

We Say

Giro’s late entry to the full-featured trail helmet market certainly does not disappoint. It feels really protective on your head, but has more than adequate ventilation to keep you cool in the saddle.

The helmet works excellently with goggles and glasses. Goggles sit perfectly on the helmet and thanks to the peak design can sit on the front of the helmet during climbs or uplifts. Unlike some other helmets, glasses don’t interfere either, and work fine with the Roc-Loc system and the low cut. 

One of the big bonuses with the Montaro, is the MIPS feature as standard. It’s a great concept, and is getting more popular in cycle helmets – we’re all for it.

The Giro Montaro MIPS helmet is a secure, sturdy and well thought out helmet that looks great. I did find I was somewhere between the Medium and Large sizes though,  so make sure you try before you buy to get the best fit. At £130 the Montaro is a top flight helmet – but has the quality and features to back it up. 

What do you think of the Giro Montaro MIPS helmet?

Do you like the idea of the MIPS system?

Let us know in the comments below…





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