What's Cool In Road Cycling

Giro Savant MIPS: Great Head

Very few have the cycling helmet knowledge to rival Giro.  Already known for high safety and performance levels, Giro have partnered with MIPS to add some slippery, concussion mitigating tech to the new Savant.

Looking around the bike room, I have helmets dating back far enough that they’re well past their safe-use date. While they still look good, the foam is just too old, especially given the heat and dryness of Arizona. A couple of them have paint or decals and sentimental value and they’ve been sitting here for more than a decade…

Despite their age, even going back 15 years, none of the foam and shell helmets I have hanging around were as inexpensive or as well featured (even without the MIPS addition) as the new Savant MIPS…


Giro are among several companies that have decided to add a helmet model that would have been a range topper just a few years ago and do so for what is less than half the cost that the range topper would have been. The new Savant and Savant MIPS are that model for Giro, tipping in at $109 for the MIPS and just $90 for the non-MIPS version.


That’s 25 Wind Tunnel (channels join them) vents, In-Molded construction (A Polycarbonate shell with direct molded foam lining, made in a process that allows for complex shaping internally) and the Roc Loc 5 Retention system…


The flow through ventilation is visible at front…


And those vents carry through to an open exhaust system.


But you’ll notice a little something else inside if you look a little closer.


That little “M” is for MIPS.

Basically, your brain has a slippery layer of liquid that allows it to move around slightly inside your head that reduces the shaking and jarring your brain takes as your skull moves around. MIPS works on that same principle…

You don’t really notice the thin MIPS layer when you wear the helmet as your antibacterial pads are fixed to it just like they would be in a standard helmet.


Remove the pads and you get a little better picture…


The MIPS layer is suspended inside the helmets shell by little rubbery legs…


And it floats on slippery material lining the foam of the shell…


Take a whack in the head, and the helmet is allowed to move around without having as much grip on your skull (front to back as well as side to side as shown in my pathetic excuse for a GIF…). It should reduce the force and speed of impact that would have otherwise been more directly transferred to your thinking parts…


This video is a great explainer (though lacking in what most would consider blockbuster presentation excitement).

The one concern that I had with this version of MIPS during the summer here in Phoenix Arizona is that it does occupy a fair bit of surface area close to your head inside the helmet…


You can see how the channeling is still ample (and open above the mips layer in the picture above.

When you pop out the MIPS layer, you get a better look at what is still extensive channeling…


While there is better venting to be had if you were to pony up 2-3+ times the price, it turns out that ventilation is still good for the Savant MIPS as I found no problem wearing this helmet into the 90’s. There is good flow through the channels and with the pad layers between my shaved scalp and the MIPS shell, airflow still worked its way around.

[UPDATE Du Tour…] Once this review was complete, we copied Giro on the details and pictures and they let us know that they had a MIPS solution that they would introduce at the Tour that would take care of my fetish for faster (and more expensive) things. It would be a MIPS version that would not only be more breathable but quite a bit more Aerodynamic and they sent us a couple pictures… Well, step ahead a bit and it’s Saturday, July 4 and low and behold, they needed a Yellow version after day 1!

Rohan Dennis will be sporting this new Synthe MIPS.


You’ll see these on store shelves right around August and you’ll see riders from a few teams sporting them as soon as two days ago…

And So…

The fit and finish here are very good… It’s Giro refinement, good ventilation, a great retention system that adjusts very easily, straps that stay in place and a profile that is fairly slim.

The Savant doesn’t fit or feel like a bargain helmet.

I’ll likely ride Giro’s Aeon and a couple other helmets while I work through the summer. It is very simply too hot here to ride anything but max ventilation.

Right now, rides start out in the high 80’s and 90’s at 5 AM here and finish well into the 110+ range. But I can tell you that this will be my go-to helmet for a couple of hours round trip I have commuting for the other 8.5 months a year where the weather is a bit more reasonable.

Giro are already a benchmark company and part of an organization (BRG Sports, along with Bell helmets and my football favorite Riddell among others) that does probably half of the product development for the cycling helmet industry. What you see in BRG brands today, you see getting knocked off by several others tomorrow (though there are a couple other very good helmet guys out there). And then you add MIPS… It’s a no brai…. Wait. Er… It’s a good choice.

Both Savant and Savant MIPS are available now.

You can see these and more at GIRO.COM

• Check prices on Giro Savant MIPS helmets here.

Have Fun,

Charles Manantan
[email protected]

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