Giro Ionos – £129.99
It can’t be easy to improve on an already great product, especially one that fulfils its purpose to a high level, but Giro has managed it with the release of the new range-topping and race ready Ionos (pronounced eye-oh-nOs).
Proof that it’s no easy task to make a great product greater is the fact that Giro has been developing this helmet for a number of years, it being spotted on the heads of several teams during the Tour de France in 2006 and 2007 during its development phase. It finally made its public release last autumn, pushing the Atmos from the top of the Giro range.
One of the helmet’s biggest claims is increased ventilation, gained from much work in the wind tunnel to ensure the 21 vents channel air in from the front and across the head. The Atmos was certainly no slouch at cooling heads, but Giro reckons the Ionos is some 15% better. While it’s tricky gauging how much better this amounts to in real world terms, I have to admit to noticing feeling cooler across the entire head.
All this ventilation wouldn’t mean much if the helmet didn’t have decent crash protection, though, and here the Ionos has a couple of tricks up its sleeve. In-mould construction joins the outer shell to the EPX foam liner. And, inside is a composite sub-frame, running throughout the helmet liner and around the vents – it’s visible around the front of the helmet. It’s key to the design, allowing Giro to carve even bigger vents while still ensuring structural support. The overall weight of RCUK’s medium sample is 304g, which is noticeably heavier when compared to Specialized’s 2D lid.
So it may not be the lightest, but it does make up some of the lost ground in the comfort stakes. I’ve always found Giro helmets to fit extremely well, and the latest Roc Loc 4 retention device provides plenty of scope for ensuring snugness, with vertical adjustment ensuring a close fit. To prevent the unwanted build up of odours, X-Static, an environmentally friendly silver-coated fabric providing anti-microbial properties, is used.
Available in seven colours and three sizes.