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This might look familiar. If you’ve taken a look at any Giro-sponsored teams in the pro peloton in the last year, you no doubt will have already seen the brand’s latest helmet in wide use. Now the long wait for us mere mortals is finally over. The new Eclipse Spherical, an aero road helmet that remains well ventilated, comfortable and, of course, highly protective, takes over the throne as Giro’s flagship road lid.
“In our many years of testing hundreds of helmets, the new Eclipse is the fastest road helmet we’ve tested, yet we refused to compromise protection, heat management, or comfort,” said Giro director of product development, Ben Penner, in a press release. Put another way, Giro has tried to re-set the bar on helmet design with the Eclipse. So did the helmet experts over in Santa Cruz, California, succeed?
Making the Eclipse super quick was a top priority. After spending plenty of test time in its in-house wind tunnel, Giro has developed a helmet it says completes a 100-mile ride 163.5 seconds faster than its own Aether helmet. More importantly, it beat the closest competitor by 14 seconds in the same test. These tests were provided to us by Giro, so go ahead and take the numbers with the appropriate amount of skepticism. But regardless, it’s safe to say this is a fast road helmet—and without much in the way of drawbacks to get there.
Because even the fastest helmet is useless if it makes for sweltering conditions in your head, Giro made sure not to ignore ventilation. Fourteen Wind Tunnel vents draw air through the helmet, keeping turbulence to a minimum while providing lots of airflow for a helmet whose first objective is aerodynamics. The outer shell streamlines airflow across multiple angles as well to further reduce drag.
A helmet should first and foremost keep you safe. The Eclipse includes Giro’s Spherical technology which is made with the MIPS brain protection system. It essentially takes MIPS to another level, creating two layers to the helmet that rotate like a ball and socket. During a crash, the outer EPS foam liner can rotate around the inner foam liner, reducing the forces that reach the brain.
All-day wearability is essential as well. The helmet straps to your head securely and comfortably with the Roc Loc 5 Air fit system. Ionic+ antimicrobial padding adds to the comfortable fit, while fighting odor from sweat.
Giro delivers all this in a package that weighs a reasonable 275 grams for a size medium in the United States CPSC safety standard. It’s available in sizes small, medium and large and in five different colors. It costs $250.
We got the chance to try the Eclipse Spherical for a couple rides and have been enjoying the experience. The fit is true to other Giro helmets, comfortable from the helmet’s shape to the padding to the easy to adjust Roc Loc 5 Air system. For an aerodynamic helmet, it also keeps a low profile. Though its overall shape hints at its aero intentions, it doesn’t scream “I’m going to drop you on the coffee ride.” (But you’d be well equipped to if you so choose. Great power, great responsibility as they say.)
While it’s not the most ventilated helmet available, it does a great job at keeping cool air flowing, and the conditions where it might fall short would be on the fringe. We haven’t been able to try it on a truly hot day yet, but we suspect that for most people it could easily be a one-helmet solution capable of guiding you through year-round riding—something we can’t say for every aero helmet out there.
More info: Giro.com