Giro’s new Cipher, which was on display at Interbike last year, is a totally new fullface mountain bike helmet design for Giro. Taking a hard look at their last iconic helmet, the Remedy, Giro had to come up with performance parameters that would meet or exceed the previous design.
At its slated price point (MSRP $200), the Cipher packs a punch. For starters, Giro reduced the overall size of the helmet. The lower brow, reduction in side width, and reduction in chin bar length contributes to a nicer look and feel.
But the Cipher doesn’t stop there. Under the fancy paint schemes, the new fiberglass shell uses an EPS liner with internally-channeled ventilation at the brow line. The chin bar is lined with Vinyl-Nitrile for improved comfort and protection in the off chance of a major crash.
Although the Cipher doesn’t have the Eject system, the helmet does have emergency removable cheek pads with X-static micro anti-microbial fibers. Since this is a full face lid, it does meet ASTM DH and CPSC certifications.
A sturdy double D-ring padded chin strap ensures your lid stays put.
The medium-sized Cipher that I tested came in at exactly 1175grams–5 grams less than advertised.
The custom-molded goggle port and the neck roll gasket are both great features. Both add durability, functionality, and improved interfaces for accessories (goggles, sunglasses, and neck braces). If you’re into playing tunes while riding, new built-in speaker pockets and cord management for compatibility with TuneUps audio headphones add value, as well as an integrated helmet camera mount (I love this feature) for quick and simple mounting of your GoPro or Contour camera.
When you purchase a Cipher, it’s of the utmost importance that you get the correct size. Unlike other brands, with the Giro Cipher you have a choice of four sizes, XS, S, M, and L, (51-62cm circumference) to fit your head. Check out a local bike shop for proper sizing, and be sure to try before you buy! Giro also sells a Fit Kit that can help you get that perfect fit if you so require.
Since I’m equally as comfortable in a full face helmet as I am in a regular lid, I simply go with which ever one is most appropriate for the day. The Cipher is one of those lids that will work just great for a park rider, a freerider, a downhill racer, or even an enduro rider.
The Cipher fits great and vents very well… well enough that I don’t feel too hot even when pedaling hard and moving slowly. The large forward-facing vents are smartly-placed to maximize airflow around your head to keep you cool enough. The brow vents do a good job directing air up and over and out the back vent ports. At speed, you feel the cool bands of air over the crown of your head.
As far as personal comfort, the interior padding is super. Over a few months of use I still cannot smell anything that bad in the padding. Even so, I like the easy-to-remove liner, since it makes cleaning very convenient.
Visibility is excellent, and is only limited by what eyewear you choose to use.
All things considered, the Giro Cipher is a fantastic full face mountain bike helmet!
A big thanks to the folks at Giro for sending the Cipher over for review!