Giro Montaro MIPS ReviewJune 24, 2018
- Good coverage
- Outstanding fit
- Good Price
- Minimal padding
- Hard to adjust strap length
The Giro Montaro MIPS strap webbing is mid-weight and lays comfortably flat against the cyclist’s face. Padding is the most minimalistic of all the helmets in the test with a thin band at the forehead and a small patch at the crown. One tester, who is bald, felt that the pad placement was slightly skewed in relation to contact between his skull and helmet. Another tester, who has hair, found it borderline uncomfortable towards the end of a 30-mile ride. Though both testers did not feel uncomfortable pressure points, the thin and sparse padding contributed to excessive sweat running down their foreheads when riding on hot and humid days.
The Giro Montaro MIPS has sixteen sizeable air vents that range in size from small to medium. They provided good ventilation on high-speed, high-exertion rides. This was most noticeable on hot and humid days. However, the thin, sparsely-placed padding did not do an adequate job of absorbing sweat.
The Giro Montaro MIPS provides very good coverage on the sides and back of the head. The size medium that our testers reviewed measures 17 inches in length from front to back and 15 inches wide from ear to ear. Additional head protection comes from MIPS, a thin liner that protects against rotational forces by separating the shell from the liner to allow the liner to slide relative to the skull in an angular crash.
What makes the Giro Montaro MIPS stand out is the Roc Loc Air fit system. It is designed to suspend the internal foam structure of the helmet slightly above the head to increase airflow. Both testers agreed that when cinched down and dialed in, the Giro Montaro MIPS delivered the best fit of the size medium helmets that they tested. However they also both agreed that the Roc Loc Air Fit system worked better in attaining a secure fit than it did in enhancing ventilation on hot and humid long distance rides.
A larger visor easily accommodates goggles and all sunglasses comfortably and has a wide range of adjustability. A camera/light mount snaps into the central top vent.
The Giro Montaro MIPS has multiple points of adjustability that allow for a dialed and customized fit and is arguably the best fitting size medium helmet in the test. The source of its exceptional fit is the Roc Loc Air fit system. It is designed to allow the cyclist to adjust the helmet both vertically and laterally via a glove-friendly clicker wheel that can be easily adjusted on-the-fly, even with sweaty fingers. Both testers agreed that once adjusted, the Giro Montaro MIPS had the least amount of helmet wobble.
Strap adjustment generally stays put thanks to the heavier straps. Fore and aft straps are connected via sturdy flip-style clips that make for fast and easy adjustment. Although the straps are made of heavier webbing and require more finger strength to adjust, they did not require any re-adjusting or tightening in four weeks of testing.
With the excellent head coverage, heavy-weight strap webbing, and minimal padding, the Giro Montaro MIPS is the heaviest of the size medium helmets in the test at 13.6 ounces (385g).
Marie Malinowski is a Minneapolis-based mountain biker, bike commuter, backpacker, and trail runner who covers our cycling accessories categories.