Side 2 Side with the Giro Aether MIPS Jul 2, 2018

While I don’t plan to be “twistin my body from side 2 side” anytime soon on my road bike, it’s comforting to know that like technology, cycling safety design is progressing at a – pardon the analogy here – breakneck speed. I’ll be honest, I don’t often do helmet reviews but I’ll admit I was really upset when Giro canceled the Atmos helmet. As a guy with a large dome, the Atmos fit me quite well, didn’t look obtuse, and felt great, even after long, hot days in the mountains. Later, Giro launched the Synthe, which I liked enough to make a Radavist edition, which I still stand firmly behind. So I’ll be honest with 100% transparency here. I really didn’t feel the need to talk about Giro’s new Aether MIPS when it launched today but upon my second ride in the helmet this morning, I was sold on both the comfort and the safety features of this revolutionary design…

Now, right about now, you’re probably thinking “he’s just saying this because Giro advertises with the Radavist” and you’re completely valid in that concern, but as I’ve stated before, ads do not affect content, and I try to run ads from companies that we – all of us here at the site – have a relationship with. Giro makes great products and this review is only motivated by what I feel to be an exceptional, life-saving design. I am nor was under no obligation to write, much less photograph this helmet. I’m doing so upon my own accord.

The Aether MIPS really threw me for a curveball. At first, I was amazed at the weight, 250g for a medium, while mine weighs 302g for a size large. Then, the side to side motion of the MIPS design really struck me as a unique element that was motivated by safety first and foremost. The reason I’m saying that is there’s no fashion, or aesthetic motivation for this, because you can’t, nor won’t notice it until you put the helmet to its intended test: a wreck. MIPS essentially carries the kinetic energy out from a wreck, allowing your helmet to roll with the punches, saving your brain from an unnecessary snapping motion. I won’t go into the specifics, because I’m not an engineer and it’s pointless to copy and paste research data. My intent with this review is to simply say that this helmet, with its innovative design, really could save your life, and that I didn’t really “get it” until wearing one.

Most importantly, I like the way I look in it. Which will motivate me to wear it more often. So, I know this isn’t a real review, but I wanted to put the effort into making a more formal post today, in addition to Giro’s marketing campaign we saw earlier. In short: I received this helmet for free, but I would have bought it from my local dealer once I had it in hands. The Aether MIPS utilizes technology that you can feel and trust, but it surely takes some hands-on time with it to appreciate this unique design. I should also note that $325 is a lot of money, but this is your life we’re talking about…

Head to Giro to find out more and see more photos below, including GIFs showing how the helmet slips side 2 side.

  • andy kappler

    A Giro helmet more than likely saved my life after hitting the pavement hard. This was in the era before MIPS. I am all for new technology when it comes to lessening the blow on the head.

  • alex

    I can dig it. Wanna send me the demo when you’re done? Fellow big-head always trying to find what looks good feels good and will protect the dome.

  • Alasdair Sun

    I’ve put Giro helmets to use, so to speak, on a couple of occasions; once on a bike, once on a snowboard. I’m only alive today because of the helmets that I was wearing. Both helmets were pre-MIPS and both accidents resulted in concussions. I’ve since been told that I basically can’t afford to have another concussion, so anything to potentially protect against that I’m completely onboard with.

  • Rider_X

    This is one of the few MIPS helmets I have seen that shouldn’t interfere with airflow. That has been the the main downfall of earlier MIPS helmets (IMHOP).

    • Eugene Chan

      The Vanquish and Bell Z20 have very minimal MIPS slip planes. Neither have that plastic cellophane looking layer.

  • dan scheie

    How much force is required to have that helmet section to move? Like it doesn’t flop around when you move your head, right?

    • It does not. You have to grip it to shift it.

  • How does the size compare to the Synthe? I tried the large but it was too small for me. Wondering if this large is bigger? Or if you know if there will be an XL.

    • It’s a teeny tiny bit bigger than the Synthe in my opinion.