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Giro Hex Bicycle Helmet Review

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Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Giro Hex Bicycle HelmetA couple of months ago I decided I should start wearing a bicycle helmet again and I really agonized over which commuter bike helmet to get and finally decided on the Giro Hex.

I spent many hours over the course of a week looking at different bicycle helmet styles to try to find one that wouldn't look too dorky or look huge on my big head.

You can find more details about the requirements I had for choosing the right bicycle helmet for me. Your criteria may be different from mine so hopefully the process I went through to make my decision can help you.

In addition to being a good helmet from a safety perspective, the important features I wanted in an adult bicycle helmet were:
  • Black in color. Most of the biking clothes I wear are black or grey and I wanted a bike helmet that didn't have screaming day-glo colors.
  • Matte finish. I didn't want a shiny bike helmet.
  • Casual looking. I bike on a mountain bike in baggy bike shorts and a loose-fitting technical shirts. I don't look like Lance Armstrong when I'm biking and my helmet should fit that style.
  • Be as small as possible. 
  • Have a visor.
  • Have good ventilation.
  • Be reasonably priced.
The Giro Hex Bike Helmet seemed to fit all my requirements and is the helmet I purchased. After wearing the Giro Hex for a couple of months and a couple dozen rides I felt that I was able to give it a fair and honest review.

Not Too Bulky

Like I said, I have a big head and I wanted a bicycle helmet that didn't look too big. The Giro Hex comes in three sizes to allow you to choose the smallest helmet size that will fit your head. Information on how to measure your head for a bicycle helmet is in my previous post.

The Giro Hex comes in the following sizes:
  • Small 20" - 21.75"
  • Medium 21.75" - 23.25"
  • Large 23.25" - 24.75"
I purchased a large Giro Hex helmet. My head is on the smaller size of large but not quite small enough to fit in a medium. Because of that I wasn't able to benefit from a smaller sized helmet by getting a medium but the Giro Hex is pretty compact even at this size.

Style

The design of the Giro Hex is pretty nice as far as bike helmets got.  It's marketed as a mountain bike helmet but the style also fits well as a commuter bike helmet.

Most bicycle helmets I've seen have an elongated, swooping back. It's more aerodynamic and works well on a road bike where you are in a bent-over posture but the elongated back adds a few inches to the size of the helmet. Finding a helmet that was as small as possible was important for me.

The Giro Hex has a rounded back like a baseball cap which helps keep the size small.

The Matte Black/Lines Logo color/style was just what I was looking for. The finish has a little bit of a sheen but not shiny. Even the visor is fairly understated and the colors and design is very subdued.

The visor helps keep sun out of my eyes but it's small and doesn't stick out too much. This was important for me as I wore a baseball cap when biking and wanted something similar.

This is a great looking bicycle helmet that fits in my casual riding style. It fits in fine even if you're not wearing skin-tight bike shorts and bike jersey.

Ventilation

There are a total of 21 vents on the Giro Hex. This allows air to flow through and keep your head cool. My head and hair are a lot less sweaty now compared to the baseball cap I used to wear previously. My head's a lot safer now too.

Construction

The Giro Hex looks and feels as good as it looks. It's made using expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam  bonded to the thin polycarbonate shell in-mold.

With the in-mold helmet manufacturing method, the EPS foam is expanded in the same mold as the hard polycarbonate shell.  This method bonds the EPS foam to the shell giving it a sturdier feel and apparently helps improve it's impact performance.

Adjustability

In order for a bicycle helmet to protect you in the case of an impact it is important that it fits well so it doesn't slide around or fall off.  In addition to being able to choose from 3 different sizes, the Giro Hex comes with an adjustable chin strap and uses their Roc Loc 5 fit system to make sure the helmet fits snugly.

Two chin straps come down on either side of the ears and into a clasp that you can easily adjust so that the straps join just under your ears. The way the two straps go into this fitting are also little odd. The angle the straps come into the fitting positions the straps in a way which doesn't allow them to sit flat on your face. This is the only con I've found with the helmet.

This one flaw in an otherwise great helmet isn't enough to make the Giro Hex uncomfortable for me.

The clip that attaches the two straps from either side of your head seem secure and I haven't experienced any slipping of the length after I set it.

The Roc Loc 5 Fit system allows you to fit the helmet tight to the circumference of your head so that it stays in place in the event of an accident. A simple twist of a dial tightens the helmet and is easy to operate with one hand. The video below demonstrates how the Roc Loc 5 Fit System works.


Conclusion

Overall I'm very happy with the Giro Hex bike helmet. Giro is a well-known manufacturer of bicycle helmets with a reputation for quality and stylish design.

The Giro Hex fits my style and fits my head.

The only problem with the Giro Hex is how the straps lay on the side of your face. I didn't find it uncomfortable and have only really noticed it at couple of times.

The price was a little more than I was looking to spend on a bicycle helmet but because the style of the helmet was exactly what I was looking for I knew I would be more willing to wear it. A helmet can't protect your head if you leave it at home so the slightly higher price was well worth it for me.

I'm very happy with my new helmet.

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