Originally worn by Greg Lemond at the 1989 Tour de France, the Giro Aerohead has a legacy as the first popular aero helmet in cycling. After almost a 30-year hiatus, Giro welcomes two new iterations of the Aerohead: the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS and Aerohead MIPS.
While the two models are different, they do share multiple features, including implementation of MIPS. MIPS is a helmet add-on that allows a helmet to slide relative to the rider’s head, adding protection from angled impacts. Giro has chosen to implement this technology into an aero helmet as they tend to be worn in times of fast speeds, sub-par handling bikes, and situations where riders take more chances. Another feature shared by both helmets is the Zeiss Optics wrap-around eye shield. This shield magnetically attaches to the helmet, and wraps all the way around to the riders’ ears, making it fast aerodynamically and easy to put on.
Originally only planned to be released to pro-tour cyclists, the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS is the true pinnacle of aerodynamics at Giro. Developed in the wind tunnel, tested on the track, and already proven by grand tour riders, the Ultimate is fast. One of the ways it’s so fast is through Giro’s implementation of Textreme carbon fiber in the shell. With the use of Textreme, Giro was able to lessen the frontal area of the helmet, due to it being much stronger than traditional carbon fiber (or other materials). In the tunnel is where the Ultimate really shines, coming in at nearly 48 seconds (17 watts) faster over an Ironman than Giro’s own Advantage, and 20 seconds (7 watts) faster than their already speedy Selector. Giro also tested the Ultimate thermodynamically, which resulted in it being 22.3% hotter than their aero-road helmet the Air Attack, 5% hotter than the Selector, and 8% hotter than its little brother the Aerohead MIPS.
While Giro designed the Aerohead Ultimate MIPS to be the fastest helmet possible, they decided that the MIPS version should be more affordable, cooler, and still nearly as fast. Made out of polycarbonate instead of Textreme carbon fiber, the MIPS model cuts costs, but also adds frontal area resulting in a slightly slower helmet. In the tunnel it tested 43 seconds (15 watts) faster over an Ironman than the Advantage, 14 seconds (5 watts) faster than the Selector, and only 5 seconds slower than the Ultimate. Where the Aerohead MIPS really shines is in the cooling arena. Thanks to its added vents, the MIPS comes in only 14% warmer than the Air Attack and 8% cooler than the Ultimate.
Both helmets will be available this fall in a variety of colors, with prices of $550 for the Ultimate MIPS and $250 for the MIPS.