I should have known better than to ride with the same helmet for 5 years. Luckily, I didn’t crash on it to test how well it still worked after all those years of abuse–both on and off the bike.  However, it was time to step into something new.

Looking around, I knew I wanted something that had a bit more coverage than normal and I knew that I didn’t want to mess around with anything other than a completely fused shell design. Looking over Giro’s MTB helmet lineup, the Xen instantly caught my eye. Not just because of it’s solid looks, but also because of its smart design.

Giro Xen Mountain Bike Helmet Review

About the Giro Xen Helmet

As a true all-mountain helmet, the Giro Xen offers more coverage than a traditional MTB or road lid. It borders on skate helmet-type coverage, but in a lightweight and hyper-vented design. Here’s a bit more information on the technology and features behind the Xen helmet:

  • In-Mold Technology: This fuses the impact-absorbing liner with the hard exoskeleton for better strength-to-weight ratio and ventilation
  • Wind Tunnel Ventilation: Vents are designed to release the hot air and circulate fresh air
  • POV Visor: Not to be confused with your POS Visor, the POV Visor allows for 15-degrees rattle-free of adjustment
  • Roc Loc 4: Adjustable, durable and comfortable custom-fit system
  • Super-Fit Engineering: Standard-fit helmets that work for 98% of the world, but fit like they are custom-made for your noggin… nice!
  • MSRP: $130

Giro Xen Helmet Review

My previous lid was a Giro Switchblade… yeah, the one with the detachable front faceguard. It’s actually a sought-after helmet to this day, but it is no longer in production and hasn’t been for several years. I’ve been comfortable with its performance and felt confident getting another Giro.

The Giro Xen stood out to me as the obvious choice with it’s full coverage, solid construction and top-notch fit. Trying it on, I instantly felt a solid connection to my noggin–something that my current lid lacked, but I didn’t know that until I got the Xen on my head and could feel the difference. Word to the wise boys and girls… replace your helmets at least every 3 years. Your helmet wears out and fit technology greatly improves.

A quick adjustment of the Roc Loc 4 and the medium-sized Xen fit like a glove. It also looks cool on the trail… I’ve had several people ask me what model my helmet was because they were digging its looks.

On hot, mid-day rides, the Xen ventilates very well. Yeah, I still get plenty sweaty, but I can feel more of it dissipating than with my old lid. I also like the solid front brow pad that absorbs everything and keeps sweat from dripping into my eyes most of the time.

I have yet to test out the crash protection of the Xen, but I’m confident that it will do its job. My wife appreciates knowing that my melon is in good hands and I like knowing that I’ve got the best protection available.

Good Xen

  • Generous cranium coverage
  • Excellent ventilation
  • Lightweight and comfortable
  • Roc Loc 4 fit system is easy-to-use
  • Straps are embedded into the shell to prevent twisting or misalignment

Bad Xen

  • Extra coverage sometimes interferes with sunglasses
  • Price may be a concern for some
  • Not as low profile as other helmets

2009 Ellsworth Epiphany Review

The Bottom Line on the Giro Xen Helmet

Overall, the Giro Xen is a solid helmet for anyone looking for a full-coverage design. I don’t think it compromises ventilation for protection as I feel it ventilates better than most lids on the market. The fit is easy to adjust and once dialed, it stays snug. A very smartly-designed and comfortable mountain bike helmet.

Buy Now: Find the Latest Giro Helmets at CompetitiveCyclist.com

About Author

A Seattle native, Jason developed a love for the outdoors and a thing for mountains. That infatuation continues as he founded this site in 1999 --sharing his love of road biking, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. That passion is channeled into every article or gear review he writes. Utah's Wasatch Mountains are his playground.


  1. Although I’m not an advocate for spending a lot of money on a helmet, I can’t help, but always buy the most expensive stuff! I have the Xen and absolutely love it! I tried several helmets on, but when I put the Xen on the super fit engineering was impossible to pass up. It is a very lightweight helmet…I’d recommend it to anyone!

  2. Nope… no hot spots anywhere. Ventilation is awesome and you can feel the whirlwind effect within the confines of the helmet. So much so that bugs go into the large vents and just chill on your head because the ventilation keeps them in there nice and comfy. 🙂 Kind of an unintended consequence.

  3. The visor flops up and down as you go over bumps and dirt between it and the helmet scores the surface so no, not keen on the POV system.
    Otherwise, a well-made piece of kit that looks like something well stealthy out of Bruce Wayne’s kit bag.
    It’s much easier to fit than any of the other four lids I’ve worn out (or crashed) over the years, straight on my nut with no fiddle-faddle and no having to add extra foam spacers.
    I can actually feel the wind whistling past my bonce, so nice ventilation too. Just one question: is it safe to put the removable foam padding in the washing machine?

  4. Hello,

    What do you mean by “not as low profile as other helmets” ? can you specify?
    This is exactly what I’m looking for a good fit but a real “low profile”.

    • Well, many road helmets are a bit lower profile in their design. It’s not huge, but it’s definitely not as low profile as some. Hard to say without seeing one on in person. It’s a great helmet!

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