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