Giro Feature mountain bike helmet review
The Giro Feature mountain bike helmet, at first glance, looks like a ski helmet, or maybe a skateboard helmet with a bill added on the front. In any case, it sure is a strange departure from traditional, extremely vented bike helmets that we know and love. But this beefy-looking dude with full coverage for the back of the head seems to make sense from a mountain biking perspective, so I strapped it to my noggin and took it to the trails.
Despite my initial misgivings, the Giro Feature helmet looks cool and modern, trending toward a design that POC has made itself known for in recent years, so I gave the Giro Feature a fair shake on the trails of the Wasatch, southern Utah, and even a mountain bike race in Flagstaff, Arizona.
Remember those old, styrofoan Bell bike helmets we used to wear in the ’80s? Putting on the Giro Feature for the first time felt kind of like that. Fortunately, this bike helmet is totally modern, and feels that way on the head. It’s relatively light, and fits super good thanks to the one-handed adjustable system that cinches everything down tight with a few twists of a knob.
A noticeable lack of vents compared to road bike helmets is concerning, but Giro says they are designed specifically to radiate heat up and out of the helmet. Still, the full coverage and small venting system makes one give pause and think perhaps this is meant more for the downhill, summer ski-lift riding crowd.
Time to test it out: the first ride I took with the Feature was a warm morning jaunt on the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. From the start at the Emigration Canyon trailhead, the first climb is steep as hell, and I could immediately feel my head getting hot under the helmet. I really felt like those limited vents were not releasing heat very well at all. But I pushed on and continued my ride, eventually cooling back down when descending and pedaling on flat spots.
Despite a perceived lack of moving my head of hot air through the vents, the full coverage was quite confidence boosting. While it didn’t make me want to catch 10 feet of air boosting jumps at I-Street like full-face coverage would, I did feel more protected than in my other more traditional helmet that a roadie would have no trouble wearing.
Probably the best test came when I raced the Barn Burner in Flagstaff, AZ. The day was hot, the trail was dusty, and the ride was 26 miles on fire roads through a Ponderosa pine forest that surrounded a peak we had to ride around. Maybe I was just used to the helmet by then, but I didn’t even notice the vents. While my head never felt cool, so-to-speak, it never really overheated either. It seems to me that the Giro Feature regulates temperature, and vents just enough to keep you comfortable, but not so much that your head can easily be injured in case of a nasty fall.
Fortunately, I never crashed and had any impact to the Giro Feature during testing, so I can’t speak to this lid’s ability to absorb rocks to the skull. But I’m sure it’s capable in that arena. Overall, with the massive coverage on the back of the head, a nice brim on the front, and a downhill-looking style, the Giro Feature is a good helmet for riders looking for an all-mountain option.
Happy Giro Feature
- Cool modern look
- Better head coverage
- Super fly adjustability
Sad Giro Feature
- Doesn’t ventilate as well as traditional bike helmets