It’s time for a review of a new product from Giro, the Aeon helmet. Let me start by saying that most of our guys have been riding the Giro Atmos helmet for the past few years, and it has become like a good friend — reliable, stylish, and, with all those big vents… cool. For 2012 Giro have fashioned a new lid, the Aeon, and it’s really something to bark about! Several of our guys ordered the new Aeon at the beginning of the season. When they arrived, the first thing we noticed was, wow, this thing is light! Giro didn’t shave off just a few grams just so they could claim it’s lighter, they really went to town on a full re-design. How light? I just put my Atmos on the scale and it weighs 300g. This is a light helmet. Then I weighed the Aeon. It was hard to get it to stay on the scale as it kept floating away, but once I got it to settle down, the number came in at 224g. This isn’t hype/advertised, wishful thinking weight, this is weighing actual helmets with actual salt accumulation on the straps and pads, and bugs splattered on the front from those high speed descents. So there you have it, it’s like, 25% lighter!
What else? Well, the styling has been upgraded slightly, with slightly bigger vents, and subtle design changes vs. the Atmos. The Giro logo is more subdued on our White/Silver team helmets. One of the things I really like about the Aeon, is the dial tension adjustment. Giro have designed a very abbreviated, lightweight, yet functional, dial for adjusting the tightness of the helmet on your head. I love this feature because I can reach back, and with one hand, make a tension adjustment if I encounter some really rough pavement, or find myself in the first lap of a bumpy ‘cross race and realize… crap, I forgot to tighten my helmet! I prefer to run my helmet NOT overly snug on the adjustment for normal riding on smooth roads. But it’s nice to be able to dial in some more tension when the road gets really nasty so as to keep the helmet exactly where is should be, and not dipping down on my Oakleys.
And here is another benefit of the Aeon, which may be more personal for me, but it certainly will apply to some of you. My melon is, well, more melon shaped vs. round. Other helmets sometimes are a bit tight fore and aft, but loose on the sides. They are too round for my oval shaped noggin. The Aeon seems to fit me much better right out of the box, and I found a perfect fit without much adjustment and fuss.
Giro says, “If you’re looking for the best balance of weight, ventilation and comfort, this is the new standard.” We couldn’t agree more.
I asked some of my teammates for their comments on the Aeon to get a more rounded opinion for you all. Here are some of the comments:
“I was amazed how light the helmet felt when I first picked it up compared to my Giro Atmos. Not only is the Aeon less stress on my neck, but the lighter weight will prevent my skinny cyclist arms from bulking up while carrying the helmet around the coffee shop. The new straps are vastly more comfortable; they actually lay flat when the helmet is buckled, and are made from a breathable material. No more awkward straps flapping in the wind and it eliminates those gross pimples that used to grow behind my ears during long, sweaty rides.”
“The Aeon is the first helmet in a while that I’m really excited about.”
“The new Aeon is a huge step forward, when I previously didn’t think any improvement was needed. The Aeon is noticeably lighter than the Atmos, and also more comfortable, while retaining good looks and design.”
“Sometimes I go wandering through my garage yelling ‘where’s my helmet’ only to find out I have it on. The thing is so dang light and comfortable!”
“So light you don’t even know its there. But I know it is and that’s reassuring. Best dome cage I’ve ever used!”
“I love the Aeon!”
“I don’t have an Aeon. My Atmos has been flawless for 3 years!!”
OK, by now you are probably thinking, “With all these positive comments, is McKenzie leg humping me here, or is the Aeon really that good?” Well people, I am here to say, it really is that good! However, we have found one very minor annoyance with the Aeon, which, in the interest of a totally honest and unbiased review, I will share with you. The straps are thin, very light, and comfortable, as Nick Schaffner has pointed out. But a few of our guys, including myself, have found that the strap adjustment can slip in the buckle, causing the need to re-adjust the strap when you put the helmet on. Please understand that this doesn’t happen while the helmet is on your head, but more likely will happen when you make that stop at the coffee shop, and hang the helmet on your bike, or transport your helmet to a ride, etc. The adjustment tends to loosen, then you have to snug it up when you put the helmet back one. I have an inquiry into Giro regarding this issue, to see if they plan to update the buckle to one that is more finely tuned for the thinner straps. I will update this review once I hear back from them.
On another note, please realize, that we all still love the Atmos, and the Atmos is still superior to just about any helmet on the market, and comes in at a better price point than the Aeon, while still offering World Class performance. Thanks to Giro, for keeping our melons cool, comfortable, and safe!