In 1998, Giro created the first mainstream mountain bike helmet with a removable chinbar – the Switchblade – described as a helmet that “easily converts from a full- featured cross-country helmet to one suitable for downhill.” It way ahead of its time.

With the growth in the popularity of assisted uplifting this type of helmet was potentially ideal, but they failed to catch on. Most riders using trail or enduro bikes for uplifts simply bought a full-face DH helmet and goggles to use on these gravity driven tracks. Maybe these convertible helmets seemed a compromise or looked a bit awkward and goofy?

Fast forward a few years and with the growth of enduro racing there was need for more protection. Bell launched the Super 2R helmet and it soon gained acceptance very quickly, featuring in the 2016 Dirt 100 selection. Where the Super 2R is more of a vented trail helmet with additional protection, the new Giro Switchblade is really a full-face with a removable chinbar.

‘Want to pack one helmet in your bikepark or road trip kitbag? This new design from Giro is definitely worth checking out’

Equipped with MIPS technology, the Switchblade is triple-certified to CPSC, EN-1078, and ASTM-1952 Downhill safety standards – both with and without the chin-bar, which is quickly and easily removable and replaceable without tools. There’s some proper functionality to the system, with the helmet and chin-bar attaching in a very reassuring manner. Sure, it may look a touch awkward when run without the chinbar, and a little too warm in some conditions. But the protection and reassurance it offers is second to none.

Beyond increased protection and ease of use, the Switchblade is packed with details. The new Roc Loc® Air DH adjustable fit system, hydrophilic X-Static® anti- microbial padding, 20 vents with internal channeling, and two visors (one adjustable and one with integrated camera mount) round out a complete package, as you’d hope at this price.

The Switchblade is the most complex helmet Giro has ever made – a helmet for the most technically challenging terrain – with all the built in safety that a DH helmet provides and more than a touch of moto cool.

Want to pack one helmet in your bikepark or road trip kitbag? This new design from Giro is definitely worth checking out.

PRICE: £249.99



Selected for Dirt 100 2017

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