The return of the full-face to open-face convertible helmet

The old 1998 Giro Switchblade was a XC helmet with a bolt-on chinguard. The new 2017 Giro Switchblade MIPS is a DH helmet with a removable chinbar. Geddit?

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2017 Giro Switchblade

The new Switchblade is sort of the same as the old one but there are some definite differences. Principally the bias for the helmet is clearly towards descending.

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The Switchblade isn’t just “suitable for downhill”, it’s now “certified for downhill”. The certs in question are the usual full-face CPSC, EN-1078 and ASTM-1952 certifications.


Enduro market

Despite all the talk of DH, this is a lid aimed squarely at the enduro market.

A full face helmet is becoming mandatory on some enduro race circuits so the Switchblade should prove to be popular amongst such racers who’ll appreciate not having to carry around two helmets or having to do the climbs whilst wearing a full-face lid.

There are a surprising number of vents in the new Switchblade. Twenty to be exact. These include two sizeable “cheek pad vents” on the chinbar.

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Fully MIPS

You’ll have spotted the MIPS suffix in the name. Yep, this helmet has MIPS installed. What’s MIPS?

Multi-directional Impact Protection System uses a second internal plastic liner, close to the scalp, that can slide over the inner shell by a few millimetres at the moment of impact. This helps reduce rotational brain injuries from glancing impacts.



What else is of note? It comes with two visors: one plain and one with an integrated helmetcam mount on the underside the visor. There’s a new retention system dubbed Roc Loc Air DH. It’s fully compatible with goggles whether they’re in use or off (goggles sit underneath the visor).

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The claimed weight is 975g for a Medium size.


Key features of the Giro Switchblade MIPS

  • CPSC, EN-1078, ASTM-1952 Downhill certification – both with and without the chinbar
  • MIPS Multi-directional Impact Protection System reduces rotational energy to provide more protection in certain impacts
  • Easily removable and replaceable chinbar
  • 20 Wind Tunnel vents with internal and cheek pad channeling
  • Roc Loc Air DH fit system with bumper to prevent unwanted adjustments if helmet contacts neck brace or backpack
  • Hydrophilic, X-Static anti-microbial padding
  • P.O.V. Plus adjustable visor
  • Spare visor with integrated camera mount
  • Rubber grippers integrated into rear vents for goggle retention
  • Three sizes
  • Six colourways
  • Available now for £249 SRP.


How do you remove the chinbar?

Locate a button under each side of the chinbar near your earlobes, press the buttons and rotate the front of the chinbar upwards. That’s it really.

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To replace the chinbar, reverse the above procedure. The locking interfaces have stainless steel hardware in them for durability and a positive engagement action.