Top-quality helmet with a high level of protection and a ton of trail-friendly features
We tested the £100 Chronicle previously in last year’s helmet test but the Giro Montaro is the next level up in the brand’s mountain bike range.
Apart from a new lemon colour, the Montaro remains unchanged from the helmet we tested twelve months ago. It’s fully in-moulded, with the EPS foam and micro-shell forming a solid structure. Embeded in the foam is a Roll Cage, a sort of nylon reinforced spider’s web. The Montaro is also bottom wrapped, which means the shell extends under the lower edge to stop wear and tear. Like most new trail helmets, the Montaro gets a MIPS liner, which seems a little bit more moveable than some that use the system – we don’t know if this makes it more effective or not – but it feels more comfortable. It does impact on the sizing though and the medium does come up a little sung – we’d definitely try this for size before parting with your hard-earned.
The Montaro fits good out of the box and we reckon a lot of this down to the lightweight Roc Loc Air retention system – it extends round the front of the forehead, so it doesn’t pull the helmet forward on your head once you tighten the adjuster. The dial itself is tiny but it’s micro-adjustable and can easily be adjusted for height by just pulling the whole thing down with one hand.
Giro pioneered the whole goggle parking thing and the peak on the Montaro is full compatible with three positions, although it’s pretty stiff, so it’s really easy to set it at a wonk. The helmet even gets some extra tacky rubber around the inside of the rear vents to help hold the strap in place.
In terms of quality, the Montaro is up there with the very best but we still have some concerns with the three-piece X-static pads. They’re anti-microbial, so stop odour build up, but they tend to go walkabout when you wash them (we’d rather see a larger single pad) and they also don’t last, we’ve had many where the seams have split apart.
The Montaro is a great helmet, the shape fits a lot of heads, it has some sensible features and the attention to details is as good as it gets.