Other than a thin layer of skimpy Spandex, when it comes to protection on either a road or gravel bike, the helmet is really the only form of true protection against injury in the event of a fall. Like everything else in the cycling industry, brands are always looking for ways to increase helmet performance while maintaining safety. Since helmets are regulated, they must pass certain standards, which vary depending on what country the helmet is being sold in. Beyond the safety aspect, there is a balance of aero, weight, ventilation, fit and aesthetics. While this balance is always tough, Giro has always done a pretty good job.
Giro has been one of the leading brands looking to reduce rotational forces and improve safety. The main technology has been MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System), which they are now a partial owner of. Essentially, MIPS consists of a low-friction layer between the helmet and the head that allow for a buffer zone. Giro has taken this to the next level with their Spherical protection that puts this low-friction zone between layers of EPS foam in the Eclipse.
The Giro Eclipse is the newest helmet to the California brand’s extensive lineup. The design is aero optimized while still implementing their Spherical technology. This tech splits the EPS foam layer and creates a low-friction zone between two shells using MIPS. This is an all-in effort to maximize the protection from rotational impacts while still optimizing comfort and airflow.
Speaking of airflow, Giro claims the Eclipse is the fastest road helmet and coolest aero road helmet on the market. While those are bold claims and hard to validate, it is impressive that this helmet hits the scales at 267 grams for our size medium. The helmet has 17 vents total—six in the front, three on each side and five in the rear. Internally, between the two shells, are channels that direct the air through the helmet and over your head.
Giro has continued to evolve their closure system, and the Roc Loc 5 Air uses a small rear dial to cinch the internal shell to your head evenly. The thick synthetic pads are both soft and anti-microbial. The lightweight nylon webbing straps contour to the face and chin nicely with a lightweight and basic clip.
The Eclipse sits second in line to their pinnacle Aether model, which also uses the Spherical tech. We like that the Eclipse takes a more traditional aero approach without sacrificing ventilation because we ride in the heat most of the time. The fit is probably what we would say is a “round” fit, but because of the thick pads, none of our testers complained.
The novelty of the Spherical dual-shell construction is entertaining at first but when riding you can’t tell it’s there. The helmet does an amazing job of keeping your head cool, especially at speed. You can really feel the air move over your head and exhaust the hot air out the back efficiently. We can’t validate any aero advantages, but the minimal vent ports on the top of the helmet definitely reduce drag versus more vents, like the similarly priced Giro Helios Spherical.
We like that Giro is putting so much effort into safety and pushing for protection beyond the minimum requirements. While the Eclipse isn’t cheap, it’s currently the least expensive Giro offering with the Spherical dual-shell tech. The rest of the line uses the more traditional MIPS liner.
Overall, the fit and feel of the Eclipse are top-notch. Although we enjoyed the large front pad, we still got some sweat drips on our glasses. There is also no great place to put your glasses if you need to take them off. For us, this was the biggest issue since we do think this could be a great climber’s helmet with how well it vented even at lower speeds.
Giro is looking to protect you beyond what the current industry standard tests require. Giro has invested heavily into MIPS and evolving that technology No helmet or technology can guarantee to prevent injury, but the helmet is truly our best line of defense when things go wrong. Every crash and impact is unique, so investing in a helmet is important. For us, the Eclipse is a good choice simply because we ride in the heat 95 percent of the time. Even with the thick pads on the Giro we didn’t have any dripping sweat issues.
To us, the Eclipse best represents the next evolution of aero where neither weight nor heat are compromised. Although complaining about having no easy eyeglass storage may sound trivial, the convenience of having it is a real-world reality, we just wish that we had someplace to dock our sunglasses while we make the climb.
GIRO ECLIPSE PUNCH LINES
• Great balance of aero and ventilation
• No place to dock sunglasses
• Added rotational impact protection
GIRO ECLIPSE STATS
Weight: 267 grams
Sizes: S (51-55cm), M (55-59cm; tested), L (59-63cm)