giro eclipse helmet

After five or six long years with my Giro Boreas, I figured it was time for a new lid. The helmet seemed OK structurally, but pads and straps just don’t last that long!

So I found a good deal on the Giro Eclipse and ordered one, looking forward to the fresh straps and pads! It came with fresh straps and pads, which was mind blowing because I had forgotten just how much padding I was missing in my old helmet!

As usual, the helmet also came with an emergency info sticker, but that was useless. What really mattered was that I had a fresh new helmet, so keep reading for my experience with the Giro Eclipse helmet…

Giro Eclipse – The Initial Test

The first thing I noticed is that this is a very plain helmet. It has a generic design, and I got a white one, so it should blend in anywhere. It doesn’t look like a cheap department store helmet, though.

The Eclipse comes with a Roc Loc 3 adjustment system, which lets you adjust the helmet while wearing it. It requires two hands to operate, although you can make the adjustment while you’re wearing the helmet.

This thing was light, too! Compared to my older Giro Boreas road helmet, this thing is light as a feather! It’s listed at 256g, which is even lighter than the Pneumo, Atmos, and Ionos, Giros high-end helmets! (According to retail catalogs, those expensive helmets range from 260-290g.)

With the Eclipse on my head, it’s like I’m not even wearing a helmet. It’s that light! The only problem is the straps, which cut into the sides of my head and ears. (That’s what makes me remember that the helmet is on.)

giro eclipse helmet

The ventilation also works great. The Eclipse has 24 vents plus internal air channels to keep the air flowing all over my head. I did some long, hot rides out on the road and this thing kept my head very cool.

Those 24 vents are a little small though. I can’t stick my fingers in to scratch my head! Some helmets have a few vents wide enough that you can scratch your head without removing the helmet, but this one does not.

Finally, I have not crashed in this helmet (and would prefer to keep it that way,) so I can’t say how strong it is. But it looks pretty solid despite the light weight.

Giro Eclipse – A Few Complaints

I like most aspects of this helmet, but a few things really irritate me. The worst of which is the straps. The straps are extremely stiff and they just won’t lay flat against my head, making it extremely uncomfortable. I was hoping for the straps to get worn in, but they haven’t yet.

Even if they do, I’m not sure if the problem will go away. The straps on my other helmets were attached in such a way they lie flat against my head. The Eclipse has a different strap routing system through the Roc Loc 3 fitting. I was able to adjust it so it isn’t too painful, but it’s still annoying. Argh!

The other annoyance is fitting my sunglasses in the vents. To store my sunglasses on my helmet securely, I have to bend the arms out and stick them into two tiny vents. Not only is it hard to do while riding, the tight fit means my sunglasses leave black streaks along the front of the helmet!

One thing to be careful with is the thin plastic straps that control the Roc Loc 3 system. Sure, the thin plastic is light, but I’m wondering how long it will be before these things break in half if they get brittle from the sun and my sweat.

Finally, while the two handed adjustment is not a problem, some helmets these days come with one hand adjustment systems. (Something to think about before plopping down $230 for an expensive Giro.)

Giro Eclipse vs. Expensive Helmets

How does this budget helmet compare to an expensive helmet like the Giro Atmos? The Atmos looks fancier and costs a lot more, and it might have better ventilation considering it is more vent than helmet!

But as we have seen, the Eclipse is actually listed as the lighter helmet.

The big concern is safety, though. Yes, the Atmos meets the required standards… but it doesn’t look like it! I’m betting the Eclipse would do a better job in an accident.

Even in a minor mishap, you could wreck near rocks or tree branches. If you’re wearing an Atmost, that stuff will poke right through the giant vents without even touching the helmet! So you might not get a concussion, but you could get a stick poking into your skull!

Or, just from riding through thick brush, some could get through the vents. Large bees might find a home in there too!

Or worse, think about a hail storm and the marble size hail that could hit you, unhindered by the helmet!

That’s why I like the Eclipse, because it keeps me safe on numerous levels!

My final verdict is…

The Giro Eclipse helmet is pretty good for $50. I would recommend it to other Giro helmet fans on a budget. (Try PricePoint, Nashbar, or Performance Bike, although this is a 2007 helmet on closeout, so you might not find the right color and size combo.)

Just give it some time to get “broken in” and expect to put up with a few quirks, such as the out of place straps and annoying sunglasses/vent connection. Other than that, it’s light, safe, and pretty comfortable. And at this price, I can’t complain too much.

Official website: www.giro.com

Product Review Details
Company: Giro
Product: Giro Eclipse Bicycle Helmet
Reviewed by: Coach Levi
My Rating: 3.7 out of 5
Date last updated: 2008-06-28
Obtained Product: Purchased at retailer.
CoachLevi.com Advertiser: No.

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