On show: Interbike 2009 Part 18

New helmets and awesome graphics from Bell and Giro

Giro's road helmet line for 2010 is undoubtedly highlighted by its feathery new Prolight, which debuted at this year's Tour de France.

Though Giro admits the Prolight isn't quite as well ventilated as the flagship Ionos, brand manager Kevin Franks insists that the former's deeper channels move more air than one would expect and after using one ourselves at Interbike's Outdoor Demo, we're inclined to agree.

Regardless, the Prolight clearly lives up to its name with an actual weight of 180g for a small show sample courtesy of an in-moulded shell and internal reinforcement-free EPS liner, a simplified (yet surprisingly effective) Roc Loc SL retention system with fore-aft adjustment, and lighter weight webbing with fixed sliders. Consumers should begin seeing the Prolight in stores around January and with a suggested retail price of US$200.

Also new from Giro for 2010 is the Section helmet, aimed at the urban, dirt jumper and all-mountain crowd with its skate styling and goggle-compatible cut (snowboarders will also recognise it as a close cousin of the Shiv). The graphics palette's diverse muted-to-bold should also strike a wide audience, too, and retail price will be a very reasonable US$45.

Sister company Bell launches a few new helmets of its own, including the US$90 Sequence trail helmet and the value-packed Lumen, both with an in-moulded shell and internal reinforcement cage. Lumen gets by with Bell's proven GPS retention system while the Sequence upgrades to the more adjustable TAG unit and will also come with a removable visor.

Bell will also feature stunning new optional graphics packages in collaboration with artist Jimbo Phillips. Some of the more vivid schemes with bloody zombies, popping eyeballs and the like might not be suited for everyone but slightly more subdued wraps are also available for those that want to tone things down just a hair.

Phillips-penned graphics will be offered on seven Bell helmet models for 2010, all at no additional cost.

Giro has devoted a lot of attention to its burgeoning eyewear and glove lines, too, for 2010. The updated Havik 2 shields get a pared-down frame with reduced bulk up top for an improved field of view plus a more comfortable, flexier fit – especially for riders with broader heads.

Claimed temple pressure is down 35 percent from the original Havik (and 15 percent lower than Oakley's ubiquitous Radar) but the physical eartip-to-eartip distance has remained constant.

Two new Zeiss lens tints – Orange Selector and Yellow Selector – will also join the collection for use in lower-light conditions and as with the original Havik, the Havik 2 will be offered in both compact and full lens sizes.

Also new are the oversized Coy and Tone casual glasses – both with Zeiss lenses, made-in-Italy frames and stainless steel hinges – and the Station MTB goggle.

Winter is the name of the game for Giro's glove line with five new models – in both men's and women's fits – arriving in time for the season's chillier temperatures.

The US$25 Westerly blends a fleece-lined backing and silicone-dotted palm and fingers for a bit of protection on cooler days plus enhanced grip, especially when wet. The US$35 Blaze upgrades to a Clarino palm and adds a bit of padding.

The men's Ambient and women's Candela – both US$45 – add more insulation for temperatures just above freezing plus wind and water resistance and X-Static fleece linings. As with the Blaze, the Clarino palms will also include silicone-dotted fingertips and mild EVA padding.

Truly nasty conditions will call for the new Proof glove with waterproof, breathable shells, Thinsulate XT-S insulation (with more placed on the back for warmth and less underneath the hands for dexterity and bar feel), X-Static interiors plus removable Westerly gloves to be used as supplemental liners. Suggested retail price is US$60.

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