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Giro Disciple MIPS Review

A reasonably priced helmet with protection levels that compete with the far more expensive options
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Price:  $250 List | $249.95 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Reasonably priced, MIPS, high comfort levels
Cons:  Heavy, poor ventilation
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Pat Donahue ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Jul 3, 2019
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 9
  • Protection - 20% 9
  • Weight - 20% 5
  • Ventilation - 15% 5
  • Visor - 10% 8
  • Durability - 10% 8

Our Verdict

The Giro Disciple MIPS is a reasonably priced full-face helmet that has stellar protective qualities and is quite comfortable. This helmet has a burly and substantial feel that instills confidence. Giro utilizes the MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) plane to reduce the rotational forces of an impact. This is has become a standard among high-end helmets, and it has now trickled down to lower price points. The Disciple MIPS also features vinyl nitrate for padding instead of traditional EPS or EPP foam. This material is reported to be better at taking multiple impacts and more functional at a wider range of temperatures compared to conventional foam. For a heavy-duty full-face lid with MIPS, we feel the Disciple is a strong value.

The Disciple MIPS remains unchanged for 2020 aside from some new color options.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Disciple MIPS is a quality helmet and packs nice protective features and comfort levels into an easy-to-swallow price point. Comfort and protection were metrics where this lid posted impressive scores, while ventilation, visor, and weight were a little less impressive. This helmet ticks some of the most important boxes but misses the mark on some key subtleties.

Performance Comparison


The Disciple delivers excellent performance and a stellar value.
The Disciple delivers excellent performance and a stellar value.

Comfort


Immediately after sliding your head into the Disciple MIPS, it is easy to notice how comfortable this helmet is. It has a very plush feel with no hard surfaces or funky pressure points. The fit is fairly consistent throughout. The cheeks/jaw bones are squeezed, but not with enough pressure to obstruct speech or cause discomfort. The crown of the head fits well into the top of the helmet. The rear of the helmet at the lower head is sufficiently tight but is far from uncomfortable.

The thick, removable padding is like wearing a sofa on your head. Some of the enduro-focused full-face helmets are aimed at saving weight and being more compact. As a result, they use slimmer, sometimes firmer and denser materials in the helmet. There is no doubt this helps save weight and create a lower-profile helmet. But it is detrimental to comfort levels. The traditional liner in the Disciple MIPS helmet feels outstandingly comfortable in comparison. Now, it is worth mentioning that this helmet is not in the same universe in terms of ventilation, but it is comfortable.

The tucked-in chin bar creates an excellent range of vision.
The tucked-in chin bar creates an excellent range of vision.

The plush innards of the Disciple.
The plush innards of the Disciple.

Protection


The Disciple MIPS delivers stellar protective properties. This is one area where we were particularly impressed with this lid. While some of the elements of the helmet seem a little unfinished, like the poorly designed visor, the protection is well-sorted, and this is quite important.

The Giro lid uses vinyl nitrile as its protective material housed in a fiberglass shell. Vinyl nitrile is an alternative to traditional foam materials like EPS or EPP. This material is rubbery and comes in various densities. Giro uses two layers of vinyl nitrile throughout the helmet. This material is said to withstand multiple impacts more effectively than traditional foam materials. While foam is reported to lose integrity after an impact or two, the vinyl nitrile is meant to withstand far more impacts.

You can see pretty darn well out of this helmet.
You can see pretty darn well out of this helmet.

The MIPS, or Multi-directional Impact Protection System, is a nice touch for a helmet in this price range. MIPS is a layer of yellow, plastic, material that sits underneath the lining of the helmet but above the foam or vinyl nitrile. This layer of material allows the helmet to rotate slightly in the event of an angled impact. This rotation is supposed to reduce the rotational forces that reach the head. There has been debate as to how effective MIPS really is. All we can say is we would rather have a helmet with MIPS than one without. Even if the protective gain is minimal, we will take it.

Between the MIPS and the vinyl nitrile construction, we were impressed with the protection levels of the Disciple MIPS. This is especially true given the reasonable price tag.

Weight


The Giro helmet is decisively stout and portly. At 44-ounces, it is one of the heaviest helmets in our review.

For a helmet with the sheer intention of getting radical on downhill tracks and big gap jumps, we don't have a huge problem with the weight. The Giro was never designed for enduro racing or any sort of pedaling for that matter. As a result, we don't find the weight crippling in the least. In fact, we think that it adds an element of confidence when you are pointing it into a rock garden at full speed.

The weight does add a little strain to the neck and shoulders, no denying that. It isn't like you can't move your head, or your neck is sore the next day, but there is no mistaking this helmet for a featherweight. Again, we don't find this to be a particularly big deal, but it is notable.

The top of the helmet offers no vents  though there are some tucked under the visor.
The top of the helmet offers no vents, though there are some tucked under the visor.

Ventilation


Ventilation is less than awesome with the Disciple MIPS. This is one of the warmest, most clammy, helmets in our review.

When you grab the helmet by the chin bar and examine the construction, you will notice an absence of vents. The crown, or top, of the helmet, is completely absent of any ports or vents. Instead, Giro opted for what they call an internal channeling system. Air comes in through the vents above the brow, and out the rear of the helmet. It is difficult to measure how effective this system is, but we can say this helmet feels hot and it does not breathe very well.

A profile view of how the chin bar sits relatively close to the jaw.
A profile view of how the chin bar sits relatively close to the jaw.

At the chin bar, there are four cutouts with screening to protect riders from debris. There are two cutouts front and center with two additional ones towards the side. These work fine. This is not the helmet to be mashing the pedals with, and any super-hard breathing will be short-lived.

Visor


The visor was certainly a weak spot in the design. The visor does have a nice shape and length. We often find visors, like the one found on the 7Protection M1 to be too narrow at the end. In other words, the visor tapers too much, and the furthest point from the brow is just too skinny to do its job. Not the case with the Disciple MIPS. This visor is proper length and width.

The visor is a nice length and size but is difficult to adjust.
The visor is a nice length and size but is difficult to adjust.

The main gripe is the poor execution of the adjustability method. To adjust this visor, simply pull down on it or push up on it. There are two pivot points above each temple, but there is no middle thumb screw to loosen. Adjusting your visor in this manner just feels clunky and cheap. It only offers about 1-1.5-inches of adjustability. It also feels relatively stiff and firm compared to some of the other more flexible options.

To be fair, the Disciple MIPS does offer more visor adjustability than the Editor's Choice Fox Rampage Pro Carbon which doesn't move at all. Still, we would have liked to see Giro take the extra step for an adjustable visor; it could only help performance.

The helmet has a hefty  substantial  appearance.
The helmet has a hefty, substantial, appearance.

Durability


Throughout testing, we observed no signs of the helmet losing integrity. There were no signs of deterioration and any of the features starting to fail.

The tried-and-true D-clip closure system is kind of a pain, but it works. From a durability standpoint, this is more confidence inspiring than the Fidlock magnetic closure systems found on the Troy Lee Designs Stage and Leatt DBX 3.0.

It is worth mentioning how the visor would fare in the event of a crash. We could see it snapping off relatively easily.

Make sure you know how to use the D-clip. This is incorrect and it can be difficult for those new to the system.
Make sure you know how to use the D-clip. This is incorrect and it can be difficult for those new to the system.

Extras


The Disciple MIPS comes with a helmet bag and a POV camera mount.

Value


The Disciple MIPS is a very strong value. The 7Protection M1 took home a Best Buy award for its mind-blowing price tag. That said, the Giro offers far better protection levels and a more refined design.

The Disciple is ready to get rad...at an attractive price.
The Disciple is ready to get rad...at an attractive price.

Conclusion


The Giro Disciple MIPS is an impressive full-face helmet. Riders who don't need the flashiest kit and the coolest brands will get along well with this lid. Comfort levels are exceptionally high, and the Disciple has some solid protective features. We love it.

Pat Donahue