Giro Cinder MIPS Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Comfortable, adjustable, high-end style
Cons: Less aero, may be warm in hot weather, fastener could be finicky
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cinder receives decent scores across the board. While it doesn't quite reach the top of any category, it performs consistently well and does so without siphoning off your excess cash.
The Cinder derives most of its comfort from its shape and the MIPS liner that hugs the skull and helps alleviate some of the direct contact with the EPS foam liner. It could use a bit more of its XStatic padding, but the padding it does use is well placed along the front of the forehead and temples and another set of pads straddling the top of the head. That said, we found the Cinder to be pretty comfortable on both long and short rides in a variety of weather conditions.
The Cinder uses Giro's Roc Loc 5 fit system to achieve a good degree of adjustability. At the rear is a two-way adjustable dial with fine grip to allow easier handling in the rain or after the sweat and oil starts taking over late in the ride. The headband system also allows a couple of centimeters of fore and aft adjustment to help fit more head shapes. It also uses standard adjustable Y-straps to secure the chinstrap buckle below the chin. The strap system can also be fed from side to side through a slot in the rear of the helmet, allowing additional flexibility for achieving a perfect
One of the tradeoffs Giro makes here is providing improved durability by adding more structural support to the helmet while sacrificing a bit of ventilation. However, the Cinder receives overall average scores in the rating metric due to the amount of EPS foam that is exposed around the brim of the helmet. EPS foam is a more delicate material that the protective polycarbonate shell, and is vulnerable to bumps and scrapes if not properly cared for.
Our testers agree that this is a sharp-looking helmet. With its classic, flowing design, it carries a lot of the same design features that have trickled down from many of Giro's high-end offerings, but does so at nearly half the price. It also comes in several color options that allow riders to coordinate the color scheme with their kits, bikes, and the rest. We recognize that this is a subjective exercise, but if you are looking for a classic helmet with high-end style without the high0end price, the Cinder is a great choice.
Twenty-six Wind Tunnel vents course through this helmet, making it a respectable aerator and earning our appreciation on the muggy mornings that turn into windy, blazing afternoons. The internal channeling seems to be effective, and the built-in MIPS liner is perfectly trimmed to align with the vents. Overall, there are several models that offer better ventilation with larger vents, but the Cinder provides respectable breathability for most riding conditions.
The Cinder sits at a measured 345 grams in a men's size Large. While this is definitely on the heavier side for high-performance road helmets, keep in mind that this is a less wispy mid-range offering meant to last for several seasons. That said, if you are in the market for a lighter helmet, there are certainly quite a few options that provide similar performance in a lighter package.
The Cinder's list price is towards the lower end of our lineup. This is a solid mid-range helmet with excellent performance and comfort that provides good protection and ventilation and is versatile enough to use for many rides over many years. Overall, it provides a great value.
While it doesn't win any of our top awards, the Giro Cinder MIPS is certainly a respectable contender across the board. It's also not a bad looker and comes in nine different colors, making it easier to coordinate with your bike, kit, helmet, and shoes. It also offers generous comfort for longer rides and a range of adjustability options for even the most finicky rider. No, it's not the top helmet, but it's an above-average mid-range product, and we think most riders would be pleased with this offering.
— Nick Bruckbauer & Ryan Baham