The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of gear

Giro Cinder MIPS Review

A comfortable mid-range offering that will keep the dome safe
Giro Cinder MIPS
Photo: Backcountry
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Price:  $160 List | $119.98 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Comfortable, adjustable, high-end style
Cons:  Less aero, may be warm in hot weather, fastener could be finicky
Manufacturer:   Giro
By Nick Bruckbauer & Ryan Baham  ⋅  May 7, 2020
  • Share this article:
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 15
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Adjustability - 15% 7
  • Weight - 15% 5
  • Style - 15% 8
  • Ventilation - 20% 7
  • Durability - 15% 5

Our Verdict

The great strength of the Giro Cinder MIPS is that it delivers excellent performance at a reasonable price-point. It carves away some of the premium materials found some comparable higher-end models but still retains a good deal of the lightweight protection, comfort, and classy style. With its solid design and consistent performance across most of our measures, this is a good choice for the rider looking to settle into a mid-range helmet and keep it for many years. It has sufficient ventilation to keep you cool in most conditions and enough adjustability to accommodate headwear in cooler weather.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Giro Cinder MIPS
This Product
Giro Cinder MIPS
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award 
Price $119.98 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
$159.99 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
$179.96 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 2 sellers
$299.95 at Amazon$89.95 at Competitive Cyclist
Compare at 3 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
64
79
79
77
72
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Comfortable, adjustable, high-end styleWell-ventilated, adjustable and comfortable, sleek and classy styleLightweight, comfortable, low profile, good ventilationGreat ventilation, elegant style, advanced MIPS liner designComfortable, adjustable, durable, inexpensive
Cons Less aero, may be warm in hot weather, fastener could be finickySlightly heavy for a high-end helmetExpensiveExpensive, heavier than other high-end helmetsHeavier, slightly less ventilation
Bottom Line An accessible MIPS model with great comfort and ventilationA stylish, comfortable helmet with outstanding ventilation and solid all-around performanceLightweight comfort and performance from a semi aerodynamic model that ventilates wellA unique MIPS liner design with great ventilation highlight this expensive choiceTremendous value packed into a helmet with a multitude of high-end features
Rating Categories Giro Cinder MIPS Bell Z20 MIPS Giro Synthe MIPS Giro Aether MIPS Giro Agilis MIPS
Comfort (20%)
6
9
9
7
9
Adjustability (15%)
7
8
8
9
9
Weight (15%)
5
6
8
7
6
Style (15%)
8
9
8
7
5
Ventilation (20%)
7
8
7
8
5
Durability (15%)
5
7
7
8
9
Specs Giro Cinder MIPS Bell Z20 MIPS Giro Synthe MIPS Giro Aether MIPS Giro Agilis MIPS
Weight (grams) 345 g (size L) 336 g (size L) 312 g (size L) 330 g (size L) 336 g (size L)
MIPS Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Number of vents 26 18 19 11 32
Sizes S, M, L S, M, L S, M, L S, M, L S, M, L
Size Range (cm) 59-63 cm (size L) 58-62 cm (size L) 59-63 cm (size L) 59-63 cm (size L) 59-63 cm (size L)

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.

Performance Comparison


The Cinder is one of Giro's mid-range offers that benefits from many...
The Cinder is one of Giro's mid-range offers that benefits from many of the same features of their higher-end models.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Comfort


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's X-Static padding is very comfortable and well-placed.
The Cinder's X-Static padding is very comfortable and well-placed.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Adjustability


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

The Roc Loc 5 fit system provides plenty of adjustability.
The Roc Loc 5 fit system provides plenty of adjustability.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Durability


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.

Style


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.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Ventilation


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.

Weight


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.

While slightly heavier than most top-tier helmets, the Cinder...
While slightly heavier than most top-tier helmets, the Cinder provides a good blend of comfort, ventilation, and value.
Photo: Nick Bruckbauer

Value


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.

Conclusion


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