The Giro Savant is an entry-level helmet that offers good all-around performance at a low price. It lacks the pro-level feel of higher end Giro helmets like the Synthe and the Aeon, but it gets the job done. It comes in three sizes, and feels similar in fit to the Synthe. The Savant is cheaper than the Bell Overdrive MIPS, but lacks a MIPS liner.
Giro Savant Review
Cons: Tubular webbing harness is bulky
Our Analysis and Test Results
For the money, the Savant is a good helmet. It is constructed of EPS and polycarbonate like every other helmet we tested, and it provides the same level of protection at a fraction of the cost of more expensive models. At this price point, you lose some features (such as MIPS), and the straps are much less supple and comfortable than what is found on more expensive helmets.
The Savant is not the most comfortable helmet we tested, scoring a 6/10, but it is far from the worst. The Roc Loc 5 fit system is fixed near the temples and tends to put more pressure on the front and sides of the head, as compared to the Roc Loc Air adjustment system found on the higher end Giro Synthe. The padding on the Savant is decent, but does not compare to the X-Static pads used on the Synthe and Giro Aeon. The webbing straps are thicker and stiffer than the straps on the Bell Overdrive, and far less comfortable. If 5hr rides are your thing, you may want to consider the Specialized Airnet MIPS, which is a bit more spendy, but much more comfortable.
2cm of fore and aft adjustment is available in 3 increments, similar in design to the Bell Overdrive. The webbing straps are difficult to adjust due to their thick, bulky nature, but the floating rear webbing attachment and adjustable Y-buckles do provide for a comprehensive adjustment system.
Considering the price point, the Savant is a very lightweight helmet. At 264 grams, the only helmet we tested that is lighter is the Giro Aeon at 225g, but it is nearly twice the price. In part, the low weight of the Savant is due to the lack of a MIPS liner, which would increase the weight about 30g, bringing the weight closer to the Bell Overdrive MIPS. But if weight is your primary concern, then the Savant is the lightest helmet we tested at the $100 price point.
The Savant has somewhat of a blah look - not bad, but it does not scream high-end race lid either. Compared to the Specialized Airnet, it definitely leaves something to be desired. The design is basic, and the front webbing anchors that extend through the EPS shell make it look cheap.
Scoring a 7/10, the Savant has good ventilation characteristics. Our testers felt it was similar to the Synthe and Bontrager Ballista - good, but not amazing. Considering that the Savant most closely compares to aero and semi aero helmets in ventilation and is not aerodynamic in any way says something about the design. The Savant has less internal channeling than the Ballista, and far more vents. The Synthe has equal ventilation to the Savant, with fewer vents, but the internal channeling and the Roc Loc Air fit system that suspends the EPS above the head provides better cooling.
All of the components - including straps, buckles, and tensioning system - worked flawlessly during testing. The only complaint we have is the exposed EPS foam at the base of the helmet and decals that are prone to peeling. Top-rated helmets for durability like the Specialized Airnet and Smith Overtake MIPS have a polycarbonate shell that wraps around the base of the helmet to prevent dents and scratches in the EPS.
The Savant is best suited to enthusiast level riders who tend to do shorter or less frequent rides. While it provides the same level of protection as other helmets in the test, comfort on long rides can be an issue.
The Savant retails for $100, making it one of the cheapest helmets we tested. However, the Bell Overdrive MIPS is the same price, scores higher, and has a MIPS liner. The Savant is not a great value, and we feel that the Overdrive MIPS or the Specialized Airnet offer a lot more bang for your buck.
The Savant is an entry-level helmet that offers a solid protection at a decent price. Other helmets in the same price range outperform it in nearly every category, making it one of our lower scoring models.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Savant is also offered in a MIPS version.
— Curtis Smith