Hands-on Gear Review

Giro Savant Review

An inexpensive lightweight helmet that gets the job done.
Giro Savant
By: Curtis Smith ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 17, 2017
Price:  $100 List  |  $69.96 at Competitive Cyclist - 30% Off
Pros:  Inexpensive, RocLoc 5 retention system, lightweight
Cons:  Tubular webbing harness is bulky
Manufacturer:   Giro
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#10 of 13
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Adjustability - 15% 6
  • Weight - 20% 9
  • looks and design - 10% 5
  • Ventilation - 25% 7
  • Durability - 10% 5
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  • 5

Our Verdict

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.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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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.

Performance Comparison


The Giro Savant lacks the racy look of other helmets we tested.
The Giro Savant lacks the racy look of other helmets we tested.

Comfort


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.

The padding on the Giro Savant is much less comfortable than what is found on other helmets we tested.
The padding on the Giro Savant is much less comfortable than what is found on other helmets we tested.

Adjustability


The ratcheting dial that provides circumferential adjustment on the Giro Savant is very similar to what is found on the more expensive Giro Synthe.
The ratcheting dial that provides circumferential adjustment on the Giro Savant is very similar to what is found on the more expensive Giro Synthe.
The Roc Loc 5 fit system offers a good amount of adjustability, and is only hampered by the fixed anchor point of the retention system. If your head does not conform to the shape of the EPS shell, it is tough to get a good fit. When the dial is tensioned it pushes the front of the head into the EPS, which is fine if your head is shaped appropriately, but some of our testers had a hard time getting a snug fit without pressure points. Many helmets we tested have a fixed retention system - the Specialized Airnet being a good example - but higher quality padding goes along way to compensate.

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.

The padding on the Giro Savant is much less comfortable than what is found on other helmets we tested.
The padding on the Giro Savant is much less comfortable than what is found on other helmets we tested.

Weight


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.

Looks and Design


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.

The black plastic plugs visible on the outside of the Giro Savant  are the anchor points for the front webbing straps.  This design is common on entry level helmets because it is cheaper to produce than an anchor molded into the shell.
The black plastic plugs visible on the outside of the Giro Savant, are the anchor points for the front webbing straps. This design is common on entry level helmets because it is cheaper to produce than an anchor molded into the shell.

Ventilation


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.

The Giro Savant has lots of vents  but we found it to be warmer than many other heavily ventilated helmets we tested.
The Giro Savant has lots of vents, but we found it to be warmer than many other heavily ventilated helmets we tested.

Durability


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.

Exposed EPS foam on the base of the helmet detracts from the durability of the Giro Savant.
Exposed EPS foam on the base of the helmet detracts from the durability of the Giro Savant.

Best Applications


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.

Value


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.

Conclusion


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

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Most recent review: February 17, 2017
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
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