VIDEO Review - Giro Selector

 Sep 18, 2011 article & images by Nick Salazar

The Selector may be the most hotly-anticipated aero helmet ever.

This review has been a long time coming. The grand unveiling of the Selector happened at the Prologue of the 2010 Tour de France. Several riders, including Levi Leipheimer and Fabian Cancellara, rode the production version of the lid, while others including Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador had custom prototypes made just for them. But one thing was already clear - the lid was a clear step forward in aero helmet design.

The Selector's obvious advantages include its multiple tail options, to better mate with each rider's particular back shape, and its slick, no-vents design that we're told presents a much more aerodynamic front to the wind. When I first saw the helmet, I didn't know much about it. I just knew I wanted one.

Fast forward a year-and-a-half, and the Selector has made quite a splash in the triathlon world. The helmet flew to the all-time Ironman-distance World Record time under Andreas Raelert. Not only was it the fastest Iron-distance performance ever, but was the fastest bike split of all time, at a blazing 4 hours 11 minutes. Raelert averaged a whopping 26.7 miles per hour during his ride.

Another marquis athlete to adopt the selector is uber-biker Chris Lieto. This change is interesting, because for many years, the gear-savvy Lieto has been riding the Spiuk Kronos. He's gone over to Giro as a sponsored athlete, but I suspect the change may have had something to do with discoveries in the wind tunnel.

Gearing Up

The lid is smooth and stylish, but how does it ride?

Before I tested the helmet for myself, I'll admit that my expectations were mixed. On the one hand, previous reviewers complained that the helmet was cramped, difficult to put on, and hot. So I braced myself for a lid that would give speed at the price of comfort. I have a pretty big noggin to begin with, and worried that a helmet that was cramped for some might actually be unwearable for me. On the other hand, the helmet has a great look, and apparently the most wind-tunnel development of any helmet out there. Lance had a custom version made for him based on several visits to the tunnel complete with a total-body 3D scan, so that they could make the best version for him. And the lid he rode was nearly indistinguishible from the production version, meaning it's likely a very fast shape already. The helmet has a smooth front with no vents, long earflaps that completely cover your ears, a removeable visor, and two interchangeable lower fairings, at 10mm and 45mm tall, which can be swapped out depending on which fits your position better. In short, it's sleek, refined, and has a lot of great features.

So how did it fare? Hit the jump for the video review and writeup.

Tags » giro,  helmets,  selector
  • No doubt about it, the Giro Selector is one good-looking helmet.
  • Personally, I think the styling is fantastic.  Understated but sophisticated.
  • A rear view of the helmet.
  • The only visible ventilation comes from these two exhaust ports on the back, but surprisingly, this is actually the most comfortable aero helmet I've used, and doesn't give me any heat problems at all.
  • A dedicated visor is a MUST for those with aggressive aero positions.  The Selector's visor is optically very clear, and mildly tinted to be useful in a variety of sun conditions.  Personally, I'd like to see a fully-mirrored visor option.
  • Short straps with a yoke up high make it very easy to get the helmet on and off.
  • Foam ear pieces keep the helmet very quiet - no wind noise, and no resonant echoes from the helmet.
  • Here's the Giro Selector sitting atop my Trek Speed Concept.
  • The Selector is just one smooth shape from front to back.  No vents in the front to ruin its superlative aerodynamics.
  • I ride with the smaller 10mm fairing.  If you would have a gap between your back and the helmet, you can swap out for the taller 45mm fairing.
  • The Giro Selector is shaped to stay out of the wind pretty well even when you're looking down.

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