The Giro Tyrant helmet is one of the latest offerings in the retro-3/4 lid uprising. Taking some qeues and feedback from its bigger brother and one of our favorite helmets, the Giro Switchblade (reviewed here) one of our favorite helmets, the Giro Tyrant is a lighter, more breathable all mountain helmet that still offers a large coverage area. While this helmet was clearly slated as a “Style over speed” product, Giro added the latest spherical MIPS liner and some refinements that assure you that this helmet isn’t just about looks.
Being a washed up XC and Lycra guy, I was not an early adopter of the three-quarter helmet. But with a winter of eMTB testing ahead, I jumped on the wagon. The throwback styling hearkening to a time of trials motos and two strokes also ended up winning me over.
Spherical MIPS is the most advanced rotational brain protection on the market right now. The shell is split into two ultra-thin layers that allow for up to 15 degrees of separate rotation. I won’t bore you with the details, but I assure you, axonal injuries are devastating and can end any hopes of riding a bike again. The MIPS system addresses that kind of injury in a unique way that has some promising testing behind it. One nice feature is the inner layer of EPP foam has some rebound characteristics for low speed impacts which extends the life of the helmet.
While two layer EPS helmets have been prohibitively large in the past, the Tyrant pulls that form factor way down. It was one of the most form fitting and sleek helmets we tried this year. The ear areas are hollowed out with minimal padding on the lower edge to allow the helmet to sit very close the head allowing good airflow.
The other details on the helmet are similar to Giro’s other high-end offerings. Roc Loc ratcheting rear adjustment, X-static foam padding, and flat comfortable webbing allow you to dial in your fit quickly.
The first thing I was concerned about in the Tyrant was heat and airflow. With the full cut and svelte fit, the helmet did not look like it was going to be pulling summer duty. To my surprise the 14 vents, open cheeck areas, and front intakes do a surprising good job of moving air around. The only time I felt that the helmet was getting warm was during long, slow climbs above 70 degrees F.
The Tyrant fits similarly to other Giro offerings and the sizing is right on. I have a 56cm head and the medium was perfect. The large visor is able to move up and out of the way when wearing googles on the really cold days but the helmet still fits well with any of the larger aspect glasses such as the Oakley Sutro.
I have not taken any hard falls on the helmet yet but the coverage around the side and back of the head are comforting. Although I managed to stay off the ground, I did hit my head pretty hard on a tree branch and put a small dent in the top of the helmet but it is no worse for wear and developed no cracks or issues in the foam.
The looks are a bit polarizing no doubt, and we believe it’s either going to be a take it or leave it helmet. In terms of fit, coverage area and protective technology, Giro has packed a lot in the Tyrant, as they do with all their high-end helmets. We also found the helmet to be quite comfortable on long rides and short rides alike. Glasses fit inside the helmet well and goggles snugged up inside the opening just right. The ear coverage was nice on cooler days however the vents still let air and friendly conversation come through without much restriction. It’s probably not the ideal helmet for Phoenix climbs in July, but then again, what would be?
The Wolf’s Last Word
If you are looking for a unique new helmet option or want a bit more coverage without the confiement of a full face helmet, the Tyrant certainly has something to offer. It’s lighter, slimmer and more breathable than the Giro Switchblade, however it doesn’t have the ability to convert into a full face nor does it offer quite the same coverage. Granted the Switchblade is a burlier helmet and noticeably warmer. Our crew was split on the looks of the Tyrant, but we all agreed it fit and rode well. If the looks are up your alley, then we’d suggest trying one on, and if you’re looking for a retro inspired jersey to compliment your new lid, check out our Vantage Loam Wolf Jersey. Any time a company can squeeze in a bit more safety and innovation into a product with a bit of unique styling, we’re into it, so kudos to Giro for thinking outside the box, or at least recycling it.
Want to win some free schwag? Leave a comment and vote up the most thoughtful comments and each month we’ll pick a winner. The person with the smartest and most helpful replies will earn some sweet new gear. Join the Pack and get the latest news and read the latest reviews on the top mountain and electric mountain bikes.