Mountain biking – whether on a New England single-track, Moab’s slickrock trail or a downhill course in the Rockies – a helmet is needed that you hardly know is there but performs if needed. The Giro Xar just might be that helmet.
An updated version of the Giro Xen, the Xar features a similar style and fit but lighter and with several technological improvements.
The Xar is lightweight and cool. The seventeen-inch “wind tunnel” vents on the helmet’s surface brings cool air, circulate it before forcing it out the back. And it’s more effective than other mountain bike helmets. The Giro Xar cradles your cranium rather than just sitting on top, so it keeps you cool and the additional back-of-the-head protection provided is impressive.
The Xar uses Giro’s RocLoc 5 stabilization system - a dial in the back of the helmet adjusts the tension and the vertical fit level. This technology is easy to use and does allow for adjustments mid-ride. Tension is adjusted with a twist of the dial. With gloves on, the dial is a bit harder to grasp.
The Xar offers three levels of vertical fit and is easy to adjust, though it does require two hands to adjust the straps.
The visor on the Xar allows for 15 degrees of vertical adjustment while riding. The visor is easily adjusted one-handed. It doesn’t rattle or move once you place the visor where you want it.
The interior pads are removable, machine washable, and made of anti-microbial fabric to keep your head and your helmet not so gross. Through several months of testing and a few long, sweaty rides, the helmet remained presentable, and the pads held up in the wash.
Take the time to fit this helmet to your noggin, and it’ll take care of you, with an internal roll cage – a web of DuPont nylon inside the foam for greater strength during a crash and a three-piece polycarbonate shell with EPS foam liner.
None of the foam is exposed which protects it from scratches and keeps the helmet looking sharp. Hopefully you won’t need to test the protection of the Xar, but ride reassured the technology is there if needed and enjoy its comfort and your ride. (MSRP $130)
Sarah Klingler, a Pittsburgh, Pa native, was practically born on the snow. Before she was 18 months old, her parents strapped her into her first pair of skis, and she fell in love with winter.
She's a ski instructor at Seven Springs resort, but when Klingler's not on the hill with students, you can find her snowshoeing, cross country and telemark skiing, or hiking through the pow with her snow-loving Labrador, Emma.
When the snow melts, Klingler mountain and road bikes, hikes, horseback rides, whitewater rafts, and dreams about chairlifts.
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