While traditional mountain bikers scoff at the Giro Switchblade, its a clever idea that allows riders to bolt on face protection if they so desire.
Key features: What the Giro lets a rider do is purchase one helmet and cycle it around like any other top-coverage, protection beret. With or without the face wrap, the Giro has a modern, vented look. The back grille has a distinct look, and the Switchblade wraps around the back of the skull and almost completely down and over the lower skull web support. The six 3mm Allen bolts remain secured to the face mask when it is removed. When the face guard is installed, a snap-button system secures it to the helmet straps. We registered the weight of the main helmet at 372 grams and the face loop at 278 grams (1 lb. 6.9 oz. total). Available colors are black, red, and blue.
MBA rating: Three stars. Giro warns that this helmet is not designed for wide-open downhill speeds. We agree. What its designed for is the cross-country rider or trail rider who also enjoys some occasional velo-schussing.
Since the Switchblade wears light, it makes a lot of sense riding cross country through dense foliage. Suggested retail is $180. For more information, call Giro at (831) 457-4476.