We've had a flood of helmets come into the office this week from Madison, the UK distributors of Giro and Bell – the pick of the bunch being Giro's new Feature mountain bike lid.
It may be new for 2012, but it brings back memories of Giro's old Semi MX, which was sported by the likes of Steve Peat in the early 2000s. That helmet was ahead of its time, with more protection than a traditional cross-country helmet but better venting than a pisspot or full-face – just like the new generation of 'trail' helmets.
The Semi's influence can still be seen on modern lids like the Urge Enduro-O-Matic and Giro obviously think the time is ripe for a revival, with the Feature likely to appeal to the bigger-hitting end of the riding spectrum, such as enduro downhill and all-mountain riders, for whom the Xen and Xar are a little too 'cross-country'.
Of course, things have moved on over the past decade, with helmets now better fitting and lighter than ever, and the Feature reflects this. Weighing in at 304g (medium size, actual), it boasts in-mould construction, an adjustable peak and 12 vents, and is available in an array of colours – black, titanium, olive and yellow (all pictured in our gallery), plus red and teal.
The Feature should start appearing in shops from November, priced at £69.99. We can see it being a hit with commuters as well as off-roaders, judging by the number of people in our neck of the woods who choose to wear pisspots around town. The hi-vis yellow version will certainly get you seen.
Other new helmets
Bell's Faction pisspot (£29.99) has been around for a few years now but it's available in some new designs for 2012, including this collaboration with designer Paul Frank. It’s no lightweight at 436g (medium size), but with a shell designed to withstand high impacts and plenty of padding, it should protect your noggin well.
New from Bell for 2012 is the entry-level Presidio. At £29.99 it won't break the bank but features an Ergo-Dial fit system, 17 vents and a removable peak. Claimed weight is 285g and it's available in five colours, including the Ice Blue/White version below. A women's equivalent is also available – the identically priced Vela, which has six extra vents.
A new addition to Giro's 'youth' line is the Flurry (£29.99), which comes in seven eye-catching designs. It shares features with their adult lids, including ample venting and a dial fit system. The ME2 (£19.99), designed for really little ones, is back for 2012 in a one-size-fits-all 47-52cm size and seven graphics options, including the Blue Airplane version shown below, plus Red Fire Fighter Monkey and Blue Aviator Pigs.
Finally, the good-looking new Giro Savant road helmet (£59.99) top the scales at a lightweight 246g (medium size), has 25 vents and comes in five colour options, including white/turquoise, red/white/black and, pictured below, green/silver.