Defending Enduro World Series champion Richie Rude and teammate Cody Kelly have been seen wearing a new and very interesting helmet. The most recent shots posted to Rude’s Instagram account come from last weekend’s Big Mountain Enduro race in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
The most striking feature of this new lid is the fact that it provides substantially more coverage than the Montaro. It comes down lower around the back of the head and wraps around the ears.
It’s essentially what you would expect to get if you combined the Monatro with Giro’s full-face helmet, the Cipher. And unless Giro is testing the waters of the moto trials market, that is exactly what this helmet is likely to be — a new full-face / half-shell convertible helmet.
This new helmet has a bit of a different take on convertible helmet design
What’s more, Giro appears to be resurrecting a name from the past for this yet-to-be-released creation. The use of “#switchblade” in social media posts by Giro's athletes is quite telling.
All the current convertible helmets on the market such as the Bell Super 2R, MET Parachute and the Lazer Revolution owe a portion of their DNA to the original Giro Switchblade. It was an early attempt at developing a mountain biking brain bucket that could be a half-shell as well as a full-face.
The idea was about a decade and a half ahead of its time. The Switchblade didn’t exactly live up to expectations as a full face and the market for a dual-purpose helmet had yet to materialize. Times have changed, and it appears that Giro is nearly ready to roll out Switchblade version 2.0.
The new Switchblade looks to use the same 16 vents as the Montaro, plus two more over the ears. Images suggest that Giro opted to use a D-ring closure system like the one found on the Cipher, rather than a buckle. The camera mount appears to be further forward on the Switchblade as well.
From the front the helmet looks very similar to the Montaro, but with a repositioned camera mount
Spotting a new helmet in the wild is a lot like spotting carbon bike “prototypes” — if it has made it this far, the odds are very good that you’ll be able to snag one in a few months.
Stay tuned; we’ll bring you more details as they become available.