2016 Pinkbike Awards - Gear Accessory of the Year Winner

Dec 2, 2016
by Pinkbike Staff  

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Gear Accessory of the Year Winner

Choosing the Gear Accessory of the Year Winner is, in some ways, the hardest task of all when it comes to the Pinkbike Awards. While the other categories see (mostly) apple to apple comparisons, the Gear Accessory group pits very different pieces of equipment against each other but not purely for innovation, style, or even value. Instead, it's all of those and also simply how the products get on with the task at hand. The 2016 nominees include Giro's Chronicle MIPS helmet, Dakine's Slayer kneepads, and the Resistance Strong pants from POC.

So, what came out on top?

Helmets have come a long way since the days of plonking a foam mushroom on your head, through the 'road bike helmet with a visor era,' basic mountain bike-specific helmets, and right up to today's lids. Refined, stylish, extended coverage, and with clever venting to prevent pointy things you might encounter on the trail entering your brain – unlike road helmets. They also feature comfortable fit systems that don't cut off the circulation to your eyes and brain stem while keeping the helmet in place through the rough. Also gaining popularity are systems that add rotational protection, like MIPS or Leatt's Turbine inserts.

The Giro Chronicle MIPS helmet did all of the above, went unnoticed while doing it, and checked out at a stellar price. All that prompted our choice to call it the 2016 Gear Accessory of the Year winner.

Here's an excerpt from Vernon Felton's Ridden and Rated article from earlier this year that sums up the Chronicle MIPS:

The Chronicle MIPS is a new helmet from Giro. While it looks a whole lot like the Montaro, the fit is a bit different - the Chronicle sits a bit lower on your head than the Montaro. It also forgoes the Montaro’s integrated camera mount and goggle grippers. Why, then, did I include it here? Because it costs a hundred friggin’ bucks! Damn. And, yes, it also includes a MIPS layer. Double damn. Moreover, the fit is excellent and ventilation is very good. The Giro Feature used to be one of the go-to options for more affordable helmets, but the Chronicle is better on every front. While the harness adjustments are nice and indexed, my sole complaint with the Chronicle is that the adjuster dial on its Roc Loc 5 harness is tiny and consequently harder to adjust with cold, gloved fingers than the larger dials on the Troy Lee, 6D, Specialized, etc. Otherwise? Outstanding.

Pinkbike’s Take:
bigquotesThe Giro Chronicle MIPS takes home the the trophy for Gear Accessory of the Year because it ticked all the necessary boxes of design, function, value, and protection. Moreover, it did its job on every occasion without fuss and went undetected atop our heads. - Paul Aston

Click here for information about the judging and selection criteria for Pinkbike's Year-End Awards

Must Read This Week


  • 70 0
 Helmets always win. Mine saved my noggin today.
  • 15 1
 Agree! Got asked why I bought a decent helmet with MIPS (Bell Super 2.0) because I'm "not a crasher".. Same reason I wear one at all - you'd be pissed if you had a big off, wrecked your face and had a lovely helmet sat in a cupboard at home..
  • 14 87
flag abzillah (Dec 2, 2016 at 3:30) (Below Threshold)
 Were you at Pride Parade? Often things get rowdy at Pride.
  • 9 2
 @abzillah: Ask James Cracknell about wearing helmets when cycling, he just might change your opinion?
  • 12 36
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 2, 2016 at 5:58) (Below Threshold)
 @steviemarco: if that would change my opinion I'd be a fricking moron
  • 23 3
 @WAKIdesigns: you might be, I don't know you so can't comment on that one sorry.
  • 3 10
flag WAKIdesigns (Dec 2, 2016 at 7:41) (Below Threshold)
 @steviemarco: so you mean that wearing a helmet isn't safe?
  • 3 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Absolutley not, safety is paramount in my eyes. Maybe I've misunderstood your comment? As it's under my comment I thought you were commenting on my comment, my bad if not!
  • 18 2
 @steviemarco: I just misunderstood you, idiot me. I am a moron
  • 8 1
 Thanks for a great round of Internet misunderstandering guys
  • 5 0
 Wait a second, did you guys just settle an internet argument without using long winded opinionated subjective comments? You are clearly internetting wrong @WAKIdesigns @steviemarco
  • 45 1
 YEAH! Thanks Pinkbike! We're really happy about the Chronicle (and women's Cartelle). We knew that we could milk more dollars out of this one, but the hope was to price it at a point that made it attainable for the everyday trail riders. Stoked to see that this helmet got the recognition that it deserves!
  • 27 2
 You are a profit maximizing firm. You set the price at a point where you thought you could maximize revenue. That isn't always a higher price as a lower price can sell more units. But good marketing.
  • 2 0
 How about a reasonably priced mountain short?
  • 7 0
 I have a bell stoker helmet and it's almost exactly the same. It has a pretty big dial in the back and also has mips. It's really comfortable. It has a good spot to mount a go pro on top of the helmet too. I think it retails for $135 canadian?

One thing I'd note too is that if you have a huge head, They make extra large sizes that are actually big. I have a fox flux as well but what fox considers an extra large must be measured in baby gap units.
  • 4 0
 @scotty1212 : Thanks for saying that. I was a C-section specifically because of my head; I've gotten quite sick of my helmets fitting like yamakas. I'll have to give the Bell a go.
  • 2 0
 @Bluefire: You'll be happy. I switched from a Super 2R to a Super 3R and had to go from a Large to Medium. Bell's fit is good right now. I run Giro for snow and have been very happy with the fit there as well. I wear larges.

I've got a pretty large head. My moto helmets are L to XL.
  • 2 0
 @Bluefire No problem man, I couldn't find a nice fitting helmet until I tried the bell. @onemanarmy: I'm the same way. I'm normally a 2XL in most full face helmets(snowmobile and motorcycle at least) but I'm a large in my bell helmet. The XL was actually too big. I could have dialed it in but the large ended up working out better.
  • 4 0
 Read a story about a motivation speaker going around to schools with a staple gun and 2x4. Long story short, he crashed, lost to much blood to receive any pain relief help so the medics stapled his head shut right there on the street. He said the pain was horrific. The crazy part is how it all happend. Just out going through the gears making sure everything was good to go for a race the next day. The neighbors kids were outside and challenged him to race to the stop sign. I guess his chain snapped and sent him over the bars.
  • 6 1
 My guess is one of the kids whacked him over the head with a hammer and stole his torque wrench.
  • 1 0
 @unconvinced: thanks for the laugh
  • 3 0
 @unconvinced: hahahahahaha. Motivational speaker - probably said "you can do it" too many times. Don't you think that if Tony Robbins arranged a camp in Whistler the park would be littered with dead bodies of Zoloft users?
  • 5 0
 One of the big things about safety gear is that you may never know how good it is until you don't wear it.
  • 2 0
 @Giro - Bummer you did away with my favorite feature of the Feature, the stitched joint on the chin strap that sits just below the ear. That small feature makes the Feature one of my favorite helmets. No more fussing with uneven adjusters that always seem to shift. Just simple consistent fit. You dropped the ball here.
  • 2 0
 Did they fish the worst feature of the Feature? Where it drains sweat right down your nose and not off to the side due to the pad configuration around the forehead.
  • 3 0
 My older Giro Feature with MIPS has always been a faultless item of gear. No flash. No crash.
  • 5 1
 So have the benefits of MIPS been proven yet?
  • 36 2
 If by MIPS you mean 'Midget Inserts Private Sausage' then yes, that has been proven beneficial many times over.
  • 2 0
 Excellent question. I'm coming due for a helmet soon and although MIPS is being pushed as an improvement in helmet protection, it would be great to see independent standards testing to ensure it lives up to its marketing promise. If there are such tests I'd love to see a link.
  • 1 0
 I can give you anecdotal personal experience, not from a crash, but I managed to hook a branch on my visor, and rather than ripping the visor off or pulling the helmet back excessively on my head, the MIPS allows the helmet to rotate and dissipate some of the contact energy to the point where I barely could tell what was happening.
Any non-orthogonal impact should have a similar effect, a good portion of the energy can be dissipated by the free sliding/rotation of the helmet due to the MIPS system.
  • 1 0
 There is no evidence that MIPS provides any added benefit that I'm aware of. Some would say that the skin and hair on your head is already an integrated MIPS system.
  • 5 0
 @WestwardHo: you're probably right but I don't have any hair, MIPS might just be for us baldies?
  • 5 0
Same with the meninges and CSF surrounding your brain inside your skull. Those act like a built in MIPS system, and are clearly insufficient to protect our brains from hard impacts. The more the merrier I say!
  • 4 0
 @WestwardHo: anyone that says your hair/skin do the same thing as mops should also be able to come to the conclusion that mips adds to this movement and that more movement dissipating peak impact forces is better
  • 3 0
 @bigtim: Sorry, but this is just wrong. It has in fact been proven that it MIGHT help, but not that it DOES help. Read the interview with the founders of Urge, that has been posted on PB some weeks ago. They don't believe in MIPS at all, it's just customers asking for MIPS...
  • 3 0
 Actually haven't read your reply in detail. My bad: You are right sir!
  • 2 0
 I just bought a new helmet and chose to go with non-MIPS due to the amount the MIPS helmets shake around on my head. I call it the bobblehead effect. I mount a light to my helmet for most rides also which I assume would increase the effect. Tried on this and the montaro though and liked them both. Too many good options out there but this one kills it at this price point.
  • 3 0
 MIPS may minimize the rotational force induced injury by 1 or 10 or 30% but we will never know. Other important factors include helmet size and surface. So is stopping riding after every big banger (extremely dangerous repetitive impact issue) and seeing the doctor after every suspicion. Those who think that people treat MIPS as something on top of everything are naive. I already met two people who told me they feel much safer and dare to do more, now knowing their (or their kid's) head is much safer. The most irrational thing you can do is to consider uninformed humans to make rational choices.

Argument for baldies is a particularly failed one because I know two of them and they both fkng hate the thing for keeping the head hot and causing skin irritation.

Helmets slide a LOT on the head (especially on kids heads), and I can tell it from vast experience of crashing in open face lids. My 2,5 year old son took a bad looking hit into a pole. His well fastened, quality POCito helmet rotated on his head by at least 30 degrees.

The discussion is pointless though because it is a low cost, genuine added value item and in 5 years pretty much every single helmet will have it (or another system like that).
  • 1 0
 @WAKIdesigns: Or it's more likely to cause me to crash rattling down a trail at 6am in the dark with my headlight shaking violently.
  • 2 0
 @WasatchEnduro: that's a whole different issue than wether nips is useful. That's more about fit (not in terms of size just general shape/snugness)
  • 1 1
 @j12j: nope, it's about the inherent design of mips helmets and how it takes so little force for the planes to slide. A little extra weight on your helmet can throw the whole thing off balance and cause it to shake way too easily. I don't think mips is dialed yet. Everyone's just adding it to helmets as fast as they can just to have a mips helmet.
  • 2 0
 The Giro Feature MIPS is on sale at under $50 at the moment. I wonder if that is a better deal than the Giro Chronicle MIPS.
  • 4 1
 A 1 good helmet can save your life...
  • 1 3
 Giro adjustment dial sucks. Is too small. But also, it get's very hard to turn from sweat corrosion after a year or so. The older Giro helmets Visor's were too short to block much sun, i'm not sure length of the Chronicle visor, looks a bit longer.
  • 2 0
 Silicone spray lube works tits for that, as a person that sweats a lot, I have the same problem
  • 4 3
 Well I guess thats more exciting than Trek winning bike of the year again....
  • 6 2
 Yeah! It's complete Bullshit how a company could potentially win bike of the year twice in a row!! like how does any company make two great bikes back to back? and what do all the testers at pinkbike know? it's not as if they ride all the bikes anyways.. total shit.

It's no different the Tom Hanks winning Best Actor for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994) Total Shit!
  • 2 0
 I can stand behind this choice. Slim, good fit, great price.
  • 2 1
 I wear my helmet all the time......Because I'm special......
  • 1 0
 Is it just me or are all these awards a bit underwhelming this year?
  • 1 0
 I stand behind your take.
There's a zillion MiPS-equipped helmets out there for a good price(I've seen Bell Super 2's for $50).
WHY this one?
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