First Look: Giro's New Insurgent Full Face Helmet

Jun 14, 2022
by Mike Kazimer  

We first caught a glimpse of Giro's new full-face helmet last fall, when Carson Storch, Richie Rude, and Kurt Sorge showed up at various events wearing the new lid. A semi-secret no more, the helmet is called the Insurgent, and is aimed at gravity riders and racers alike.

At 1053 grams for a size medium it's not one of the super-light full-face helmets that have been released recently, helmets that are designed more for general trail riding rather than something like Red Bull Rampage. According to Giro Senior Industrial Designer David Thompson, “While some brands have prioritized requests from recreational riders for the lightest possible helmets, our professional gravity athletes have a different set of demands, and the Insurgent is built from the inside out to meet their needs.”
Giro Insurgent Details
• Mips Spherical
• Fiberglass shell
• Breakaway visor
• 4 color options
• Sizes: XS/S, M/L, XL/XXL
• Certifications: ASTM-1952-DH, CE EN 1078,
• Weight: 1053 grams (M/L, actual)
• MSRP: $350 USD

1053 grams is still very reasonable for a helmet in this category, especially considering that it has a fiberglass shell, rather than the carbon fiber that's used on other brand's slightly lighter, and much more expensive offerings. It's also 200 grams lighter than the Disciple, Giro's previous flagship DH helmet.

While achieving the absolute lowest number on a scale may not have been Giro's top priority, they didn't forget about ventilation. The Insurgent has 20 vents, internal channels to promote airflow, and exhaust vents at the rear of the helmet, features that Giro says makes it 50% cooler than the Disciple.

The Insurgent used Giro's ball-and-socket style Spherical system to reduce impact forces.
Vents above the brows lead to internal channels help keep air flowing.

The Insurgent is equipped with Giro's Spherical technology, which uses two separate layers of foam connected by elastomers that allow the two layers to move independently. The idea is that during a crash the outer layer is able to rotate enough to help dissipate a portion of the impact force, reducing the amount of stress that reaches the brain. That outer layer uses EPS foam to deal with higher speed impacts, and the inner layer is EPP, a lower density foam to handle the slower speed impacts. EPP foam is also used for the chinbar.

Right above where the helmet could contact a collarbone in a crash is what Giro calls a 'Flex Gasket'. As the name implies, this patent-pending feature uses a softer material that's designed to flex upwards, reducing the force of an impact.

The visor can securely hold a GoPro in this configuration.

The 'Flex Gasket' is designed to reduce the force between the helmet and a collarbone.

Other features include breakaway visor bolts, cheek pads that can be easily removed by pulling downwards in the event of an emergency, and a D-ring closure system. There's also a small circular hole underneath the central visor mounting screw that's intended for stealthily mounting a GoPro - if you hadn't noticed, the Teletubby look is no longer en vogue; mounting the camera on the underside of the visor makes it much less conspicuous.


Out of the box the fit of the Insurgent was very comfortable, with just the right amount of pressure on my cheeks with the 25mm pads installed, and there's a second, thicker set of pads included to fine tune the fit. For reference, I have more of an oval-shaped head, and typically wear either a medium or a large depending on the brand - I'm a medium in the Bell Full-9, and a large for the TLD D4.

There are a bunch of bike park laps in this helmet's future, and once I get enough ride time in to report on its ventilation in warmer temperatures and how it compares to the competition it'll get a full review. In the meantime, my first impressions are that Giro has cooked up a comfy new helmet that comes in at a not-that-crazy pricepoint without sacrificing on safety.

Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,730 articles

  • 36 4
 Compared to the TLD D4 at 600€ (which is also has pretty poor build quality), the price-features ratio of this helmet is quite good!
  • 11 1
 Can you elaborate on the poor build quality of the D4?
  • 12 0
 @jaycubzz: from what I remember:

Paint chips out of the box in various places of the helmet,
forehead liner weirdly integrated and produced - like as if they´d forgotten it first,
it´s plastik parts were somewhat loose,
excess glue to be seen,
MIPS creaked

I wanted to like it after years on D3s.
But it´s gone a few mm shorter so my head won´t fit into it anymore, its more expensive, no spare visor anymore, bag included only on the carbon models.

Ordered a 2021 built Fibreglass D3 in as well, it was produced equally poor.

I went for a Bluegrass Legit Carbon instead.
  • 4 0
 @JohSch: That's odd, mine was fine. To your point, my carbon D3 from 6 years ago did feel more premium though.
I paid $350 USD for my carbon D4 though, at 600 euro I would be upset.
  • 3 0
 @JohSch: interesting. After years of avoiding buying a D3 as I previously had a D2 I finally got myself a D4 carbon .

The fit is way better on my head compared to the D3 sizing but I can relate into the poorer quality pairing . I had a few mm lacking paint but I did get a free pair of Dissent labs socks from Dunbar Cycles for that .

It’s been a rough 2 years with the covid and covid restrictions and I believe that’s the reason that bussiness aren’t doing their 100 % , maybe they can’t or couldn’t anymore . However we have to understand it be tolerant to it and help everyone out . I do hear you as a customer though . It’s just a sensitive balancing act situation from
Both customer and service provider.

Just my 2 cents
  • 2 16
flag barbarosza (Jun 14, 2022 at 9:53) (Below Threshold)
 @JohSch: oh I forgot to mention I am a big fan of Giro. I have two of their helmets including the one over the ears and their fit is jsut amaizing . Protection too . And I have a rain jacket from them which also works so well.

I’m just a snob into full face helmets and I believe that the aesthetics of a TLD are hard to match and other helmets simply look silly. I’m a TLD full face aesthetics aficionado.Therefore im biased ! I will admit it .

And for all TLD owners visor up ! No matter what !

Met Jay ( a woman that’s part of the LGBT community) in Whistler and she was sporting a TLD helmet visor wasn’t up as she said shed needed to keep the sun away … I was so snob I drove her into lifting it up … ha ha I can’t stand people wearing tld without the visor as high up as possible
  • 4 2
 @barbarosza: what? why cant i have my visor down?
  • 2 1
 @barbarosza: Why even have a visor if you don't use it for it's intended purpose? More drag to slow you down?
  • 1 0
 @JohSch: Ok thank you for the information.
  • 20 0
 Ok, serious question. We all know that after a decent crash we should trash the helmet and get a new one. Do you do that? Let's say that you ride with D4 or some other unbelievable expensive helmet.

Also, what is better, a cheap(er) but new helmet or uber expensive one that already took some beating?
  • 17 0
 Recently I ate some dirt hit the ground hard. The helmet has scratch marks on the forehead and top half of the chin bar and my goggles had scratched lenses... It looks superficial but I replaced it with the exact same model since it protected me well and I don't want to find out whether it'll protect for a second hit or not.
  • 20 0
 At least in Germany, Giro has a crash replacement. Last year, I totaled my Giro Chronicle into 3 pieces. Got 50% off the new one.
I do check brands with decent crash replacements policies.
  • 1 1
 @Marquess: In Poland only recently there is a Giro crash replacement, but only for 2 years from purchase date. I think that if we are to replace possibly damaged helmets companies simply must offer a proper crash replacement programs and the bike media should loudly speak about it. Meanwhile a chin bar for Bell Super goes for like $100 in Poland.
  • 2 0
 In theory POC makes helmets that are safer to use after a crash. But they are very heavy. There was a poll on pinkbike about that:
  • 15 0
 A decent crash that involves smashing your head against something. I very rarely hit my head when I go down so usually my helmets get replaced every 2 or 3 seasons without any real contact to the ground. Scratching your visor isn't really a problem either as the reason why you should replace your helmet after a crash is because the EPS foam will compress in the case of a proper impact, when this happens its absorbing properties are gone forever which means your helmet wont save your brain a second time. When this happens, you are usually aware that you hit your head on the floor. So to answer your question, a lesser helmet replaced every time you hit your head hard in a crash will 100% protect you better than a uber helmet which you didn't replace after a hard crash during which you hit your head. In any case if you are unsure if you hit your head or not during the crash and if you compromised the EPS in your helmet you should replace it.

Now this Giro helmet seems very good, especially considering the price. Dual density foam, rotational absorption, lightweight and cheap enough, potentially the replacement of my Fox RPC and if I hit it it will definitely be less eye watering than replacing the RPC, while being lighter too.
  • 1 0
 Yes, if it warrants one. Most decent Brands have a crash replacement option. LTD do, as do many others.
  • 5 0
 In my opinion, if you hit your head hard enough that any of the foam or helmet structure could possibly be compromised, get a new one and move on. The cost sucks but its nothing compared to the risk of brain damage.
  • 4 0
 Sadly I've gone thru 3 helmets in the last 5 years due to decent crashes. I got a 30% off crash replacement thru Bell USA but I usually end up going thru BikeBling when they have their sales - substantially better deals on the Supers and Super DHs. I also buy the best safety technology I can afford and always buy new. You never know.
  • 2 0
 @iduckett: transfer 9 for $99.99 right now. Gotta save that website for next time I need a new lid.
  • 5 4
 Considering all helmets undergo the same certification process and very few companies test rigorously beyond that point, (because it's expensive and they don't get anything to show for it on the sales pitch) Id argue that a cheaper helmet, replaced more regularly is your best option.
  • 5 0
 @JamesPBlaw: which is why using Virginia Tech helmet rating is good to help you choose a new helmet based on factual data. Moto certification finally evolved with much more stringent rules and rotational forces included in the test, hopefully the cycling world will also cope on and offer more rigorous certifications. Some brands claim that their helmets protect well beyond the minimum required for the certification (not hard considering how basic that level of protection is), Virginia Tech provides some factual data to back up some of these claims.
  • 1 0
 @goroncy: I wear a POC Coron. I've crashed in my old one quite a few times before it showed damage. Once I cracked the back of it I finally replaced it. Bought another one. No complaints
  • 1 3
 Hell no. If you’re doing that you’re either too rich or don’t crash enough.
  • 6 0
 Kali Protectives -Free Crash Replacement Program. I took a hit to my Kali Invader recently (see Friday Fails #225 @2:09 ;0)) new helmet provided through our local UK distributor in under 2 weeks (just a small admin charge £15 here in the UK). Couldn't ask for more.
  • 1 0
 @ashfordakers: Do you need to register your helmet after the purchase or the copy of the invoice is enough?
  • 1 2
 @lkubica: You should replace your helmet after 3 years, crashed or not. The foam breaks down and lowers the the impact protection so to have a lifetime warranty on a helmet wouldn't really make sense, as the lifespan of the helmet is only 3 years.
  • 2 0
 @goroncy: No, EPP and "multi impact" doesn´t mean that you should keep wearing it after a crash, it´s just supposed to help you when you crash and slide down the hill like in that cheese race and hit your head more often in one crash.

EPS and EPP are then deformed or cracked and done.
  • 2 0
 @Balgaroth: Hey, no true facts about helmets please, we don´t want these on PB!
  • 1 0
 @JamesPBlaw: passing the certification process only means that the helmet met these low standards. Good helmets will exceed these poor standards.

There´s no extra testing needed, the certification tests shows the differences, they´re just not getting published except when some (German) bike journals or Virigina Tech do their own test and publish the results.

So no, you´re wrong partially wrong.

Also cheaper helmets then to be too heavy (bad for your neck) or too light (they will only just have surpassed the certification test).
  • 2 0
 Personally, my head is the one thing I don't skimp on. I took a good digger a few years back and while the helmet looked okay, under bright light you could see little spider-web cracks throughout the whole half of the side of the helmet I crashed on. I don't think you could expect it to provide the same protection given the cracking.
  • 5 0
 Yes, because spending a few hundred dollars is better than thousands of dollars of hospital bills on a TBI or ending up as a vegetable.
  • 2 0
 @enduroelite: don't most brands recommend between 5 and 8 years of a) usage and b) lifetime?
  • 1 0
 @pakleni: I didn’t register mine for ages after purchasing, by which time the serial number had worn off. Didn’t need the invoice either. All you do register as an owner and return the damaged one for testing following your crash and provided details of the incident.
  • 3 0
 @enduroelite: A few years ago someone decided to test this. They gathered 100 helmets of average age 10 years. Amazing to me; 99 of those helmets passed whatever certification they had originally.
  • 1 1
 @JohSch: I think you have that backwards. In road helmets, light and well ventilated are the key features people want. Top helmet companies go through numerous iterations to get their design up above the testing threshold. I attended a new helmet release session and they put up a photo of the hundreds of crushed prototypes that led to the final product.
On the contrary, inexpensive helmets (which are heavier and far less vented) so far exceed the threshold that they only need to be tested once - the designer knows they will pass prior to testing.
  • 2 0
 @enduroelite: the 3 year thing is a myth. I replace mine roughly at that rate but it is because it sees a lot of action and because I want to change at that point. If I remember correctly distributors and retailers have 5 years to sell a helmet after its production date and to ensure at least 3 years of use but this is more like a PPE standard than anything else similar rules applies to ropes for instance. The YT channel Fortnine talked about it in an episode, it is for moto helmets but it applies exactly the same since the technologies used are identical.
  • 1 0
 @JohSch: I know with the Motorcycle/Track helmet SNELL rating recommends replacement every 5 years and maximum 10 years, but not sure how MTB helmets fare, as they're still foam but have quite different construction. I'd stick with 5 max on a MTB helmet personally unless otherwise stated. In my naive youth I know I've had helmets for 10+ years...
  • 1 0
 @R26: I still replace mine after 2-3 years. After It spends most of the season baking in the sun, sweat can break down the foam, I can see that the Shell is breaking down - new lid
  • 7 0
 You could wear an Insurgent while riding your Insurgent...Xzibit would be so happy
  • 6 0
 Where was he on January 6?
  • 4 0
 @owl-X: Wherever he was, he was running an ISIS BB.
  • 4 0
 I just got this lid 4 days ago and it's awesome! It fits my more round noggin, better than the Switchblade or any other Giro. Be sure to try one if you can but know that it's a stellar helmet, and it fits rounder -- like a Bell Super DH or TLD
  • 3 0
 Thank you for including your head's shape in relation to size and fit.
What's the difference between Giro and Mips Sperical? The latter is used on Bell helmets.
  • 1 1
 They're the same, Giro and Bell are both subs of Vista outdoor since 2016 and they share tech
  • 1 0
 Good looking park helmet. Nice work Giro. I have a Super DH and I'm not the biggest fan of the noise/movement that the Spherical MIPs has. However, I think it's more noticeable trail riding in the half-lid config, not so much in a bike park with higher speeds and with the chin bar. And of course, if it's safer then it's a worthy compromise...
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer Do you by any chance have any new thoughts on this helmet? If you were looking for an enduro helmet, where safety would be the biggest priority, would you reach for this one? Asking since I feel like I am inline with your helmet views via the prodcast and prior reviews.
  • 2 0
 @sean-curran, I wore this helmet a bunch this summer for lift-served laps - it's very comfortable for my head shape. It is a little less breathable than I'd want for an enduro helmet, though; in that category the Fox Proframe RS is one of my favorites.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Thanks Mike, I appreciate the response!
  • 1 0
 I just got one, and road it up at WHistler and Squamish all of last week. It is super light and comfortable compared to my older GIro helmet,The Insurgent made me feel protected 100%!
  • 3 0
 350 USD for a fibreglass helmet seems expensive, when you can find last season's CF models for less.
  • 3 0
 Kali is the best when it comes to crash replacement...three bad crashes since 2015..all replaced no ?.. incredible company
  • 2 0
 I guess the marketing department decided that "flex gasket" (inaccurate; not a gasket) sounded cooler than "crumple zone" or what have you.
  • 2 0
 Helmets are all getting weirdly similar in style. It's getting harder and harder to tell them apart without radical color schemes.
  • 1 0
 Nice lid! Anyone have a list already made up of helmets that have a gopro under visor mount location (phew, that's a mouthful)? Thanks!
  • 1 0
 I need a front facing picture. The website doesn't have one, so I guess it looks really bad from the front, kinda like a POC...
  • 1 0
 Not sure how I feel about breakaway visor bolts... visors tend to get hung up in lots of stuff
  • 1 0
 Having a solid object (GoPro) firmly mounted on your forehead doesn’t seem safe.
  • 2 5
 I know that if I bought such an expensive helmet, I wouldn't replace it after a crash on the head that didn't knock me out.
Hence I rather buy a little cheaper one and replace it after a crash.

Also, is breaking the collarbones due to the helmet hitting them a common thing?
I broke them by falling on the shoulder
  • 12 0
 User name checks out.
  • 2 0
 I was wondering the same thing on the collar bone, I would think by the time my helmet contacts my collar bone I’d have a compression fracture in my neck, I also have a giraffe neck so that might just be me
  • 2 0
 I don't buy helmets because then I don't have to replace any helmet after a crash. /s
  • 1 0
 I broke my collar bone once where my helmet impacted the collar bone, it was not a major crash but it does not take much force to break the collar bone. I would not blame the helmet for the break because it was a tumble and probably could have been a concussion if I would have fell directly on my head.
  • 2 0
 That looks .... Evil.
  • 1 0
 That just looks hot!
  • 1 0
 I want one.
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