Review: Giro's New Coalition Lightweight Full Face Helmet

Feb 8, 2024 at 10:31
by Mike Kazimer  
photo

A sizeable wave of lightweight full face helmets has hit the market over the last few years, likely fueled by increased eMTB sales, and the fact that more riders than ever are moving quickly through technical terrain where a little extra protection certainly doesn't hurt.

Giro's new Coalition helmet is the latest addition to this fast growing segment. It checks in at a competitive weight of 787 grams for a size medium, and uses Giro's Spherical Technology, where two two separate layers of foam are connected by elastomers that allow them to move independently, a design that's intended to reduce the amount of impact force that reaches the brain.

Giro Coalition Details
• Spherical Technology system
• 23 vents
• Weight: 787 grams
• Colors: black, white/blue, metallic coal/mineral, dark shark dune
• Sizes: XS/S, M/L (tested), XL/XXL
• Certifications: CE/CPSC/ASTM DH/BMX/NTA
• MSRP: $325 USD
giro.com
There are a total of 25 vents, with 13 of those located in the front, and the rest spread over the top, side, and rear of the helmet. There's also internal channeling that's meant to help air find its way towards the back of the helmet, preventing riders from feeling like they're in a skull-shaped sauna.

Unlike some lightweight full face helmets that use a ratcheting dial to adjust the fit, the Coalition works like a traditional full face, relying on the thickness of the check pads (25 and 30mm thick options are included). Three different shells are used to accommodate six sizes, from XS to XXL The Coalition is available in four different colors, and retails for $325 USD.

photo
photo

DETAILS
Lightweight full face helmets have something of a checkered reputation when it comes to chin bar strength – the thinner profile and additional venting means they're not usually as strong as you'd find on a dedicated downhill helmet. To address that, Giro came up with what they're calling the 'Halo System', where a bushing system integrates the chinbar into the rest of the helmet, a design that helps reduce the amount of force that's transferred during an impact. According to Giro, the result is a chinbar that's almost twice as strong as what's required to meet the ASTM chin bar deflection testing standard.

Other features include an adjustable visor that uses three breakaway bolts, a Fidlock magnetic buckle, and Ionic+ antimicrobial padding.

photo
The two different foam layers are joined with elastomers that allow them to rotate independently.
photo
The Coalition uses a Fidlock magnetic buckle on the chin strap.


photo

FIT
Giro's Insurgent downhill helmet fits my size medium, ovalish head shape extremely well, so I was glad to find that the Coalition was just as comfy. The padding isn't quite as thick, and there's more room around the ears compared to the Insurgent, but the helmet is just as secure, even when worn without goggles. That's important, since there's no ratcheting fit system to snug things down. That's not the end of the world, especially since plenty of full face helmets do a great job without one, but it does mean that the fit around the head can't be fine tuned to the same extent as it can be on a helmet like the Fox Proframe RS.

VENTILATION
It's still supposed to be winter here in the Pacific Northwest, even though the temperatures lately have been downright springlike. That means I haven't been able to test the Coalition in fully sweltering conditions, but I was impressed with how well the helmet breathes on long, slow climbs – I never got that stuffy, almost claustrophobic feeling that can arise when there's not adequate ventilation.

A full face will always be warmer than a half shell, but the vents in the chin bar help prevent hot air from blowing back at your face, and the vents around the ears make it possible to hear what's going on around you, rather than muffling the outside noises.

The X shape in the chin bar does make it a little trickier to cleanly spit through it or squirt water from a bottle, but if that's the price to pay for extra strength I'm will to adapt.

WEIGHT & PRICE
The Coalition falls in line with many of the helmets in this category – there are multiple options in the 800ish gram weight bracket, and with a price between $300 - $350. A few of my favorites are listed below (the Coalition is now on my list of favorites too), and you can also check out Henry Quinney's recent round-up article for even more options.

Fox Proframe: 820 grams / $359 USD
Bluegrass Vanguard: 776 grams (large) / $350 USD
POC Otocon Race Mips: 750 grams / $420



photo
photo




Pros

+ Comfortable, secure fit
+ No creaking or squeaking from the liner
+ Well ventilated for a full face helmet


Cons

- Lack of a retention dial means that fit is reliant on padding thickness




Pinkbike's Take
bigquotesThe new Coalition helmet is an excellent addition to Giro's lineup. It's comfortable, well ventilated, and comes in at a reasonable weight for this category. The design of the Spherical system makes a lot of sense, and while I luckily didn't put it to the test, it's good to know it's there if things don't go as planned out on a ride.  Mike Kazimer







Author Info:
mikekazimer avatar

Member since Feb 1, 2009
1,726 articles

97 Comments
  • 39 2
 Looks nice but i was really hoping as we saw more and more good options in this market, especiallily from the big players, we would start to see some better value, $300+ on an item that will be scrap after a crash is alot to stomach and a bit of a barrier in getting more people into full faces instead of half shells.
  • 10 2
 Kali Invader DH £179.99. Works for me!
  • 3 0
 I was waiting on Trek’s entry for that Reason, since they have the 1 year crash replacement policy, but since they haven’t even shown attempt to release a full face, I ended up getting a cosmetic blem Lazer for an excellent price.
  • 1 0
 Dainese Linea 01. Superb and cheap as chips.
  • 16 2
 IXS Trigger FF for around £120
Leatt Gravity 4.0 for under £200
  • 10 2
 @melonhead1145: Quoting sale prices is irellevent, point is if RRPs drop then everyone can enjoy a lightweight full face, not just those with deep pockets or lucky enough to find a good sale.
  • 1 0
 Ekoi Enduro.
  • 17 7
 The "yeah, but one crash and its over" people kinda need to go home.
  • 5 0
 @melonhead1145: +1 for the Trigger FF. It replaced my Fox Proframe and I feel it's just as good or even better because of the retention dial. Very solid kit.
  • 3 0
 @melonhead1145: the IXS is also lighter
  • 5 0
 @maglor: there's always a sale somewhere.
  • 4 0
 @jzuijlek: agreed. Really dig my Trigger FF.
  • 1 0
 Built into the price is often a decent discount on a crash replacement. I’ve taken advantage of it a few times. It helps.
  • 6 0
 @yakimonti: I seriously hope you're not suggesting to wear a crashed helmet. You don't put milk in bags and you don't keep riding on a crashed helmet.
  • 1 0
 @nickfranko: do you drink milk?
  • 1 0
 @yakimonti: I do agree, you can't buy somthing worrying you might break it first time out, but it is a contributor to that barrier that might stop people going for a full face, a cheaper price would mitigate the worry.
  • 2 1
 @nickfranko: No, eluding to the clowns on here that wage a war against products based on price because it might get damaged in a crash-be it a piece of kit, helmet, bike, etc....you will fall, that is the risk we take with the sport. My point was, its an annoying often said comment here.
As for using crashed helmets, as long as the shell is in tact, EPS is not cracked or the adhesive isnt dislodged from the shell, you CAN continue wearing the helmet.
  • 23 5
 "Powered by MIPS"... Bloody e-helmets.
  • 16 3
 I prefer padding than retention system for the fitting. Padding can make thing real comfy when you have weird cranial bones. Retention system tend to give me headaches.
  • 7 0
 But more pads also add more insulation. There's always tradeoffs.
  • 1 0
 a lot of the more recent helmets are coming with adjustable occipital locations. You can move the retention and dial system up and down inside the shell 3 or 4 places. It really helps. Check one out next time you're shopping.
  • 1 0
 @mattyboyr6-2: I know, I use several retention system on half-shelf helmets, between my cochlear implant and inclination to get headaches I'm very very peliculiar about helmets! The best for me are boa system because very small and very soft.
  • 8 0
 I was excited about this - I have a Giro shaped head, but ended up going for a Fox Proframe, as Giro didn’t have anything in this segment. the only thing I feel is missing from the Proframe is a retention dial (since addressed on the Proframe Pro), so I had hoped that Giro’s entry into this segment would have addressed this - especially as they have taken their time.
  • 10 4
 I don't really see this as an issue, full faces don't need a retential dial as the combination of cheek and neck pads do it, have you seen many motorbike or motocross helmets with a dial? i've had both Proframe and Troy lee Stage and the different pad thicknesses allow you to get a good fit. the dials make adjustment quicker but once you have the pads setup for you it's done and actually easier as you're not adjusting a dial every time you take it on and off, it just seem like a way to market more expensive models.
  • 3 0
 Enduro were complaining that some riders found the "new" Proframe's closure mechanism rubbed
  • 6 0
 Interesting that your head is Giro shaped and can fit in the Proframe. I didn't like the Proframe and love Giro helmets for my head shape.
  • 3 0
 Pads over traditional fit-system was a conscious choice. Some rider feedback was that they don't like to have to open a fit system to remove the helmet. The neck roll padding has an additional adjustment and there are two sets of cheekpads.
  • 2 0
 I was in the same situation. Big oval head that "only" fit Giro, but went for the Fox Proframe Pro since i could not find an alternative from Giro. The Proframe was also much more available and possible to find at a reduced price.
  • 5 0
 I have a Giro shaped head too and the Specialized Gambit has been great for me. It has a retention dial. I think the dial is important in helmets like these because they generally have less padding to keep things in place than a traditional full face does.
  • 1 0
 @E30sydney: Proframe was the best of the bunch that I tried.
  • 2 0
 @E30sydney: Giro works perfectly for my head, Proframe is acceptable. But not quite the amazing fit of the Giro
  • 1 1
 @maglor: That's called a just-so story.
  • 1 0
 @Woody25: when I was trying on full face helmets, the retention system tended to push the helmet back on my head putting the chin bar too close to my face. With the cheek pads the helmet tends to move forward giving a little extra chin bar clearance.
  • 6 0
 The IXS Trigger is much lighter, 600-660 grams depending on size (127-187g lighter), DH certified, and can be found on sale for cheaper.

No reason to buy this Giro.

Dainese Linea 01 MIPS is 570g (217g lighter!), DH certified, and the same price!
  • 15 3
 what if I like the protection of the Giro more? What if I have a large head that doesn't fit into the Trigger's size M/L which happens to be their size large. What if I think the Trigger kinda looks bad? Lots of reason
  • 3 4
 @mtmc99: A heavier helmet is objectively less protective if it meets the same crash test standards (more weight=more force exerted on the skull/brain).

What additional protection does the Giro have?

I have a pretty large head and the Trigger fits me well, its very adjustable.
  • 1 0
 @wburnes: there were specific details about the Spherical technology (improved MIPS like feature, according to Giro so maybe take with a grain of salt) and the chin bar is also specifically called out as withstanding 2x the required force to meet the ASTM standard. Both of these features are things I would be interested in and I would consider a safety upgrade.

On the sizing side of things, I tried to try on an iXS trigger and couldn't get it past my ears. That helmet isnt alone in this regard, I also couldn't get on the Troy Lee offering or the Proframe. The 7iDP in XXL is the only full face I've found that worked for my overly large noggin. TBH I have my doubts this helmet would fit since they dont even have a sizing guide listed here or on their website.
  • 5 1
 @mtmc99: people can get real defensive about the stuff they bought vs something they didn't around here. It's kind of a feature.
  • 1 1
 @mtmc99: had 2 nasty crashes, head first in a Bell Super DH with Spherical Mips. While the frame cracked, my head was flawless. So I believe the ball in socket + Mips helps. I didn't want to get a 3rd one as I thought it's a bad luck and ended with a Leatt Gravity 4.0 but might think to sell it and get this once it's on sale as 300 is though to swallow.
  • 1 0
 @everythingsucks: i havent bought the linea mips that i recommended
  • 6 0
 It's a TLD stage without the shark fin
  • 1 0
 Was thinking the same.
  • 2 0
 I really hope Virginia tech tests more full face helmets. In the world of buying a car or motorcycle helmet, the typical advice is “get a helmet that meets at least the standard the series requires, and buy the one of those that fits the best”. Which outside of any safety testing data makes a lot of sense. However what the Virginia tech data seems to show is that there is a huge amount of safety variation in the design and construction of the helmet. So I’ve been buying the bike helmets that seem to fit quite well (not very hard for a half shell) but also rate very highly in the VT list.

However unfortunately there’s virtually no way to do that on the full face side as they’ve only tested 4 helmets so far. I want to pay for the helmet being actually better, not just the marketing saying it’s better (why is kali such a joke?) and the VT testing is really all we have. And they really can, and seem to have, push the industry forward and give us safer, better products.

People use to say on here all the time “they all meet DOT, they are all the same, don’t waste your money spending more than $5 on a helmet” well that’s pretty hard to argue now…
  • 1 0
 Pity being so late to the party, bought Insurgent last year and it's great but a bit hot in the summer (I cannot imagine how EWS riders can wear it on climbs, even with cheek pads removed I couldn't climb it in 10 deg C!). Giro helmets are the only so far that really fit me, especially with googles.
  • 1 0
 i have an insurgent and a proframe rs. imo the spherical system on the insurgent seems like it has a much better chance of dissipating additional energy than the proframe rs. i would take this helmet over a proframe rs. the inner liner on the proframe doesnt seem to move freely enough, i have doubts that it would work as intended in a crash
  • 3 0
 Interesting name. Are they going to sponsor Nick Clegg for 2024?
  • 4 5
 all cool and such but why not just wearing the insurgant? i'm wearing a full face when i'm in the bikepark or racing enduro. both aplications ask for a full on DH lid.

this helmet is more a substitude for half shells if one needs more protection than for full face that needs more ventilation.
  • 2 0
 Well, In the summer I find Insurgent hot even on the descends (with goggles) so the only reason in breathability. Insurgent has a D-buckle which is a big plus for me, cause you strap and adjust the same time, non D-buckle helmets you cannot realy alter the strap adjustment easy, so pity for this one.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: i get your point, absolutely valid.
for me: i rate the safety aspect higher than the ventilation aspect.
  • 2 0
 @cro-magnon: yeah but then we get to the problem that when it is really hot you will reach for a half shell instead of FF, which makes for less safety. So for me this would be an ultimate hot summer helmet.
  • 2 0
 @lkubica: I actually find the insurgent surprisingly good in the summer heat.
  • 4 2
 Being from Germany the name 'Coalition' leaves a bad taste in my mouth right now...
  • 14 0
 Would you prefer this: www.axxis-helmets.com
  • 4 1
 Why are the colours all so dark, they'll get really hot in the summer
  • 2 0
 Would it be too difficult to let the customer choose DD/fidlock strap as an option?
  • 2 0
 yeah one showed up at the shop i work at and it looks sick, super ventilated and light weight
  • 1 0
 Weight does make a difference. I bought a heavy helmet thinking the weight would not matter and I was turned into a human bobble head.
  • 3 0
 What heathen spits through their chin bar???
  • 1 0
 Have stuck with a Bell super 3 with its removeable chin bit. Light, breezy and comfortable.
  • 1 0
 i hope more helmets add a good mount. the old proframe sucks for go pro mounts.
  • 2 3
 This spherical technology isn't Giro's. It's MIPS. I have a Bell helmet that was released in 2018 with that technology. Have had two of them and they are some of the most comfortable and best protection I've owned.
  • 3 4
 @korev: It is Giro’s technology. They came up with it, using MIPs technology. Bell is a sister company who is allowed to use it (literally in the same building as Giro). Giro has exclusive rights to it, hence why it’s not on any other helmet. If MIPs owned it, they would be trying to push it, and you would see it on other brands.
  • 6 1
 @cycleskiclimb: It was actually developed by Bell. It was first introduced in a moto helmet followed by the Super DH.
  • 1 0
 @ol-sidewinder: Yup. My first Super DH had it back in 2018. Check your knowledge @cycleskiclimb Wink
  • 1 1
 @RBalicious: correct it was launched on the super dh in December of 2018 by Bell.

However, Giro launched the Aether spherical in August 2018.
  • 1 0
 @cycleskiclimb: I got my Bell Super DH in June of 2018, so not sure how that works out in your timeline...
  • 1 2
 They are cheating out big time can't even put mesh in the front from stopping dirt going into ur mouth ...and experienced rider know u need that if ur following anyone on the dry dirt that's dusty...
  • 1 0
 I dont get it, is the coallition now with teoy thatbthey get to look so alike!?
  • 4 2
 The Foxiro Profralition
  • 1 0
 And looking at the vents will work with Helmetor Smile
  • 4 4
 My wife loves me in nothing but cowboy boots and a full face when I’m frogging her
  • 1 0
 "Collision" would have been a fitting name for a helmet.
  • 1 0
 At that price point it wouldn't be my first choice .
  • 1 1
 A good looking helmet from Giro? What?
  • 1 0
 looks like a Proframe
  • 1 0
 Well... I'd imagine you'll start to see a lot of that now that they're all in the same building.
  • 1 0
 @onemanarmy: Bummer about that.
  • 1 1
 Looks like a Stage. And a Stage can be had for ~$150 now.
  • 1 3
 Looks like from 2010. you just have to run it with glasses instead of goggles.
  • 2 3
 No retention dial? What a shame, really nice looking lid too!
  • 1 2
 logo placement looks kinda joey-ish on the jawpiece
  • 1 4
 Hey look they made mio's spherical again but with less ventilation
  • 1 0
 *mips
  • 1 0
 Listen to Spherical Agenda
Below threshold threads are hidden







Copyright © 2000 - 2024. Pinkbike.com. All rights reserved.
dv56 0.757469
Mobile Version of Website