Giro is a well known and respected brand of cycle helmet producers both in the USA and worldwide. The Giro Foray cycle helmet sits in about the middle of their range and price wise and quality wise is fairly much as low as you would want to go for an item that could potentially save your life! That’s not to say that it’s a cheap and nasty helmet at all but that there’s little point in spending money on a lesser known brand and price point for something so important. Reading through the numerous Amazon reviews for the Giro Foray helmet it’s reassuring to see at least two reviewers claiming that the helmet saved their lives when they were involved in cycling accidents.
The top of the Giro range, certainly in road cycling terms, is the Synthe helmet and this is well known for it’s strength and lightness and particularly it’s style. Not surprisingly though it comes in at about four times the price of the Giro Foray.
The great style and design of the flagship helmet has filtered down the line though and the Foray is a reasonably similar shape. Giro’s production process is the same for each helmet and uses an “In Mold” construction process which fuses the poylstyrene inner with the hard polycarbonate shell. This type of process (believe me I’ve actually researched this!) filtered down from the more expensive helmets and allows the helmet to be made with more intricate shapes and also to be stronger and lighter. In the case of the Giro Foray it translates into a lots of effective ventilation in a lightweight and strong design.
It’s a tiny bit less aerodynamic that buying the top of the range model and weighs in at a few ounces more but, let’s face it, my middle aged spread isn’t particularly aerodynamic either and certainly weighs in at a few ounces more than it should so, unless you are competing at the very pinnacle of physical fitness and performance, I don’t think that you are really going to notice a massive difference. I certainly wouldn’t do anyway!
Much more important for me is the ventilation and comfort and the Giro Foray has 21 ventilation vents along it’s length. I’ve ridden both in heat and cold with this helmet and can personally vouch for the fact that the vents work extremely well.
In the heat you can feel the air circulating as you ride along and the helmet does a great job of keeping the top of your head as cool as can be expected in the circumstances. I have found that I get hot with the helmet on across the top of my forehead though and this is my only real criticism of the helmet – is seems to sit right on my forehead where I would like the air to circulate so that I can sweat freely (nice!) but I find I can’t easily wipe my brow and it doesn’t quite work in this area for me. This is only in very hot conditions though and I do tend to get hot quite easily (being of pale anglo saxon stock!) so this may not be the same for other people.
Riding in the winter the flow of air is very cool, almost to the extent that I would probably, if funds allowed get a slightly more enclosed helmet for the winter as my head gets too cold. It seems I’m never really completely happy – too hot/too cold – what a moaner!
Comfort wise the Giro Foray suits me very well. The inside has a number of adjustable straps which make up Giro’s Roc Loc 5 security system and with a bit of fiddling around I got the helmet to fit me pretty much perfectly.
Firstly there’s a strap that goes round the back of the head and this is adjustable in tiny increments with a little adjustment dial. This works really well and allows you to basically adjust the inner supporting frame of the helmet to exactly the circumference of your head for a comfortable fit. The angle of the whole of the inner frame is adjustable as well and, if you take a bit of a time (which actually would be time very well spent bearing in mind the number of hours you will probably be wearing the helmet!) it’s pretty much possible to customise the fit to however you want it.
It’s worth saying at this point that the helmet comes in a number of different sizes and you do need to get the basic size right first to get the range of micro adjustments inside the helmet to be correct. You need to measure your head in a stright line just above the ears and then use the chart below to determine the size:
X Small 47 – 51cm
X large 61-65cm
I bought my Giro Foray online after having measured my own head, although I think it’s probably easier to get a friend or partner to do it (!) and I had no problems at all with the sizing it was absolutely spot on.
However despite being comfortable, fitting well, keeping you cool and being lightweight the whole point of a cycle helmet is to keep you safe in the event of an accident. The proof is in the pudding as the saying goes and whilst I was researching my own purchase I was very impressed by the large number of positive reviews on Amazon and also the fact that some people had actually staed that they felt that the helmet had actually saved their lives. You can’t really get a better recommendation than that!
The Giro Foray is a great value middle of the range road cycling helmet made by a well known high quality manufacturer. It’s lightweight, has great ventilation and is also very comfortable to wear due the the very detailed and personalised fit that’s possible due to the Roc Loc 5 system. It comes in a surprisingly wide variety of colour schemes and I have to be completely honest and say that it was the red and black colour and design that initially caught my eye rather than the safety features!
If I had any criticisms of the helmet it would be that the ventilation around the forehead, for me at least, doesn’t work too well. Some of the padding could potentially be a bit thicker as well but that could just be me being a bit soft!
I have worn the helmet for 4 – 5 hours and been perfectly comfortable in it. Hopefully I will never find out if it is strong enough to actually prevent damage to my head but I have every confidence that, should such an event happen, it would provide as good or better than any other helmet out there.