- Giro Hex
Released three years ago, Giro’s Xen has many fans, evident in the number of riders sporting them round our local trails. The Xen’s popularity is down to a successful blending of freeride-esque head coverage and XC weight and ventilation, with a style that appealed to both schools of riding. It’s light, well ventilated and offers more protection than XC lids, with styling inspiration from more jumpy-orientated lids.
The Hex is essentially a Xen on a budget. It still manages to pack in many of the features that made the Xen a top choice, but the most noticeable difference is the striking shift in asethetics. Gone are the pretty curves and in are angular lines. It certainly stands out and Giro describes it as a “muscular style” – it proved to be a grower on our test team.
Like the Xen, the helmet drops a long way down at the back offering a little more protection, while the latest generation Roc Loc 4 retention system is simple to adjust and keeps the lid snugly in place. The straps are also easy to adjust with solid click-clunk D-clips. The vents, of which there are 21, were designed in a wind tunnel and do a great job of keep your head cool. The weight is 310g, impressive for the price. In fact you’ll rarely notice you’re wearing the Hex, which is disconcerting sometimes as you have to reach up just to double-check it’s actually there. The wide visor offers 15° of adjustment.
With this level of performance and packing all the features it does, it’s hard to see why you’d need to spend more. Available in three colours.
Positives: Comfortable, looks good, well ventilated, value for money
Negatives: Some might not like the styling
Verdict: With the Hex offering everything and more than the Xen, it’s hard to see why you’d want to spend the extra money. If the styling ticks your boxes, it’s a cheap alternative which doesn’t appear to be inferior in any meaningful way. A bargain.