Giro Sport Design has introduced the new Eclipse Spherical helmet, claiming it as both the fastest road bike helmet and boasting the most effective ventilation among aero lids in the market. We first noticed this helmet in March 2021, worn by Groupama–FDJ and Canyon//SRAM riders.
The Eclipse features an aero-profiled design with 14 deep-channeled vents. Safety is a key focus in its design, incorporating Giro's 'Spherical Technology,' including a two-piece shell and MIPS protection.
The Eclipse was specifically crafted for speed. Giro's designers utilized in-house wind tunnel testing during its development to refine the helmet's shape for optimal aerodynamic efficiency at various wind angles.
The outer shell's resulting shape underwent comparison tests with a variety of helmets, including others from Giro's lineup and aero road helmets from competing brands. Giro hasn't specified the exact competitor helmets used in testing or the quantity.
Giro asserts a 14-second advantage over an unnamed competitor across a 100-mile course, ridden at 25mph / 40kmh. The testing scenario involves 80% of the time in a "typical riding position" and 20% in a "head-down riding position," using wind-averaged drag.
While this may seem like a small difference and assumes a fairly ambitious riding pace, the advantages become more apparent over time. Giro claims that the Eclipse is over a minute faster than their existing aero helmet, the Vanquish, and 163.5 seconds faster than the lightweight Giro Aether.
Despite the sleek aero design of the Eclipse, Giro emphasizes that aero isn't the only consideration. The brand compared the Eclipse to rival helmets and others in the Giro lineup, specifically focusing on cooling.
Using a device named "The Therminator," Giro gauged cooling efficiency by cooling from 100 degrees Celsius in a 25mph wind. The Aether, designed for optimal airflow, leads with a cooling efficiency of 89.75%. According to Giro, the Eclipse is very close to that figure, with only a half-percentage point drop in cooling efficiency.
In comparison to rival helmets, Giro claims the closest rival measured at 88.64 per cent, providing a greater cooling effect than its Helios and Vanquish helmets, but less than the Eclipse and Aether.
Giro says the Eclipse achieves its cooling efficiency through 14 vents designed to pull air through the front of the helmet and over the head, not only providing ventilation but also contributing to the helmet’s aerodynamic efficiency by reducing drag.
The Eclipse incorporates Giro's 'Spherical Technology,' initially introduced in the Aether helmet in 2018. This design employs two separate liners in a ball-and-socket construction to assist in managing impact forces.
Similar to Giro's existing Spherical helmets, the Eclipse's design is developed in collaboration with MIPS, featuring a rotational liner.
To enhance comfort by wicking sweat, Giro includes antimicrobial iconic+ pad inserts. The helmet utilizes Giro's well-established Roc Loc 5 Air cradle system for easy adjustment.
Weighing in at a claimed 275g for a size medium, the Giro Eclipse doesn't compromise heavily on weight. It's on par with other aero helmets, similar to the Specialized Evade at 279g for a size large, the HJC Valeco at 272.5g, and the MET Manta at 272.6g.
In terms of style, the Giro Eclipse appears to be one of the more subtly designed aero helmets, especially compared to the Giro Vanquish with its integrated shield.
The Giro Eclipse Spherical helmet is now available in three sizes – 51-55cm, 55-59cm, and 59-63cm – and five colors, including black, blue, white/silver, black/red, and a dark grey with a fleck effect.