If you were around for the first version of Giro’s Switchblade, its resurrection probably has you searching for meaning in this reincarnation of the original convertible half shell/full-face helmet. In its first go-round, the Switchblade was a basic XC lid and a flimsy chin-wrap held together by six three-millimeter hex bolts. While the idea had merit, not a soul on earth thought it was executed effectively. Astonishingly, Giro sold more than just the one I bought—yes, I even bolted on the chin bar a few times—but not enough to maintain more than a year or so of production.
As they say, there’s nothing new under the sun, and the Switchblade idea was eventually revisited, resulting in the release of the Bell Super 2R in 2014. Well-executed, the Super 2R was an excellent trail helmet and featured an easy-to-attach chin bar, but lacked ASTM DH certification, essentially making it just a burly trail lid. As the convertible helmet category grew, Giro’s engineers quietly went to work, eventually coming up with a helmet capable of bleaching away the moldy residue of the original Switchblade’s reputation.
2017’s Giro Switchblade features cutting edge protection in MIPS and ASTM DH certification—with and without the chinbar. Instead of being split between a half-shell and a full face, as most convertible helmets are, the Switchblade’s coverage extends below the ears when going au naturel. Tool-free removal and installation of the chin bar is leaps and bounds better than the previous generation’s six-bolt attachment. The only thing this new version shares with the original is the name: perhaps this edition should have been called Machete—it’s that much of an improvement.
- Tool-free removable chinbar
- ASTM 1952 DH certification with and without chinbar attached
- Goggle-friendly faceport
- P.O.V. Plus goggle compliant visor
- In-Mold construction
- Extra visor with camera mount included
- Two sizes of cheek pads included
- Roc Loc DH adjustment dial
- 20 vents
- Open chinbar port acts as vent, channels air into helmet