Luxury Bikes

Giro Coalition Spherical Full Face Helmet – Reviews, Comparisons, Specifications – Full Face Helmets

TThe lightweight full-face helmet segment has grown significantly over the last five years or so, driven by the increasing popularity of the enduro discipline and the development of mountain bikes in general. More powerful bikes increase exposure to speed and rough terrain, leading many riders to use full face protection even when pedal-powered rides. E-bikes have also contributed to the proliferation of full-face helmets on more and more types of routes. Giro was a little late to the game in tackling the true lightweight fullface market, but they’ve put the extra development time to good use – the all-new Coalition Spherical ticks all the boxes and more. Read on for first impressions fresh from the trail.



  • Many advanced security features
  • Light
  • Great ventilation
  • Stable, comfortable fit
  • Quiet
  • Two ventilation slots, partially covered by a goggle strap

Highlights of the Giro coalition round

  • Spherical Technology™ powered by MIPS®
  • Progressive layering of EPS and EPP
  • In-mold polycarbonate shell
  • Halo chin bar system (EPP lined) – with Pebax® material that offers a mix of stiffness and flexibility
  • The bushing system absorbs linear pressure on the chin bar, reducing energy transfer to the rest of the helmet
  • Fidlock® buckle
  • DryCore™ sweat-regulating forehead pad
  • Emergency cheek pad removal system
  • Two sets of different thickness cheek pads and neck pads are included
  • Ionic+ antibacterial pads and liners
  • Breakaway visor screws
  • 23 ventilation openings
  • Sizes: XS/S (51-55cm), M/L (55-59cm), XL/XXL (59-63cm)
  • Certifications: CPSC, NTA, ASTM-1952-DH, ASTM-2032-BMX, CE EN1078
  • Weight: 790 grams, size M/L, verified
  • MSRP: $325

First impressions

Giro clearly took safety into account when developing the new Coalition helmet. Starting with the construction, it is based on a combination of two foam impact layers of different types and densities, each designed for specific ranges of impact speed. To mitigate the effects of off-axis impacts to the head, a rotating impact management system is also included. Much like they did on theirs Excellent half-shell helmet from MeritGiro chose the new “Spherical” MIPS solution for the coalition. Spherical MIPS places the familiar sliding plane between the two layers of EPP and EPS foam, creating a ball joint arrangement that allows the inner shell to rotate within the outer shell, absorbing some of any rotational impact forces that would otherwise be directly on the head of the driver could be transferred. The outer shell is bonded to the underlying EPS layer (so-called “in-mold” construction), which improves the impact resistance of the outer shell.

However, Giro didn’t stop there. The chin bar is made of “Pebax,” a strong yet somewhat flexible material designed to help absorb impact energy in this area. To further reduce the transfer of unwanted impact forces from the chin bar to the helmet itself, Giro has implemented a set of internal bushings that hold the chin bar in place. These bushings may deform slightly to absorb some of the energy of a direct blow to the chin bar. The chin bar itself is also lined with EPP foam, providing further impact absorption capability.


Other safety features include breakaway bolts on the visor and cheek pads, which can be pulled out from under the helmet for easier removal after an accident. The Coalition is certified to all major safety standards, including the newer Dutch e-bike standard and the ASTM downhill helmet standard. On this topic, Giro says they also test beyond the standards. For example, the ASTM chin bar deflection test states that the chin bar should not flex more than 60mm when dropped from a height of 0.4 meters (with a certain weight in the helmet). Giro tests internally up to a height of 1.2 meters, which the helmet must survive without damage.

Giro has also invested in the new helmet when it comes to comfort. The Coalition is available in three shell sizes. Each size comes with two sets of cheek and neck pads of varying thickness to allow the user to fine-tune the fit (there is no ratcheting internal strap as typically found on half-shell helmets). and some lightweight full-face helmets). There is a generous comfort lining inside that matches the numerous ventilation openings around the shell. A Fidlock buckle allows the chin strap to be attached or opened easily and conveniently.

Coalition details-8.jpg?VersionId=0E85.evfaxXqtXCGLUdzLPT
Coalition details-11.jpg?VersionId=uJIV4VjMxwzx

On the path

We’re always thrilled when a full-face helmet fits without the designers resorting to an adjustable strap, as this usually gives more of a “full face feel” while the strap usually reminds us more of our half-shell helmets. Of course, a strap may provide more detailed fine-tuning options, but if the helmet fits well without it, we usually always prefer this one. The new Coalition delivers here, with a cup shape that should fit many heads out there and two full sets of internal pads to play with to customize the fit. This tester’s head measures 58.5 cm, which puts it right at the upper limit of the “M/L” size range. With the thinner of the included pads, the fit was snug but completely comfortable. The chin strap is wide and lined with a soft and plush fabric, making it very comfortable on the skin.

Coalition carries 4

The internal comfort lining is generous enough to give a fairly ‘plush’ feel, but the large number of well-placed vents ensure sufficient air circulation, giving the helmet a very ventilated feel. The chin bar sits fairly far from the mouth and has a large central opening that remains unobstructed even when breathing heavily. It’s entirely possible to put on your helmet while climbing without feeling like you’re going to overheat at any moment. The front opening is large and accommodates the safety glasses of your choice, whether equipped with “outriggers” or the simpler version seen in the pictures here. If necessary, the safety glasses can be pushed up to store them under the visor. However, in this case we prefer to wear them back to front as there is not much space in the front.

Even though the road is downward, the coalition continues to shine. Thanks to the good fit and low weight, it is absolutely stable in use. The visor can be adjusted to fit where you prefer, and the front opening offers a wide view of the world in front of you. The ventilation openings placed directly above the brow area help the Comfort Liner to dry quickly and minimize the risk of sweat dripping into the eyes. The helmet is also very quiet, there are no rattling noises or squeaking noises from the MIPS layer. For this very reason, this version of MIPS is by far our preferred version. It also hides the sliding plane under the inner EPP shell, which is an advantage – classic MIPS layers can be quite creaky and sometimes have sharper edges that can be uncomfortable when putting the helmet on or taking it off.

Coalition riding

Things that could be improved

The Coalition is almost perfect, our only criticism is the placement of the two exhaust vents directly under the area where the goggle strap sits. However, there are so many other vents that we can’t really say if they have an impact on the overall breathability of the helmet. Overall, definitely a very minor problem.

Long term durability

Since we have only been testing the Coalition for about a month, we cannot yet make any definitive statements about its durability. However, the workmanship and quality appear to be top-notch, and our experience with other current Giro models leads us to believe that this model should be a good solution in the long term.

What is the end result?

There are several good options on the lightweight full face helmet market today. Many of them weigh about the same and cost about the same as Giro’s new Coalition Spherical. What sets the Coalition apart is its very long list of safety and comfort features and the fact that it relies on a classic full-face adjustment system, which we particularly appreciate. Stable, cool and quiet, the Coalition will be fun to ride on both climbs and descents, while offering the peace of mind that comes with knowing it has as many of the latest safety features as possible.

More information at:

About the reviewer

Johan Hjord – Age: 50 // Years of MTB rider: 18 // Weight: 190 pounds (87 kg) // Height: 6 feet 0 inches (1.84 m)

Johan loves bikes, which strangely doesn’t make him any better at riding them. After years of practicing falling off cliffs on a snowboard, he took up mountain biking in 2005. Since then, he has mostly ridden bikes with too much suspension travel to cover up his many mistakes as a rider. His 200-pound body weight, coupled with his unique ability with poor line choices and awkward landings, make him an expert in durability – if parts survive Johan, they’re pretty much fine for anyone. Johan rides flat pedals with a riding style he describes as “none” (although in reality he rips!). Since he doesn’t like most of the trail elements, Johan uses much of his free time to build his own. Johan’s other achievements include surviving this far and helping keep the Vital Media Machine’s stoke dial firmly at 11.

Photos by Johan Hjord

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