Way back in 1998, Giro introduced the first mainstream mountain bike helmet with a removable chin bar - they called it the "Switchblade". In the 18 years since, there has been a variety of different iterations of this design to hit the market, but we think that Giro's update of the original classic is one of the best yet.
Unlike some of the earlier designs of the removable chin bar helmet, focused on creating an XC style helmet with an attachable chin bar for added strength and support, the new Switchblade is entirely focused on the downhill. The helmet is ASTM Downhill Certified both with and without the chinbar, which utilizes stainless steel hardware and a series of internal anchors molded directly into EPS foam.
The removal of the chin bar is swift and easy, featuring two buttons on the bottom that press in, releasing the latch, and then its as easy as rotating it up and popping the whole piece out. With oversized buttons and hardware, removing the chin bar can be done with your gloves on and without ever taking the helmet off your head.
Without the chin bar, the helmet sports the "full-on enduro" look, taking the over ear fashion trend of the full-cut moto style helmet with a modern twist. While the over-ear design may look like it would quickly lead to a hot head, Giro's "Wind Tunnel Cheek Pad Ventilation" keeps the rider surprisingly cool.
The Switchblade also comes standard with MIPS technology, a growing trend in the mountain bike helmet industry. The tech allows for the helmet to move along with the head, highly reducing the possibilities of serious head injuries during impacts.
While it may not be for every rider, the Switchblade offers an un-rivaled selling point of two-helmets-in-one, along with safety ratings equal to nearly any downhill-specific full face helmet on the market. Be sure to stop by the shop to check out the magic of the Switchblade in person!