Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192

    New "trail" helmet - Giro Feature or Spec Tactic?

    I've decided I need (read "want") a new lid, as I never really liked the look of my current xc helmet and lately the pads are so worn that it doesn't feel so good when properly tight. It is after all, 5 yrs old and had a few minor bumps along the way.

    So, I've been looking around for helmets and lean towards the latest "trail/AM" marketed ones. I've tried a Giro Xar on and the fit of the medium is superb, much much better than on my current lid, but it's stretching my budget, even with a good discount.

    The other day the Giro Feature caught my eye, I think I like the semi-skate design and it sure looks like it has great coverage, but in terms on ventilation I'm not so convinced. On the other hand, it offers goggle compatibility which is a nice bonus, as in really cold conditions and/or long descents I've found goggles usefull (with a skate lid). Pricing is reasonable too, which is very important for me right now.

    Similarly priced is the new Specialized Tactic, still good coverage but more XC styling and better ventilation. I've never tried a Spec helmet so haven't got a clue on fit, but I like the look a lot. Similar to the Xar but much cheaper. I don't know whether it will work with goggles though.

    Has any of you guys used either of these helmets? Υour experience might help me decide between the two.

    My rides range from 20 to 45 kilometers long and up to 500m elevation. Steep and extended uphill at times, and from fire roads to rocky technical singletrack. Riding temperatures from -2 to 35+ Celsius. I ride a trail orientated hardtail.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    398
    I have used a Giro Xen since they came out, but it was at the point of needing replacement. I started looking and saw the Xar. So I did some research, and went down to my LBS. Since they are a Specialized dealer they had the Tactic so I tried it on. To me it felt like I put my Xen on. The overall size and coverage seemed the same to me. The reason I was sold on the Tactic was the strap design. It has a plastic Y piece that sits just under you ear instead of the slide clip on my Xen. Plus the price was better.

    Try them on if you haven't already.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192
    Yeah, I noticed the strap thingy, it's supposed to spread the opening for the ears so there's no need to adjust. Have you by any chance tried the Tactic with goggles?
    There's a store about an hour from home that stocks both Giro and Specialized, I plan to visit soon. But I'd appreciate people's on-the-trail experience too.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    398
    Sorry no goggle just my Oakleys.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: YamiRider1316's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    263
    Just get the Feature. Its what everybody in these parts run including myself and theres a reason for that. Its comfortable, vents fairly well, offers great protection, and looks great. And on top of that you can get them for decent price. Feature FTW

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    209
    Feature is better IMO. Looks more protective and I read a lot of good thing about it. Good ventilation, fit and look.
    Last edited by trailrider24; 02-12-2013 at 07:16 AM. Reason: edited due stupid opinion

  7. #7
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    1,343
    Quote Originally Posted by trailrider24 View Post
    Feature is better IMO. Looks more protective and I read a lot of good thing about it. Good ventilation, fit and look. Spesh looks good too, but they mainly make bikes, while Giro is apparel specialist. (no offense, specialized can be just as good)
    This is about the dumbest thing I've read on MTBR for quite some time.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    209
    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    This is about the dumbest thing I've read on MTBR for quite some time.
    Sorry bro.
    It's just a personal opinion even if it's not true.
    Feature is better. I'll edit my post so you can sleep better, hope it helps you.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    108
    Do yourself a favour, get a full face helmet like the Fox Racing Rampage. You don't want a crushed jaw, or even at the very least, a wrecked mouth from a bad landing.

    I had to get an operation after the skin separated from my lower jaw after a failed jump. Basically when the doc pulled down my lower lip, they could see the jaw bone.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192
    Ouch, I hope you had/have a speedy recovery! While I recognise that a FF is the ultimate in protection, it would be quite uncomfortable for the riding I do. I won't dare to say unnecessary, because you never know when you run out of luck. I don't spend much time in the air either. I'm set on the style of helmet, just need to decide between the two of them.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    108
    Thanks mate. I was using limar x-urban when I crashed and it saved me from some serious head injury but my jaw wasn't protected.. I figured you had some serious rocky descents (with lots of air), hence my previous post.

    Ride safe.

  12. #12
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    81
    Got a feature (white/gray). Not the best ventilated in its class, but very far from the worst (like urge). It has deep channels inside that end up in the rear part, so as soon as you ride ventilation is ok.
    Compared to a 661, it has less vents, but is thinner and has better coverage imho.
    Hardshell is very tought, resisting small branch impact without a trace.

  13. #13
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192
    Thanks for the feedback.Is the fit similar to other giro helmets? A medium xen fits me like a glove.

  14. #14
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    81
    I don't know since it's my first giro helmet. I measure 58cm, so I get M size and the fit is ok (a little bit on the large side). The retention mechanism allow a wide range of fit.
    It's better than Urge, where S/M is too small and L/XL too large for me...

  15. #15
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192
    I'm 58 too, but head shape matters as well. I decided I'll go for the feature, just need to make my mind up on color - blue, silver or white? All match my gear & bike, but lean towards white for increased visibility and possibly less heat under the mediterranean sun.

  16. #16
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192
    In the end I went for the Giro and it seems I made the right choice. Haven't ridden with it on yet but in terms of fit, looks and finish I give it 9/10. It loses one point for the lack of insect net on the front vents and the thin, cheap looking straps.

  17. #17
    Competent User
    Reputation: Mr.Quint's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    558

    New "trail" helmet - Giro Feature or Spec Tactic?

    There's nothing wrong with those straps. Thin equals light, and I've seen nothing about them that makes me think they're cheap. It makes me think the other helmets are overkill.

    I just picked up my second Feature (whacked the first one good) and I'm a big fan.

  18. #18
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    93
    I know you already got your helmet, and what not, but I'm just going to throw in my 2 cents in case any noobs, like myself, are looking for a new helmet.....

    I just got a Feature, and I find it to be rather amazing. It's super light, vents well IMO, and I don't think there is anything cheap about it. It was only $50 too. Can't beat that. It's one of the few helmets I tried that don't give you a spaceship head haha.

    I'm not helmet guru, and I rode the first two weeks with a skate lid, but I find the Feature to be a damn good helmet for a damn good price. I'm not going to lie to you either.......I picked it it (to try on) just based on looks. It fits, works, and feels good. What more can you ask for?

  19. #19
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Burt4x4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    1,124
    Same thing happened to me but with the Tactic II picked it up tried it on looked in the mirror walked arond the store a bit with it on my head and bought it...my first helmet I ever owned. Kinda wierd as it makes myhead feel like it's in the frige with the cool morning air rushing thru the vents :-) after a wile it feels like noting just like my ball cap i allways were...I tried on the Feature too but it just didn't doit for me...
    Ride MORE = Live Longer
    Love Dirt / Hate Pavement

  20. #20
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Quint View Post
    I just picked up my second Feature (whacked the first one good) and I'm a big fan.
    That means it works, haha! I really dig the looks too and I admit that helped me make up my mind about it.

  21. #21
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    40
    Look into the line of specialized helmets. They are comfortable and lightweight.

  22. #22
    Austin, Texas
    Reputation: smokehouse4444's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    159
    I do not have a Tactic, but I do have a Specialized Vice. I have been very pleased with the Vice. It vents very well, and it certainly will save your head, as evidenced by my endo face plant into rocky terrain that left me with only a small abrasion where the helmet smooshed down on my forehead when I hit. I think it is an excellent helmet with great venting, and here in Texas that is a BIG deal.
    I recently bought a Giro Feature as a companion to my new built up Yeti (and it's fun to get more gear). I was really looking at the POC or the Feature, but just decided I liked the price on the Giro mo bettah. Man, I really...really like this helmet. It doesn't feel like a foam lined dirt lid, and it doesn't feel like a regular bike helmet...kinda sorta somewhere in between. I wasn't sure what to make of the way it felt when it first came in, but after riding in it, I have really grown to love it. Great helmet at a great price. It seems cool enough, but I doubt it will be as cool as the Vice in the heat of the summer though.

  23. #23
    mtbr member
    Reputation: justwan naride's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Posts
    192
    Ι've now had a few real xc/trail rides with the feature, so I thought I'd write a few words about it.

    I was initially worried it might be too hot, but it isn't. Springtime in Greece can get moderately hot and in these temps there's nothing to complain about. In long, slow uphill efforts there's not much air circulation in the deep shell, but once you start moving you can feel the air flow. On one windy ride it almost felt too breezy. Temps rise tomorrow, so I'll have the chance to further test the venting aspect.

    Fit was not perfect for me, on the first long xc ride I felt some pressure on my forehead, moving the front pads up a little resolved this. The straps, although very simple, work fine.

    I've read some user reviews stating that the glossy or matt paint scratched easily from branches etc, mine is still unscratched despite contact with bushes and such.

    Very happy with it so far, I love the styling and the price didn't hurt too.

  24. #24
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    20
    Stay tuned for the new one from Bell due out in may, the Super.

    Bell Super Mountain Bike Helmet - Bell Helmets

  25. #25
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Spindelatron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    777
    is the green Spec Tactic "flouro"? hard to tell.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •