Let’s start by saying both are great helmets. I would feel confident riding in both lids, but when looking at the Giro Chronicle vs Giro Fixture you will notice the Chronicle is the more protective of the two. But is it worth the extra money?
Giro has been making helmets for the past 30 odd years, and they have certainly worked out what works and what doesn’t. The Fixture is one of the best selling mountain bike helmets in the U.S. despite not having any flashy features. The Chronicle is not far behind the Fixture in terms of sale numbers but does cost a little more.
This post will look into two of Giro’s top selling helmets, the Chronicle and the Fixture. Both are exceptional helmets in their own, but we will look at the fit, the safety, and the extra features of both helmets to determine the best one for you.
What to Look for?
If you are looking for a helmet that you can just chuck on for a comfortable casual ride, or to wear all day long, both these helmets should be your go to. When you are in search of an all-mountain helmet, you want to look out for a few key things.
- Weight – you want it as light as possible
- Well Ventilated – you don’t want to be overheating on your ride. More vents doesn’t necessarily mean better!
- Comfortable– avoid helmets which have pressure points, look for soft padding
- Fit – a retention system at the back of the helmet will usually mean you can get a better fit
And most importantly…
- Safety – Look for anti-rotational systems such as MIPS or SPIN
For more on what to look for in a helmet, check out How to choose a MTB Helmet
Giro Chronicle MIPS Mini Review
A simpler style helmet, which ticks the boxes on all the features you need and some more, while keeping the cost low and the value high.
- 3 sizes
- Good Ventilation
- Excellent rear coverage
- Adjustable visor
- Small dial on the back which is hard to turn with gloves on
The Chronicle is a well-designed helmet for all day kind of riding. It is a little more pricey than the Fixture as it is a higher spec model. The extended rear coverage, that the Chronicle is known for, gives the head some more protection.
Giro Fixture MIPS Mini Review
For the rider who wants to look like they spent more, doesn’t mind a fixed visor, but still wants all the other features that come with a more expensive lid.
- Ventilation is good
- Fitting dial is easy to use
- Very Light
- One size fits all
- Visor is not adjustable (smaller visor)
- No goggle storage
The Fixture is the model down from the Chronicle, and one of the most popular mountain biking helmets for beginner to intermediate level riders. The protection of the helmet isn’t quite advanced enough for the more technical terrain, where the coverage would need to be a bit greater.
Design and Construction Comparison
The Chronicle has far more coverage around the rear of the head and sits just above the ears. It comes in three sizes (S, M, L), while the Fixture only comes in one size (54-61cm). Most people are pleasantly surprised about the fit of the Fixture, only the very large and very small heads tend not to fit.
Both are constructed in-mold, which is a technology which molds the outer polycarbonate shell to the inner EPS layer. In doing so, it strengthens the helmet and makes it more durable without adding any additional weight.
The visor on the Fixture is fixed. It will breakaway under impact, or can be removed if you would prefer the helmet without the visor, but it can be adjusted like the Chronicle. The visor on the Chronicle can be moved up and down, depending on where you want it. It has three positions, and goggles can be stored beneath the visor if you need.
As previously mentioned, both the Chronicle and the Fixture have MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System). MIPS is a brain protection system which reduces the energy transferred to the rider’s head from angular impacts.
The visor on both helmets will breakaway under impact. This happens so that it doesn’t dig into the ground during a crash, bending your neck at awkward angles.
What makes the Chronicle exceed the Fixture in terms of safety, is the extended rear coverage. The back of the helmet protects more of the head in case of a collision.
Comfort, Ventilation and Weight Comparison
Giro has mastered making their helmets comfortable and snug on the majority of rider’s heads. The additional coverage of the Chronicle gives a really good wrap around feeling, and the helmet stays in place really well.
Some riders have noted that the back of the Chronicle can dig into their neck if they tilt their head back, but most will never come across this. Just something to keep in mind if you have a big neck!
There are only 14 vents on the Chronicle, and 18 on the Fixture, but the Chronicle also has internal channeling which also helps keep the head cool. The ventilation is simple and effective in both, and there likely wont be any complaints about the heat.
If you do get a bit sweaty, the padding is removable in both helmets if you want to give them a quick wash. See here for more information on how to clean a helmet!
The Fixture weighs around 50g lighter then the Chronicle due to the lesser coverage. The Chronicle is still a light 370 g for a medium, while the Fixture is even lighter at 320 g.
When deciding which helmet to go for, assess what you need. If you think you could manage with a fixed visor, one-size-fits all, and no fancy internal channeling, then the Fixture is an excellent helmet. It will keep you protected, it is light, and it is comfortable.
The Fixture is also ideal for those into gravel riding or cyclocross as well as mountain biking, as the visor can be removed if you want to chop and change. It is still a great helmet for riding at the local bike park and trails, but I wouldn’t take it on high paced, steep terrain. You might want to consider a bit more protection in that case!
The Chronicle has a few more extras making it a slightly better helmet. The Chronicle is perfect for a rider wanting to tackle the local trails, or even send it down some more aggressive trail rides. It has that extra deep coverage which is similar to an enduro helmet, but wouldn’t be considered a suitable helmet for the high speed enduro races!
I personally would go with the Fixture for the usual day to day riding. I think it is an incredible value for money, and there really is little difference between the Chronicle and Fixture for the increase in price.
Other Helmets to consider
I would look at the Giro Source (click to see our review), Bell 4Forty (click to see a comparison with the Chronicle) or the Smith Convoy which are all in the similar price range.
Also, we would recommend checking out the Specialized Ambush vs. POC Tectal comparison.