Giro Encore 2 Multi-Sport Helmet

18 Feb

The days are getting longer and the average daily temperature is gradually beginning to rise—so this week I’m going to review a couple more winter cycling products, and then next week we’ll move on to warmer weather cycling gear. I always wear a helmet when I’m on my bike, but those lightweight summer helmets with the large air vents just won’t cut it in the dead of winter. When the temperature drops below 20 degrees Fahrenheit I wear a helmet that is normally intended for snow skiing. This past winter I bought a Giro Encore 2 Multi-Sport Helmet and was very happy with the way it performed.

Giro Encore 2 Multi-Sport Helmet

Giro Encore 2 Multi-Sport Helmet

The Giro Encore 2 is certified as a multi-sport helmet, which means it is suitable for use by skaters, bicyclists, and snow skiers (certification: ASTM 2040 / CE EN1077 / CPSC). If you experience an unplanned dismount (crash is such an ugly word) while riding in deep snow you probably aren’t going to get hurt. However, snow can also hide some nasty rocks, broken fence posts and sharp objects—not to mentioned a layer of slippery ice.

Goggle Strap on the Giro Encore 2 helmet

Goggle Strap on the Giro Encore 2 helmet

Unlike regular bicycle helmets, snow helmets usually allow for a bit of customization. The Giro Encore 2 has removable ear flaps (black padding). These covers will definitely help keep your ears warm, but they do inhibit your ability to hear ambient noises. If you are riding off-road where you are not worried about getting hit by a car, you can install a set of Skullcandy headphones into these ear flaps (like the Skullcandy Home Brew Kit). All of my winter cycling jackets have headphone ports—a small opening inside a vest pocket so you can run a headphone jack into your iPhone or MP3 player. And let’s face it, riding in a blinding snowstorm is a lot easier when you are listening to Air Supply (does that officially make me old?)

This helmet has thirteen small cooling vents with mesh covers (the mesh helps keep the snow out). When the temperature drops to below -5F I wear a Smith Optics Variant Brim Snow Helmet that has air vents I can close. Also, because this is a snow helmet, you can wear snow goggles and when you don’t need them they will rest comfortably on the front of the helmet without falling off (there is a small clip at the back to keep the goggles from moving around).

Giro Encore 2

I Love The Red Accents

The Giro Encore 2 Multi-Sport Helmet retails for $60. I bought mine at a brick-and-mortar Dick’s Sporting Goods store and paid full-retail for it, but it is also available from several online retailers, including This helmet is available in three sizes: Small (52–55.5cm), Medium (55.5–59cm), and Large (59–62.5cm). This helmet comes in several colors, but since the names they use won’t mean much to you, I’ll say the color selection is red, black, white, hi-viz yellow, and ivory (not all colors are available in all sizes). I chose the red helmet because, in my opinion, red objects are the easiest to see in the snow. Sometimes I have to ride on the same off-road trails used by snowmobiles—and getting hit by one of those things could make for a really bad day.


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27 responses to “Giro Encore 2 Multi-Sport Helmet

  1. xcountrypearl

    February 18, 2013 at 3:29 PM

    I love the pic of your winter bike and getup. You look warm, ‘cool’, and dedicated. My husband would say OCD but it sure looks like fun to me.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 3:33 PM

      And what is wrong with being OCD? :) Last year I took a test on the Internet to see if I was OCD and scored a perfect 100% (no joking). A young friend of mine is a medical doctor and I told him about the test — he said, “I knew you were OCD the first time I saw your garage!” (I took that as a compliment).

  2. Cherry

    February 18, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    haha i had a good chuckle over “unplanned dismount”. Very good choice of words. I personally don’t listen to music for outdoor activities. The scenery is far too interesting for me. Plus I find riding opens up my vocal cords because I can hit unbelievable tunes while cycling, much better than in my shower! LOL

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      I wish I could claim the phrase “unplanned dismount” originated with me, but I can’t. I heard someone use it several years ago and it stuck with me. However, since I forgot the original source does that mean I can now claim it? As for singing, many people love it when I sing tenor (ten or twelve miles away that is).

  3. Wild Juggler

    February 18, 2013 at 3:41 PM

    Sounds like a great product, and a superb review as usual. Will get one if I take up cycling again or as a gift for a cyclist friend. The cold in my neck of the woods isn’t nearly as extreme as in yours, so I admire you for your dedication.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 4:06 PM

      Thank you so much! I actually enjoy riding in the snow — it’s not as fast as riding on pavement (of course), but I find it very relaxing.

  4. womencyclists

    February 18, 2013 at 3:51 PM

    Love the pic! You look like you’re riding through the winter zombie apocalypse! An inspiration to us all!!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 4:07 PM

      Winter zombie apocalypse — I love it! I could get really excited about that!

  5. snosler

    February 18, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    I like the color … what do you about the wind? That’s been the killer here lately – I can hack the cold but when the windchill comes into play it’s a killer!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      I don’t ride anymore when the winds are above 40 MPH. When it is real windy I start my ride by heading directly into the wind and once I am worn out I turn around for a relaxing ride home. On windy days I don’t really care how fast I am going — at that point it is just about time in the saddle.

  6. anniebikes

    February 18, 2013 at 4:24 PM

    Great looking helmet. I’d get the red too. It makes so much sense to wear something like that to keep the head toasty.

    You’d be proud of me. It was 18F when I set out ta noon, but with hand and foot warmers I stayed nice and toasty. I went out of my normal comfort zone to try my hand at errandonneering (goofy name huh, for doing errands by bike?)..

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 4:32 PM

      Congratulations on the cool weather ride! Riding at 18F puts you into a very select group of cyclists! I’d guess that over 99% of cyclists wimp out when it gets before freezing. Also, I love the “errandonneering” name (you need to copyright it).

  7. Katie

    February 18, 2013 at 6:06 PM

    Ready for spring! Defrost set to high. 8)

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 7:10 PM

      I love the snow, but even I am ready to start shedding a few layers of clothing and putting on the sunscreen.

  8. bgddyjim

    February 18, 2013 at 6:19 PM

    That picture says a lot, brother. Very cool indeed.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 7:11 PM

      The temp was -2F the day that photo was taken — but since it was not windy I was nice and warm.

      • bgddyjim

        February 18, 2013 at 7:13 PM

        Ya gotta love those non-windy days – the lack thereof does make a HUGE difference.

  9. Irish Katie

    February 18, 2013 at 8:15 PM

    I have always liked that helmet style … but it has always seemed to heavy to me. But I love the colour. And also, I like your photo … looks almost like a version of a bicycle storm trooper from a star wars show!

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 18, 2013 at 8:57 PM

      This helmet is a bit heavier than a regular summer helmet, but the added warmth it provides is worth it. If I put your comment with one from earlier today then I must look like a bicycle storm trooper who is ready for the zombie apocalypse. Sounds good to me!

      • Irish Katie

        February 18, 2013 at 9:06 PM

        Bicycle storm trooper who is ready for the zombie apocalypse … ohh…be still my beating heart *giggles*….wait…unless it IS the Zombie Apolcolypse….then it might not be beating….rawrrrarrgggggg.

        I wonder if zombies can ride fast? I mean…they don’t have to carry extra wt like water bottles or snack foods … likely they don’t care about mud flaps or fenders or such..but a helmet…oh…they might want one of those nod nods.

        Errrmmm…can you tell I am in a weirdly mood?!?!?!? Rawrrgggggpuuggssslyyybrraaiinnsss …

        • All Seasons Cyclist

          February 18, 2013 at 10:10 PM

          Katie, I ran the word “Rawrrgggggpuuggssslyyybrraaiinnsss” though my trusty English-Irish translator an found out it means, “Your Surly Necromancer Pugsley rocks and will run over the zombies.”

  10. draconianstylist

    February 19, 2013 at 12:01 AM

    Those ear flaps looked mighty nice! While it certainly doesn’t get anywhere near as cold here in the PNW, I find that my ears could use some protection. Between the chill, the damp and the wind they get pretty painful. The loss of ambient noise factor doesn’t worry me too much, as a rural road rider I have no trouble hearing the good old boys in their diesel trucks, it is the dang Prius’s that scare me! Even without ear coverings it can be damned hard to hear those things coming. I have thought about investing in a winter helmet and you may have just talked me into it.

    • All Seasons Cyclist

      February 19, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      I know what you mean about the Prius! Last year I was riding WAY out in the country where I can hear cars or trucks when they are mile behind me — since I thought there was no one else on the road I took a corner a bit too wide and a little electric car passed me and honked this horn — scared the daylights our of me! Electric cars really ought to be forced to make some noise!

      • draconianstylist

        February 19, 2013 at 11:01 PM

        I thought there was some talk about requiring them to make some noise. Damn things are dangerous, what are they waiting for? Does a Prius have to mow down a blind person in a crosswalk?

  11. MikeW

    February 19, 2013 at 11:34 AM

    Unplanned dismount! Love it. This review was great. I’ve been so busy and this makes the blur on the sales racks around me take on meaning. Thanks for these reviews.


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