The Giro XEN is probably the most used helmet on face of the planet. When it first came on the scene over five years ago it was a ground breaking design that for the first time joined good looks and styling with practicality. Time has been good for the XEN; it's been available in a tonne of sick colourways (although nothing ever beat flat black) and Giro's Roc Loc fastening system was simple to set up and fit most noggins snugly. Well it's time to tip your 40oz because the XEN's reign is about to end, and it's being knocked off its throne by Giro's new XAR (Czar).

We've managed to get our hands on a couple of these new bad boys (they aren't available just yet) and so far have been pretty impressed. The XAR features 17 optimally placed vents and Giro's new Roc Loc 5. Now I thought the old retention system was good but the new one takes it even further and uses a tiny unobtrusive twist dial for the perfectly balanced fit. As for the vents, the XAR is noticeably cooler than my existing XEN and is the only helmet I reach for. Other Giro features are still there like in-mold construction with EPS foam and a polycarbonate shell as well as Roll Cage reinforcement making the XAR a suitable heir to the XEN. The XAR will be priced at $299 and available early 2011 (how's that for vague?) and for all those XEN lovers out there you'll have till the end of 2011 to stockpile as it's still in the 2011 range but gone for 2012.

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