Epic Israel Tested: Giro Fathom Helmet and Gauge Shoes

What we have here is the top-of-the-line cross country helmet and shoe offerings from Giro’s collection. The kind gents at Zyro shot these over to Pete in time for his first ever XC stage race, the Epic Israel.

3 days isn’t usually enough to find the measure of a new product, but these three days were. 180+ miles later, Pete’s written his review.


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you might have noticed I did a wee stage race a few weeks ago. The Epic Israel was a massive test of my ability to keep riding a bicycle, despite some serious fatigue. As I mentioned in my top 5 tips to survive a race like this, the kit you take can make or break you and your race.

It’s at this point I should take the opportunity to thank Jon and John at Zyro for getting this kit to me so quickly, and most importantly, in time for the biggest race of my life. The Giro Fathom helmet and Gauge shoes were, it’s safe to say almost without equal. I was sceptical about running new kit at a race that was going to throw plenty of unknowns into the mix, but I needn’t have worried. Both were so good that, for the most part, I could almost forget they were there.

Fathom helmet.


I have a massive, square head, and as a result, Giro’s large lids seem to fit me just right. The 61-65cm range might be far too big for most, but this thing sat on my head comfy from the day I got it out of the box to the end of a sweltering 23 hours in the saddle in Israel. Venting was excellent, I never got sweat in my eyes, weight was never an issue… The 2-way Roc Loc 5 system was a joy to fine-tune the fit once I’d had a few miles under my belt with the Fathom,but this was more to do with cradle position that fit. GiroFathom002

It’s hard not to bang on about a product that simply did it’s job like with a helmet, but it did have a baptism of fire and performed flawlessly. I’d pay my own money for one. Despite all those miles, and thankfully no head-to-ground interfaces, there’s plenty more effortless rides left in the Fathom.

RRP £119.99



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Gauge shoes.


As with the Fathom lid, the Gauge shoes are Giro’s all-singing, all-dancing carbon-soled MTB shoe. Stiffness and power transfer over a 3-day race are crucial and while it’s certainly no complaint, these took more fine-tuning than the helmet did. Width, for me, was perfect. That being skinny and quite ‘Italian’. Length just needed a little bit of padding out with a slightly thicker sock for those longer days, where the heel inserts supplied were a bit overkill, for my feet anyway.


On the few sections where we needed to get off an push, these never felt like a classic ‘disco slipper’ might. On the steep, loose climb 75km into the first day, these beauties dug in a treat. Heel slip was never an issue even without the thicker sock and the shoe had enough on the inner heel to avoid knocks while pedalling. Both the velcro and ratcheted straps made sure my feet stayed firm, increasing my ability to keep putting the power down, knowing it wasn’t getting wasted anywhere. Impressively light for a shoe that doesn’t look to be trying that hard to be a race shoe.

RRP £169.99