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Giro Blok MTB goggles review

The Californian brand’s flagship Giro Blok MTB goggles are put through their paces in the depths of the British winter

Giro Blok MTB goggles
(Image: © Dean Hersey)

Our Verdict

Condensation cramps an otherwise comfortable goggle with classic styling

For

  • - Classic subtle styling
  • - Flexible frame eases lens swap
  • - Comfortable face foam and shape
  • - Large field of view

Against

  • - Forlorn with fogging

Giro Blok MTB goggles hail from a brand that has been about for nearly as long as I've been alive. Giro is great at combining cool Californian style with advanced design and performance in all their products, whether for snow sports or cycling. That only comes from sweating on the details to get it right.

I am now and always have been a Giro fan. In fact, the first bike helmet I can remember owning when I was a child was sea green with bold neon decals. It was the coolest helmet. Fast forward to today and Giro can kit out you out from head to toe (and everything in between) with some of the coolest-looking apparel and protection from the tarmac to the trail, and still make some of the best mountain bike helmets around.

The Blok heads up the three-model mountain bike range from Giro. It is a crowded place at this premium end of the market. So how does the Giro Blok stack up against its competition in our best mountain bike goggles showdown?

Giro Blok MTB goggles

The Giro Blocks have been designed using the brand’s bespoke Expansion View (EXV) technology, which offers an impressively wide field of vision  (Image credit: Dean Hersey)

Giro Blok MTB goggles: design and aesthetics

The Giro Blok is available in six colorways. From bold, bright white/red and grey/lime options to the toned-down and more subtle grey/cobalt that we have on test here, the range is sure to have something to suit your tastes.

The frame is based on a new design created by Giro called Expansion View (EXV). The design team started with a helmet-compatible goggle, then shaved down the frame rim and added frameless zones to enhance the lens surface area, allowing for the best possible peripheral vision. This puts the Blok up there amongst the goggles with the widest available field of vision.

While this means the Giro Blok MTB goggles boasts some serious frontage, they are on the lighter end of the spectrum, nudging the scales at 120g. The frame is soft and malleable, which enables a close fit to the contours of your face and helmet.

Large foam-filled vents around the perimeter of the goggle allow a flow of air into the frame and reduce fogging, whilst the foam keeps unwanted and distracting trail debris from entering the goggle.

Inside the frame is a huge spherical lens made from super-tough polycarbonate. Giro has treated the lens with anti-fog coating and provided tear-off posts. The Portaro Grey Blok goggle is fitted with a cobalt blue dark-tinted lens, which is categorized as S3. And although we didn’t have the opportunity to review it, the Blok is also available with a “Vivid” lens developed in conjunction with Zeiss, which further boosts optical clarity. 

Each Giro Blok comes with a cloth bag and a bonus clear lens for when the sun no longer has its hat on.

Giro Blok MTB goggles

The Giro Blok’s triple-layer face foam is as soft as silk (Image credit: Dean Hersey)

Giro Blok MTB goggles: performance

The first thing you notice when you slide the strap over the back of your helmet is just how well fitting and comfortable these Giro Blok MTB goggles feel on your face, easily comparable to the best I’ve had the privilege of trying. I even forgot I had them on. The triple-layer face foam is as soft as silk and cleverly Giro has tapered the foam thickness in areas where it is not required, thus ensuring they fit perfectly and form a comfortable seal. I much prefer to wear goggles where the area around the nose has been scalloped out, granting the rider freedom to breathe more easily on a climb – hey, every little helps with that mountain bike fitness, right? 

The huge expanse of lens with the frame pushed right out of sight gives the rider a superb field of vision. Even without the upgrade “Vivid” lens the Blok still offers crisp clarity. The S3 tint was too dark for the midwinter weather and trails in the woods with the sun so low in the sky. However, the blue tint did help alert me to trail obstacles by accentuating the contrast. The flexibility of the frame material means the lens can be easily swapped out for the clear option.

With the goggle boasting a large amount of vents all around, it came as a surprise that I suffered with fogging and condensation particularly across the top of the lens during my first ride. This did somewhat hamper my view and resulted in me having to remove them for a while until it cleared.

Giro Blok

Despite a lot of vents, Giro Blok MTB goggles are still prone to some serious fogging up (Image credit: Dean Hersey)

Giro Blok

The Giro Blok sits comfortably on your helmet and face (Image credit: Dean Hersey)

Verdict

I really rate the size, shape and comfort of these Giro Blok MTB goggles. It’s an interesting choice of model name, though; maybe if Giro “un-blok-ed” the frame vents – especially at the top of the lens – it would go some way to reducing the condensation and fogging in what are easily among the most – if not the most – comfortable wide-view goggles I’ve worn.

Tech Specs: Giro Blok MTB goggles 

  • Colors: 6
  • Price: £89.99 / €99.95
Dean Hersey
Dean Hersey

 

Dean is a freelance cycling journalist and a self-confessed pedal addict based in Dorset, who's fortunate to have the New Forest National Park and the Isle of Purbeck on his doorstep. Not confined to his local spots, riding bikes has meant Dean has been fortunate to travel the world in search of the best trails. From summers spent in the Alps to exploring iconic locations such as Scotland, Aosta Valley, the Pyrenees, Finale Ligure, New Zealand and Whistler to name a few. Over the years he has dabbled in racing DH and enduro to XC. More recently Dean has been exploring the UK with his gravel bike and loves a bikepacking trip. As passionate about writing as much as his riding, by recapturing his adventures through his stories and sharing his own experiences of products by writing technical reviews, he's also a regular contributor for Singletrack and Grit CX.

Rides: Open U.P

Height: 180cm

Weight: 65kg