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Best Road Bike Helmets – Buyer’s Guide

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Best Road Bike Helmet

Choosing every piece of your training and racing equipment is hard.
And helmets are no exception to this generalization!

Especially since there are many new helmets being launched this year.
For road cyclists, we want a helmet that’s lightweight, aero, low-profile, provides ventilation, comes with MIPS for maximum head protection; all on top of looking good.

Whether you’re looking for one that gives you the most value for your money, or the best one for your needs, you’ll find something in this product review.

Best Road Bike Helmets in 2020

1. Giro Aether MIPS

Giro Aether MIPS Road Bike Helmet Review

The Aether MIPS was designed to be airy, open construction with a new spin on rotational energy to further protect your head.

Inside the helmet, it has a dual-density EPS foam liner, which helps manage a wide range of impacts you could experience on the road or even a race.

The inside also has deep internal channeling so that your head stays cools as you climb those hills this summer.

Giro uses MIPS Spherical technology that is placed between layers of EPS foam instead of against your head. This gives you all the safety benefits of MIPS without affecting comfort or cooling technologies.

The outside of the helmet has a 6-piece shell that forms a silhouette around the massive vents that helmet has. The shell also has structural reinforcement through a shatter-resistant AURA reinforcing arch.

The fitting system is ROC LOC 5+ Air Fit System that features a 3-way fit tuning that lets you easily adjust.

The final touch to the helmet is its ventilation system. It has wind tunnel tested vents with internal channeling to that forces air over the top of your head, which provides substantial cooling power.

The helmet also has an eyewear docking port so you can securely put your sunglasses there during your rides.

Although the helmet has the latest safety technologies, it doesn’t feel heavy on your head. And, the straps are easy to adjust so you can get rolling quickly on a nice summer day. Other cyclists have reported that the air vents work well.

Although some cyclists have claimed that the helmet obstructs vision, it depends on your bike position. If you’re mostly in aero or drop bars, you’ll need to occasionally look at the road. If you normally sit up, you won’t have a problem seeing with this helmet on.

I recommend this helmet if you’re looking for one with MIPS technology and need a light-weight helmet. It will stay secure on your head and will keep it cool as you bike through the rolling hills with your riding group. If you’re picky about colors, this helmet comes in a handful of colors to choose from.

2. Giro Syntax MIPS

Giro Syntax MIPS Road Bike Helmet Review

The Syntax MIPS has deeper coverage compared to Giro Aether along with high-performance features in a slim and sleek design.

The outershell of the helmet has In-Mold Construction, which uses a durable polycarbonate outershell with the impact-absorbing foam liner. This unique process gives the helmet a better ventilation system.

The finished product?

An in-mold helmet that is lighter and cooler than traditionally made helmets.

The helmet’s fit is secure and “upscale” due to the helmet’s highly adjustable Roc Loc 5 Air MIPS system. This system is relatively new and adds a new element to the helmet’s performance.

The system enhances the cooling system as well as fit, comfort, and stability.

Giro uses its patented Roc Loc 5 Air MIPS design to slightly suspend the helmet off the top of your head so cool air can pass over your head.

The Roc Loc 5 allows you to customize the fit and comfort of the helmet all with one hand and even while you’re on the bike.

Final safety feature worth mentioning is the MIPS, which reduces the rotational impact that can be transferred to the rider’s brain in certain crashes and falls.

Cyclists who have bought this helmet are quite happy with its performance. All say it’s light-weight, has excellent ventilation, and fits comfortably on any type of head. Of course, when they wear a helmet equipped with MIPS, cyclists feel even safer on the road knowing they have the most up-to-date technology. It’s a great price for a helmet with the best fit and safety features.

I recommend this helmet if you’re looking to upgrade from your previous helmet and are on a budget. This helmet is priced around $100 USD and you can’t get much better than that. You’ll have MIPS technology along with Roc Loc to ensure you get the best fit for all your rides. This helmet also comes in a variety of colors that can be seen on the road, which is a plus when you’re looking for road helmets.

3. Kask Valegro

Kask Valegro Road Bike Helmet Review

Kask created its Valegro helmet with advanced ventilation and cooling all while being low-weight.

The design team were very purposeful when they shaped the profile of the polycarbonate shell and then tested the results in a wind tunnel, which created an exceptional exchange of heat and coolness on your head. This balance is ideal when you’re riding through rolling hills in the middle of July.

Valegro’s design offers 37 vents with its HyVent Structure. It was designed so that the shell of the helmet to allow the maximum airflow and break up the exchangeable heat the comes with it.

The 3D Dry padding uses a multi-layer open-cell construction process, which gives the helmet high technology for comfort and performance. The padding is antistatic, bacteriostatic, heat regulated, and transfers moisture! This is an effort so you can stay cool and look not too sweaty after your rides. Or, if you take a break during an all-day ride, you won’t put a sweat-filled helmet on your head.

The helmet also has a chin pad made of eco-leather so you can ride all day in comfort.

The helmet has rubberized Octo Fit Micro Dial Adjusters for better finger grip and the cradle points incorporate internal gel pads for the best comfort. These internal supports are designed to sway up to 180 degrees so you get the perfect fit, no matter your head size and shape.

The skeletal-like brackets of the cradle are designed to support your head while also being light-weight.

Lastly, all Kask helmets have MIT technology and In Molding Safety tech. The MIT technology is a polycarbon layer that covers the shell, base ring, and back of the helmet. The “In Molding Safety” connects the inner polystyrene cap to the outer polycarbon for better shock absorption during a crash.

Cyclists who have bought it say that although the helmet is packed with a lot of comfort and safety technologies, it’s one of the lightest helmets on the market. Some, who have owned Giro helmets previously, report that this one is even lighter. They all like the extra ventilation but aren’t too enthusiastic about the chin strap. The buckle tends to be really tight on the jawline and cause rash or other irritations.

I recommend this helmet to those who want a light-weight, well-ventilated helmet that has been well-tested for safety. The cost might be a deterrent for some, but paying extra to keep your bran and possibly your life safe is worth it. If you consider yourself a “big headed” person, this helmet might be an option to consider. You can feel comfortable and it will actually look nice on your head.

4. Kask Mojito X

Kask Mojito X Road Bike Helmet Review

The Mojito X, while very similar to both Velegro and Mojito, there a few differences such as some new color offerings and Up and Down Fit System and Sanitized Treated Fabric.

The Kask Mojito X, compared to the Velegro, has the MIT safety system, but with fewer comfort options than the Velegro. This doesn’t make it a “bad” helmet, it depends on your helmets needs and if the helmet feels comfortable on your head.

Both the Mojito and Velegro have the Eco-leather chin strap, which as mentioned before, you either like it or don’t like it. It depends on your head shape and if the strap comes too close to your jawline.

Both helmets also have Octo Fit technologies for better finer grips, gel inserts for the best comfort. Of course, the internal supports do sway so you can get the most precise fit as possible.

One of the main differences is the Up and Down Fit System, which helps give you a precise with its one-of-a-kind double pivot design.

How does this double pivot design work?

The double pivot cradles the back of the head by the helmet’s straps, which are can be tightened to your desired comfort. The fit system works with a breathable, anti-slip, internal gel liner that ensures a comfortable and safe ride for you.

The sanitized fabric is inner padding that has been treated with antibacterial and antimicrobial so you can keep your hair, scalp, and face from developing an odor or even acne.

Like any other Kask helmet, this one comes with MIT technology that adds a polycarbonate layer to the shell, base ring, and back of the helmet. This technology ensures that you have complete protection in the instance that you fall or crash.

Cyclists who have bought it, all say that the helmet feels very secure on their heads and doesn’t feel too heavy, despite all the technology loaded into the helmet. The chin strap was a hit or miss. For those who didn’t like the strap, it was because it was too tight on their jawline and it was not easy to adjust.

I would recommend this helmet to those who like the Velegro, but don’t have the budget for it. This one has nearly all the same technologies as the Velegro, but with less ventilation. Don’t worry, this one has all the same safety features so you can’t go wrong there. It ultimately depends on how much ventilation you want and if your head fits an Up and Down Fit System or Octo Fit. Best bet is to go to the store and try each of them on.

5. Scott Cadence Plus

Scott Cadence Road Bike Helmet Review

The Scott Cadence Plus was made for triathletes and racers so the design team created one of the fastest and most aerodynamic helmets. Along with current safety and fit features.

The helmet optimized its airflow on both the outside and inside of it so you won’t catch as much head wind.

The Scott helmet engineers collaborated with Team ORICA-GreenEDGE to create a low drag helmet with a dynamic ventilation system along with an adjustable and comfortable fit.

The team designed a helmet so that cool air enters the helmet or goes onto of it while the hot air exits through the back as you keep pedaling.

The HALO Fit System has a dial in the back so that you can get the perfect height of the rear ergonomic cradle when you have the helmet on your head. The dial micro adjusts like Boa Dials so you can have the best precision so you have the best protection in case of a fall or crash.

Scott Air Technology uses the MIPS system uniquely to use micro perforations to add enhanced breathability and cooling. According to Scott’s wind tunnel tests, this technology cools 16% more than a standard MIPS liner.

This helmet does have MIPS safety technologies which help protect your head from rotational shock. Most likely, when you fall off your bike, it’s not a straight drop and a helmet with MIPS absorbs a lot of the rotational energy so your head is better protected. If you do happen to fall vertically from your helmet, MIPS will protect you just as well as an “ordinary” helmet.

Cyclists who have used the helmet all love it! Everything from the fit to the safety standards, they were not disappointed. The ventilation works very well and the aerodynamics were good for a road bike helmet.
I recommend this helmet if you’re looking for one that has some design emphasis on making the helmet aerodynamic. Of course, you won’t have the same feeling as a racing helmet, but it will help simulate it if you use a different helmet for race days.

6. Bell Stratus MIPS

Bell Stratus MIPS Road Bike Helmet Review

The Bell Status MIPS helmet was made with the same base as Bell Z20 Aero (reviewed next) but prioritizes road cycling comfort. The designer’s created the shape for excellent ventilation, secure fit, and with the latest safety technologies.

To keep your head cool on your rides, the helmet has an OverBrow Ventilation system. This system has air “ports” on the brow of the helmet. These ports push cool air in and funnel it through the patented Air-Channel Matrix to keep your whole head cool.

To complement the OverBrow Ventilation system, the helmet’s interior has a sweat guide pad, which pulls the sweat away from your brow and eye area.

Worried about making the helmet fit?

No problem.

The helmet has a Float Fit system, which is minimalist and lightweight. All it features is an over-sized rubber over mold dial that can be easily adjusted on the go. This is integrated with MIPS.

Now let’s talk about the retention system. Bell has an adjustable No-Twist-Tri-Glides, which has quick-adjust fasteners that keep the straps flat on your head. This solves the problem of improperly placed straps and flying ones. Now you can go as hard as you want on the bike and not worry about your helmet.

Finally, the helmet has the MIPS system so that you’re protected from a vertical and rotational fall or crash on your bike.

Cyclists who have bought the helmet say it one of the most comfortable, light-weight, and well-ventilated helmet they’ve owned. These cyclists were rating this helmet of the line-up of mid-range level helmets. The MIPS net inside the helmet is comfortable and barely noticeable as it cradles cyclists’ heads. The straps, although very secure, are barely noticeable and don’t rub on the face or chin area. The suspension system was perfectly designed according to some cyclists.

I’d recommend this helmet if you need one that as some aero attributes, but don’t want to buy an aero helmet. You can easily use this helmet for training and competition. It’s really comfortable and has 18 vents to keep your head cool while you climb hills or ride through the open country side. I also push this helmet as it does have the latest safety system (MIPS) so you can relax knowing you’ll head will most likely be safe in case of an accident.

7. Bell Z20 Aero

Bell Z20 Aero Road Bike Helmet Review

The Bell Z20 Aero is constructed very similarly to the Bell Stratus, but this one was designed specifically to deal with the headwind, which makes this a great option to use in a race too.

Like the Bell Stratus, this one was created with OverBrow Ventilation System, No-Twist Tri Glide System, and MIPS multi-directional impact system.

But what are some of the key differences?

For starters, this helmet has only ten vents and weighs only 296 grams. While the other one, 18 vents and 300 grams.

The helmet’s interior has a sweat guide to pull sweat from your eyes and brow area, but also X-static quick drying padding. This second technology is a quick-drying material made from woven silver-fibers so your head won’t be stinky. This technology also prevents fungi and bacteria, which cause bad odors, from growing.

The helmet was constructed from fusing in-mold polycarbonate shell, which bonds the outer shell to the EPS foam liner. This process was patented by Bell and makes a sturdier helmet overall.

After being molded into an aero shape, has a progressive layering system (also Bell patented). This means the helmet’s liner was constructed with variable EPS foam densities. This helps manage the impacts after some crashes.

Cyclists who have bought this helmet say it’s as comfortable as the Bell Stratus, but like it for the aero characteristics. It really helps cut through headwind on a tough day or climbing hills with headwind. The helmet is light so that it doesn’t strain cyclists’ necks on a longer ride or even long-course races. The drawback is the ventilation. Since this helmet was built for potential racers in mind, aero was prioritized over ventilation.

I’d recommend this helmet to anyone who wants a helmet they can use for training and racing. You can practice going into headwind and not become discouraged. You’ll also be able to save money since you’re using one helmet for two purposes. Just know that this helmet won’t keep your head that cool (compared to Bell Stratus) because this is almost like a race helmet.

8. POC Octal

POC Octal Road Bike Helmet Review

The POC Octal helmet turns heads for a number of reasons. The first being that the helmet has very large vents. Bigger than “normal or standard” road bike helmets.

While this helmet is not equipped with MIPS, it levels up its safety technology in a different fashion. The helmet extends its coverage over the temples and back of the head. It makes it look more like a commuter helmet but with the features of a road helmet.

To make the helmet even safer, the helmet’s EPS liner is thicker in the most exposed areas so it will lessen the impact in the case of a fall.

The outside of the helmet is wrapped in a Unibody shells which is designed to work like monocoque, which strengthens the structural integrity.

Sounds like a lot of technology for a bulky-looking helmet.

But don’t fret.

This helmet is actually light-weight and weighs about 225 grams at the most.

The helmet has a light-weight adjustable size system and comfortable straps so you get a secure and cozy fit.

To keep your head cool, the helmet uses POC’s unique ventilation system, which uses Coolbest padding. This cools temperatures at the areas where your head meets the helmet.

If you wear sunglasses during your rides, there is an “eye garage” built into the helmet. There, you can keep your sunglasses securely in place while you pedal without them.

The helmet has fewer vents, as mentioned before, but those vents are larger than other helmets. This design lets more air flow through your helmet, which actually improves your aerodynamics.

Cyclists who have bought and used this helmet all love it. For starters, it is light weight and it doesn’t even feel like it’s on their heads. The helmet tends to sit low and forward on cyclist’s head; pretty much “locked” into place. The straps and retention system is simple and easily adjust to your preferred place. The helmet can be adjusted with a simple dial in the back. They also rave about the airflow! It actually keeps their head cool; possibly a little too cool. Some who experience fall weather might need a cycling cap.

I recommend this helmet to anyone who doesn’t want or need a “fancy” road bike helmet. And just needs one to keep them safe no matter the type of ride and bike your riding (road, commuter, or hybrid). Although this doesn’t look like your typical helmet, you can use it if you race triathlons. I highly recommend this for commuting since it looks casual and you can use it all year round. The fit is nearly true to the sizing chart if you’re ordering from the website.

9. POC Omne Air Spin

POC Omne Road Bike Helmet Review

The POC Omne Air Spin is created for those who have their weekly commute or do long rides on the weekend; or do both regularly.

Similar to the previously reviewed helmet, this one doesn’t have MIPS safety technology. It “makes up for it” with extended coverage on your head. The helmet covers your temples and the back of your head. All in addition to the side and top of your head.

Of course, this helmet is EPS equipped and designed the same way as before. A thicker EPS liner in the more exposed areas on this helmet.

You can expect the same ventilation system that you would find on other POC helmets. Fewer but larger vents to push the air through the helmet and keep your head cool. Of course, this all help with your aerodynamics.

The outside of the helmet is also wrapped in an Unibody shells which is designed to work like monocoque, which strengthens the structural integrity.

The straps are molded into the helmet so that it makes it easy to adjust and you can get the perfect fit.

So, what makes this helmet different than the POC Octal?

This helmet has SPIN (Shear Pad INside), which is a patented technology by POC. This is a silicone pad system with an Optimized-Density EPS liner that offers one of the best impact force absorption.

Cyclists who have bought the helmet all love the ventilation and strap system. It keeps their head cool and the straps give them the perfect fit. Although there isn’t a MIPS system, every cyclist who uses the helmet feels confident in the safety technology that is built into the helmet. They also like the extra coverage the helmet offers; cyclists feel safer knowing most of their heads are covered. All agree that the helmet high-quality and you get a lot of coverage for a reasonable price. There are some who take the helmet into competition, but most commuters use this.

I recommend this helmet to one who wants a commuter helmet that can be used for road cycling too. It has up-to-date safety technologies that will keep you safe on the road. You can also use this helmet for races if you want. Like the POC Octal, the aerodynamics are actually well-designed, despite the large vents in the helmet. Be warned that the vents can work against you. They keep your head cool in the summer, but you might have to wear a cycling cap in the early fall depending on where you live.

10. Oakley ARO3

Oakley ARO3 Road Bike Helmet Review

The Oakley ARO3 was made to help you get through the toughest races and training sessions in the blistering middle summer temperatures. It helps keep your head cool if you’re climbing hills, riding through rolling hills, or just going for a recovery flat ride.

The helmet’s shell is made from lightweight polycarbonate so you won’t feel as if your neck is straining on your longer rides. The shell even has an integrated eyewear dock too so you can stow your sunglasses during your ride. They won’t fall out so you can reach for them when you need them again.

On the inside of the helmet, it was designed with X-Static Brow padding, which uses the silver properties to create a system that slows down the growth of bacteria on the fabric. This nearly eliminates odor caused by sweat for the entirety of the product’s life. This would be a good feature if you’re bothered by strong odors from your helmet.

To get the most precise fit, the helmet is equipped with BOA FS-1 System, which is height adjustable 360-degree design that gives you an exact fit to your head. The helmet’s straps made from TX1 Lace, which is soft and flexible, lies comfortably against your head and allows for ideal eyewear integration.

The inside also has EPS protective foam that lines it. This foam helps prevent the helmet from splitting or cracking in the case of an accident.

The final touch to make this helmet safe is the MIPS Brain Protection System. This is a low friction layer placed on the inside of the helmet. This layer, which is barely noticeable, reduces rotational motion transferred to the brain from angled impacts on the head.

Cyclists who have bought this helmet all race about how light-weight it is to start. All say that the helmet doesn’t strain their necks, even on their long rides of the summer. The ventilation keeps their heads cool on a summer day whether they are training or racing. Some cyclists do decide to use the helmet for races and they don’t think it slows them down. Many like the helmet because of its safety technology. They like that it has both EPS protective foam and MIPS Brain Protection system.

I recommend this helmet to those who want one that prioritizes lightness and safety. You can be sure that the helmet will keep your head protected in the case of a crash or fall. Even though it feels light, it has all the safety technologies you need.
The helmet also keeps your head cool with its ventilation system and it has some aero characteristics. If you’d like to use the helmet in a race, you can and it will be comparable to a racing helmet.
If you often wear sunglasses on your rides, you can safely put them on the helmet and not worry about them falling off.

11. LAZER Helmet Blade + MIPS Performant

LAZER Helmet Blade+ MIPS Road Bike Helmet Review

If you have used LAZER helmets before, you might like this one. Especially if you’ve owned Lazer’s Z1 helmet series. This one balances good looks with high performance to give you its best helmets.

You can wear this helmet on your daily commute, weekend ride, or even on race day.

The narrow-shaped helmet is complemented with Lazer’s patented Advanced Rollsys retention system for nearly perfect fit and adjustability.

To keep your head cool, the helmet was made with 22 vents and the weight of the helmet is light so you can fly down the hills and roads. If you ride year-round, the helmet will keep your head cool but not cold until the late fall. After, you’ll need a cycling cap.

The Blade+ has additional components you can use if you want. The helmet comes with an optional AeroShell, LifeBeam, and Z-Led.

The AeroShell is a plastic cover that is meant to be placed over the entire helmet. It simply snaps into place and you’re ready to go. The shell helps you if you’re riding into strong head winds and rain, but is still breathable. For race reasons, the AeroShell can be used if you want to be more aerodynamic on the bike.

The LifeBeam is a device that you can use to track your heart rate and connect it to any device. It works on any terrain and any weather condition. All you need to do is put the helmet on your head and turn on the LifeBeam.

And, the Z-Led is a tail light that has one constant illumination mode and three flashing modes.

Those who have bought it really like it for its versatility. And, it provides you with lights and a heart rate tracker. It really is the full package. Cyclists really like the extra shell that can be attached. It’s easy to use and it makes it easy if they want more or less ventilation. The AeroShell is also raved among the cyclists who race regularly.

I recommend this for those who want in an all-in-one helmet. It ventilates your head well and has the tools for you when you don’t want your head cool. Or, if you race regularly, you can use one helmet for both racing and training. Just snap on the AeroShell.

13. Louis Garneau Course

Louis Garneau Course Road Bike Helmet Review

Louis Garneau created its Course helmet to bridge the gap between aerodynamics, ventilation, comfort, and safety.

At the root of the helmet, it was constructed using in-mold industrial processing, which fuses the micro-plastic and polystyrene which adds the best mechanical properties to both materials.

The stabilization system is called SpiderLock Pro III and it’s easy to use even if you need an adjustment while riding.

The inside of the helmet has X-Static XT2T which is quick drying and antimicrobial so your helmet won’t be smelly after riding around.

The Integrated strap system has “inner nerves” on the helmet’s frame. This system evenly distributes the shock from impacts, which provides good support and protection from falls and crashes. All while being a light-weight helmet.

To make the helmet aerodynamic, the front opening vents were constructed to optimize airflow.

Cyclists who have bought the helmet all love that it is super lightweight and barely noticeable on their heads. They appreciate the helmet comes with a little light that can be attached to the dial on the back of the helmet.

I recommend this helmet to anyone who wants a light-weight and aerodynamic helmet. The only drawback is that the straps are hard to replace if broken.

Road Bike Helmets – Buyer’s Guide

Yes, every part of your triathlon training arsenal is important, but your helmet is probably the most important when it comes to safety.

This is one spot you don’t want to go cheap on. Your helmet can potentially save your life when you either fall off your bike or crash.

There are a number of attributes to look for in a helmet when you’re at the store or shopping online. However, the type of helmet, the size, fit and comfort, and safety standards are the most important things to consider.

Here are a few tips when you start looking for helmets.

Types of Bike Helmets

You’ve probably noticed at races or even on the road there are different types of helmets.

All helmets are designed to keep your head save and minimize the impact of your head during a crash, but some are designed for different types of disciplines.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with wearing the helmet of your choice as long as it fits your head properly.

Road Bike Helmets

Road bike helmets are worn by nearly all road cyclists.

Their main priority is to give your head comfort and ventilation through large vents on hot days or if you’re going on a long ride.

The high-performance road bike helmets are light-weight as well as keep your noodle safe and comfortable!

Time Trial Helmets

A time trial (TT) helmets are specifically used for time trials and triathlons.

These types of helmets look a lot different compared to road helmets since they are designed to provide the most aerodynamic gain; as opposed to ventilation.

Commuter Helmets

Commuter helmets are not designed for aerodynamics or ventilation.

They are simply basic helmets to help you complete your easy to moderate route to work or to take on social rides. They come in different styles to suit a more laid-back look.

Mountain Bike Helmets

All mountain bikes have either a built-in or detachable front visor.

The visor helps keep the sun out of a mountain biker’s eyes. Since mountain cyclists cross different terrains and are often already in the shade, most don’t like wearing cycling sunglasses.

These helmets are also bulkier on the back and sides since a crash on trails can happen in all directions.

Downhill/BMX Helmets

BMX and downhill cycling does extreme stunts or goes over complex obstacles. Or, some try different jumps. All going at a fast and furious speed.

For this type of cycling, the helmets look like a motorcycle helmet but are lighter.

The helmets have full face protection, which includes the chin since falls can be unpredictable.

Safety and Standards

Safety standards for helmets vary from country to country. While some have little to no standards, others such as the United States, Australia, and the European Union have high standards.

Helmet manufacturers who distribute to several countries must meet certain standards and disclose the specific amount of stress and impact a helmet underwent.

The benefit?

Every helmet manufacturer must use extremely rigorous standards as a starting point to comply on a global level.

Each helmet is tested for the amount of impact the helmet is able to absorb, how well it disperses the impact, and how well it stays attached to a head during duress.

The United States and the European Union operate under CPSC and CE safety standards, which are lab tested with anvils drops from up to 2 meters. Different areas of the helmet are also stress tested and head coverage is considered.

Road cyclists in Australia must comply with the strictest and most rigorous safety standards. If you’re buying a helmet in Australia or from the country be sure the version is AS/NZS 1698: 2006 compliant.

MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System)

The MIPS is designed to protect your head from rotational force impacts.

The MIPS helmets are made of two layers what glide against each other during a crash or fall. When the layers rotate against each other it reduces the forces that would cause a concussion and other brain injuries.

The types of impacts MIPS protects you from are uncommon but do happen. And, if you do find yourself in one, though I hope you don’t, you’ll be glad you were wearing a MIPS helmet.

Fit and Comfort

When it comes to fit and comfort, follow this rule of thumb: comfort is efficiency and an efficient helmet is a speedy helmet.

Always buy a helmet in store so you can try it on and be sure it actually fits your head. If you want, check the manufacturer’s sizing guide.

When you try on a helmet adjust and tighten the retention system and be sure the helmet is sitting correctly on your head. Just as if you were about to ride.

Then, carefully, do a forceful head movement to test how the helmet sticks to your head. If it moves around, even if it’s strapped in tightly, it’s not the helmet for you.

Be picky about the helmet’s fit and comfort. You’ll be spending a lot of time in it.

Ventilation

Ventilation, though somewhat overlooked, is actually an important category to consider when you’re shopping for a bike helmet.

You won’t be too happy when you’re climbing a steep in the mid-summer and your helmet doesn’t help cool your head.

Consider where you live and what type of biking you routinely do before deciding how much ventilation you need.

If you live in an area with short and mild summer and generally colder temperatures, you might want to look for a helmet with less ventilation.

While those who live in hotter climate might need a helmet with more ventilation.

Helmet Weight

Weight plays a huge role in your bike helmet shopping endeavor.

The more comfortable the helmet, the lighter it will feel on longer rides.

Wearing a heavy helmet can strain your neck and shoulder muscles over time.

For those reasons, I suggest that you look for a balanced weight to coverage ratio.

If you’re looking for the lightest helmet in the store, you compromise safety features such as MIPS and retention systems.

Ultimately, the decision is yours regarding the amount of safety and coverage you want for a light helmet.

However, I strongly caution that well-tested safety features should take priority over a lower-weighted helmet.

Aerodynamics

Almost every helmet has some aerodynamic characteristics built in it.

So, the question is how aerodynamic do you want your helmet to be?

Very aerodynamic helmets cut through the air with the least amount of drag and save you energy.

Rule of thumb: the more aerodynamic the helmet is, the less ventilation it will have.

If you are climbing hills and riding through rolling hills without concern for saving energy, then you probably don’t need an aerodynamic helmet.
If you compete in time trials or triathlons, drop your group on flat rides, or experience a lot of head wind and want to save energy, then you’ll need an aerodynamic helmet.

When to Replace Your Helmet

Replacing your helmet is vital to being safe on your bike.

If you’ve crashed or somehow impacted the helmet in a different way, just replace it.

Even if there aren’t any visible marks, dents, or cracks, the safety might have been compromised.

The worst time to find out your helmet doesn’t work is during your next crash.

If you have an old helmet (over 5 years), go ahead and replace your helmet. Since you bought it, new technologies have probably been available.

Over the years, helmet technologies have improved and having an up-to-date one can save your brain or even life during a crash or fall.

Ryan Jones is a USA Triathlon Level 1 Certified Coach, USA Cycling Level 3 Certified Coach. Since graduating college, Ryan has coached over sixty triathletes, runners, cyclists, and swimmers. He focuses on helping them select appropriate goals and guiding them towards achieving them.

5 thoughts on “Best Road Bike Helmets – Buyer’s Guide”

  1. I have read your article about the best road helmets of 2020 I plan to buy one, I am looking for a light, aero and well ventilated helmet I have doubts between the kask utopia, abus airbreaker and the Met trenta, The met trenta say that it earns 7% with respect to the rest of helmets but not which ones and the kask utopia that earns 6 Watts with respect to the best helmet in the competition, but does not say which one either. Which one do you recommend of these or the ones you have put in your article
    Thank you

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