Best road bike helmets 2021 | 35 top-rated cycle helmets As you might expect, our choice of best road bike helmets is pretty subjective. We’ve rated the helmets on a number of factors, including overall safety, comfort, and aesthetics. To make it easier to compare, we’ve split the helmets up into five categories: Best overall helmets, Best value helmets, Best female helmets, Best hybrid helmets and our best value for money pick of the year. All of these helmets have been tested by our team of professional testers, who put them through our rigorous testing process.
Over the past few years, road cycling has grown into a worldwide subculture, with more and more people taking to two wheels to get from A to B or to promote a healthy lifestyle, and new cycling trends have emerged, including the use of cycling helmets.
Road cycling is a passion for many, especially when you consider the many health benefits that come from it. From getting your heart rate up to burning calories to increasing your flexibility, cycling is a great way to stay fit and healthy. However, there are plenty of risks associated with cycling, like getting hit by a car, getting a flat tire from the road, or having a crash. That’s why it is vital to wear the correct safety equipment on the road.. Read more about best road bike helmets 2020 and let us know what you think.
For 2021, we’ve compiled a list of the finest road cycling helmets presently on the market. We’ve made care to include alternatives for a broad variety of budgets, from entry-level helmets to top-of-the-line racing helmets.
Fit, ventilation, and comfort are the most important factors for most people. All of the helmets on this list have passed rigorous safety tests, and ensuring that a helmet fits properly will guarantee that it can keep you safe in the case of an accident.
Many helmets are now built with aerodynamic properties in mind, which affects the form, size, and overall appearance. In 2018, we put eight of the finest aero helmets to the test.
Continue reading until the end to see our buyer’s guide to road helmets after you’ve exhausted all of your choices.
Helmets with 5 and 4.5 star ratings
In our testing, the following helmets received 4.5 to 5 ratings.
MIPS on Bell Avenue
The Bell Avenue MIPS helmet is a great bargain. Immediate Media / Dave Caudery
- £65 / $120 (as tested)
- Excellent value
- MIPS technology and easy-to-use features
MIPS technology used to command a substantial premium and was virtually solely found in the most costly helmets. Bell’s Avenue MIPS is a great illustration of how far those days have passed.
It has an easy-to-adjust retention mechanism, and the polycarbonate shell has 18 vents to keep things cool, as well as reflective accents to increase visibility.
Its 310g weight makes it heavier than a lot of helmets at this price point, but we believe it’s a good trade-off considering how well this lid performs for the money.
ANGi Helps Specialized S-Works Evade
In every way, the Specialized S-Works Evade with ANGi is a cutting-edge helmet. Immediate Publication
- €320 / £250 / $275 (as tested)
- Innovative safety features
- Excellent ventilation, weight, and aerodynamic performance are all promised.
We found it to be very comfortable and well ventilated, and it promises to be extremely aerodynamic – which is supported by one of our tests.
Adding MIPS and ANGi to the already excellent S-Works Evade II makes it one of the finest helmets on the market.
It’s not cheap, but the ANGi technology’s membership cost has been eliminated, and it seems like a significant step forward for helmet technology.
MIPS / Z20 MIPS Bell Zephyr
For individuals looking for MIPS technology, Bell’s Zephyr MIPS is an excellent choice. Immediate Publication
- AU$369 / £200 / $230 (as tested)
- Excellent airflow and adjustability
- MIPS (Multiple Input Multiple Output) Protection
The Zephyr (or the Z20 MIPS as it’s called in the US) is designed for riders who desire greater comfort than Bell’s aero-optimized Star. If you can stomach the price, it’s a fantastic option.
The Zephyr’s wind tunnel-optimized shell utilizes the MIPS lining in a manner that doesn’t impair the lid’s cooling, thanks to a cooperation with safety pioneers MIPS.
MIPS Bontrager Circuit
Bontrager’s Circuit MIPS is a jack-of-all-trades bike that can be used for commuting, road, or dirt racing. Immediate Media / Dave Caudery
- AU$200 / £100 / $160 / €150 / £100 (as tested)
- Looks compact and classic
- Retention system for boas
Bontrager’s Circuit MIPS is a well-thought-out all-rounder that will please road, gravel, and commuting cyclists alike.
The Circuit, as its name implies, has a MIPS lining, but its shell is still very small.
Although its form may not be to everyone’s liking, we appreciated the Boa dial retention mechanism and the lightness of its well-ventilated exterior.
WaveCel Bontrager Starvos
Bontrager’s collapsible cellular structure technology is used on the Starvos WaveCel. Bontrager
- £100 / $100 / €110 / €110 / €110 / €110 / €110 (as tested)
- Constructed by WaveCel
- XL helmets are available for heads up to 66cm in circumference.
Bontrager’s WaveCel collapsible cellular structure technology, which is said to be more effective in impact absorption than EPS, is now available at a new low price with the Starvos. It’s light and breezy, making hot-weather rides even more enjoyable.
The design results in a 375g helmet for a size big, but we didn’t notice the additional weight throughout testing.
The Starvos WaveCel is comfortable because WaveCel has a little more give than standard EPS foam helmet material. There’s plenty of adjustment, as well as an extra-large version that fits skulls measuring 60cm to 66cm.
MIPS Bontrager Velocis
The Velocis has been upgraded lately. Immediate Publication
- AU$250 / £150 / $210 / €199 (as tested)
- Good ventilation and ostensibly good aerodynamic performance
- It’s comfortable and simple to use. BOA-dial-adjuster (BOA-dial-adjuster
The Velocis was recently updated, and the once-traditional-looking helmet is now firmly planted in the aero helmet category.
Despite its aerodynamic leanings, the helmet is very comfortable and well ventilated.
There are a few minor flaws that keep the Velocis from being a perfect five-star performance, but it’s fair to say that it won’t let you down.
Road Bontrager XXX WaveCel
The Bontrager XXX WaveCel is a well-made, high-tech aero helmet with a nice finish. Immediate Publication
- £200 / $300 / €250 / £200 / $300 / €250 / £200 (as tested)
- Aeronautical and safety qualifications were claimed.
- Well-kept and comfy
Bontrager’s WaveCel technology was introduced with a flurry of bold promises about possible safety benefits, but whatever the real-world consequences, this is an outstanding road helmet kit.
It’s not the lightest helmet on the market at 355g, but we didn’t notice it in usage, and we appreciate how nicely it’s constructed.
It’s also extremely comfortable, according to Bontrager, and it’s highly aerodynamic.
MIPS Giro Foray
The Foray MIPS helmet from Giro features a sleek design, a drag-friendly shape, and MIPS. Immediate Publication
- AU$99 / £80 / $85 / €100 / €100 (as tested)
- MIPS, great aesthetics, and a drag-friendly form
- Good adjustability and fit
With a smooth, rounded compact shell and truncated rear to retain efficiency in all head positions, the Giro Foray MIPS gives more than a tribute to Giro’s range-topping Synthe aero helmet.
The polycarbonate outer shell is bonded to the EPS core for strength, however it does not extend to the bottom due to the in-mould construction.
Its MIPS system adds to the price, but it also provides tremendous confidence and a perfect fit, thanks to the super-adjustable Roc Loc 5 cradle.
Four internal cushions make things pleasant, and five prominent internal channels effectively ventilate the bulk of the head at all speeds, making this model an appealing, safe, and good-value option.
Kask Protone is a kind of protone that is found in
The Kask Protone helmet is a remarkable combination of comfort, performance, and style – but it comes at a cost. Immediate Publication
- £225 / $199 / $199 / $199 / $199 / $199 / $199 €255 / $269 (as tested)
- CFD design and wind tunnel tests provide excellent ventilation and aero performance.
- The Octo Fit retention mechanism has a wide variety of adjustment options.
The Protone is said to be intended to preserve aerodynamics and airflow in every typical riding position while being consistently silent no matter how you move your head.
Its tiny, skull-hugging shape was developed after rigorous wind tunnel research, and it’s definitely less bulky than others.
Eight forward-facing vents and six big exit holes provide excellent ventilation, and the Octo Fit retention system has a wide adjustment range to keep everything tight and comfortable.
Blade of the Lazer
Shop around since The Blade is often available at a significant price. Immediate Publication
- £70 / $100 / €68 / £70 / $100 / €68 / €68 (as tested)
- Helmet with a lot of features
- The ARS adjuster works well.
The Lazer Blade is a lightweight, value-packed helmet that comes in a variety of colors.
The Blade, like many of Lazer’s helmets, including the Z1, utilizes the ARS adjuster, which attaches the adjustment barrel to the top of the helmet. It is said that this makes one-handed changes simpler.
It’s worth looking around for the best price on the helmet since it’s often available with substantial reductions.
Comete Ultimate Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Mavic Ma
There are 15 large vents carved into the domed shell’s smooth surface. Immediate Publication
- £245 / €270 / $297 / €270 / $297 / €270 / $297 (as tested)
- With a sharp style
- Excellent safety certifications
It’s not cheap, with an RRP of £245 / €270 / $297, but Mavic’s Comete Ultimate MIPS helmet has a lot of tech to try to justify that price. It features a carbon fibre reinforced construction composed of EPS-4D foam, which is claimed to be more effective at absorbing impacts than regular EPS foam. It also includes a MIPS lining.
The polycarbonate shell and angular vents give the helmet an extremely striking look, and the ventilation is excellent. Mavic says the helmet is also aerodynamically efficient, as you’d expect from a high-end helmet.
MET’s entry-level road lid is the Idolo. Immediate Publication
- €60 / £50 (as tested)
- For the money, it’s light.
- Rear LED light built-in
The MET Idolo is the company’s entry-level road helmet, although it shares several characteristics with its higher-end siblings, most notably the Safe-T-E-mid horizontal fit system, which performs well.
The fact that it resembles certain high-end lids is just a bonus.
Rivale HES MET Rivale HES Rivale HES Rivale H
Rivale HES from the MET. Immediate Media
- £110 ($99), €130 ($130), and AU$199.95 (as tested)
- For an aero helmet, this is impressive cooling.
- A wide variety of adjustments is available.
The MET Rivale weighs only 257 grams (in a large) and is said to save 3 watts at 50 kilometers per hour, equivalent to a stated second advantage over similar vented helmets at the same speed.
It also conforms with CE, as well as the more stringent Australian AS and American USPC requirements.
Most aero helmets have a more rounded form than the Rivale. Internal cushioning is sparse but effective, and the micro-adjust mechanism allows for enough of tensioning to hold it firmly in place on your head.
We really liked the retaining cradle’s 4cm vertical adjustment, which allows you to place the helmet exactly where you want it.
Trenta 3K Carbon by MET
One of our favorite road helmets is the MET Trenta 3K Carbon. Immediate Publication
- €300 / £265 (as tested)
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Excellent adjustability and fit
The Trenta (which means 30 in Italian) was designed to commemorate MET’s 30th anniversary.
The Trenta’s shell is halfway between an aero lid and a conventional vented helmet, with no less than 19 vents. Not only does it look fantastic, but we were immediately won over by its superb fit and thin profile.
It’s also lightweight; our pre-production sample weighed in around 228g for a medium size.
The Trenta also works with MET’s innovative clip-on light, which provides enough of light where it’s needed without interfering with the helmet’s function or adjustments.
Oakley is a very new helmet manufacturer. Immediate Publication
- £199, $250, and €250 are the prices (as tested)
- Very light and comfy, with excellent ventilation while moving.
- A slim profile with a fantastic appearance.
Oakley just recently entered the cycling helmet market, but the ARO5 aero lid did not disappoint.
The very simple helmet has four big front vents that suck in air, as well as two smaller rear vents that exhaust excess heat.
The Boa-dial retention mechanism, which adjusts a soft string that wraps around the perimeter of the helmet, is also quite cool, and it worked well for us.
Rudy’s Spectrum Project
With normal pads installed, our big sample weighed 293g for 59 to 63cm heads. Immediate Publication
- £170.00 / €179.00 (as tested)
- High-quality construction with a unique appearance
- Good ventilation and promises about aerodynamics
Rudy Project’s Spectrum helmet, used by Team Bahrain McLaren riders including Mark Cavendish and Mikel Landa, combines excellent aesthetics and breathability with promises of high aerodynamic performance.
While we haven’t been able to put the aero claims to the test, our tester found a lot to enjoy in other areas: it’s comfy and well ventilated, and it fits bigger heads nicely (the size large fits up to a 63cm head circumference).
Cadence Plus by Scott
The Cadence Plus from Scott is a lightweight, airy, and comfortable aero road helmet. Immediate Publication
- AU$340 / £170 / $240 / €250 / £170 (as tested)
- Fast and nimble, with excellent stated aerodynamics
- For winter riding, MIPS protection and vent bungs are provided.
Scott’s aero road helmet option is the Cadence Plus. Apart from within the vents, its smooth, elongated form and largely contained polycarbonate shell fully conceals the fragile EPS core, and its smooth, elongated shape and mostly enclosed shell seem intentional.
Scott’s Halo Fit System’s occipital cradle includes three height settings and a rotary dial for circumference adjustment. The straps are kept far apart by a smart divider so they don’t rub against your ears, making the Cadence Plus one of the best-fitting and most secure helmets we’ve tested lately.
The cost of a top-tier MIPS-equipped helmet is also reasonable.
Plus Scott Centric
The Scott Centric combines a number of appealing features to produce an excellent all-around lid. Immediate Publication
- AU$300 / £150 / $200 / €200 (as tested)
- Airy but aerodynamic, with a classic appearance
- Comfortable to wear
The Scott Centric Plus achieves the apparently impossible by combining aerodynamic properties with good ventilation to produce a superb all-around lid in a very ordinary package.
The helmet’s build quality is outstanding, and although it isn’t cheap at £150 / $200 / €200 / AU$300, it represents good value for money in the context of the aero lid market.
Airnet with a focus
Merino wool padding is included in Specialized’s Airnet. Immediate Publication
- AU$199 / £100 / $150 / €130 (as tested)
- Aerodynamic styling with a nod to the past
- Merino wool cushioning and a dedicated sunglasses port
The Airnet is based on Specialized’s ultra-aerodynamic S-Works Evade lid, but it retains elements of the classic leather “hairnet” helmets (thus the name) used by racers in the 1970s.
A highly channeled EPS core sits under the shell, providing much more airflow than your typical aero lid.
The wide base vents at the temples also include textured grippers to keep your glasses in place while not in use.
The shell adds to the 325g weight, but it also offers additional protection from harm, and the cushioning is composed of Merino wool for super-soft comfort.
3 ANGi ANGi ANGi ANGi ANGi ANGi ANGi ANGi
In our tests, the Specialized Propero 3 ANGi almost missed out on a perfect score. Immediate Media / Dave Caudery
- £110, $140, and €140 are the prices (as tested)
- Sensor safety technology from ANGi
- Looks that are sharp
The Propero 3 ANGi combines outstanding features, riding performance, and sleek aesthetics that are inspired by Specialized’s top-of-the-line Prevail lid.
The helmet’s capacity to keep our heads cool received high marks, as did the 4X DryLite webbing inside, which won’t stretch out with sweat or water.
Specialized’s proprietary ANGi angle and g-force indicator, which links to your smartphone and instantly contacts an emergency contact if it detects you are in an accident, increases safety. In addition, the ANGi system does not need a paid membership.
Read our entire Specialized Propero 3 ANGi review.
Falconer MIPS Sweet Protection
Sweet Protection is renowned for its mountain biking gear. Immediate Publication
- €230 / £210 / $230 / £210 (as tested)
- Excellent construction quality
- Excellent ventilation and fit modifications
Sweet Protection is more renowned for its mountain bike protection, but the Falconer road helmet deserves to be included on this list as well.
The helmet’s build quality is excellent, the fit adjustments are comfortable, and the MIPS liner is a kind of liner that is used to – which is custom made for the helmet – does not obstruct airflow in any way, resulting in a very airy feeling helmet.
RoadR 500 by Van Rysel
It’s a fantastic option if you’re just getting started on the bike and don’t want to spend a lot of money. Immediate Publication
- £30, $40, or €35 (as tested)
- For a low-cost helmet, it has a great appearance.
- The 14 vents provide enough ventilation.
The Van Rysel RoadR 500 helmet from Decathlon has a racy shape and 14 big vents that perform a decent job of cooling and looks more costly than its price tag. However, the dial adjuster seems a little rougher than on more expensive helmets.
The RoadR is available in two sizes and three colors. It’s not quite as little as the Van Rysel Aerofit 900, but it’ll set you back £10 more.
Helmets with a four-star rating
In our testing, the following helmets received four stars.
The GameChanger has a svelte appearance. Immediate Publication
- £245 / €220 / AU$340 £180 / $245 / €220 / AU$340 (as tested)
- Excellent aerodynamic performance was claimed.
- There is a dedicated eyewear port as well as a variety of color choices.
The GameChanger from Abus is a very unusual-looking helmet that pleased the BikeRadar test crew.
Abus says that the strongly aero-centric lid features a low wind-cheating profile that is among the finest on the market.
Although the ventilation isn’t as excellent as some other aero helmets, the fit and construction quality more than compensate, making this a strong four-star performance.
The Abus AirBreaker is a lightweight, well-ventilated helmet created in partnership with the Movistar team. Immediate Publication
- €250 / £229 (as tested)
- Lightweight and well-ventilated
- Constructed and finished to a high standard
The AirBreaker, which has a similar general design to the aero-focused Abus GameChanger, focuses more on ventilation and cooling, which it accomplishes well.
It’s made in Italy and developed in cooperation with the Movistar professional team. It’s made of high-quality materials and weighs just 229 grams in a big size.
Abus says that the GameChanger’s tiny overall profile, along with design influences from the GameChanger, provides certain aero advantages.
The StormChaser is the most recent addition to ABUS’s helmet lineup. Immediate Publication
- £100,000 (as tested)
- It’s bright, airy, and well-ventilated.
- MIPS isn’t available.
The StormChaser helmet in size big, which follows the GameChanger and AirBreaker in Abus’ road lineup, is extremely light at 238g. Due to less material in the smaller volume shell, which also provides a more compact shape, this is approximately 80g less than the main competitor at this pricing.
Although the fixed strap anchor points restrict flexibility, the deep channeling for excellent airflow and supple straps provide lots of comfort when riding.
The internal skeleton and large reflectives on the back of the helmet assist preserve the helmet’s integrity in the event of an accident. However, unlike many helmets, there is no MIPS option.
MIPS Bell Stratus
Bell’s Stratus is attractive and well-fitting. Immediate Media / David Caudery
- $170 / £135 (as tested)
- Fit and performance are excellent.
- MIPS liner
It’s not the lightest helmet on the market at 317g for a size large, but that’s hardly apparent while wearing it. The ventilation is also excellent, making this a perfect helmet for people who live in hot climates or who often overheat when climbing.
It’s fantastic to see a MIPS liner at this price, and it doesn’t hurt that it also looks excellent. Plus, if lime green isn’t your style, there are eight other color options to choose from, so you should be able to find something you like.
Safesound Road, Coros
The Safesound is the finest helmet Coros has ever produced. Immediate Publication
- 93 pounds / 100 dollars (as tested)
- Bluetooth speakers and a back light are built-in.
- Detecting an incident
Corus included Bluetooth connection in the Safesound, allowing you to listen to music without drowning out ambient noise. With the accompanying bar-mounted remote or the Coros app, you can adjust playback level, answer calls, and switch the in-built rear blinkie on and off.
There’s also event detection built in, which will send an alarm to your emergency contacts through the app.
It’s a well-ventilated, comfy helmet in its own right. The Safesound Road isn’t too hefty however, at little over 300g for a big helmet.
Endura Xtract II is a new product from Endura.
The Xtract II from Endura is the company’s entry-level road helmet. Immediate Publication
- €75 / £60 (as tested)
- Excellent airflow and a premium feel
- There is no MIPS option available.
The Xtract II is Endura’s entry-level road helmet, yet it’s light (270g for a big), stylish, and well-made.
There are five big vents in the front, eight in the back, and deep channeling to promote airflow between them. Quality features like as a completely wrapped EPS core and strong, hard-wearing straps give this helmet a premium feel that belies its low price.
Vanquish MIPS by Giro
The Vanquish’s integrated visor is… controversial. Immediate Media / BikeRadar
- AU$430 / £230 / $275 / €250 / £230 (as tested)
- Comfortable, well-ventilated, and said to have good aerodynamics
- Excellent construction quality
The Vanquish MIPS from Giro is a unique-looking aero road helmet with a built-in visor that replaces your sunglasses.
The visor is certainly controversial, but Giro claims that incorporating it into the helmet creates a super-aero package.
The helmet’s construction quality is outstanding, and the fit is also superb.
The HJC Valeco helmet is a thin, light-weight helmet with a high-quality finish. Immediate Publication
- €149 / £125 (as tested)
- Well-made, attractive, and light-weight
- The unvented area in the back may become very hot.
HJC’s aero knowledge, developed over 50 years of manufacturing motorcycle helmets, is now available to cyclists. All of its helmets have been wind tunnel tested, and the Valeco is well-made, attractive, and fairly light for an aero design at 272 grams (size large), despite the lack of MIPS.
Multiple densities of EPS foam are used in the Valeco, with more protection in high-stress regions and less weight in less important zones. The helmet has seven forward-facing vents and another seven in the back, although the solid back end means that the nape of the neck may become a little hot.
Kali Therapy is a kind of treatment that uses the element
MIPS is handled differently by Kali’s Therapy helmet. Immediate Media / David Caudery
- $90 / £90 (as tested)
- Fit and performance are excellent.
- Additional security features
For the money, Kali’s Therapy helmet has a decent fit and performance, as well as Kali’s own take on a MIPS-style safety liner. Kali says that this technology, like MIPS, may decrease rotational impact forces, lowering the danger of brain damage in the case of a collision.
All of this is quite remarkable for a helmet that costs less than £100, so you get a lot of bang for your buck.
Team Ineos riders have rapidly adopted the Kask Valegro as their go-to helmet on hot days. Immediate Publication
- AU$309 (Matt colors), £170 / $250 / AU$299 (Gloss colors) – (as tested)
- It’s light and airy, which makes it ideal for travel.
- Excellent adaptability
The Kask Valegro, developed in collaboration with Team Sky (formerly Team Ineos Grenadiers), is very light (201g in a size medium) and breezy while yet managing to be quite comfortable.
The Valegro features an artificial leather chinstrap, and the polycarbonate shell wraps straight around under the base of the helmet to protect the foam core from impacts, despite the emphasis on weight reduction. The OCTO Fit mechanism for adjusting the fit is also excellent.
On long, hot days, it’s no wonder that Team Ineos riders like to wear this helmet.
Century of Lasers
The Lazer Century is a flexible road helmet with an ingenious ventilation and aerodynamics system. Immediate Publication
- £130 / €160 / $160 / £130 / €160 / $160 / £130 (as tested)
- Comfortable and versatile
- Light that is integrated
The Lazer Century is a comfortable, flexible helmet that uses the same Advanced Turnfit fit system as some of its more expensive siblings. It can be used for everything from regular road riding to racing.
The detachable Twistcap cover is the ace up its sleeve. It is magnetically attached and may be installed in two different positions (or not at all) to modify the helmet’s aerodynamics and ventilation.
It also features a rechargeable LED light built into the back of the helmet to help with visibility in low-light situations.
Allroad MET MET MET MET MET MET
The MET Allroad is a gravel helmet built with gravel bikers in mind. Immediate Media / Dave Caudery
- €80 / £70 (as tested)
- Gravel-specific engineering
- Sun visor and integrated light
The MET Allroad is intended for gravel riders, but if you want a little of mountain bike flair on your road or commuter lid, don’t let the marketing get in the way.
The adjustable retention system has a rear light and is ponytail compatible.
Even with the additional protection it provides for off-road tasks, the Allroad is extremely comfortable and breathes well, much like a good road helmet.
Omne Omne Omne Omne Omne Omne Omne Omn
The Omne Air Spin has a fantastic design. Immediate Publication
- £140 / $150 / €160 / £140 / $150 / €160 / £140 (as tested)
- Excellent fit and safety features
- Safe and simple to modify
We liked the fit of the POC Omne Air SPIN helmet and were pleased by its unique safety features and excellent ventilation.
The silicone gel-like membrane within POC’s SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) pads is intended to minimize rotational forces being transmitted to the brain in the case of a collision.
The rotary dial retention mechanism changes between four vertical settings and works on a band surrounding the head for further security. It’s also a fashionable lid.
When purchasing a road bike helmet, there are a few things to keep in mind.
System of fit and retention
First and foremost, a helmet must remain on your head in order to be useful in the case of a collision. Helmets from various manufacturers are all designed to suit slightly different sized lasts, much like shoes, so it’s crucial to test before you purchase.
Most helmets utilize a dial-based retention system to modify the fit (e.g., Giro’s Roc Loc 5 or Kask’s Octo Fit systems), but the vertical adjustment range (i.e., how high or low the rear adjustment supports sit on your head) will differ across helmets, so keep that in mind.
Adjustable and comfy straps are also essential for optimum efficacy; you should be able to wear them with a tight fit on your chin.
The majority of bicycle helmets are made of expanded polystyrene (EPS) foam. This skeleton is then coated with a strong polycarbonate shell (with a dash of carbon fiber thrown in for good measure) to provide strength and protect the EPS foam from bumps and scratches.
This fundamental architecture has been in place for decades, but new manufacturing methods and materials, such as 3D-printed Polyamide 11 or other ‘proprietary polymer materials,’ are starting to make their way in.
Naturally, manufacturers say that new designs provide advantages over conventional bike helmets, but it needs to be seen if such advantages are realized in practice.
Features that ensure safety
While we won’t comment on the overall effectiveness of helmets, it’s worth mentioning that all helmets sold in the EU must comply with the EN 1078 European Standard (and therefore have the CE mark) or be CPSC-certified in the United States.
Every helmet on this list accomplishes at least that, if not more, and should provide some protection for your head from bumps and scrapes if you fall from your bike while riding.
Additional safety innovations, such as rotating liners (e.g. MIPS) and Bontrager’s unique WaveCel material, have recently experienced a significant rise in popularity. By decreasing rotational forces or simply utilizing materials that are better suited to absorb specific shocks, these technologies promise to provide greater protection against head and brain injuries.
Cycle helmets have been subjected to independent safety testing, although these items are clearly more difficult to evaluate outside of the lab, when there are so many factors at play. Overall, these additional safety features are almost definitely worth having, although they usually come with more expensive helmets.
Ventilation is essential for fast road cycling, particularly in hot weather. A helmet’s interior structure may assist pull air over your head and disperse heat with a well-designed system of vents and channels.
Putting holes in a helmet to improve airflow would, as you might expect, result in a reduction in weight and, possibly, robustness. To compensate, airy helmets may need additional exterior reinforcement or are made of more expensive materials in order to satisfy safety and durability requirements.
The aero brush is being applied to everything these days, raising prices and making all of your existing gear seem obsolete, but it definitely makes sense with helmets. If you’re worried about riding quickly, the potential watt savings offered by aero helmets should not be ignored.
Of course, there are trade-offs: improving aerodynamic efficiency generally entails shutting ventilation holes or putting up with oddly shaped lids that, to be honest, may look ludicrous at times. However, if your primary objective is just to ride quicker, appearances may not be as essential.
Only a few manufacturers aggressively advertise the capacity of their helmets to retain sunglasses in the front vents, but this feature may be a huge plus.
Obviously, helmet companies that also produce sunglasses do better in this area, but bring your sunglasses with you while shopping for a new helmet so you can test the fit.
Although beauty is in the eye of the beholder, it is important to examine what kind of riding the helmets you like are intended for.
If you prefer classic-looking helmets with plenty of vent holes, you may be better suited with a more aero-focused helmet with less ventilation and openings for water to soak through if you live someplace chilly.
If you live someplace hot, the reverse may be true: having a super-fast helmet in the wind tunnel is useless if you don’t want to wear it because it makes your head boil.
Road cycling is a great way to enjoy the great outdoors, scenic routes, and compete with friends. However, if you want to get more out of road cycling, you need to wear the right protective gear. There are a lot of different types of helmets out there, so in order to help you find the one that best fits you, we’ve compared the leading models and ranked them by their features so that you can have the right one for your needs.. Read more about giro helmets and let us know what you think.
The most comfortable bicycle helmet is the Giro Reverb.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best helmet for road cycling?
The best helmet for road cycling is the Giro Prevail.
What is the safest road bike helmet?
The safest road bike helmet is the Giro Atmos.
What is the most comfortable bicycle helmet?
The most comfortable bicycle helmet is the Giro Reverb.
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- best bike helmets
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- road bike helmets
- best bike helmets 2018