As an avid road cyclist, having a properly fitting and protective road bike helmet is essential gear.
The helmet is the single most important piece of safety equipment you can wear.
Over my 10+ years of riding, I’ve gone through my fair share of lids and learned a great deal about what makes a fantastic road bike helmet versus a dud.
In this comprehensive guide, I’ll cover everything you need to know about picking the ideal road cycling helmet for your unique needs and preferences.
We’ll explore the key features, types of construction, safety regulations, fit and sizing, additional factors to consider, and reviews of my favorite helmets on the market right now for road bike helmet sale season.
- Lightweight yet durable construction using materials like expanded polystyrene foam and polycarbonate plastic for ventilation and impact absorption
- Multiple large vents to maximize airflow and keep your head cool
- Adjustable retention system with a dial or sliders for customizing the fit
- MIPS technology (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) for better protection against rotational forces
- Visor to shield eyes from sun glare without limiting visibility
- EPS foam interior should provide secure but comfortable padding
There are 3 main types of road bike helmets to consider:
- Very aerodynamic, minimalist design
- Prioritizes ventilation and lightweight feel
- Offers versatility for different riding positions
- Example: Giro Aether
- Teardrop shape with a shorter tail for max speed
- Integrated air vents don’t compromise aerodynamics
- Excellent for time trials and triathlons
- Example: Kask Valegro
- All-around design suitable for most road riding
- Offers ventilation, comfort, and adjustability
- Can include an MIPS liner for added protection
- Example: Bell Stratus MIPS
- Ensure your helmet fits properly – snug with no major pressure points
- Register your helmet to be notified of any product recalls
- Replace your helmet every 5-6 years as the protective foam can deteriorate
- Look for CPSC certification label signifying safety testing
- Prioritize a helmet with MIPS technology for better protection
Getting the sizing right is crucial for safety, comfort, and performance. Here’s a quick guide:
- Measure – Wrap a flexible tape around your head about 1 inch above your eyebrows and ears
- Try it on – The helmet should feel snug all around without pinching
- Retention system – Adjust sliders/dial until the helmet sits level on your head and can’t slide forward or backward easily
- No gaps – Make sure no part of the EPS inner liner is touching your head
- Final check – Shake your head around – a properly fit helmet will stay firmly in place
Here are my top recommendations for exceptional road bike helmets from reputable brands offering great value:
- Giro Synthe MIPS – Incredibly lightweight, sleek race-day design with cool plush padding and the added protection of MIPS technology
- Bell Z20 MIPS – Feature-packed all-around helmet with outstanding comfort and ventilation for long rides
- Bontrager Specter WaveCel – Impressive safety provided by protective WaveCel material that can flex and crumple upon impact
Hopefully, this breakdown gives you the tools to shop smart and find the perfect road cycling helmet tailored to your personal needs and riding style. Let me know in the comments about your favorite bike helmet and what features are most important to you!