Primarily, bike helmets should offer protection to the riders' heads, but nowadays, helmets have advanced in terms of the design and the features used to make them.
If you are looking to transform your cycling experience, a good helmet will do the trick. It incorporates comfort, ventilation, aerodynamic, and protection all in one.
I have covered all the best road bike helmets to ensure you have the most advanced helmet. Whether on a budget or not, you will find something that will perfectly suit you. I have also covered the various types of bike helmets to ensure you choose the right kind.
The Top 8 Road Biking Helmets
Best Value: Giro Cinder MIPS
- Great value
- Latest protection technology
- Very comfortable
- Larger sizes are running large and bulky
The Giro Cinder is the best helmet when you are on a budget. The helmet uses Roc Loc technology that keeps it slightly suspended on top of the skull. This allows airflow in the helmet, which enhances the ventilation system. The feature also keeps the Giro locked on your head.
The Giro Cinder has fused the light polycarbonate skeleton with a foam liner that absorbs all the impact. The foam liner acts as a second shell amour. The layer makes the design more structural fitting and reduces penetration to make it safer without compromising the Giro cider's ventilation system.
The design has fitted vents and exhaust channels into the helmet. The vents enhance cooling airflow around the rider's head, thus giving out a cooling effect. The in-mold construction process makes the Giro lighter and safer than other traditional helmets.
Best Ventilation: POC Ventral Air
- Great ventilation
- Light and comfortable
- Adjustability system works really well.
- Slightly expensive.
The POC ventral air offers the best ventilation system. The strategically placed ports allow for air intake and outtake. The channels control the airflow speed according to each situation, giving the rider a super cooling effect.
The Ventral air features a shearing pad inside to make the helmet safer and comfortable, with the crash technological system that makes it rotate when a crush happens to reduce the rider's direct impact. The system has been developed in a way that does not compromise the weight of the helmet.
Lastly, the POC ventral air has an EPS liner wrapped in the shell layer with adjustable straps to fit any size. The bright colors of the helmet make the rider visible even from afar distant. It is suitable for longer rides in the saddles or the mountains.
Best For Looks: Kask Protone
- Elegant polished, sleek design
- A little expensive
Riders no longer have to worry about looking good while being safe. The kast Protone has been carefully handcrafted using the best-known materials to make the best looking helmet for riders. Featuring a range of colors, cyclists have the option to chose which style suits them best.
Despite the elegant look, the helmet was designed to offer safety first. The Protone frames are reinforced to prevents the helmet from breaking into pieces in case of a crash. Additionally, the polycarbonate covers act as shock absorbers during any impact.
Kask added a Micro fit adjuster to the Protone that can be adjusted to fit perfectly in the rider's head. Enhanced with internal gel pads, you can remove and clean them at your convenience. The chain strips are also eco friendly to prevent any skin irritation.
The Kask Protone has become popular among many riders because it is versatile to use on most occasions.
High Performance: Bell Stratus MIPS
- Fits well for both men and women
- Very comfortable
- Straps can loosen over time
For comfortability, the Stratus utilizes a float fit system that is fitted with rubbers that quickly rotate, making it easier to adjust to any position the rider desires. The rubber fasteners help keep the helmet in place when riding to the point that you will not even notice it.
Utilizing MIPS technology, Bell Stratus helmet reduces the rotational forces that happen during specific impacts while the foam liner and the polycarbonate shell reduces the impact to the rider. At only 275 grams, the helmet is very light and secure.
If you are riding on hot days, the Bell Stratus MIPS sweat pads absorb moisture away from the rider with the overbrow ventilation making the rider cool.
Great Budget Option: Kask Mojito X
- Washable chin straps
- Comfortable fit system
- No clip or slot for sunglasses
It is one of the best bike helmets to get when under a budget.
The mojito x is just like the Kask Protone, but it is slightly cheaper. The mojito x is an upgrade of the Kask mojito that has been riders' preference for many years.
The Mojito features 26 vents that allow air to flow in and out at a controlled speed to keep the rider feeling cool even on hotter summer days.
The upgraded Kask mojito X uses in-mold construction to incorporate inner gel pads for comfort and safety.
If you love the Kask Protone, but can't afford it, the Mojito X should be your next choice. It offers some of the most incredible features while still maintain a low budget.
Best For Beginners: Bontrager Starvos MIPS
- Very budget-friendly.
- Free Replacement in case of a crash.
- It is slightly heavier.
The Bontrager Starvos MIPS design features air vents that are fixed in the helmets to allow proper airflow. The features enable the rider to have a cooling effect in hot conditions. The inside pads are also moisture absorbing to absorbs sweat making the helmet comfortable.
For safety purposes, Starvos is MIPS equipped to reduce the rotational forces that happen during specific impacts. A foam liner and a polycarbonate shell incorporated in the design reduces the impact during any crash.
Besides being safe and comfortable, the helmet has a dial rear to tighten the helmet quickly. The straps have dividers to make them straight and misaligned. The head helmet has different colors that a rider can choose from.
Luxury Option: Giro Aether MIPS
- Sleek design
- Very Comfortable
- More expensive than other options
The helmet is one of the most advanced bike gear with significant innovations designs to make it safer and more comfortable. The features are enhanced to meet the racer's demands in aerodynamics, ventilation, and weight.
As the name suggests, the Aether incorporates MIPS technology with an enhanced plastic liner that smoothly rotates during a crash to reduce the rider's impact. The outside layers have been enhanced to give the helmet mechanical strength.
The Giro Aethers MIPS design features 11 large vents to allow unparalleled airflow into the helmet. The vents make the rider cool in hot conditions. The head helmet has dedicated slots that are meant to store sunglasses when not in use.
Most Aerodynamic: Bell Z20 MIPS Aero
- Aerodynamic design
- Great ventilation (especially for an aero helmet)
The approach to this helmet is to make it safe, comfortable while maintaining a sleek appearance. The bell Z20 is full of desirable features for reliable performance in keeping the rider safe and healthy.
The helmet uses Roc Loc technology to cradle perfectly on the head without causing any discomfort. The use of MIPS technology makes the helmet reduce rotational impacts during a crash.
The ventilation system in the Bell Z20 MIPS Aero enhances airflow to give the rider that cooling effect even at low speeds. The inner pad absorbs sweats away from the eyewear.
Types of Bike Helmets
Bike helmets keep you safe by reducing the impact of a rider's crash, but different occasions call for different head helmets. The most common types are,
Road Bike Helmets
They are the most used helmets in the world. They have large air vents to keep the rider cool on a hot day. An excellent example of the road bike helmet is the POC Ventral Air. The design mainly focuses on keeping the rider safe and comfortable.
Time Trial Helmet
The head helmet is elongated at the back to give the rider maximum aerodynamic gain. The pros riders mostly wear them during a time trial in the grand tours. The head helmets lack proper ventilation and can be uncomfortable to a non-cyclist.
These are mostly used for daily commute in the city, thus commonly referred to as city helmets. The design and ventilation system is basic since it is meant to handle moderate cycling. They are sleek in appearance and are available in different colors to suit the commuter's preference.
Mountain Bike Helmet
The head helmets are designed to protect the rider from all directions; thus, they are beefier on all sides. It has a front visor that helps protect bike riders from the sun as most of them prefer not to wear sunglasses. The ventilation system is enhanced to keep the rider cool and comfortable.
BMX / Downhill Helmet
The BMX helmets are meant to handle the fast and extreme downhill cycling. Unlike other types of cycling, the downhill is unpredictable, and a fall can happen at any time. The helmets have a similar design to the motorbike helmets but are lighter. They offer full head protection, including the face.
Kids helmets have basic features to keep the kid comfortable when bike riding. They come in small sizes to perfectly fit all kids, depending on their age. To make them more appealing, they can be customized into cartoon characters, superheroes, or any design that the kids enjoy.
Safety Standards for Bike Helmets
Some countries have laid up standards that bikes helmets should meet so that they can qualify to enter the market. Countries in the world, especially the united states, Europe, and Australia, dictates precisely how they want the helmets to be.
The helmets manufacturing company must comply with laid down guidelines that mostly depict the amount of impact and stress each head helmet should be able to handle to keep the riders safe.
A global standard helmet is rigorously tested to determine the amount of impact it can handle and how much impact it absorbs to cushion the cyclist. How well the head helmet stays attached to the head is also considered when carrying out the tests. Below are the different standards set in different countries.
Australia has the strictest bike helmets standards in the world. The manufacturers have to comply with the safety standard guideline or risk the compliance body disregarding the helmets. The government has also ensured that cyclists buy a helmet that is compliant with the safety act.
The safety body adequately examines the helmets to make sure they can offer maximum protection to the cyclist.
European Union and The United States
In both countries, the standards are almost similar and are used in many countries. The act depicts that the helmet covers the rider's head entirely and absorb much of the impact when a cyclist is involved in a crash.
The helmets undergo lab testing before being dispatched in the market. The compliant helmets are marked so that cyclists can counter check before making any purchases.
Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS)
Perhaps you are wondering why the head helmet with MIPS is slightly expensive than the standard helmet, but the simple answer is that the two are very different. The MIPS technology system protects your head from the impact caused by rotational forces when a crash happens.
The advanced helmet has two layers that rotate slightly during impact. The process helps to reduce the force significantly that could have resulted in brain injury or head concussion.
Helmets that incorporates the MIPS technology keep you safe during substantial impacts that can happen to a cyclist when intensively cycling. Despite such kinds of injuries not being common, it is advisable to have a helmet equipped with MIPS
Bike Helmet Sizing
Our heads are shaped differently, and so are the different helmets. Getting the correct fit will ensure you have an enjoyable experience when bike riding. The manufacturers offer a fitting guide; thus, it is essential to check a helmet properly before deciding to buy it.
Other features that make the helmet more comfortable are,
Padding system varies depending on the materials used to make the helmet. Some use proprietary pads while others use Coolmax paddings. The padding may be irritating to the skin, making you uncomfortable. That is why you should consider the materials before making the purchase.
A helmet structure will also determine how it fits the head and weather it cradle on your head, making you more secure. Brands have, however, designed helmets that can be adjusted to fit different sizes of heads. It is good to try a helmet, though.
When to Replace Your Road Bike Helmet
Most people ignore the fact that helmets need to be replaced now and then to ensure that they continue to serve you properly. Some incidences that can help you decide to change your helmet are:
After A Crash
The helmet absorbs most of the impact after you have crushed, and even though it may not show any signs of damage, it is crucial to replace the helmet. The crash may cause small injuries to the helmet that may compromise the functions of the helmet.
When The Helmet Gets Old
Each day, helmets advance the systems used to make it more comfortable and safer. If you have a helmet that is older than three years, you should consider replacing it with a new advanced model.
Some older helmets may not have the latest technology like the MIPS system that is designed to keep you safe. Always check to ensure that the helmet complies with the recommended safety act.
After Any Sign of Damage
You should inspect your helmet regularly to makes sure it has no signs of damage. Some warning signs that could mean your helmet is compromised include dents, torn inner lining, cracks, and any splits.
Replace the helmet when you notice such kind of warning signs.