12 Best Road Bike Helmets in 2017
Believe it or not, there was a time when bike helmets were considered pretty lame, and most folks wouldn’t bother to wear one. Thousands of head injuries helped turn the tide, and now anyone that wants to protect their brain knows to wear a bucket on the road.
Road is the key word for us as we won’t be looking at regular commuter helmets or even brain buckets built for the trails. Instead, we are turning our attention towards finding the best road bike helmet that can suit a wide variety of consumers and needs whether they are going for distance or just a quick ride at top speed. As there are hundreds of helmets to choose from, we will focus on a few key areas to help narrow the field.
All our road bike helmets are vented although some do take things to the extreme for increased aerodynamics and weight reduction. They are all light and geared for speed to help you save Watts, but some will certainly offer up a few more features than others.
Top 12 Road Bike Helmets Ultimate Table
|1. Bell Gage MIPS Helmet||266 grams||Yes||4.8|
|2. Giro Bishop Bike Helmet||Unavailable||No||4.7|
|3. Kask Mojito Helmet||250 grams||No||No|
|4. Giro Savant Road Bike Helmet||262 grams||No||4.6|
|5. Kask Rapido Road Cycling Helmet||220-260 grams||No||4.6|
|6. GoMax Aero Adult Safety Helmet Adjustable Road Cycling Mountain Bike Bicycle Helmet||Unavailable||No||4.6|
|7. Louis Garneau Quartz II Helmet||250 grams||No||4.6|
|8. Giro Foray Helmet||Unavailable||No||4.5|
|9. Giro Savant Mips Helmet||Unavailable||Yes||4.5|
|10. Kask Protone Helmet||230-250 grams||No||4.3|
|11. Bell Draft MIPS Bike Helmet||299 grams||Yes||4.0|
|12. Lazer O2 Helmet||267 grams||No||4.0|
Helmet Buying Tips
Everyone wants to be safe and look stylish, but sometimes there are other things to keep in mind when choosing the right road bike helmet to suit your needs.
Speed vs. Safety
Remember those vents we briefly mentioned? If you look at enough bike helmets, you will quickly notice some are more vented than others. The vents allow manufacturers to cut down on the weight and can keep your head cool during hot rides. They also reduce the amount of coverage and foam around your head in the case of a fall or accident.
Depending on the construction, it can make for a weaker helmet all-around when a denser foam is used. While vented helmets can be more aerodynamic and definitely keep your head cool, the number of vents really doesn’t matter after a certain point. For average consumers or riders, less is actually more in this case if you want extra protection around your brain. Other terms you should take note of when it comes to construction are MIT tech, in-molding, and polycarbonate – the main material in most road bike helmets.
How big is your melon? That is a tougher question than most folks might think, especially if you don’t normally wear hats. If you already know your head size, you are good to go using the manufacturers listed measurements and some common sense. Otherwise, you may want to get a flexible or cloth tape to measure around your head right above your eyebrows.
Thankfully, any of the best road bike helmet models are easy to adjust, and many offer up more than one way to do that. Most helmets will have a sizing wheel on the back which quickly allows you to adjust for a tight fit although some of the high-end models will let you adjust vertically. The chin strap is a given and adds another level of adjustment as well so you can get a tight and proper fit before hitting the road.
MIPS is short for multi-directional impact protection system. In a nutshell, this system is built to provide an additional measure of protection from rotational forces. There is a “low friction” layer that can actually rotate to a degree during a crash which can cut back on any harm done to your brain. That’s the simple way to put it, and if you are more concerned about safety than speed, it’s something to consider. Many of the top brands will have a MIPS model available alongside regular versions of their more popular helmets.
Let’s face it; helmets are made to protect your skull and not something we would normally associate with fun extras. There are some exceptions to that rule however and some very useful things you may want to look for when considering your next road bike helmet.
- Hair – If you are bald or have a sensitive scalp, you could have some issues depending on the lining of the helmet you choose. Heads get sweat, and a chapped dome is not going to make for a pleasant ride. While that is easily countered, long hair is not. Some helmets have a “hair port” however which will assist with your lovely locks.
- Visors – This one can come down to both style and preference as it is by no means something you have to have. As the name implies, a visor can knock the sun out of your eyes but is usually not something you see on road bike helmets due to weight and the view. As not all helmets have sunglasses holders, it is something to keep in mind. Some helmets have removable visors as well, which is the best way to go if you are unsure.
Top 5 Best Road Bike Helmet Reviews
On the outside, the Bell Gage MIPS Road Helmet looks like an ordinary helmet with a lot of vents. While it may have a little less coverage than some would like, it more than makes up for it by what’s inside. This helmet has the MIPS technology we talked about, which means you will get additional protection if things go wrong on the road.
In addition to the extra head protection, the Bell Gage has lightweight webbing with X-static padding to keep things comfortable and cool up top. Not that you’ll need it considering there are 26 vents on this helmet. Other features to note include their Twin Axis Gear (TAG) fit system and Cam-lock levers. The helmet is of average weight at 266 grams.
If you are interested in the Bell Gage MIPS helmet, it is available in three different sizes with Small, Medium and Large. There are also four colors to choose from with Tahoe Blue, Matte Black Ombre, Black & Red Cadence, and Retina Sear & Black Cadence.
This road helmet from Giro is geared for the pavement, but sturdy enough to be used if you do decide to go off-road. The Polycarbonate shell can help keep your head intact, and there’s a removable visor to help you deal with the sun. That said, if you are still on the road at sundown, you will be pleased to know there is a reflector on the back as well.
The Giro Bishop is a little sparse when it comes to extras, but does have an Acu-Dial system to help ensure a snug fit. You may be thankful for that as the 22 vent helmet is one size fits all – as long as your head is between 22.75” to 25.5”. It is available in six different colors however that alternate between Black, White, and Silver.
While our first two selections are rock solid, the Kask Mojito is best suited for pros or people that spend as much time on their bike as they do walking around. The helmet has 26 vents for maximum airflow, and it’s tough thanks to a reinforced in-mold composite build. It also gets a bonus point from us for being produced in Italy.
The Kask Mojito is sans a MIPS system, but still extremely safe and will fit snugly. It has a double-pivot fitting system for the back of your neck which lets you fine-tune your fit. Not a fan of germs? Not a problem as you will get an anti-allergic washable chinstrap made from ECO-Leather. In fact, the entire lining is treated with antimicrobial protection including the CoolMax pads.
Kask’s helmet is available in more sizes than most as you can choose between Small, Medium, Large, and X-Large. Like colors? There are over 40 of them to choose from including flag combinations from the USA and Italy.
Giro’s second helmet to make our list is the Savant Road helmet, which has been a fan favorite for years. It has the company’s Roc Loc 5 Fit System that features a thumb dial on the back for quick adjustments on the fly. It weighs in at around 240 – 262 grams depending on the size you choose which ranges from Small to X-Large in this case.
Size aside, the Savant has an EPS liner with an in-mold polycarbonate shell for durability and crash protection. The padding isn’t germ proof but can be removed from its Velcro backing and washed. There are 25 vents surrounding this Savant and nine different colors to choose from.
Kask is back in the number five spot with the Rapido Road Cycling helmet. It lives up to its name as the design cuts back on wind resistance when you are zipping down the blacktop. The weight ranges from 220 grams on the Small to 260 grams on the large but all sizes sport 24 large air vents around the shell.
That shell along with the rest of the helmet was made in Italy and consist of a mix of polycarbonate and polystyrene with a foam core. Needless to say, it will protect your noggin if you take a spill on the road thanks to the build quality and the MIT Tech. You will get the best of both worlds with this one as it is built for speed and safe.
This comfortable bike helmet is adjustable with the company’s Up N Down retention system. Like the rest of the best road bike helmets on our list, the Kask Rapido Road Helmet is also available in several different shades with standards like White, Black, Blue, and Red. If you want something a little more visible or wild, they have you covered with Lime and Fuchsia as well.