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The Best Road Bike Helmets | Review

best road bike helmets

Cycling is one of the healthiest sports. Especially when the sun rises and the temperatures go up, bike trips are one of the favorite pastimes. However, you should always keep your safety in mind and be appropriately equipped for the journeys. At the high speeds you can reach with a road bike, possible falls can have serious consequences. The head is one of the most important areas of the body that must be protected.

The bike helmets fulfill this task which differ in their design and their mostly aerodynamic shape. The design aims to create the lowest possible air resistance while riding. In the hobby area you will find helmets that are equipped with innovative ventilation to avoid excessive temperatures for the head.

In our road bike helmet comparison you get the opportunity to get to know a wide range of models, among which you will surely discover a suitable model for yourself. The following guide provides you with useful tips and helpful information that will help you choose a suitable helmet. Whether cheap models with a good price-performance ratio or high-quality racing helmets for professionals – we give you the most important purchase criteria.

Best Road Bike Helmets | Overview

1. ABUS Viantor Bicycle Helmet

With the Viantor model, Abus is launching a road bike helmet that offers a good ventilation system and makes it easier to get started in cycling. Due to the equipment and technologies used, it is a solid entry-level helmet, but you will find many proven technologies from professional sports. The Viantor has the ActiCage structural reinforcement integrated in the EPS to effectively protect your head in the event of a fall.

Even riders with long hair will not feel any loss of comfort – due to the ponytail compatibility, even longer hair fits wonderfully in this helmet. The multi-shell in-mold system also connects the multi-part outer shell with shock-absorbing helmet material – EPS – and gives the helmet a long service life.

The ActiCage system allows larger ventilation openings on the helmet, which according to the manufacturer ensure excellent air circulation. The four air inlets and 14 air outlets are connected by flow channels, which makes the system even more efficient. Thanks to the new and compact adjustment system with rotary knob, the helmet easily adapts to your head. The Abus model is also particularly light at just 240 grams. The helmet is available in three sizes – S, M and L.

2. Uvex Boss Race White-Black Helmet

With the Boss Race model, the sporting goods manufacturer Uvex is represented in our comparison with another road bike helmet. This model is suitable for use in both racing and MTB sports. You can easily adjust this particularly light and aerodynamic Uvex helmet thanks to the FAS webbing and also adjust the height using the IAS 3D + system. Thanks to a retrofittable xb300 cross visor, this helmet is very versatile and leaves nothing to be desired.

The Uvex Boss Race is a high-performance racing helmet that has been developed to the highest safety standards. The double-in-mold racing helmet convinces with a very good fit. Together with the height-adjustable IAS 3D size adjustment system, the helmet offers you a perfect fit in all situations. To ensure that your riding comfort is not impaired on hot days, the manufacturer has equipped the helmet with 19 ventilation channels, which should ensure cool conditions.

The main features of the Uvex racing helmet in details:

  • Extra protection of the lower helmet area with a second PC shell
  • One-handed opening of the helmet is possible thanks to the comfort lock Uvex-Monomatic
  • Special Uvex system including height adjustment for optimal head adjustment
  • IAS wheel with reflective sticker
  • Fast-Adapting-System at the webbing for a continuous adjustment

3. Giro Foray MIPS Road Cycling Helmet

The Foray MIPS road bike helmet by Giro is kept in a simple design and yet remains stylish. It is an entry-level helmet for racing cyclists, but it is equipped with many features that you will find in professional helmets. The helmet shell is slim and has 21 ventilation openings for good cooling.

As for the customization of the Giro road bike helmet, you get it in three shell sizes, which are combined with the Roc-Loc-5 adjustment system. This adjustment system is located in a mini housing, the size adjustment is easy and in micro grids with just two fingers. The height of the system can also be adjusted to ensure that the helmet fits perfectly.

The Giro racing helmet has MIPS technology, which gives you an additional safety advantage. This will protect your brain from an oblique impact. The helmet shell is made from a four-part, interlocking polycarbonate hardbody shell and is lined with a cool-fit antibacterial inner padding. On the one hand, this increases your own protection and, on the other hand, eliminates unpleasant smells from drying sweat.

Like the other racing helmets in our comparison, the Giro model also has an In-Mold construction. The robust polycarbonate outer shell is glued to the impact-absorbing EPS inner shell while it is foaming. This creates a particularly robust construction – and without additional weight. Thanks to this process, the ventilation systems and ventilation openings can be shaped much better.

4. Giro Savant Road Bike Helmet

The Giro Savant model offers you the authentic race-oriented design and performance that is known from the professional sector. This road bike helmet is beautifully slim and convinces with an impressive ventilation system, which is achieved here thanks to 25 ventilation openings. The buckle is secure and the webbing is equipped with the Roc-Loc 5 system. Overall, it is a lightweight helmet that protects your head almost unnoticed due to its low weight of only 240 grams.

This trendy giro helmet is made of lightweight EPS (expanded polystyrene) and consists of a polycarbonate shell on the inside. These two components are connected with in-mold technology. This makes the helmet extremely light and stable at the same time. This technology also enables larger ventilation openings without losing the stability of the helmet. Optimal cooling during high exertion and warm weather is not only welcome among professional cyclists.

The helmet owes its adaptability to the ergonomic super-fit and the Roc-Loc-5 system mentioned. This enables you to adjust the size in no time at all. The Roc-Loc system also allows the inclination of the helmet to be adjusted so that it does not bother you when wearing cycling glasses.

The most important product features in the overview:

  • Streamlined design
  • Effective ventilation
  • In-mold construction
  • Roc-Loc-5 fitting system
  • MIPS technology for more security and protection
  • Coolmax padding on the inside for better cooling
  • Low weight
  • Ergonomic super-fit

FAQ - Road Bike Helmets

Why do I need a bike helmet?

Cycling in general is a welcome balance to everyday life, which also benefits the environment. However, when cycling, you shouldn’t neglect your safety. In addition to a good technical condition of the bike, you should always think about your own protection – especially in the head area. The bike helmet is indispensable in traffic and protects your head from injuries in the event of a fall.

Because in the event of an accident or even a simple fall from the bike, great forces act on your head. Without any protection, you sometimes risk serious injuries that can be fatal in the worst case. The main job of the helmet is to prevent or mitigate injuries. As a recreational cyclist, you are also well advised to protect your head with a helmet during your outings.

How does a road bike helmet work?

The construction of a road bike helmet consists of several parts that have different tasks. The main part of a helmet is the shell, which is supposed to protect your head from injuries. Most helmets have a shell made of solid polycarbonate. This should take on most of the forces that arise during the impact. The inner part of the helmet, which is made of EPS foam, is firmly connected to the shell. This is the second buffer zone that is responsible for protecting your skull.

The inside of the bike helmet is adapted to the anatomical shape of an average skull. Most helmets have a head ring so that it can be adjusted to your head shape more precisely, which you adjust according to the head circumference. The setting options affect both the circumference and the height of the skull. In the rear part of the helmet there is a special rotary wheel with which you can quickly and easily adjust and fine-tune it.

The road bike helmet is intended to protect your head on the one hand, but on the other hand it should not reduce the fun of driving. Especially on hot sunny days, temperatures can be uncomfortable if you wear a helmet on your head. For this, the manufacturers use sophisticated ventilation systems in the helmets. Special ventilation openings are integrated in the front as well as in the rear helmet area, which ensure a pleasant coolness while driving. Furthermore, more and more manufacturers are relying on the MIPS system, which increases security even more.

So that the bike helmet sits firmly on your head, there is a safety fastener at the bottom of the chin area – either as a simple plug-in fastener or one that requires the fastener to be hooked on. Most high-quality racing are designed with special pads on the inside, which are designed to cool the head and absorb sweat. So they serve as insulation against temperatures and cold and ensure a high level of comfort. The task of the helmet is to protect your head from damage and injuries and to ensure the necessary comfort when cycling.

What does MIPS mean?

MIPS is a safety system for all types of helmets, which was developed by five Swedish scientists from the KTH (Royal Technical University) in Stockholm. The abbreviation MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. It is a system that protects the driver from impacts with different directions of movement and force. The classic road bike helmets primarily absorb the static – i.e. the straight strikes. Such blows occur at a right angle – there are no rotational forces. However, the static shocks from cycling accidents are unrealistic. In the event of an accident, the driver’s head usually hits the ground at an oblique angle. That is why the MIPS system is so valuable for your security. Road bike helmets with MIPS technology absorb both static and rotational forces.

What types of racing helmets are there?

Depending on the gender, age and area of use, there are different types of road bike helmets on the market, which differ in size, construction, equipment and price. Below we show you the different racing helmet versions and give you the most important advantages and disadvantages of the individual helmet types:

Road bike helmet with visor

Such racing helmets are especially preferred by professional cyclists and ambitious amateurs. These helmets have wind and sun protection, which is either permanently attached or removable. The visor protects your eyes from unpleasant injuries and from excessive UV radiation that could damage your eyesight. The visor is usually slightly tinted, which makes the use of sunglasses unnecessary.

Road bike helmet with light

For even more safety when driving, some manufacturers offer road bike helmets with light. The light sources are usually located on the front and back of the helmet and guarantee better visibility in traffic. The road bikes often have no fixed lighting, so this option is particularly useful if you are out riding in the evening. The LEDs used are particularly sustainable, extremely economical and are available in different luminosities.

Road bike helmet for Men

In the road bike helmet for men section, you will certainly be offered a wider range of sizes than for the women’s and children’s models. Most men’s models have a very sporty and sleek design. The colors gray, black and blue dominate.

Road bike helmet for Women

The road bike helmets for women look very similar to the men’s models. The helmets for men and women are also similar in the various equipment variants and design solutions. The biggest differences are in the size selection. Most women’s models are available in smaller sizes than the men’s versions. In addition, you will find color variations in pink, yellow and red here more often than with men’s helmets.

Road bike helmet for children

Even in childhood, many kids dream of speedy rides with a sleek road bike. The manufacturers have recognized this and also offer special helmets in this area that are adapted to the small heads of children. These helmets have a pointed shape, which makes them different from many other bicycle helmets for children. Also keep in mind that children’s cycling helmets are mandatory. However, children do not like the helmets and usually resist them. You should clarify the importance of a helmet in advance with the youngsters and inspire them to wear a bike helmet.

First, try to be a role model. As a rule, the children tend to subconsciously copy the adults. Start as early as possible. When your child gets on a bike for the first time, they should already be wearing a helmet. In addition, you can encourage the little ones to wear a helmet if you allow them to choose the children’s helmet themselves.

Which bike helmet is best for me?

Choosing a suitable helmet is a highly individual matter. The human head has many personal characteristics, so you can hardly find two identical skull shapes. The helmet, however, must above all fit well and comfortably. So how is it to be worn? You wear a road bike helmet similar to any ordinary bike helmet. It should primarily be positioned exactly horizontally on your head.

After putting on the helmet, adjust the head ring to adjust the circumference. The correct seat should prevent the helmet from slipping on the neck or forehead. Then adjust the chin strap so that there is a maximum of 1.5 centimeters of space between the chin and the strap. The racing helmets are adjustable in size, so you should measure your head circumference with a tape measure before buying. Remember that the chin closure does not have to sit directly under the chin, but is tilted slightly to the side.

How long can a road bike helmet be used?

Good helmets come at a price. Given the often rather high price, the lifespan of a helmet is of interest. Road bike helmets do not have an “expiry date”, but with certain signs they belong in the trash. If a helmet shows cracks or other damage, you should replace it. With older helmets, check them regularly for their condition and functionality.

According to the advice of most manufacturers, you should replace a racing helmet after 3 to a maximum of 5 years of use.

What should you watch out for when buying a road bike helmet?

You should take some time to buy a helmet and choose it with care. A helmet decides on your safety on the bike and must therefore be optimally adapted to your needs and your head size. We will show you what is important in the purchase in a detailed compilation on these points:

  • Height and Weight
  • Form
  • Locking Mechanism
  • Padding
  • Safety & Certification
  • Material
  • Ventilation
  • Flexibility & Equipment
  • Aerodynamics
  • Price

Height & Weight

One of the main criteria when choosing a helmet is its size. The helmet must neither be too tight nor too wide, because otherwise it will not guarantee the necessary safety and will not fully perform its tasks. For this reason, it is absolutely necessary to measure your own head circumference with a measuring tape before buying. If you get a result in the measurement that fluctuates between two numbers, then choose a larger helmet. You can adjust a larger helmet afterwards and adjust it more precisely, but if it is too small, you can no longer adjust it. Use the straps and the rotary knob on the back of the head for adjustment. After the measurement, compare the result with the following data:

  • S / M helmet size = 53 to 58 centimeters head circumference
  • L / XL helmet size = 59 to 63 centimeters head circumference

Depending on the manufacturer, these sizes can vary. Therefore, you should always compare the measured head circumference with the specified size of the manufacturer.

In terms of weight, the models should ideally not weigh more than 300 grams. But it should not be too light either. The safety factor suffers when it comes to lightweights: the heavier the helmet, the more secure it should generally be. Here it is important to find a compromise between comfort and safe cycling.

Form

Before you complete the purchase, you should always test and check the helmet carefully. Therefore, put the helmet on first and check whether it fits well. Test the straps and the adjusting wheel. The chin strap is particularly important. If it does not fit well, the helmet slips in the event of a fall and protection is no longer provided. Therefore, make sure that the chin strap is always in the middle of the chin and that there is about a finger’s width between it and the chin. After putting on the helmet, shake your head and check that it doesn’t move on your head.

As far as the fit is concerned, the following should be noted:

  • There should be no pressure points in the cheek, chin and forehead area and the head should not feel like it is being crushed.
  • The helmet must not turn away to the side.
  • If you wear glasses, take that into account when buying. There are special bicycle glasses that do not interfere with wearing a helmet.

Locking Mechanism

The locking mechanism holds the helmet securely on your head. In addition, a good locking system should be easy to open and close. Most manufacturers therefore use a click lock. This solution is simple and practical. The metal closures are a little heavier, but also more robust and safer. Metal is also hygienic and easier to clean. A good system should be opened and closed with one hand. In particular, it should not be difficult for children. The chinstrap must be adjustable to be able to securely close the helmet.

Padding

The inner life of a road bike helmet with good padding also plays an important role when choosing the helmet and offers you various advantages. If a helmet is well padded, there are hardly any pressure points on the head. The padding should therefore be pleasantly soft and cuddly so that you don’t even feel the hard inner shell of the helmet. In addition, the padding should be absorbent.

Sweating is part of cycling, especially in competitive cycling. The sweat could easily run into your eyes and impair your vision. Good padding catches the sweat and carries it out. To ensure the necessary hygiene, it is good if the padding is attached to the bike helmet with Velcro. If necessary, you can then remove, clean or replace them.

Safety & Certification

For your own safety, buy a helmet that has various test marks. This primarily affects the very affordable models. The legal safety standards should be adhered to in any case. Do not buy a helmet that does not have the a certification because it does not meet the basic safety requirements. 

The higher quality models often have additional features and equipment that guarantee more safety. These include reflectors that make the rider more visible at night. The children’s helmets are often equipped with flashing, red-lit LEDs, which provide greater safety from other road users at dusk.

When to replace the helmet?

For safety reasons, a bike helmet should be disposed of after a fall under all circumstances. If the helmet is older than 5 years, it can no longer perform its tasks because the material gets tired over time – please replace it with a new bike helmet.

Material

Technology is making tremendous progress and manufacturers are relying on different, new recipes for success. The new high-tech road bike helmets are made of carbon as the material is high quality, light, stable and particularly robust. However, most shells are made of plastic or polycarbonate. The material EPS is foamed into the outer shell. These two parts should not only be glued together, but firmly connected at all points.

Ventilation

A good bike helmet must offer you good wearing comfort in addition to the properties already mentioned. This also includes adequate ventilation. For this purpose, the outer shell of most models is completely perforated and equipped with ventilation ducts. These must not be covered by upholstery or other components. A good helmet should form small air channels inside so that the air at the front of the helmet penetrates while driving and goes out at the back of the head. This ensures cooling of your head – even over longer distances or at high temperatures.

The special insect nets that are located in the front area of most helmets are also important. At high speeds on the bike, foreign bodies or insects can easily penetrate the helmet, which could even cause you to fall in the event of enormous visual impairment or an insect bite.

Flexibility & Equipment

With many models, you have the option of individually expand the helmet. If you want to get a little more out of your helmet, you can, for example, attach a suitable lamp or visor. To increase safety, you can also attach suitable reflectors to the helmet.

Aerodynamics

With road bike helmets, good aerodynamics should be guaranteed to support you on your tours. The aerodynamic shape of the helmet effectively reduces air resistance and thus makes the work of the athlete easier, which has a positive effect on the speed afterwards. The racing helmets for professional athletes have no or hardly any air openings due to the better aerodynamics. Most helmets with good aerodynamics come together easily at the back of the head. The front section, on the other hand, is quite rounded and hugs the forehead. Some manufacturers use a small notch as a tear-off edge on the back of the head to minimize air turbulence. 

Price

The last criterion when buying a racing helmet is the price. You can find road bike helmets on the market for both amateurs and professionals and in various price ranges. The decisive factor in the price is what you expect from a helmet and what features you want or need. When buying, it is also advisable to pay attention to a price comparison between different providers.

Which are the main road bike helmet manufacturers?

To make it easier for you to choose the right racing helmet, we briefly introduce the four leading manufacturers of racing helmets:

Uvex Bike Helmets

The Uvex helmets can be used just as well on road bikes as on mountain bikes. A particular advantage of the Uvex products are the two shell sizes with the practical Uvex IAS size adjustment system. The helmet adapts to every head shape. The Uvex helmets are also prepared with the Uvex triangle LED for attaching an LED lamp. Many models have an attached visor that can be removed if desired

Abus Bike Helmets

The company offers its road bike helmets in many bright colors. Security is a top priority at Abus. The ABS hard shell technology used in the Abus products protects your head from injuries even in the event of a serious fall. The racing helmets from Abus have a good ventilation system and thanks to the Zoom Evo Easy adjustment system they can be optimally adjusted to your head.

Giro Bike Helmets

What distinguishes the models from Giro is the Roc-Loc system. This allows you to adjust the size of the helmet within a few seconds. The in-mold polycarbonate shell withstands even heavy falls. The racing helmets from Giro are equipped with a soft and absorbent padding for a comfortable fit.

Bell Bike Helmets

The company offers all kinds of bicycle helmets for women, men and children. Bell also relies on in-mold technology, which makes the helmets safe, stable and robust. The Bell helmets also have the Float-Fit adjustment system, which allows you to quickly and precisely adjust the helmet to your own head shape.

How to put on a racing helmet correctly

When putting on the helmet, there are a few things that should be taken into account so that it does its job properly. We explain you how to put on your helmet correctly to ensure maximum protection:

  1. Before putting on the helmet, take a quick look at it. Check the helmet for visible damage, because fine hairline cracks can spread and destroy the helmet in the event of an impact. If there is any damage, you should no longer use the helmet.
  2. Now you can put the helmet on so that your temple, forehead and back of the head are covered. If it doesn’t work, the racing helmet is too small. If, on the other hand, it slips too deep into the face, it is set too large. Most road bike helmets have a head ring in the rear area, which has an adjustment wheel. Now adjust the helmet to the size of your head with the adjustment wheel. The racing helmet should cover the head, but should not create an uncomfortable feeling of pressure. However, the ring must not be set too easily. If the  helmet sits securely on the head without a fastener, then the adjustments are successfully done. However, if it can be easily moved back and forth on the head, readjustment is necessary.
  3. Now put on the belt triangle. There is a strap at the front and back that forms a triangle under the ear. The belt strips should be below the ear when put on. Most of the time this means that the front belt is shorter and the rear belt is longer. The straps are too loose if the helmet can be pulled back until the forehead is exposed. In such a case, you should tighten the front belt and / or chin strap more tightly. However, if the helmet falls forward and blocks your view, the rear belt is too loose and must be tightened.
  4. Now close the strap. It should sit close to the chin, but not restrict it. There should be a finger’s width between the chin strap and chin. If you can move the belt up and down several centimeters, then it is too loose and needs to be readjusted. After adjustment, fix the loose ends of the belt.
  5. As the final check, see whether there is a two-fingers wide space between the root of the nose and the beginning of the helmet. If not, readjustment is necessary. Also check whether the head ring is tightened. The helmet should now cover the temples, back of the head and forehead, but not slide over the eyes and block the field of vision. The front and rear webbing should form a triangle around the ear. All straps are close to the head. Once you have carried out the final check, you can start your tour.

What do you wear under a bike helmet?

You do not have to wear anything under the helmet because it fits well and therefore provides the necessary safety. In autumn or winter, the situation looks a little different: the ventilation can quickly cool down. A flat and thin flannel hat does the trick, but in this case the helmet needs readjustment.

What color should a bike helmet be?

The color of the racing helmet is always a matter of taste. However, bright and bright colors are better recognized by others in the dark, which increases your safety.

How do you dispose a bike helmet?

Since a bicycle helmet consists largely of polystyrene and polycarbonate, it belongs in the residual waste bin. There is also the option of disposing of the helmet with bulky waste. Dispose your helmet after a fall, then hang a sign with the relevant information on the helmet. Otherwise it could happen that someone takes it with you, even though security is no longer guaranteed.

Which bike helmet is suitable for children?

In any case, children should wear special children’s bike helmets that are significantly smaller and therefore ideally suited to the head circumference of children. This gives you the certainty that the helmet does not slip and optimally protects the child

Summary - Road Bike Helmet Review

Ranking
Product
Shopping
1.
ABUS Viantor Bicycle Helmet
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2.
Uvex Boss Race White-Black Helmet
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3.
Giro Foray MIPS Road Cycling Helmet
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4.
Giro Savant Road Bike Helmet
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