The 14 Best Road Bike Helmets for All Types of Roadies [2023]

Best Road Bike Helmets: Peloton of pro riders

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These are the best road bike helmets worth your attention. I spent a whole day reading reviews and experiences of riders worldwide to save your time.

I’ve been doing road cycling for more than five years already, and I’ve tried various helmets over this period. In this article, I want to share with you everything that I learned about helmets.

When choosing these helmets, I evaluated their price, weight, ventilation, design, popularity, aerodynamics, and other features. Naturally, all helmets on this list meet the required safety standards.

I included helmets from the budget ones to the premium ones, so I am sure you will pick the one you like regardless of your budget.

Below, you will also learn how to choose a road bike helmet, more about safety (MIPS, SPIN, etc.), and what helmets pro-road cyclists wear.

Let’s dive in!

What Are the Best Road Bike Helmets?

The best road bike helmets are those that meet safety standards required by law, are lightweight, well-ventilated, aerodynamic, and fit your head shape. All helmets in this article meet the safety criteria, and they mainly differ in the other features.

Naturally, everybody has a different taste in shape, color, or brand. Therefore, your main decision factor can be how the design.

Black Giro Isode road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Giro Isode

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Blue Kask Protone road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Kask Protone

Also available at

Read More

White S-Works Evade 3 aero road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
S-Works Evade 3

Also available at and

Read More

Skip to the comparison table…

I sorted the helmets into the following categories, so you can browse them easily if you are limited by a certain budget.

$$$ – premium helmets (price above $150)
$$ – mid-range helmets (price around $100)
$ – budget helmets (up to $50)

The Best Premium Road Bike Helmets

The price of the following premium helmets varies between $150 to $300. They will satisfy even the most demanding road cyclists. If you want the best and have money to spend, this is a category for you.

Kask Protone (Best Road Bike Helmet Overall)

Blue Kask Protone road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Kask Protone | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.47 lb (215 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a (learn more)
  • A large variety of colors available
  • Well ventilated
  • Very comfortable
  • Semi-Aero design

Sizes Available

  • S 19.69-22.05 inches (50-56 cm)
  • M 20.47-22.83 inches (52-58 cm)
  • L 23.23-24.41 inches (59-62 cm)

Italian brand Kask is known for producing high-quality helmets. They sponsor Team INEOS Grenadiers (former Team Sky), one of the most successful WT teams in terms of Grand Tours wins.

Kask Protone
Me wearing Kask Protone

The development of Kask helmets often takes place in cooperation with this team. Protone is light and well-ventilated. In fact, it is one of the best road bike helmets for hot weather.

Protone is also aero optimized. Did you know that this helmet was tested in Jaguar’s wind tunnel?

Thanks to 3D Dry padding, it is also extremely comfortable thanks to its fully adjustable retention system.

NOTE: Kask introduced Protone Icon in 2022. It has reimagined shapes and a few fit improvements.

Kask Protone is available in more than 15 colors and color combinations. You can read my in-depth Kask Protone helmet review for more info.

Also available at

S-Works Evade 3 (Best Aero Road Bike Helmet)

White S-Works Evade 3 aero road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
S-Works Evade 3 | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight
    • S – 0.64 lb (290 g)
    • M – 0.68 lb (310 g)
    • L – 0.77 lb (350 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS
  • ANGi sensor
  • Well ventilated
  • Magnetic buckle for effortless fastening
  • Available in multiple colors

Available Sizes

  • S 20.1-22.1 inches (51-56 cm)
  • M 21.8-23.3 inches (55-59 cm)
  • L 23.3-24.8 inches (59-63 cm)

Specialized designed their Evade aero helmet with 3 features in mind – low weight, good ventilation, and superb aerodynamics.

They claim Evade II can save 50 seconds on 40 km over a traditional road bike helmet and 6 seconds more than the previous generation of S-Works Evade.

Surprisingly, Specialized doesn’t claim any further aero benefits for Evade 3. The biggest difference between Evade II and Evade 3 is better cooling.

The Evade III should provide 10% better cooling while maintaining the same aero gains.

Unfortunately, further details about this testing are not available, so I can’t double-check this claim. However, you probably won’t notice the difference if you are a hobby cyclist.

But, riders who like to compete in crits, fast races, or sprinters where inches can decide whether you win may take advantage of its aero performance.

Evade helmets also come with an ANGi sensor that you connect to Specialized Ride iOS or Android app. Once it detects a crash, your smartphone automatically sends a message to your loved ones – safety first! You can also pair it with the Strava app to track your activities via GPS.

Another cool feature of this helmet is the magnetic buckle making the fastening super easy with one hand.

There is no doubt about Evade II’s popularity. Will Evade 3 also be so popular? Time will tell.

The following World Tour pro cycling teams have been using this helmet in the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

  • Bora–Hansgrohe
  • Deceuninck – Quick-Step

Giro Aether Spherical

Burgundy Giro Aether road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Giro Aether | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.58 lb (263 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • A large variety of colors available
  • Well ventilated
  • Comfortable

Sizes Available

  • S 20-21.75 inches (51-55 cm)
  • M 21.75-23.25 inches (55-59 cm)
  • L 23.25-24.75 inches (59-63 cm)

Aether Spherical is alongside Synthe, Giro’s most advanced road bike helmet. Their MIPS spherical technology is integrated between the layers of EPS foam. This means that comfort and ventilation are not reduced.

The spherical technology redirects impact forces and thus providing you with a high level of protection. Yet, the helmet is still pretty lightweight, 0.58 lb (263 g).

The ventilation is also very good thanks to 21 large air vents. So you don’t have to worry about overheating in the summer. Air vents also allow you to put glasses in your helmet, for example, when riding a climb.

Overall, its design is unique and very nicely done. The following world tour teams used (or are still using) this helmet:

2020 season

  • NTT Pro Cycling
  • Israel Start-Up Nation
  • Team Total Direct Energie
  • Groupama-FDJ

2021 season

  • Groupama-FDJ
  • Team BikeExchange

This proves it is one of the best road bike helmets for racing.

Also available at and

Interested in marginal gains? Check out the best aero road bike helmets.

Bell Z20

Colorful Bell Z20 MIPS road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Bell Z20 | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.65 lb (296 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • A large variety of colors available
  • Well ventilated
  • Comfortable

Sizes Available

  • S 19.69-22.05 inches (50-56 cm)
  • M 20.47-22.83 inches (52-58 cm)
  • L 22.83-24.41 inches (58-62 cm)

Z20 is a sleek, modern-looking helmet that comes in original color finishes. Some of them are even reflective so that you will be visible at night. The helmet is also equipped with the MIPS system to provide maximum protection.

Thanks to its design and 18 large air vents, it is one of the best road bike helmets for hot weather.

The Z20 implements a so-called sweat guide that pulls moisture away from the brow pad and your eyewear. Yet, some owners report this feature is not very useful.

Bell Z20 road bike helmet is used by one of the best US Pro Continental cycling teams Rally UHC Cycling Team.

POC Omne Air Spin

White/orange POC Omne Air SPIN road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
POC Omne Air SPIN | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.67 lb (305 g)
  • Extra safety feature: SPIN (learn more)
  • Very comfortable
  • Well ventilated

Sizes Available

  • S 19.69-22.05 inches (50-56 cm)
  • M 21.26-23.23 inches (54-59 cm)
  • L 22.07-24.02 inches (56-61 cm)

POC helmets are typical for their original design. There are 2 groups of people. The first group loves it, and the second hates it. I fell into the second group, but that doesn’t change the fact that this is a first-class helmet suitable for the most demanding road cyclists.

I included the Omne Air model in the selection, although the highest-end POC model is the Ventral Air Spin. Omne Air is much cheaper, but it keeps the best of Ventral Spin.

Did you know that POC road bike helmets don’t have MIPS? POC uses its own SPIN technology. This system is more integrated compared to MIPS.

The helmet is very comfortable, thanks to the patent-pending silicone gel-like membrane inside. And the large air vents provide sufficient airflow to cool you even during the hot summer months.

This helmet’s disadvantage is the higher weight compared to previous helmets and a smaller choice of colors. EF Pro Cycling uses POC helmets (they use the Ventral Spin & Ventral Air Spin models).

Omne Air Spin S size is one of the best road bike helmets for small heads.

Also available at

Abus Gamechanger

Steel blue Abus Gamechanger aero road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Abus Gamechanger (Steel blue) | Product pictures source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.6 lb (270 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a (learn more)
  • Aero design
  • Very comfortable
  • A large variety of colors available

Sizes Available

  • S 20-21.6 inches (51-55 cm)
  • M 20.5-22.8 inches (52-58 cm)
  • L 22.8-24.5 inches (58-62 cm)

The Abus GameChanger aero helmet is ideal for highly demanding riders who count every second. It can create the difference between victory and loss. This makes it one of the best road bike helmets for racing.

What this helmet sets aside is a large variety of color options so you can easily match them with your kit. I am a huge fan of the “steel blue.” If you own a pair of Shimano S-Phyre RC9 cycling shoes, they will match perfectly together.

If you ask where you can put your sunglasses, you can take advantage of the air vents at the back of the helmet. Yes, it takes some practice to find the right spot, but they will hold securely.

When we compare the weight of this model, it is even lighter than the S-Works Evade, which is a big plus.

The main downside of this helmet is the ventilation. It is ventilated pretty well if you ride fast, but if you climb or ride slowly when it is hot outside (86°F+ / 30°C+) outside, your head will overheat.

Anyway, this does not change the fact that the Movistar Team world tour team is an official partner of Abus helmets, and their riders have worn them since the 2017 season.

The Best Mid-Range Road Bike Helmets

This category consists of helmets that cost around $100. These helmets are perfect if you are an experienced road cyclist, but you don’t need the latest and greatest. A helmet from this category will satisfy the needs of the majority of riders.

Giro Agilis

Fluorescent green Giro Agilis road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Giro Agilis | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.66 lb (300 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Good ventilation

Sizes Available

  • S 20-21.75 inches (51-55 cm)
  • M 21.75-23.25 inches (55-59 cm)
  • L 23.25-24.75 inches (59-63 cm)

Giro is one of the most popular manufacturers of bicycle helmets. So it is no coincidence I have included several of their models in this overview.

Agilis is a very affordable helmet. It is a cheaper variant of the Giro Aether Spherical helmet recommended above. Agilis differs mainly in its design.

It is available in different colors, and its construction is also slightly modified. Compared to 21 air vents (Aether Spherical), it has 32. Although they are smaller, the helmet provides good ventilation that you will especially appreciate in summer.

Also available at and

Bell Formula

Grey Bell Formula MIPS road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Bell Formula MIPS | Product pictures source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.63 lb (285 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Good price/value ratio
  • Comfortable

Sizes Available

  • S 20.47- 22.05 inches (52-56 cm)
  • M 21.65-23.23 inches (55-59 cm)
  • L 22.83-24.41 inches (58-62 cm)

The Bell Formula road bike helmet provides a very good price/value ratio. Bell is known as one of the leaders in the helmet market. Their typical design is recognizable on this helmet too.

The Formula is pretty light, considering it has MIPS, yet it does not cost a fortune. Thanks to 19 air vents, it is well-ventilated, so your head won’t sweat as much.

You can take advantage of the air vents if you need to put your glasses there. Comfort is also provided thanks to the inner padding.

The only downside is that the sweat guide that should pull moisture away from the eyewear does not work very well.

Choose from 10+ colors, including black, grey, white, and other color combinations.

Also available at and

Bontrager Specter WaveCel

Green Bontrager Specter WaveCel road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Bontrager Specter WaveCel | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.75 lb (341 g) [M]
  • Extra safety feature: WaveCel (learn more)
  • Fidlock buckle
  • Crash replacement guarantee (1 year within the first year of ownership)

Sizes Available

  • S 20-22.44 inches (51-57 cm)
  • M 21.26-23.63 inches (54-60 cm)
  • L 22.83-24.8 inches (58-63 cm)

The Bontrager Specter WaveCel helmet is a helmet made with unique 3D printing technology. According to Bontrager, this technology is 5 times more effective when protecting your head from injuries than standard foam technology. Virginia Tech rated the helmet with 5*.

Thanks to the BOA rear dial, you can easily adjust the fit, and the Fidlock magnetic buckle makes fastening the helmet quick, secure, and hassle-free.

The large air vents ensure good ventilation even during hot summer days.

The reflective elements on the back will increase your visibility at night to further increase your safety in low-light conditions.

Bontrager also offers a crash replacement guarantee. You get a free replacement if you involve in a crash within the first year of ownership. I hope you won’t have to use it and you stay safe.

Specter is available in multiple colors suitable for men and women.

Giro Syntax

Grey Giro Syntax road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Giro Syntax | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.68 lb (308 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Good ventilation

Sizes Available

  • S 20-21.75 inches (51-55 cm)
  • M 21.75-23.25 inches (55-59 cm)
  • L 23.25-24.75 inches (59-63 cm)
  • XL 24-25.55 inches (61-65 cm)

The Giro Syntax is a compromise between the Giro Aether and Giro Agilis helmets. These 3 helmets are very similar to each other. The main differences are weight, different colors, and a slightly different dial fit.

Of course, Syntax is equipped with MIPS, which increases the protection of your head. Feel free to read more about it in the extra safety features.

Unlike Aether and Agilis, Syntax is also available in XL size. This means that it is a perfect choice for riders with large heads.

Also available at and

The Best Budget Road Bike Helmets

The price of the following helmets is around $50. These helmets are perfect for beginner road cyclists or casual riders.

You can also check out my separate article on the best road bike helmets for under $100.

Giro Isode (Best Budget Road Bike Helmet)

Black Giro Isode road bike helmet shot from profile, front, and the rear side
Giro Isode | Product picture source:

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.57 lb (260 g)
  • Extra safety feature: MIPS (learn more)
  • Excellent price/value ratio

Sizes Available

  • S 20-21.75 inches (51-55 cm)
  • M 21.75-23.25 inches (55-59 cm)
  • L 23.25-24.75 inches (59-63 cm)

If you are looking for a cheap helmet that is equipped with MIPS, this one is for you. Giro is known for using MIPS, and this helmet is no exception.

Furthermore, Isode has good ventilation and quick-drying padding that provides you with enough comfort. Speaking of comfort, the helmet is very lightweight, considering the fact it has MIPS.

The main downside is that the side straps are not adjustable. You may adjust the chin strap and the rear dial only.

This helmet is perfect for beginners that insist on having a helmet with MIPS but have a very limited budget.

Also available at

Base Camp Road Bike Helmet

White Base Camp road bike helmet with included sleeve, lens, and LED

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.68 lb (310 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a (learn more)
  • Detachable goggle with UV400 filter
  • LED light with 3 modes

Sizes Available

  • 22.4-24.4 inches (57-62 cm) which roughly corresponds to a normal size L

The Base Camp bike helmet caught my eye, especially thanks to its detachable goggle. It almost looks like a pro aero bike helmet, but it falls into the best budget category thanks to its low price.

Thanks to the goggle, you don’t have to wear cycling sunglasses because it will protect your eyes. And, if you will ride slowly, you can flip the goggles up and enjoy the view.

This helmet also features a LED light with 3 modes that will increase your visibility at night. This is great if you commute to work in the early morning or return from a trip late when the sun goes down.

It offers a lot for its price. And thanks to the large variety of available colors, it will be easy for you to match it with your kit. It’s one of the best road bike helmets for beginners.

Kingbike Road Bike Helmet

Fluorescent Kingbike road bike helmet with included sleeve and two sun visors

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.49 lb (220 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a (learn more)
  • Included taillight, helmet bag, and visor
  • Good price/value ratio

Sizes Available

  • M/L 22.05-23.62 inches (56-60 cm)
  • L/XL 23.23-24.8 inches (59-63 cm)

The Kingbike helmet is a helmet like no other in this selection. The package includes tail light, a helmet bag, and a visor. The tail light is useful in the evening to increase your visibility and, thus, your safety. It can light in 3 modes (always on, slow flash, fast flash).

The helmet bag is useful for transportation. Put the helmet inside to protect it against scratches. You probably won’t need a visor if you ride a road bike. On the other hand, in a while, you can turn this helmet into a mountain helmet.

What surprised me was the weight of this helmet. It weighs 0.49 lb (220 g) only. It is very light so that you won’t experience neck pain.

The main downside of this helmet is its lower build quality. The helmet passed the CPSC certification, but the materials used are cheaper than the other helmets in this selection.

You can choose from 15 colors, including black, red, pink, green, grey, red/black, green-black, and many more.

NHH Road Bike Helmet

White NHH road bike helmet

Main Features

  • Weight: 0.51 lb (230 g)
  • Extra safety feature: n/a (learn more)
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable

Sizes Available

  • 22-24 inches (56-61 cm)

This NHH helmet is a perfect choice if you care a lot about weight. It is even lighter compared to some of the pro helmets mentioned above. Yet, several times cheaper. This makes it one of the best road bike helmets for the money.

NHH 22 air vents to keep your head cool even in hot weather. It is available in 4 colors (black, blue, grey, white), and a protective sleeve is included. So, it protects the helmet against scratches during transport.

Of course, the chin strap and rear dial are adjustable, so the helmet fits perfectly.

Road Bike HelmetsWeightSafety FeatureVT Safety RatingPrice RangeBuy
Kask Protone0.47 lb
215 g
Non/a$$$Check Price
Check Price (Competitive Cyclist)
Specialized S-Works Evade 30.68 lb
310 g
MIPS5*$$$Check Price
Check Price (JensonUSA)
Giro Aether0.58 lb
263 g
MIPS5*$$$Check Price
Bell Z200.65 lb
296 g
MIPS5*$$$Check Price
Check Price (Competitive Cyclist)
POC Omne Air Spin0.67 lb
305 g
SPIN4*$$$Check Price
Check Price (Competitive Cyclist)
Abus Gamechanger0.60 lb
270 g
Non/a$$$Check Price
Giro Agilis0.66 lb
300 g
MIPSn/a$$Check Price
Check Price (Competitive Cyclist)
Bell Formula0.63 lb
285 g
MIPS5*$$Check Price
Check Price (Competitive Cyclist)
Bontrager Specter WaveCel0.75 lb
341 g
WaveCel5*$$Check Price
Giro Syntax0.56 lb
255 g
MIPS5*$$Check Price
Check Price (Competitive Cyclist)
Giro Isode0.57 lb
260 g
MIPSn/a$Check Price
Check Price (Competitive Cyclist)
Base Camp Road Bike Helmet0.56 lb
255 g
Non/a$Check Price
Kingbike Road Bike Helmet0.49 lb
220 g
Non/a$Check Price
NHH Road Bike Helmet0.51 lb
230 g
Non/a$Check Price
List of the best road bike helmets with the info about their weight, extra safety features, Virginia Tech safety rating, and price range.
The weight of all helmets is for the M size unless stated otherwise.
VT safety rating source: Virginia Tech

My Verdict

Here are my favorite road bike helmets from every price category:

$$$ – The best premium road bike helmet and the best overall is the Kask Protone. It is very light (0.47 lb / 215 g m size), well-ventilated, and aerodynamic. The fit adjustability is also excellent, and as a bonus, it is available in plenty of colors. Kask Protone is a helmet worn by pro cyclists from INEOS Grenadiers, so you can be sure this is a good choice.

$$ – The best mid-range road bike helmet is the Bontrager Specter WaveCel. It looks premium and offers good ventilation and great comfort thanks to soft inner padding. It has reflective elements that increase your visibility at night, and it is covered by a crash replacement program.

$ – The best budget road bike helmet is the Giro Isode. It is affordable, lightweight, and features MIPS. You can choose from multiple colors, so you can buy a color that matches your bike or cycling kit. In other words, you get great value for your money.

How to Choose a Road Bike Helmet?

Before you purchase a new road bike helmet, make sure you take into consideration the following…

Bike helmet parts (shell, vents, buckle, etc.) explained in detail
Bike helmet parts | Product picture credit: Rockbros

Size, Fit & Adjustability

Before you order your new road bike helmet, make sure it is the correct size. If you buy a big helmet, it will be loose, and it won’t protect your head. A small helmet may not fit your head at all.

How to choose the right size of bike helmet?

Every bike helmet manufacturer has slightly different sizing. This means that Bell’s S size helmet may have different dimensions than the S size helmet by POC. So make sure you double-check it.

The size of the helmet is determined by the circumference of the head in inches or cm. Use a soft tailor tape measure to measure it.

Once you know your head circumference’s size, it is pretty easy to choose the correct helmet size. If you can, don’t hesitate to try it in person.

How do I know the helmet fits?

First of all, you have to feel it. If there is something wrong, the helmet probably does not fit you how it should.

If you feel that the helmet fits, make sure you also double-check the following:

  • Two finger-width should be between your eyebrow and the helmet.
  • The side straps should form a “V” shape under and slightly in front of your ears.
  • The buckle should be centered under your chin, and it should be tight enough so you don’t snug 1 or 2 fingers underneath it.

These are the official recommendations of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Modern bike helmets have adjustable side straps, chin strap, and dial fit. You can adjust them all so the helmet won’t be too loose or too tight.

How to wear a bike helmet: Petr Minarik wearing a bike helmet view from the front left, front, and rear
How to wear a bike helmet?


The road bike helmet’s weight is one of the most important factors to consider when buying a new helmet. The weight of road bike helmets varies between 0.44-0.66 lb (200-300 g).

This chart shows the weights of the best road bike helemts
Weights of the best road bike helmets

I remember when I bought my first helmet. It weighed almost 0.66 lb (300 g), and I thought it is light! I was not very used to longer rides than 3 hours, so I experienced neck pain.

Then, I upgraded to Kask Mojito in team Sky colors. This helmet weight was 0.55 lb (251 g). It was a huge difference! I regretted that I did not buy a lighter helmet much sooner.

The lighter helmet, the better for your comfort and your neck muscles. Aim for getting a helmet that is below 0.66 lb (300 g).


Every bike helmet sold in the USA should have the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certification. Yet, you can find helmets that don’t meet the requirements for this certification.

The purpose of the certifications is to verify that the helmet meets certain safety and protection requirements. For example, in Europe, there is the so-called EN 1079 standard, and in Australia and New Zealand AS/NZS 2063, etc.

All road bike helmets in this selection are CPSC certified.

To pass the certification, the helmets go through a series of testing. Watch the following video to see a few examples of these tests.

You can also find results and ratings of helmet safety at Virginia Tech.

Design & Aerodynamics

These days, the design is the main feature that differentiates helmets from each other – colors, shape, aerodynamics…

Almost every brand has its own signature. After a while, you will be able to recognize helmets by Bell, Giro, Specialized, POC, and other manufacturers.

After all, that’s why the selection above includes more helmets so you can choose the one you like the most.

Road cyclists are usually ‘marginal gains’ hunters. This means they take care of things like weight, aerodynamics, etc.

INTERESTING FACT: Pro riders choose different helmets for mountain and flat stages/races. They wear standard road helmets in the mountains and aero helmets on flats.

If you are not as demanding as pros, feel free to go for a helmet that you like, not for the one that is 15 seconds faster on 25 miles (40 km) when ridden at around 30 miles/h (50 km/h).


Ventilation is an important feature, especially during the hot summer months. You don’t want your head to overheat during a three-hour ride.

Fortunately for us, road cyclists, road helmets are very well-ventilated. As a result, the head sweats less and dries faster thanks to the flow of air.

The main difference between standard and aero road helmets results from the previous section.

Type of road bike helmetProsConsRecommended for
Standard• Well ventilated
• Light
• Less aerodynamic• Warmer months
• Casual road cyclists and pros
Aero• More aero• Less ventilated
• A little bit heavier
• Colder months
• Pros, racers, eventually time trialists and triathletes
Time trial• Most aero• Worse ventilated
• Heavy
• Time trialists and triathletes
Pros and cons of standard, aero, and TT road bike helmets and their recommended use

Pros and cons of standard and aero road bike helmets

Extra Safety Features: MIPS, SPIN, WaveCel

The last important thing to look for is whether the helmet has an extra safety feature or not.

The following three extra safety features are the most widespread:

  1. MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System)
  2. SPIN (Shearing Pads Inside)
  3. WaveCel

These and other technologies, like Kali, Leatt, 6D, KinetiCore, etc., reduce the rotational and/or linear forces during an impact.

What is the difference between standard and helmets with extra safety features?
The main difference is that the standard helmets don’t have an inside mechanism for reducing impact. This means you may experience a higher strain level in your brain compared to the helmets with MIPS, SPIN, or WaveCel. Higher strain levels may lead to brain injury.


MIPS is a system that was developed and researched for more than 20 years. Helmets with MIPS reduce the forces that arise during an impact and are then transmitted to the brain.

Reducing the rotational forces means the risk of brain injuries is minimized. This means MIPS helmets are one of the best road bike helmets for your safety.

MIPS allows the head to move 10-15 mm inside the helmet. This reduces harmful rotational motion that would otherwise be transferred to your brain and cause injuries.

The movement is possible thanks to the inside construction. Watch the following video to learn more.

How does MIPS work?

What is the MIPS downside?
The main downside of bike helmets with MIPS is the weight. These helmets are heavier by about 0.88-1.59oz. (25-45g). MIPS also does not reduce linear forces.

2. WaveCel

WaveCel is a cellular structure inside of a helmet that reduces impacts and rotational forces. It is used by Bontrager helmets.

WaveCel technology explained

How does WaveCel work?

Trek explains the WaveCel technology in 3 steps:

  1. Flex – reduces the initial frictional forces.
  2. Crumple – reduces the impact forces.
  3. Glide – the WaveCel redirects the energy away from your head.

What is the WaveCel downside?
Similar to MIPS, WaveCel also adds around 1.76oz. (50g) to the helmet’s weight. Furthermore, WaveCel technology is used on Bontrager’s helmets only. They are also more expensive than MIPS or SPIN helmets.

Read the WaveCel vs. MIPS comparison to learn more about their differences.


SPIN (developed by POC) is similar to MIPS. There are some differences, though. Unlike MIPS, SPIN uses SPIN pads that reduce rotational and linear forces. The following animation illustrates it well.

SPIN technology explained

You can learn more about bike helmets in my in-depth guide on How to choose a bike helmet.

Why You Should Wear a Helmet?

I think it is important to remember why wearing a helmet on a bike is important.

Would you guess by how much overall head injuries will be reduced when using a helmet? My tip was 50%. And I was not far from the truth. According to the study, the number of injuries is reduced by an average of 60%.

However, what is striking is that many people do not wear a helmet on a bicycle. For example, according to a 2012 study, only 29% of adults and 42% of children wore a helmet when riding a bike.

Personally, I try to follow the ‘leading by example’ rule. So I wear a helmet whenever I sit on a bike. It doesn’t matter if I ride 60 miles trip or to a local grocery store.

Did you know that 61% of bicyclists killed in the USA in 2018 were not wearing helmets? Helmet use was unknown for 24%. Source

Let’s take a look at the previous statement in a chart. After all, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?

The number of dead bicyclist had a growing trend in all categories (no helmet use, helmet use, unknown) in the USA between 2010 and 2020.
Number of bicyclist deaths by helmet use in the USA (2010-2020) | Data source:

I also interpolated the data with trend curves. The trend is growing for all categories. Yet, the ‘helmet use’ category grows the slowest. In 2015-2018, it even declined.

What is the conclusion here? A bike helmet is important, and it can save your life. And as the following video states, “helmet has always been a good idea.”

Danish commercial promoting helmets

Federal vs. State Law in the USA

There is no federal law in the USA that requires wearing a bicycle helmet. There are 3 main groups of the US states in terms of wearing a helmet:

  • There are statewide laws that require wearing helmets in 21 US states.
  • There is no state law, but local law exists in 16 US states,
  • and there are only 13 states that have no state or local helmet laws. Source

So, what are the bike helmets laws in the USA? Check the following map.

Map of bike helmet laws in the USA
Map of bike helmet laws in the USA | Data source:

DISCLAIMER: Updated on the 26th of October, 2020.

Bike Helmets FAQ

BONUS: Road Bike Helmets Worn by World Tour Teams in 2022

Here is my little bonus for you. Below, I summarize what road bike helmets wore by World Tour pro cyclists in the 2022 cycling season:

TeamStandard HelmetAero Helmet
AG2R Citroën TeamHJC IBEX 2.0HJC Furion 2.0
Astana Qazaqstan TeamLimar Air ProLimar Air Speed
Bahrain – VictoriousRudy Project SpectrumRudy Project Nytron
BORA – hansgroheS-Works Prevail IIS-Works Evade II
CofidisEkoi Corsa Light
Ekoi Gara
EF Education-EasyPostPOC Ventral Air SpinPOC Ventral SPIN
Groupama – FDJGiro AetherGiro Eclipse
INEOS GrenadiersKask Protone
Kask Valegro
Kask Utopia
Intermarché - Wanty - Gobert MatériauxForce LynxForce Orca
Israel - Premier TechHJC IBEX 2.0HJC Furion 2.0
Lotto SoudalHJC IBEX 2.0HJC Furion 2.0
Movistar TeamAbus AirbreakerAbus Gamechanger
Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl TeamS-Works Prevail IIS-Works Evade II
Team BikeExchange - JaycoGiro AetherGiant Pursuit
Team DSMSCOTT CentricSCOTT Cadence
Team Jumbo-VismaLazer GenesisLazer Vento
Trek – SegafredoBontrager VelocisBontrager XXX WaveCel
UAE-Team EmiratesMET TrentaMET Manta
List of the classic and aero road bike helmets of World Tour pro cycling teams.

This post is regularly updated to provide you with the most up-to-date product tips. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

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