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 that are worth your attention. I have been road cycling for over five years and have tried various helmets during this time. I will share everything I have learned about helmets in this article.

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

I have included helmets ranging from budget to high-end ones, so you will find one you like regardless of your budget.

In addition, you will learn how to choose a road bike helmet, more about safety features such as MIPS, WaveCel, and what helmets professional road cyclists wear.

Let’s dive in!

What Are the Best Road Bike Helmets?

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

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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

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Skip to the comparison table…

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

Of course, everyone has different preferences when it comes to shape, color, or brand. Therefore, your primary decision factor might be the design.

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

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

The Best High-End Road Bike Helmets (Above $150)

The price range of the following high-end helmets is between $150 to $300. They will satisfy even the most demanding road cyclists. This category is for you if you are willing to spend more for the best quality and aero gains.

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)

The Italian brand Kask is well-known for producing high-quality helmets. They sponsor Team INEOS Grenadiers (former Team Sky), one of the most successful WT teams with numerous Grand Tour wins.

Kask Protone
Me wearing Kask Protone

I wear the Kask Protone helmet, and I love it. It’s lightweight, well-ventilated, and one of the best road bike helmets for hot weather.

It is also aerodynamically optimized and was tested in Jaguar’s wind tunnel. The 3D Dry padding and fully adjustable retention system make it extremely comfortable to wear.

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

The Kask Protone helmet is available in over 15 colors. For more information, you can read my in-depth Kask Protone helmet review.

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 three key features in mind: low weight, good ventilation, and superb aerodynamics.

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

Interestingly, Specialized does not claim any further aero benefits for the Evade 3. The biggest difference between the Evade II and Evade 3 is better cooling.

According to Specialized, the Evade III should provide 10% better cooling while maintaining the same aero gains.

Unfortunately, further details about this testing are not available, so it’s hard to verify this claim. However, you probably won’t notice the difference as a hobby cyclist.

On the other hand, competitive riders may benefit from Evade’s aero performance in crits, fast races, or sprints, where every second counts.

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

Another convenient feature of this helmet is the magnetic buckle, making fastening with one hand a breeze.

The Evade II is incredibly popular, and only time will tell if the Evade 3 will follow suit.

The following World Tour pro cycling teams have been using this helmet in 2021, 2022, and 2023 seasons.

  • Bora–Hansgrohe
  • Soudal – Quick-Step

Giro Aether

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)

The Aether Spherical is Giro’s most advanced road bike helmet, alongside the Synthe. It features MIPS spherical technology integrated between the layers of EPS foam, providing high-level protection without compromising comfort or ventilation.

The spherical technology redirects impact forces, making it lightweight at only 0.58 lb (263 g).

The helmet also has 21 large air vents, ensuring excellent ventilation and preventing overheating during summer rides. Additionally, the air vents allow you to store glasses in the helmet while riding.

Overall, its design is unique and very nicely done. It’s also the go-to helmet of the Groupama – FDJ WT team.

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)

The Z20 is a sleek and modern-looking helmet that comes in various original color finishes, including reflective options for night visibility.

It features the MIPS system for maximum protection and has 18 large air vents, making it one of the best road bike helmets for hot weather.

The Z20 also includes a “sweat guide” that pulls moisture away from the brow pad and your eyewear. However, some owners have reported that this feature is not very useful.

The Bell Z20 road bike helmet is used by one of the best US Pro Continental cycling teams, the 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 known for their unique and original design, which can polarize people into two groups: those who love them and those who hate them.

Despite falling into the latter group, there is no denying that POC helmets are top-notch and suitable for the most demanding road cyclists.

One of the helmets included in the selection is the Omne Air model, which is much cheaper than POC’s highest-end model, the Ventral Air Spin. Despite the price difference, the Omne Air retains the best features of the Ventral Spin.

For those with small heads, the Omne Air Spin S size is one of the best road bike helmets available.

The helmet’s patent-pending silicone gel-like membrane ensures comfort, and the large air vents provide sufficient airflow to keep you cool during the hot summer months.

The main disadvantages of this helmet are its slightly higher weight compared to previous models and its smaller selection of colors. EF Pro Cycling uses POC helmets, particularly the Ventral Spin and Ventral Air Spin models.

Also available at and

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 are focused on shaving off seconds and achieving victory. It is one of the best road bike helmets for racing.

One notable feature of this helmet is its large variety of color options, making it easy to match your kit. Personally, I am a huge fan of the “steel blue” color, which almost perfectly matches Shimano S-Phyre RC9 cycling shoes.

If you are wondering where to store your sunglasses, the air vents at the back of the helmet provide a secure and convenient solution. Finding the right spot may take some practice, but once you do, they will stay securely in place.

This helmet is even lighter than the S-Works Evade, which is a significant advantage.

However, the main downside is the ventilation. It is well-ventilated when riding fast, but your head may overheat if you climb or ride slowly in hot weather (86°F+ / 30°C+).

Nevertheless, the Movistar Team world tour team is an official partner of Abus helmets, and their riders have been wearing them since the 2017 season.

The Best Mid-Range Road Bike Helmets (Around $100)

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’s no surprise that several of their models are included in this overview.

The Agilis is a very affordable helmet and a cheaper alternative to the recommended Giro Aether Spherical helmet mentioned earlier. The main difference between the two models is the design.

The Agilis is available in various colors, and its construction is slightly modified. Unlike the Aether Spherical’s 21 air vents, the Agilis has 32 slightly smaller air vents. Nonetheless, it provides good ventilation, which you will appreciate, especially during 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 an excellent price-to-value ratio. Bell is recognized as one of the leaders in the helmet market, and its typical design is apparent in this helmet.

Even with MIPS technology included, the Formula is relatively lightweight and affordable. It boasts 19 air vents, which provide ample ventilation to keep your head cool and reduce sweating.

You can also use the air vents for storing your sunglasses, and the helmet’s inner padding ensures comfort during use.

The only drawback is that the sweat guide designed to pull moisture away from the eyewear is ineffective.

You can choose from over 10 colors, including black, gray, white, and other color combinations.

Also available at

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 made using unique 3D printing technology, which according to Bontrager, is five times more effective at protecting your head from injuries than standard foam technology. Virginia Tech rated the helmet with 5 stars for safety.

The BOA rear dial makes it easy to adjust the fit, and the Fidlock magnetic buckle ensures a secure, hassle-free fastening experience.

The large air vents provide good ventilation, even on hot summer days. The reflective elements on the back increase your visibility at night, enhancing your safety in low-light conditions.

Bontrager also offers a crash replacement guarantee, providing a free replacement if you experience a crash within the first year of ownership. I hope you won’t need to use it and stay safe.

The Specter is available in multiple colors suitable for both 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 mid-range option between the Giro Aether and Giro Agilis helmets, which are very similar to each other. The main differences between them are their weight, color options, and slightly different dial fits.

Like the other two helmets, the Syntax is equipped with MIPS, which increases head protection. You can read more about it in the extra safety features section.

Unlike the Aether and Agilis, the Syntax is also available in an XL size, making it a suitable choice for riders with larger heads.

Also available at and

The Best Budget Road Bike Helmets (Around $50)

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’re looking for a low-cost helmet with MIPS, then the Giro Isode is a great option. Giro is recognized for using MIPS technology in their helmets, and this one is no different.

Additionally, the Isode has excellent ventilation and quick-drying padding, providing plenty of comfort. It’s also lightweight, considering the fact that it incorporates MIPS technology.

However, the downside of this helmet is that the side straps cannot be adjusted. Only the chin strap and the rear dial can be adjusted.

Overall, this helmet is ideal for beginners who want a MIPS-equipped helmet but have a tight 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 is an affordable option that stands out due to its detachable goggle, which gives it a professional-looking aerodynamic style. It falls into the best budget category, thanks to its low price.

The goggle protects your eyes, meaning you don’t have to wear cycling sunglasses. Additionally, if you’re riding slowly, you can flip the goggles up and enjoy the view.

This helmet also features a LED light with 3 modes, increasing 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.

With its variety of available colors, it’s easy to match it with your kit. It’s a perfect choice for beginners looking for a helmet that offers excellent value for its price.

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 unique compared to the other helmets in this selection. The package includes a tail light, a helmet bag, and a visor. The tail light is useful in the evening to increase your visibility and safety. It has three modes: always on, slow flash, and fast flash.

The helmet bag is convenient for transportation, providing protection against scratches. You may not need the visor for road cycling, but it can be useful for mountain biking.

Despite its many features, the Kingbike helmet is surprisingly lightweight at only 0.49 lb (220 g). This means that you won’t experience neck pain even during extended rides.

However, the helmet’s main downside is its lower build quality. While it has passed the CPSC certification, the materials used are cheaper than those of the other helmets in this selection.

With 15 color options, including black, red, pink, green, grey, and more, there are plenty of choices to match your kit. The Kingbike helmet is a great budget option for beginner cyclists.

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)

The NHH helmet is a great option if you prioritize weight. It’s even lighter than some of the pro helmets mentioned earlier but is much more affordable. This makes it one of the best road bike helmets for the budget-conscious.

The helmet has 22 air vents to keep your head cool, even in hot weather. It’s available in four colors – black, blue, gray, and white – and comes with a protective sleeve to guard against scratches during transportation.

The chin strap and rear dial are adjustable, ensuring a perfect fit for the wearer.

Road Bike HelmetsWeightSafety FeatureVT Safety RatingPrice RangeBuy
Kask Protone0.47 lb
215 g
Non/a$$$Check Price
Specialized S-Works Evade 30.68 lb
310 g
MIPS5*$$$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 high-end road bike helmet and the best overall is the Kask Protone. It’s a lightweight (0.47 lb / 215 g in size M), well-ventilated, and aerodynamic helmet. It has excellent fit adjustability and is available in many colors. This helmet is a popular choice of many avid roadies and INEOS Grenadiers WT team.

$$ – The best mid-range road bike helmet is the Bontrager Specter WaveCel. It has a premium look and provides excellent ventilation and comfort due to its soft inner padding. It also features reflective elements that increase your visibility at night, and it comes with a crash replacement program.

$ – The best budget road bike helmet is the Giro Isode. It is affordable, lightweight, and features MIPS technology. You can choose from multiple colors, allowing you to select 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 purchasing a new road bike helmet, ensure you buy the correct size. A helmet that is too big will be loose, while a helmet that is too small will not fit your head correctly and will not provide adequate protection.

How to choose the right size of bike helmet?

Keep in mind that every helmet manufacturer has different sizing. For example, Bell’s small helmet may have different dimensions than a small helmet from POC. Therefore, it is crucial to double-check the sizing chart provided by the manufacturer.

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.

It is also helpful to try on the helmet in person, if possible, to ensure a proper fit. When trying on a helmet, make sure it feels comfortable and snug, with no gaps between the helmet and your head. If it feels off or uncomfortable, it doesn’t fit you properly, and you should look elsewhere.

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?


When buying a new road bike helmet, weight is an important factor to consider. Road bike helmets typically weigh 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 still remember buying my first helmet, which weighed almost 0.66 lb (300 g). I thought it was light enough at the time, but I experienced neck pain on rides longer than 3 hours.

Then, I upgraded to the Kask Mojito in Team Sky colors, which weighed only 0.55 lb (251 g). What a difference! I regret not getting a lighter helmet sooner.

Remember, the lighter the helmet, the better for your comfort and neck muscles. Look for a helmet that weighs 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.

IIHS CRASH TEST Bike HELMETS - Best Rating and Review - HOW IT'S MADE

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, and 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.

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 a crucial feature, especially during hot days. You don’t want your head to overheat during a three-hour ride.

Thankfully for us, road cyclists, road helmets are designed with excellent ventilation. This allows air to flow through, reducing the amount of sweat and ensuring that the head dries quickly.

The main difference between standard and aero road helmets is the level of ventilation.

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

Extra Safety Features: MIPS, SPIN, WaveCel

The last important thing to consider is whether the helmet has an extra safety feature. 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.

Below is a table summarizing the advantages and disadvantages of the most commonly used helmet safety systems. For more information on bicycle safety systems, please refer to the article titled “Bicycle Safety Systems.”

MIPS• Reduces rotational forces• Adds about 0.88-1.59oz. (25-45g) to the bike helmet*
• Does not reduce linear forces
WaveCel• Reduces rotational forces
• Reduces linear forces
• Adds about 1.76oz. (50g) to the bike helmet
• WaveCell technology is used on Bontrager helmets only
• Bontrager helmets with WaveCell are more expensive on average than helmets with MIPS or SPIN
SPIN**• Reduces rotational forces
• Reduces linear forces
• SPIN technology is used on POC helmets only
Comparison of the pros & cons of the most common bicycle helmets safety technologies
*This estimation is based on the same size and model of a helmet with and without MIPS
**SPIN technology is gradually phased out since MIPS and SPIN joined forces in 2021.

You can learn more about bicycle 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 Road Safety Council / Helmet has always been a good idea
Danish commercial promoting helmets

Federal vs. State Law in the USA

No federal law in the USA requires wearing a bicycle helmet. There are three 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.

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, Updated on the 26th of October, 2020 | Data source:

Bike Helmets FAQ

What Road Bike Helmets Do World Tour Riders Wear?

Here’s my little bonus for you. Below I summarize what road cycling helmets are worn by professional cyclists of World Tour teams:

AG2R Citroën TeamHJCIBEX 3.0Furion 2.0
Adwatt 1.5
Alpecin-DeceuninckAbusAirbreakerGamechangerGamechanger TT
Astana Qazaqstan TeamLimarAir ProAir SpeedAir King
Bahrain VictoriousRudy ProjectSpectrum
BORA - hansgroheSpecializedS-Works Prevail 3S-Works Evade 3S-Works TT5
CofidisEkoiCorsa Light
EKOI Chrono
EF Education-EasyPostPOCVentral AirVectralProcen
Groupama - FDJJulboSprintFast Lanen/a
INEOS GrenadiersKaskProtone Icon
Bambino Pro
Intermarche-Circus-WantyUvexPron/aRise CC
Movistar TeamTrek / GiroVelocisBallistaGiro Aerohead
Soudal Quick-StepAbusAirbreakerGamechangerGamechanger TT
Team Arkéa SamsicSpecializedS-Works Prevail 3S-Works Evade 3S-Works TT5
Team dsm-firmenichEkoiCorsa Light
EKOI Chrono
Team Jayco AlUlaSCOTTCentric PlusCadence PlusSplit Plus
Lidl-TrekGiantRev ProPursuitRivet TT
UAE Team EmiratesMETTrenta 3KMantaCadatronca
List of the standard, aero, and TT road bike helmets of World Tour pro cycling teams in the 2023 season.

This post is regularly updated to provide 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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