Best road bike helmet

Cycling

Road bike helmets tend to be more lightweight and aerodynamic than other bike helmets so they won’t slow you down.

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Which bike road helmet is best?

You should always wear a helmet when cycling, but especially when riding on the road. That’s why a road bike helmet is a must for all cyclists. Choosing the right one can be challenging, however, due to the numerous options available.

Our top road bike helmet is the Kask Protone Helmet, a truly exceptional high-end option handcrafted in Italy.

What to know before you buy a road bike helmet

Type

Road bike helmets tend to fit into one of three categories: fully vented, aerodynamic, or semi-aero.

  • Fully vented helmets have a large number of vents in them so your head stays as cool as possible. While this is more comfortable in hot weather, it can create drag and slow you down.
  • Aerodynamic road bike helmets are as smooth as possible with minimal or no ventilation to allow cyclists to go as fast as possible. Of course, this means your head will feel hot in warm weather.
  • Semi-aero helmets are a newer advent, somewhere in between the other two options. They have some ventilation but are designed in such a way to be as aerodynamic as possible, which makes them a great middle ground option.

Fit

It’s vital that your road bike helmet fits well, as an ill-fitting helmet will be less effective. It should be tight enough to fit snugly on your head, but not so tight that it squeezes your head. Some road bike helmets are available in a few different sizes whereas others rely on adjustability alone.

Safety certifications

Make sure your chosen bike helmet adheres to relevant safety standards. The most common safety certifications are the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) certification and the CEN certification (its European alternative).

What to look for in a quality road bike helmet

Adjustability

Your chosen road bike helmet should be easy to adjust, so you can fit it to your head well enough that it won’t fly off in an accident. It should have adjustable chin straps and an adjustable band or similar to get a proper fit around the circumference of your head.

Color

The majority of bike helmets come in several color options, so you can easily find one that you like. Color options are not just an aesthetic matter, most helmets come in very bright colors that improve visibility on the road. 

LED light

Some road bike helmets have LED lights integrated into the back to make you more visible on the road at night.

How much you can expect to spend on a road bike helmet

Basic road bike helmets cost around $20-$50, with midrange options generally in the $50-$100 range. High-end helmets can cost as much as $300, but these are overkill for the average recreational cyclist.

Road bike helmets FAQ

Can you use a road bike helmet for mountain biking?

A. While you can, in theory, use a road bike helmet for mountain biking, there are some differences between a mountain bike helmet and a road bike helmet. Mountain bike helmets have great protection on the backs and sides, because you’re more likely to strike your head on a rock, tree or other obstacle if you fall off. Mountain bike helmets also tend to feature visors to shield your eyes from the sun, since shades reduce visibility in wooded areas. As such, we’d recommend choosing a separate mountain bike helmet if you go mountain biking regularly.

How often should you replace your road bike helmet?

A. All bike helmets degrade over time, so we’d recommend replacing them every five years to be sure they’ll offer optimal protection in the event of a fall. However, if you do fall and hit your head, you should replace your helmet right away, even if there aren’t any visible cracks, as it’s likely to have lost some of its structural integrity.

What’s the best road bike helmet to buy?

Top road bike helmet

Kask Protone Helmet

Kask Protone Helmet

What you need to know: Yes, it’s pricey, but this top-notch helmet is comfortable, stylish, and fits well, offering excellent levels of protection.

What we like: Lightweight and vented so you won’t overheat, it creates very little drag. There’s a large range of color options available. It is handcrafted from the best materials.

What you should consider: Some wearers would prefer printed lettering over decal.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top road bike helmet for the money

Zacro Adult Bike Helmet

Zacro Adult Bike Helmet

What you need to know: This inexpensive option is a great choice for the casual cyclist, but serious bike enthusiasts might prefer something sturdier. 

What you’ll love: It has really light, well-ventilated, well-distributed padding. It is available in many cool colors.

What you should consider: It is available in one size only so it can be tough to get a good fit.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet

Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet

What you need to know: Thanks to its innovative design, this helmet is very lightweight and comfortable.

What you’ll love: The lightweight design has 20 vents so you won’t overheat. It is fully adjustable and has a totally padded interior for extra comfort.

What you should consider: The chin straps could be easier to adjust.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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