Last updated: 16/10/2022

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If you like cycling, you will feel safer with a racing bike helmet. Especially when riding a road bike, high speeds are reached, making a helmet indispensable. There is a wide range of road bike helmets, which differ in their function, safety and appearance.

Our road bike helmet test 2022 will help you find a road bike helmet that meets your expectations. To do this, we compare different types of road helmets. To make things clearer for you, we list the advantages and disadvantages of each type and present the editors’ product favourites.




Summary

  • Road bike helmets can reduce the risk of injury to the head in the event of a crash, without reducing the comfort of wearing them.
  • There are lightweight and aero road bike helmets, as well as road bike helmets with MIPS. Depending on the type, greater emphasis is placed on aerodynamics, ventilation, weight or safety.
  • Good aerodynamics in a road bike helmet usually means poorer ventilation, and vice versa. MIPS road bike helmets additionally increase safety and are versatile.

The Best Road Bike Helmet: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for a road bike helmet

In this section, we have compiled some features of different road bike helmets that you should consider before buying a helmet.

These are the most important criteria that will help you decide on the right road bike helmet:

Size and weight

To ensure that your racing helmet fits well and protects you, you should always check the size before you buy it. Normally, suppliers in Germany always offer a size in cm, which you decide on based on the circumference of your head.

Children need a helmet in the right size so that it fits securely.

To find out, you can measure your head circumference with a tape measure. Many helmets are also equipped with an adjustable ring at the back so that the size can be precisely adjusted. A helmet only protects if it sits firmly and straight on your head and does not slip.

Safety

Although helmets are not compulsory for cyclists in Germany, it makes sense to wear a helmet for your own safety.

According to a study on the protective effect of bicycle helmets, which was conducted by the Institute of Legal Medicine at the LMU, a conventional bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of serious head injury in accident situations.

The helmet is intended to protect the wearer’s head, especially in the event of a fall. In the EU and Switzerland, bicycle helmets must comply with the DIN EN 1078 standard in order to be allowed to appear on the market at all. In order to comply with this standard, the helmets must first pass a test fall with the help of head dummies.

MIPS

Since conventional helmets according to the DIN EN 1078 standard hardly protect against lateral falls, scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology and a brain surgeon at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm have developed MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System).

An oblique impact generates rotational movements to which the human brain reacts very sensitively, according to scientific findings.

They can cause serious injuries. The MIPS BPS can reduce the rotational movements and thus reduce the risk of damage to the brain.


So road bike helmets with MIPS can increase your safety even more.

Colour

Even though a helmet is primarily designed to protect your head, you should make sure that the road bike helmet also appeals to you visually.

Light colours are safer when cycling in the dark.

After all, the helmet only protects you if you wear it every time you cycle and it doesn’t end up in the back of the cupboard.

It is advisable to choose a racing bike helmet in a light colour rather than black, so that drivers can easily recognise you even in the dark.

Ventilation

If you intend to go on long bike rides in warm weather, you should make sure that you choose a road bike helmet that is as air-permeable as possible. This is due to the ventilation holes on the surface of the helmet.

Aerodynamics

The so-called aero helmets have smaller ventilation holes, which improves aerodynamics and consequently reduces speed resistance.

However, this has a negative effect on the ventilation of the head. That is why there are road bike helmets with a different distribution between aerodynamics and ventilation holes.

Decision: What type of road bike helmet is there and which one is right for you?

In this section, we compare several types of road helmets so that you can decide which one is right for you.

Type Advantages Disadvantages
Lightweight road bike helmet Comfortable to wear Less aerodynamic
Racing helmet with MIPS Safer Higher price, heavier
Aerodynamic road helmet Higher speed, protection from wind and weather Heavier, less air permeability

We will introduce you to three types of road bike helmets. In the following part, we will illustrate the advantages and disadvantages so that you can find a road helmet that suits you.

Lightweight road helmet

Lightweight road helmet

Due to its light weight, this road bike helmet is suitable for all those who do not want to feel the helmet on their head while cycling. In addition, the ventilation holes ensure a cool head.

Because of the lighter material, the helmet may be less robust. In addition, the disadvantage of ventilation holes is that they reduce aerodynamics and do not protect against rainy weather.

Advantages
  • Light weight
  • Improved wearing comfort
  • Equipped with ventilation holes
Disadvantages
  • Material may be less rubust
  • Less aerodynamics due to ventilation holes
  • No protection from precipitation
Road helmet with MIPS

Road helmet with MIPS

Road bike helmets with MIPS provides better protection in case of falls, making cycling just that little bit safer. In general, this road bike helmet is suitable for all cyclists.

This racing helmet weighs more and has a higher price, but in view of the improved safety, this is rather a secondary consideration.

Advantages
  • Significantly safer
  • Equipped with ventilation holes
  • Can be used in different ways
Disadvantages
  • Higher price range
  • Heavier
  • Less aerodynamic
Aerodynamic road bike helmet

Aerodynamic road bike helmet

The aerodynamic road bike helmet reduces air resistance when riding, which allows you to reach a higher speed. This makes this racing bike helmet interesting for shorter distances where speed is important. In addition, this road bike helmet is equipped with MIPS, a plus point for more safety.

Although the helmet protects against rainy weather, the head is less ventilated, which makes it rather unsuitable for longer cycling tours.

Advantages
  • Less wind resistance
  • protection against precipitation
Disadvantages
  • The head is not ventilated
  • heavier

Guide: Frequently asked questions about road bike helmets answered in detail

The selection of road bike helmets is large, so if you are still unsure which road bike helmet you should choose, you have come to the right place. In this comprehensive guide to road helmets, we have compiled the most common customer questions and answers so that you can make your purchase with a clear conscience.

Who is a road helmet suitable for?

A road bike helmet can reduce the risk of injuring your head in a fall. In general, every cyclist who wants to ride a bike more safely should wear a helmet.

Compared to other bicycle helmets, the road bike helmet is the option of choice. Because whether for hobby cyclists, commuters by bike or even professional road cyclists – the road bike helmet is suitable for everyone.

Rennradhelm-1

Nowadays, a racing bike helmet is part of the inventory at bike races
(Image source: pixabay.com / skeeze)

What size racing helmet should I buy?

There are racing bike helmets specifically for children and for adults. Generally, helmets are unisex, so the only thing that matters is the size.

You can find out your own head circumference with the help of a measuring tape. Since the clothing sizes differ depending on the supplier, it is advisable to focus on the cm number.

Online shops usually have tables that you can use to find the right one.

Here is a table with the average clothing sizes:

Size Head circumference in cm
XS 53-54
S 55-56
M 57-58
L 59-60
XL 61-62

If you are unsure about the size, you can also go to any sports shop for advice or to try on a road bike helmet.

How much does a road helmet cost?

There is a wide price range for road bike helmets, depending on the brand and functions.

In the lower price range, there are already models starting at 20 euros. A road bike helmet for professionals (e.g. an aero road bike helmet) can cost up to 240 euros, whereby a road bike helmet can be worn regularly over several years.

For models with MIPS, the prices are a little more expensive, but offer more safety. High-quality products are already available from 70 euros.

Type Price range
All-round road bike helmet approx. 20-78 €
Road bike helmet with MIPS approx. 67-282€
Aero road bike helmet approx. 30-162 €
Lightweight road bike helmet approx. 40-95 €

When should I buy a new road bike helmet?

In general, a bicycle helmet should be used for a maximum of seven years. Even if it still looks perfect, the material may already have cracks that have a negative effect on the protection.

In addition, manufacturers regularly develop new road bike helmets with optimised functionality and safety. Therefore, it is worthwhile to inform yourself regularly and invest in a new product.

What alternatives are there to a road bike helmet?

Besides the racing bike helmet, there are of course other types of bike helmets. With the help of this table, we would like to show you the differences:

Type Description
City helmet This helmet is more about the look than the safety. It looks less sporty than the other helmets.
MTB helmet This helmet is especially suitable for mountain bikers. There are models that protect the chin and have a visor on the front.
Time trial helmet This helmet is specially designed for shorter cycling races where every second counts. It has no ventilation holes and the back is curved and pointed.

MTB and time trial helmets are only useful if you need a helmet for one of these sports.

Rennradhelm-2

Time trial helmets are especially suitable for short races due to their high degree of aerodynamics
(Image source: pixabay.com / skeeze)

While the city helmet may look better to some compared to the road bike helmet, the road bike helmet with MIPS is the safer product.

How do I properly adjust the size of a road helmet?

Before you start riding with your new road helmet, you must of course adjust the size:

  1. Put the racing helmet on straight.
  2. Adjust the dial on the back so that the helmet fits snugly but not too tightly.
  3. Adjust the chin strap to a comfortable length.
  4. Check that the helmet does not slip by quickly bending your head forward and shaking it.

Image source: Alvarez/ 123rf.com

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