Best Road Bike Helmets 2020

The most important factor when choosing a road bike helmet has always been safety, but how do you decide which of the best road bike helmets is right for you? Do you search for a lightweight helmet or one that is stylish but perhaps a bit on the heavy side? Can a mountain bike helmet do the trick? And what is MIPS anyways—and do you need it? The amount of choices available can make the search seem overwhelming. 

That’s why we studied 9 of the best road bike helmets on the market and found that the Agilis Bicycle Helmet by Giro is the best in terms of performance, safety, and affordability.

Below is a range of helmets, all rated to help you make the best decision for yourself. Whether you’re searching for value, comfort, style, or protection, we’ve got you covered!

Best Overall Road Bike Helmet

Giro Agilis Cycling Helmet

Shop now

The Giro Agilis Cycling Helmet has proven to be a perfect choice for riders looking for a comfortable fit with its Roc Loc 5.5 MIPS system. The system helps to lock in the custom fit around your head. When combined with MIPS technology, the helmet allows you to be protected from any injury. With 32 Wind Tunnel vents, this helmet provides the most effective cooling system. Durability is a non-issue with the Giro’s Agilis helmet. The In-Mold process is specifically designed to help the helmet last longer.

The style and design used for this helmet is suitable for all riders. It offers a round yet airy design. If you decide to take a ride on-road or experience the adventures off-road, this helmet is perfect for any setting. 

Giro Agilis Cycling Helmet
Pros

  • Well-ventilated
  • Inexpensive
  • Secure fit 
Cons

  • Not suitable for children
  • Heavier than other helmets
  • Lack of colour choices

Best Value Road Bike Helmet

Garneau Hero Helmet

Shop now

The Garneau Hero Helmet delivers the most value when it comes to performance and safety. The aerodynamic shape and design of the helmet won’t hold you back as you go through turns. Weighing only 255 grams, Garneau’s Hero Helmet is one of the lightest helmets on the market. 

The built-in Spiderlock PRO adjustment system allows a rider to easily take off their helmet with one hand. The helmet also offers the benefits of a Multidirectional Impact System (MIPS) that mitigates any potential brain damage due to impact. 

Garneau Hero Helmet
Pros

  • Lightweight 
  • Easy to adjust
  • Aerodynamic design allows for a smoother ride

 

Cons

  • Straps can be a bit tight
  • Fit can be loose
  • Nowhere to tuck in sunglasses

Best Road Bike Helmet for Commuting 

Smith Optics Signal MIPS bike helmet

Shop now

If safety is first on your wishlist, Smith Optics Signal MIPS helmet is perfect for you. From adults to older kids, the adjustable settings for the fit ensure the right feel when you’re out on the road. Even better is the integrated MIPS safety technology, maximising brain protection in the event of a collision. 

The air flows freely across your head, and an understated, underrated bonus is the built-in eyewear port. It’s great value, lightweight, protective and doesn’t skimp on the little extras that make a difference.

Smith Optics Signal MIPS bike helmet
Pros

  • MIPS safety technology 
  • AirEvac ventilation
  • Eyewear port
Cons

  • Limited colourways 

Best Aero Road Bike Helmet

Oakley ARO5 helmet

Shop now

The Oakley AR05 is made for speed. The X-STATIC forehead guard is the helmet’s main feature, taking care of moisture so you can enjoy a comfortable ride. The AR05 also includes a MIPS system.

Oakley ARO5 helmet
Pros

  • Lightweight
  • MIPS safety
  • Sunglasses integration
  • Forehead moisture wicking system
Cons

  • Expensive
  • Helmet fit can be awkward between sizes
  • Micro adjustment system stands out

Most Stylish Road Bike Helmet

POC Omne Air Spin Helmet

Shop now

If you are searching for a helmet to look stylish in, POC’s Omne Air Spin helmet has you covered. While stylish, it doesn’t compromise on protection. A lightweight and well-ventilated helmet with SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) technology protects you from injury with its silicone padded coating. The EPS density optimized liner helps absorb the impact force of a crash. For a secure fit, the Omne Air Spin offers a strap adjustment system.

POC Omne Air Spin Helmet
Pros

  • SPIN Technology
  • Affordable price point
  • Thin, sleek profile
Cons

  • Looks bulky
  • No sun protection
  • Limited color choices

Most Comfortable Road Bike Helmet

Scott ARX Plus 

Shop now

The Scott ARX Plus is made for both mountain and road biking. Made out of a polycarbonate micro-shell, this sturdy helmet comes with many standard features including MIPS protection, ventilation, and an easy adjustment system. Scott ARX Plus stands out from the competition with its removable visor and reduced weight IN-Mold technology. 

Scott ARX Plus 
Pros

  • In-Mold technology
  • Made for performance, enjoyed by casual riders
  • Removable visor
Cons

  • Adjustable bracket catches hair
  • Sits high on head
  • Heavier helmet

Best MIPS Road Bike Helmet 

Sweet Protection Outrider MIPS helmet

Shop now

With advanced EPS technology, Sweet Protection’s MIPS Outrider Helmet optimizes the overall impact protection performance. The Occigrip turn dial allows for a firm and comfortable fit. Molded comfort pads with soft foam give riders a moisture-free ride.

The DOV (Digital Optimized Venting) offers a digital airflow simulation that controls the ventilation at different speeds, while the STACC Ventilation cools down the sides of one’s head.

Sweet Protection Outrider MIPS helmet
Pros

  • Enhanced ventilation features
  • Occigrip secure fit
  • Clean, simple design
Cons

  • Fitting issues
  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for children

Best Road Bike Helmet for Kids 

Nutcase Little Nutty little kids bike helmet

Shop now

For littler kids age 3-6, we recommend the Nutcase Little Nutty bike helmet. With tons of safety-first features, like an outer crumple zone that absorbs impact and all the necessary certifications, plus touches like magnetic clips (no pinching) and easy-adjust fitting, it’s a winner for the little ones.

Nutcase Little Nutty little kids bike helmet
Pros

  • Safety is prioritized
  • Easy adjustable fit
  • Magnetic clips
Cons

  • Lack of colour choices (check back soon though)

Best Road Bike Helmet for Winter Cycling 

Bern Watts Thin Shell Helmet

Shop now

The newest edition of Bern Watts’ Thin Shell helmet comes with all of the features we know and love from the brand—along with some optional add-ons. This helmet was made with active winter lovers in mind. The winter lining and the possibility to add on audio makes this simply the best helmet for any cold season ride. 

Bern Watts Thin Shell Helmet
Pros

  • Optional audio built-in
  • Durable in winter conditions
  • ABS shell and EPS foam 
Cons

  • Heavy
  • No MIPS
  • Padding must be taken out for correct fit

How To Choose The Best Road Bike Helmet

Choosing the best road bike helmet is just like any other investment. The more money you invest, the higher quality of helmet you will be able to purchase.

It’s important to know exactly what you’re looking for in a bike helmet, and relate it to what activity you are planning to use it for. Are you searching for style and ventilation or a specific built-in bike helmet technology?

Let’s take a look at how to find the best helmet for you and your needs.

How should a bike helmet fit?

Helmets should fit snug and tight, but they should not be squeezing your head. You might need to make some minor adjustments until the helmet sits perfectly still on your head as you ride.

Ventilation

No one likes a hot, sweaty head during those long summer rides. That’s why helmets with ventilation are a worthwhile investment. Your helmet should be directing airflow to your head to keep it cool. Generally, helmets with more protection have less vents, but the size of the vents and design are critical for quality bike helmet ventilation.

Style

Helmet styles vary greatly, but it is possible to generalize helmet design into two main categories.

Round road bike helmets

The classic helmet design that many of us are accustomed to.

Aerodynamic road bike helmets

The sleek design of these helmets is perfect for speed racers and those serious about maximizing their times.

 Technology

There have been many technological advancements in the road bike helmet category, but these two stand out—and both of them are all about safety. 

MIPS (Multi-directional impact protection)

MIPS has recently become a buzz word in the biking community. The main purpose of the technology is to reduce the ‘rotational forces’ or brain damage that takes place as the result of a crash. 

SPIN (Shearing Pad INside)

SPIN is the most recent development in bike helmet technology. Unlike MIPS’ rotational pad, SPIN uses far more comfortable, newly-developed silicone-gel pads inside the helmet. This technology has proven to be just as effective as MIPS.

FAQs

When should you replace your bike helmet?

It depends on what kind of shape the helmet is in. If you’ve been in a crash then the foam will need to be replaced. Also, age plays a big factor—after 3 years, foam begins to break away from the mold and protection deteriorates. 

Do road bike helmets expire?

No. Road bike helmets don’t expire, but most manufacturers recommend replacing a helmet every 3 to 5 years. Some helmets are more durable than others and therefore last longer.

Why are some road bike helmets so expensive?

Comfort, aerodynamic vents, and built-in technology dramatically increase the price of bike helmets.

Can you use a mountain bike helmet for road biking?

Yes, if you would like to. A mountain bike helmet is less aerodynamic, but offers better protection for road biking. There will be compromises, however, in visibility (less in mountain bike helmets), weight, and other factors. 

Conclusion

In 2020, most road bike helmets come standard with MIPS technology, ventilation, an easy adjustment strap system, and comfortable padding.  Choose a helmet that fits your needs and your budget. You will find your dream helmet in no time, and can work on the rest of your urban cycling gear and outfit!