What type of road riding?
Different road riding styles place different demands on a helmet. If you’re an all-around road rider, you’ll likely be drawn to lightweight, highly ventilated road bike helmets. Triathletes may be focused on optimal aerodynamics, which is something we go deeper into in our article about bike helmets for men. And if all-day epics and sportive challenges are your thing, comfort will be key. For commuting, you need to think about everyday comfort in all types of weather, along with visibility and a style you won’t mind showing off as you pick up the groceries or walk through the office. Whatever type of road riding you love most, there’s a Mips®-equipped helmet that’s just right for you.
Competition or fun?
How serious are you about training, racing and gaining a competitive edge? If you’re aiming for the podium or chasing Strava KOMs, overall weight and ventilation probably come first. If long-distance trekking is your thing, you want a helmet that you’ll barely notice on those big days in the saddle. For those who like to mix it up—commute during the week, tackle longer adventures on the weekend—consider an all-rounder helmet that can do double duty.
This is what matters most when choosing a helmet. You can look for certain safety features, including our Mips® safety system and other special functions made for the type of riding you do, but the first step is to make sure the helmet is certified to helmet standards in your country. There are many different standards worldwide, but some of the most common ones include Europe’s General Product Safety Regulations (GPSR) and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the U.S.
This is the reason Mips exists. We have done the research. We have the data. Studies show that when you crash and hit your head, it’s most often an angled impact. This creates rotational motion, and the brain is very sensitive to this. So, this part is easy: just be sure to pick a helmet that’s equipped with a Mips® safety system, which is intended to help reduce rotational forces to the head when falling at an angled impact.
Comfort and fit
When trying to find the correct helmet model and size, it’s important to consider everything from the overall helmet shape to retention systems and straps. A poor fit isn’t just uncomfortable, it can compromise safety. The first thing you need to know is your head circumference. You can find this by wrapping a flexible tape measure around your head about 2cm above your eyebrows. Or you can wrap a string around your head and measure it with a yardstick. Once you have the right size, be sure to properly adjust the chin straps and buckle, along with the adjustment dial if it has one (usually located in the rear of the helmet).
Modern road bike helmets offer all sorts of features that are designed to improve your comfort, performance and safety on the road. There are various fit systems and adjustment dials to choose from to help you fine-tune the feel of your helmet. Some offer padding that can be swapped out when seasons change—warmer inserts for winter, more open and airy pads for summer. Others have special mounts for a light or camera, and many are designed to work well with certain sunglass models and styles. Think about your own personal riding needs and choose one that best fits your style.