The best road helmets of 2015 - an Interbike gallery

Aero-vent balance, MIPS and bright shells all trending upwards

For years, helmet makers talked a lot about vents. The more vents, the better the helmet, common wisdom went (although internal channeling has as much if not more effect on cooling). Then the talk switched to aero performance: fewer vents were faster, but hotter. Now many companies are trying to finesse a happy medium between cool and fast. Some, like the Giro Synthe or the Kask Protone, settle for a single shape that is fairly fast but with plenty of air flow. Others, like the Bell Star Pro, Casco SPEEDairo or Kask Infinity, have moving parts to switch between aero performance and ventilation on the fly. 

BikeRadar strolled the halls of the Eurobike and Interbike tradeshows to bring you this 'best of' road helmet gallery. Note that some companies, such as Specialized and Trek/Bontrager, didn't attend either one, so you won't find their lids here.

Casco

For 2015, the Casco SPEEDairo adds a Zeiss-certified photochromic lens, which lightens or darkens automatically depending on ambient lighting conditions. This lens was exposed to dotted light from a special flashlight for two seconds right before the photo was taken; the dots faded within about 10 seconds as the lens readapted to the indoor light conditions. The SPEEDairo is more vented than many aero helmets, with a light mesh to keep bugs out. The SPEEDairo's integrated lens is attached with elastic straps, allowing it to be removed and secured above while riding. The SPEEDtime, on the other hand, is an aero-over-all-else design. It's also not cheap, at €400 (US$515 / £318).

The speedairo's integrated lens is attached with elastic straps, allowing it to be removed and secured above while riding: the speedairo's integrated lens is attached with elastic straps, allowing it to be removed and secured above while riding
The speedairo's integrated lens is attached with elastic straps, allowing it to be removed and secured above while riding: the speedairo's integrated lens is attached with elastic straps, allowing it to be removed and secured above while riding

Catlike

The Catlike Mixino is a US$299 helmets with 39 vents and deep internal channeling for air flow. The Mixino has distinctive sculpting, but its internal performance is notable as well. Catlike uses graphene nanofibers to reduce bulk while maintaining strength. To accommodate various head sizes, the Mixino retention strap has detachable side panels with pads of various sizes. Ovalish pads at the rear angle-adjust for head shape, too.

The mixino has distinctive sculpting, but it's internal performance is notable as well. catlike uses graphene nanofibers to reduce bulk but maintain strength: the mixino has distinctive sculpting, but it's internal performance is notable as well. catlike uses graphene nanofibers to reduce bulk but maintain strength
The mixino has distinctive sculpting, but it's internal performance is notable as well. catlike uses graphene nanofibers to reduce bulk but maintain strength: the mixino has distinctive sculpting, but it's internal performance is notable as well. catlike uses graphene nanofibers to reduce bulk but maintain strength

Bell/Giro

The Bell Star Pro was introduced at the Tour de France. In addition to the integrated visor, the Star Pro boasts an open/close vent switch. The Giro Synthe is a happy medium between a well-vented helmet and a full-on aero helmet.

The giro synthe is a happy medium between a well-vented helmet and a full-on aero helmet: the giro synthe is a happy medium between a well-vented helmet and a full-on aero helmet
The giro synthe is a happy medium between a well-vented helmet and a full-on aero helmet: the giro synthe is a happy medium between a well-vented helmet and a full-on aero helmet

Kask

The Kask Protone launched atop the heads of Team Sky riders at the Tour de France, but it comes in other options besides sky blue. The Kask Infinity, like the Star Pro, can open and close its vents. Here, that is done by sliding the central panel of the external shell up and down. Kask uses 3D Dry padding with deep channels. The stitched-flat strap junction was a request from pro riders, Kask says. EcoLeather is used on some of the Kask straps.

The kask protone launched atop the heads of team sky riders at the tour de france, but it comes in colors besides sky blue…: the kask protone launched atop the heads of team sky riders at the tour de france, but it comes in colors besides sky blue…
The kask protone launched atop the heads of team sky riders at the tour de france, but it comes in colors besides sky blue…: the kask protone launched atop the heads of team sky riders at the tour de france, but it comes in colors besides sky blue…

Related: BikeRadar's Kask Infinity review and news on the Kask Protone

Limar

The Limar Ultralight+ claims to be the world's lightest, at 175g in the CE version. (The CPSC version weighs 210g).

The limar ultralight+ claims to be the world's lightest, at 175g in the ce version. (the cpsc version weighs 210g): the limar ultralight+ claims to be the world's lightest, at 175g in the ce version. (the cpsc version weighs 210g)
The limar ultralight+ claims to be the world's lightest, at 175g in the ce version. (the cpsc version weighs 210g): the limar ultralight+ claims to be the world's lightest, at 175g in the ce version. (the cpsc version weighs 210g)

Related: BikeRadar's Limar Ultralight review

MET

The US$219 MET Stradivarius HES uses gel padding and comes in two sizes (54-58cm and 59-62cm).

The us$219 met stradivarius hes uses gel padding and comes in two sizes (54-58cm and 59-62cm): the us$219 met stradivarius hes uses gel padding and comes in two sizes (54-58cm and 59-62cm)
The us$219 met stradivarius hes uses gel padding and comes in two sizes (54-58cm and 59-62cm): the us$219 met stradivarius hes uses gel padding and comes in two sizes (54-58cm and 59-62cm)

Related: BikeRadar's MET helmet reviews and news

Lazer

The new Lazer Z1 Fast (US$300) is similar to the standard Z1 with its snap-on AeroShell cap, but in this case, the shell is fully integrated and can't be removed (in order to satisfy UCI rules). The new Lazer WASP Air has a shorter tail than the original, which is slightly less aerodynamic than the standard WASP but supposedly produces less drag if and when the rider tilts their head down. 

"The longer the event, the shorter the tail," says Lazer's Chris Smith. "Because you are more likely to move your head in a longer race." The Lazer WASP Air will also have an angle-measuring device to detect when the rider moves the helmet more than two percent outside of the desired angle, which will be set by the rider or a fitter. The angle device, which is still in prototype form here, will give an audio and vibration alert.

The lazer wasp air will have an accelerometer to detect when the rider moves the helmet more than 2 percent outside of the desired angle, which will be set by the rider or a fitter. the accelerometer, which is still in prototype form here, will give an audio and vibration alert: the lazer wasp air will have an accelerometer to detect when the rider moves the helmet more than 2 percent outside of the desired angle, which will be set by the rider or a fitter. the accelerometer, which is still in prototype form here, will give an audio and vibration alert
The lazer wasp air will have an accelerometer to detect when the rider moves the helmet more than 2 percent outside of the desired angle, which will be set by the rider or a fitter. the accelerometer, which is still in prototype form here, will give an audio and vibration alert: the lazer wasp air will have an accelerometer to detect when the rider moves the helmet more than 2 percent outside of the desired angle, which will be set by the rider or a fitter. the accelerometer, which is still in prototype form here, will give an audio and vibration alert

This prototype angle-measuring device will alert riders when they drop their heads more than two percent outside of the desired angle, which can be set by the rider or a fitter

Lazer has two helmets with MIPS technology, the US$230 Helium shown here and the US$70 Beam urban lid. MIPS helmets allow the head to move somewhat separately from the shell in the event of a crash, which reduces the potential for brain trauma, proponents say.

Lazer has two helmets with mips technology, the us$230 helium shown here and the us$70 beam urban lid: lazer has two helmets with mips technology, the us$230 helium shown here and the us$70 beam urban lid
Lazer has two helmets with mips technology, the us$230 helium shown here and the us$70 beam urban lid: lazer has two helmets with mips technology, the us$230 helium shown here and the us$70 beam urban lid

Related: BikeRadar's Lazer helmet reviews and news

POC

Swedish company POC continues to push into the road market. It's Octal helmet comes in a MIPS option. The Octal's white foam provides good visual contrast with the yellow MIPS layer, which pivots within the helmet. POC has two lines – the AVIP 'safety' line that comes in bright shades, and the new performance line with a darker aesthetic.

The octal's white foam provides good visual contrast with the yellow mips layer, which pivots within the helmet: the octal's white foam provides good visual contrast with the yellow mips layer, which pivots within the helmet
The octal's white foam provides good visual contrast with the yellow mips layer, which pivots within the helmet: the octal's white foam provides good visual contrast with the yellow mips layer, which pivots within the helmet

The yellow MIPS layer moves separately from the helmet shell, which can reduce the chance of brain trauma, proponents say

Related: BikeRadar's POC helmet reviews and news

Ben Delaney

US Editor-in-Chief
Ben has been writing about bikes since 2000, covering everything from the Tour de France to Asian manufacturing to kids' bikes. The former editor-in-chief of VeloNews, he began racing in college while getting a journalism degree at the University of New Mexico. Based in the cycling-crazed city of Boulder, Colorado, with his wife and two kids, Ben enjoys riding most every day.
  • Discipline: Road (paved or otherwise), cyclocross and sometimes mountain. His tri-curious phase seems to have passed, thankfully
  • Preferred Terrain: Quiet mountain roads leading to places unknown
  • Current Bikes: Scott Foil Team Issue, Specialized S-Works Tarmac, Priority Eight city bike... and a constant rotation of test bikes
  • Dream Bike: A BMC Teammachine SLR01 with disc brakes and clearance for 30mm tires (doesn't yet exist)
  • Beer of Choice: Saison Dupont
  • Location: Boulder, CO, USA

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