Best Cycling Helmets Review 2013
8 of the best road bike helmets for triathlon tested, rated and reviewed
1. Scott Witt-R
The Witt-R is a modern blend of fast curves and squared-off edges. Construction is neat and tidy. Performance wasn’t so hot. The retention system works with a dial wheel and the clicks were obvious if a little far apart. Our main issue with the Witt-R is instability. The helmet is shallower than others on test and, combined with a shallow drop to the retention strap, the helmet felt perched, not planted. A lower position on the retention strap would help. Of course all heads are different and you may have a cranial profile that suits the Witt-R
2. Zero RH+ ZW
This has an airy look thanks to 27 generously sized vents, which allow effective cooling. The ZW weighs a respectable 230g, making it light, but with a nod to durability thanks to minimal exposed EPS foam. A deep internal depth allows it to feel like your head is in it, rather than the helmet resting on the top of your head. The low-slung Powerfit retention strap sits low at the back of the head to lock in the fit, reducing the work of the straps and tethers. Add in some very effective removable pads in pink or silver and the deal is sealed for us.
3. Cratoni Bullet
The C-Bullet is all about what isn’t there. The 23 vents are big so airflow is massive, which is great if you’re prone to running hot on sun-baked climbs, maybe not so handy for long, cold winters. At 175g it’s also the lightest helmet on test and this featherweight just makes it perfect for weight obsessives. Fit and coverage are good. Rounder than many, we spent a while tweaking to get comfy. The twist dial is effective, though we’d like it to make finer adjustments. The helmet also has some expanses of EPS foam on the outside so handling care is required.
4. Catlike Whisper Plus
The helmet is deep and surprisingly long at the rear, giving excellent head coverage for a road helmet. We know several mountain bikers who choose the Whisper for this very reason. At 290g it’s hardly going to cause neckache, so the classic model is still very much in the hunt, even for weight weenies. We found it very easy to dial in a solid, secure fit and we didn’t need to make changes. Airflow is, as you’d imagine, very good for a helmet with more holes than a colander, so one to consider if you’re busting out the watts or simply live somewhere hot.
Giro has led and defined the cycling helmet market for the better part of twenty years. It’s hard not to simply accept that Giro do this better than the others when it fits so well it feels like you’ve worn it before. The height-adjustable Roc-Loc system has finely metered adjustment, ideal for just letting out a fraction when your head gets warm, without losing the fit altogether. We’d like more shell cover, just to add some more ding protection when being handled. Washable anti-bacterial pads and removable straps make it easy to keep clean.
6. Kask K50 Evo
Kask’s K50 Evo is a solid budget lid. One element we like is the full in-mould shell return under the brim. This area is often exposed foam and can quickly show damage from use, but the full shell coverage stops the dents and keeps your investment looking sharper for longer. The 24 vents are long and narrow, and while not the most airy on test, we appreciated the extra coverage in the cold. The deep, almond-shaped fit suited us well, and we loved the extra deep drop on the retention mechanism to get it positioned into the nape for maximum security.
7. LAS Squalo
The Squalo’s fit and construction is first rate. The fit feels sumptuous, soft and enveloping, which means when you’ve tightened the extra-large wheel, the Squalo feels locked on without ever feeling tight. Ventilation is via 29 relatively narrow, slot-shaped vents. Contrary to the look, draw is good even when climbing at low speeds. We love the full bug net and the full in-mould rear sill, though why the front edge isn’t covered is a mystery to us. Removable straps are a nice and actually quite useful touch to have fitted though.
8. Cannondale Teramo
This compact helmet uses an unusual alloy exoskeleton around which the 23-vent dual-density EPS liner is moulded. The basic fit was reassuringly deep, almond shaped and instantly comfortable and gave off a feeling of safety and security. Dialing in the retention strap, we loved the fine indents in the dial mechanism for a precise detailed fit. Another feature we liked was the thick EVA foam pad which added to the comfort. Venting was very good, though we did find drips of sweat making it past the pads – worth noting if you’re a heavy sweater.
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