We test, rate and review six of the best road bike helmets available in 2014
A good bike helmet is a key piece of safety equipment in triathlon or road riding, but airflow, weight and fit all factor in – here are six of the best helmets on the market in 2014.
Despite being the cheapest on test, the Corsa performs incredibly well. The 270g weight is competitive with £99 lids. The 22 vents work well at sucking in cooling air, even in warmer weather. The simple ratchet retention system lacks padding but its shape keeps it comfortable; a lower cradle would give more security though. There’s also more exposed EPS than on some of the other helmets, which slightly reduces bump resistance.
The Lazer O2 features a sculpted cradle that drops below the base of the skull; the turn-wheel Roll-Sys retention system on top allowing perfect non-stepped size adjustment. The helmet is a little wider than some, and suits a rounder head. The generous vents and internal air channels keep air moving over the head, though the brow padding gets a touch sweaty. Forward strap placement makes adjustment tricky too.
The Array’s Twin Axis Gear retention system does a good job of pulling in the head band for a secure fit despite the shell feeling quite big. The cradle’s vertical adjustment is limited, but it sits low under the shell and holds well. Padding inside is minimal but plush, and in all the right places to add a decent amount of comfort. Reasonable internal channelling and five good-sized vents put ventilation up there with some high-end lids.
The distinctive Catlike Vacuum might have quite a low vent count, but that doesn’t mean it’s a hot lid. The inwardly-pointing vents suck air in, which is then pumped out along the top and out the back, resulting in one of the coolest lids here. The front straps are also mounted to the bottom of the rim, keeping them further from sweaty faces. The MPS Evo retention system could do with being sturdier, although the pliable cradle is comfortable.
Kask’s cheapest road lid features full in-moulding, decent straps and 24 small vents for good ventilation especially over the forehead. The Up-N-Down retention system combines a ratchet and dial into an easy-to-adjust package, while the cradle-routed straps make height adjustment easy. It’s one of the wider fitting helmets on test, with quite a square-shaped front – something to be aware of if you can’t try before you buy.
Met Inferno UL
UL stands for UltimaLite, appropriate for the Inferno’s paltry 242g weight. The ventilation doesn’t stand out but the finish and quality do: fully in-moulded to withstand plenty of day to day abuse, and the straps, padding and Safe-T Smart retention system are well put together. The latter’s circumference is easily adjusted with one hand, although vertical adjustment is a little trickier.
Fit-wise the shape is relatively ovalised.