Editor’s Note: Some time ago, a Premium Member wrote in to ask if we could update an article we ran in 2011 in which a couple of us on the RBR Crew provided a quick rundown of our favorite tires, and why we liked them.
It was an excellent idea. So good, in fact, that I immediately decided to make it a regular feature – providing a rundown from RBR Contributors on our favorites across the spectrum of components, nutrition, clothing, accessories, you name it. Today we discuss our favorite helmets.
Here’s a link to all of our helmet reviews on the site: https://www.roadbikerider.com/product-reviews/gear-that-goes-on-you/helmets
(Note that for the sake of scope, when it comes to our bikes, we’ve kept our choices mostly to what we ride on – or how we equip – our “everyday” or “most-ridden” bikes. Some of us wax on more than others, and some include bikes other than our road bikes.) We will plan to run a different “favorite” each week for the next several.
We also want to hear from readers on your favorites! Join in the fun either by commenting below the Newsletter version of this article or using the form at Tell Us About Your: Favorites (you can always find it in the Talk to RBR section on every page of the site.) We’ll gather up your submissions and run them as a follow-up to this article (and future RBR Favorites pieces).
Enjoy, and let us hear from you about your own Favorites.
– John Marsh
My go-to road helmet has become a Giro Savant MIPS that’s almost two years old now. I reviewed it in our feature on MIPS road helmets in April of 2015 when MIPS was a new skid lid technology. (Click the link to read the review.) I like that it offers the custom fit of Giro’s Roc Loc 5 fitting system, an airy, comfortable feel thanks to the 25 vents, and a reasonably light weight of 280 grams. I also appreciate having a little extra protection. And, at $120, it’s affordable, too. Plus it comes in a wide color range in both Men’s and Women’s models.
I’ve always been an ultra racer and tourist, never a road racer. My shortest race was 300 miles. I choose equipment based on comfort, functionality and reliability.
I wear a bottom-of-the line Bell helmet. Not the lightest, not the most vented, but just as safe.
I’ve tested and worn numerous helmets over the years, but I place two of those above the rest. The Catlike Mixino and the Lazer Z-1 (MIPS). (Click the link to read the reviews.) I put the Catlike aside to test a Lazer Z-1 without MIPS, then transitioned into a Z-1 with MIPS. Both those two helmets (the Mixino and Z-1) are the most comfortable, best-fitting and most easily dialed-in lids I’ve ever worn. And the Z-1 MIPS helmet flawlessly protected my head in a serious crash a little less than a year ago, during the period when I was testing the helmet. Little engenders helmet loyalty more than that! I’m still wearing the Z-1 MIPS I got to replace to the broken-up one. And still loving it.
Next Week in RBR Favorites: The Gloves we Wear
The Giro Synthe is my go-to helmet. It claims aero benefits, but the main reason I chose this helmet was the multitude of reviews I read that praised the excellent ventilation. I run hot and sweat a lot so good air movement through a helmet is a must to keep me from overheating and help evaporate the sweat before it runs into my eyes. My personal experience is that the Synthe is very well ventilated, light, and comfortable.
Rudy Project Windmax, which I recently review for RBR. (Click the link to read the review.)
Smith Route, which I recently reviewed for RBR. (Click the link to read the review.) I really liked it so I’ve kept it as my main helmet. I also wear a Giro helmet for my night rides since I have a lighting system all set up on it.
Since I am very much an everyday rider, my equipment has changed over the years to reflect my current style of riding. My helmet is a Specialized Tactic (I’ll typically remove the visor for my road riding).
I now have accumulated five helmets. I’ve always liked the fit of Giro lids. I have three of those, one Bell and one Garneau. I’ve got enough now that I can be color-coordinated with almost any jersey!
I’m using the Lazer Helium MIPS helmet that we reviewed last year in the MIPS Road Helmets Roundup Review. (Click the link to read the review.) It fits my head well, stays securely in place and I’m happy to know the MIPS system is there just in case. One other nice feature is the clip-on aeroshield, which I have been using more on the cool winter days as an added layer of protection against cold winds.
Tell us about your Favorites by commenting below the Newsletter version of this article or or using the form at Tell Us About Your: Favorites.
John Marsh is the former editor and publisher of RBR Newsletter and RoadBikeRider.com. A rider of "less than podium" talent, he brought our readers consistently useful, informative, entertaining info that helps make them better road cyclists. That's what we're all about here—always have been, always will be. Click to read John's full bio.