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Let Cooler Heads Prevail: 3 Top Picks for Summer-Worthy Bike Helmets

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It’s hot—really hot. If you cycle, the thought of strapping on a heat-retaining, sweaty helmet may keep you from commuting on your bike or going for a long ride from St. Louis to St. Peters this weekend. Don’t let the heat deter you from clipping in and setting off!

There are many helmets now that offer a cooler ride for cyclists—helmets that balance safety, durability, and that all-important summer cool factor.

What Makes a Helmet “Cool”

Helmets are made of a foam material that, without ventilation, could overheat a rider in a matter of minutes. Because of this, all helmets have some degree of ventilation; how much and where the holes are placed play a major role in how cool the helmet keeps the rider.

It is worth noting that some helmets have more holes than they do foam which, while cool, may cause more drag and slow down the rider. However, most casual riders don’t need to worry about this. Also, there has been some concern that more vents spell less protection. Helmet manufacturers have compensated for the lack of much “body” on a helmet by making a denser helmet with more internal bracing. This is good for your safety, but bad for your pocketbook. These “hyper-ventilated” helmets cost quite a bit more than other helmets.

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when purchasing the best helmet for your sweaty summer head. Fortunately for us, the experts over at Outdoor Gear Lab tested eight helmets, ranking them on the following factors: comfort, adjustability, weight, ventilation and durability.

The Top Helmets for Summertime Bike Riding

  • Editors’ Choice: The Giro Aeon received a score of 82. It was rated very well for ventilation and comfort, though it was dinged a bit for poor durability and a high price. The best uses for this helmet include road biking, road racing, cyclocross, touring, and commuting.
  • Top Pick: The Kask Vertigo is among the most expensive but its ventilation rating, comfort, and durability made it a top pick. As a bonus, the best uses for this helmet include “winning the Tour.” So if you have your eyes set on France, this is the helmet for you!
  • Best Value: The Giro Savant only received a score of 72 but if you’re looking for an economical helmet that will keep your skull cool and protected, this one’s for you. The only real con listed is the fact that the harness is a bit bulky, but otherwise it’s a great choice for road biking, touring, and commuting.

What Helmet do You Use?

As cyclists we love to talk gear. So we want to know: what helmet do you use to beat the heat? Comment below to share your best finds. Who knows? You may just save a fellow cyclist from a sweaty head and encourage her to keep riding, no matter how high the mercury rises.

Category: Bicycle Accidents


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