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Buyer’s Guide: Triathlon-friendly helmets

High-tech, aero helmets for training and racing

Photo by: Kevin Mackinnon

You can’t race without one, and you shouldn’t be training without one, either. These days there’s no excuses, either – most helmets you’ll find are both lightweight and offer lots of ventilation. Of course, aerodynamics is the name of the game when it comes to triathlon bike racing, and you’ll find lots of speedy helmets in our guide that are both comfortable and sure to help you shave some time off your next race split.

Ekoi AR16

With eight vents, there’s more ventilation than you’ll see in most time trial helmets, but the Ekoi AR16 still manages to be an aerodynamic wonder. You get the bonus of an aero advantage along with the ventilation you’ll need for hot or hilly rides. This lightweight helmet (just 265 g including the magnetic visor) is comfortable to wear, especially for long efforts in an aero tuck. It comes in three sizes and also with three visors for a variety of light conditions. Look for our in depth review of the Koi AR16 in our May issue of Triathlon Magazine.

Garneau Course 2.0

$300/ US$205

If you’re looking for an extremely ventilated aero road helmet, the new Course 2.0 should be on your list. The aero cage provides excellent aerodynamics, while the Super Rotexx patented Rotary Dampening System will absorb and dissipate the energy from an impact to protect your head if you crash. There’s 31 vents to go along with the X-Static XT2 antimicrobial padding for comfort, while the Spiderlock Duo retention system is easy to adjust with just one hand.

Bolle Avio MIPS

The fastest helmet Bolle has made, this lightweight wonder offers an optimized fit system and the MIPS AIR lightweight brain protection system. There are lots of vents, along with exhaust ports in the rear to ensure excellent air circulation. The low-profile shape and Kamm Tail at the back help with aerodynamics, too. As you’d expect with a high-performance helmet like this, Bolle even added an Opti-Dock to hold your sunglasses, and it’s even designed to handle a ponytail.

Lazer Vento Kineticore

$400/ US$300

It’s lighter, more aero and cools better than its predecessor, the Bullet 2.0, making this the perfect choice for those looking for the ultimate in performance. The Kineticore’s Integrated Roatational Impact Protection technology is built right into the helmet, which also helps reduce weight. There are 13 vents and exhaust ports to keep you head cool, while the ScrollSys belt keeps the helmet comfortable on your head. It’s also compatible with the Universal Lazer LED light that will keep you visible no matter what the conditions.

Giro Eclipse Spherical

$360/ US$250

It’s the fastest road helmet Giro has ever made, and that’s saying a lot, considering the company’s rich history in the cycling and triathlon world. This lightweight aero road helmet features Spherical Technology powered by MIPS to ensure you’ll get both performance and protection. The helmet is designed to reduce drag across multiple angles, while the 14 vents ensure you stay cool even during the hardest efforts. The Roc Loc 5 air system comfortably keeps the helmet on your head, while the antimicrobial Ionic+ padding absorbs sweat during those hard training days and races.

Smith Jetstream TT
$490/ US$380

If every second counts the Jetstream TT helmet will get you through your race in a hurry. The lightweight aero design ensures you’ll get maximal performance, while the Zonal Koroyd coverage provides both impact protection and ventilation. The VaporFit dial adjustment system means you can literally dial in the perfect fit on the fly, while the magnetic visor comes with both Smith’s high-end ChromaPop and clear lens. While aerodynamics is the name of the game with the Jetstream, there are still five vents for airflow.

Scott Split Plus

$420/ US$300

This aero helmet that’s popular with both top-level cyclists and many triathletes features MIPS technology so you get head protection to go along with all the speed. It’s aero-optimized so you’ll continue to fly no matter what head position you favour, while the magnetic buckle and soft ear pads make it easy to get on and off in transition. This helmet is optimized to be used with sunglasses, a popular choice for triathletes, and there’s even storage windows to hold your sunglasses when you need to take them off. The outer vents funnel air past your head to help keep you cool, making this an option for even the warmest races.

Poc Cerebral Raceday
$400/ US$350

As tempted as we are to push the crazy-shaped Tempor your way, we’ll stick with this compact aero road helmet that’s is specially designed to provide excellent aerodynamics in a variety of head positions. The rear of the Cerebral Raceday is made of soft EVA covered in aero fabric to ensure you get the most in comfort and aerodynamics. Add to that the visor specially designed by Zeiss to enhance your vision of the road surface ahead and you have a very speedy helmet that pulls out all the stops.

Met Manta MIPS

$390/ US$300

You get a great combination of safety, aerodynamics, fit and style with the Manta MIPS. Aerodynamics is improved in the latest edition of the Manta thanks to the lower and tube-shaped rear profile. You get added crash protection thanks to the MIPS technology, while the Dual Gel front padding is both comfortable and durable.