Being excellent at a single sport is already hard enough, can you imagine excelling at three? The triathlon – a call that a brave few answer – is essentially a competition of stamina. The sport is a race made of three different portions: running, cycling and swimming.
A game of will and endurance, athletes who compete in triathlons do all they can to gain the advantage. Not only do they train their bodies to upper human limits, they also make sure to use gear and equipment they feel supplements their prowess.
This very well includes the kind of helmets they wear during the biking leg of the tournament. The type of helmet you would use could shave off a few seconds off your time – seconds that can mean victory.
Here’s our guide to the best triathlon helmets for 2019.
Giro Air Attack Shield Triathlon Helmet
- In-Mold Polycarbonate Shell reinforces the area around the vents and ribs, creating a one-piece exoskeleton, which allows the helmet to be lighter, more durable and better ventilated than traditional designs
- Thermoformed SL Roll Cage is a polycarbonate skeleton fused throughout the helmet's impact absorbing EPS foam liner, which provides structural support, impact dispersion and penetration resistance
- 6 Wind Tunnel vents with internal channels thrust cool, fresh air over and around your head while forcing heat and stale air out
- Impact absorbing, antimicrobial X-Static padding offers unprecedented comfort, odor absorption and moisture management
- Roc Loc Air fit system
Giro have been making high-end helmets for years, this helmet by Giro is one of the best helmets available on the market. Critically acclaimed by hundreds of satisfied customers, this helmet is an upgrade of the previous Air Attack model.
With a magnetically-attached optical shield, the Air Attack Shield helmet is compact and lightweight. As a result, it is guaranteed to provide aerodynamic proficiency. This state-of-the-art piece of technology comes with X-static padding for both comfort and protection.
The helmet comes with maximum eye protection too. This is because the optical shield is developed in partnership with Zeiss, a company dedicated to optical systems.
Made with featherlight polycarbonate, the helmet was designed to aerodynamic perfection with the aid of a wind tunnel.
• It has an aerodynamic design
• Contains X-static padding
• Durable build
• Made with a polycarbonate shell
• Available in different sizes
• May not be the best ventilation but good enough
Giro Savant Triathlon Helmet
- Shell Material: in-Mold polycarbonate
- Impact Foam: EPS
- Ventilation: 25 Wind Tunnel vents
- Fit Adjustment: Roc Loc 5
- Recommended Use: cyclocross, road cycling, triathlon
The perfect helmet for bikers in need of speed, the Savant Road Bike helmet is another top contender from Giro. Aerodynamic and well-ventilated, this helmet handles speed like a pro.
This unique helmet comes with a whopping 25 vents for maximum ventilation.
Designed to be optimally aerodynamic inside a wind tunnel, the Savant Road Bike helmet comes with the company’s trademark Roc Loc 5 fit system for both safety and comfort.
• It has excellent ventilation
• It has a great fit
• The style is unique and visually appealing
• Available in different sizes
• Strap design could be improved
Gray Triathlon/Time Trial TT Aero Helmet
- Weighs 345 grams, One size fits all
- 4-Vent internal channeling, CPSC approved, Chin strap protector
- Drag: 3.306, Drag @ 25 mph : 3.260, Drag Coefficient: 0.2465
- Flexible side panels, DuraShell in-mold construction
- Lifetime crash replacement warranty, Extra padding kit provided
This helmet by Gray is built for the race. Looking through this item, you will see that the company has listed all its physical attributes such as its weight, drag and drag coefficient. These are all factors that will ensure you are an informed buyer.
Durable and comfortable, this helmet is made of DuraShell, a polycarbonate shell, for maximum protection. The quick strap system ensures fast and smooth transitions when putting on and off the helmet.
• Comes with a lifetime crash warranty
• The ventilation is adequate
• It has flexible side panels
• There is an extra padding included
• There is no other size available
What to Consider Before Buying a Triathlon Helmet
Here are several factors you need to keep an eye on before your final decision:
Safety is the first thing that should come to mind when it comes to triathlon helmets, as this is their primary function. Imagine yourself riding at top speeds alongside other cyclists.
You would want some insurance in case an accident was to happen. After all, the last thing anyone would want is a concussion. To know if a helmet is going to be safe, check the packaging if it has the necessary standards of approval for safety.
These are usually from safety committees such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission in the US. If there’s a sticker from such an agency, then the helmet should be safe enough for your head.
Triathlons are contests of endurance and as such, expect each leg of the race to be quite long. Throughout the cycling event, you’d want a helmet that fits you right for several reasons. First, a helmet that fits right is safe.
A fit triathlon helmet is one that will not jostle around your head and become a potential source of distraction. You’re going to need to focus and a fit helmet will help with that. Second, a fit helmet is going to be comfortable.
Comfort is not necessary for victory, but a comfortable helmet will make the grueling sport be a tad more bearable. Comfort will make a big difference when it comes to maintaining your stamina and endurance.
Design here means the shape of the triathlon helmet, but if you feel you’d be happier with a colorful one, then go for it. Anyway, the design of the helmet is a performance-affecting factor. Some people stand by the claims that it helps, while others remain skeptical.
You’re just going to have to try it out yourself. These triathlon helmets are often streamlined and aerodynamic for athletes to take advantage of the laws of physics and how wind behaves around certain shapes.
The design elements for these helmets include golf-ball-indentations and a swooping back.
Ventilation may be one thing you have not considered in a helmet before, but it will be one when you’re already out there. If you are lucky, you will get a triathlon helmet that has good ventilation.
But if you’re not, then you will soon get one as you realize that biking is way more difficult with your head sweating buckets.
Weight is a factor that ties in with others in the list. One would want a lightweight helmet since lighter gear will be easier to push through. However, a lightweight cycling helmet might not be able to provide as much protection.
Prices will also vary according to weight, because higher-tier helmets are often the lighter ones. In the end, weight is a factor that you should consider depending on your own preference.
When it comes to any purchase, price is always a factor. Of course, you would want the best for yourself. However, also consider the price you are willing to pay in exchange for the benefits of a helmet.
If you think that the benefits of a pricey helmet will significantly improve your time, then go for it. But if you do not, then there’s no need to get the most expensive one on the rack.
If you can, get a triathlon helmet that is well in your price range and can offer you the benefits that you need on the road.
How to Make Sure Your Triathlon Helmet Fit is Right
We have talked about what fit is and how it’s important, but how would you know if the fit is right? Most helmet brands offer one-size-fits-all, but there are brands that offer multiple sizing options. This is usually the case for higher-tier companies
Try On Different Sizes
The easiest way to find the best fitting helmet for you is to try them all out. If you are in a shop, try on as much as you can. If a certain helmet feels good on your head, try a smaller one to be sure. The helmet you choose should fit you perfectly.
The helmet should be level and an inch away from your eyebrows. The straps should be tight yet comfortable and should not hurt your ears or jaw. To make sure the fit is right, put your hand on top of the fitted helmet and try moving it in different directions.
A well-fitting helmet should stay put.
Think of Your Hair
Other factors you should consider when it comes to fit is your hair. Think about whether you wear a ponytail when you ride, if you tie it up, or if you wear anything else on your head inside the helmet such as a cap or hat. Think about these before jumping the gun.
Triathlon Helmet FAQs
Are There Different Types of Triathlon Helmets?
There are three general categories for bike helmets: recreational, road bike and mountain bike helmets. Recreational helmets are the usual helmets of casual bikers. These are affordable equipment that provide good enough protection for minor stumbles and falls.
As the name implies, road bike helmets are for those riding their bikes on roads. They differ very slightly compared to recreational helmets, aside from being more lightweight. This type of helmet ensures the rider with maximum vision so that they can spot cars from any angle.
Mountain bike helmets provide the most protection and ventilation among the three. Understandably, mountain bikers require more protection as their terrains are very dangerous. This means mountain bike helmets come pretty hard with tight and durable straps.
When Would I Know to Replace My Triathlon Helmet?
Helmets are great insurance pieces as they last pretty long. Companies often recommend that you get a new helmet every 5 years or so in order to ensure your safety.
Aside from that, the only other reason you would need to get a new helmet is if you happen to have been in an accident.
The final decision is up to you. As long as you know what to look for in a helmet, you are well equipped to go out there and get the perfect helmet for you.