Check out these four new helmets, some of the fastest and most comfortable available on the market today.
Bell Star Pro$280 1 of 9
The problem with most aero helmets is that they're hot. Less vents and narrow shapes usually translates to less airflow. While they're faster, they aren't so practical on really hot days or for long rides. What Bell has done with the new Star Pro helmet is to add an option that allows cyclists to convert a regular helmet into a more aerodynamic helmet when the need arises.
The Star Pro has two things going for it that most other aero helmets don't: a detachable sunglass shield and the option to close the air vents to make it more aerodynamic. If you'd rather ride with a more traditional helmet, simply leave the air vents open and remove the shield. If you happen to sign up for a time trial or want to squeeze in an extra advantage on a breakaway, leave the vents closed and attach the shield.
Bell Star Pro Continued$280 2 of 9
This dual-purpose design is smart and eliminates the need for two different helmets. With the vents closed and shield on, the Star Pro is fast and should knock at least 20 to 30 seconds off of a 40K time trial. The design of the shield was an added plus—the distance it is held away from the face prevented lens fogging that's common when wearing standard sunglasses.
Who it's for: If you're a cyclist looking for a multi-purpose helmet that's suitable for training or racing, the Star Pro is a good choice.
Kask Mojito$199 3 of 9
With all the talk these days centered around making helmets faster, it's easy to forget that a helmet should accomplish two things above all else: protect your head and be comfortable to wear. The Mojito helmet from Kask accomplished these two tasks better than all the others.
The external shell of the Mojito provided more surface area coverage than any of the other helmets we tested, leaving less exposure on the sides and back of the helmet. While this is definitely a good thing, what we were most impressed with was the comfort Kask was able to achieve. The cantilevered rear cradle design allows for superior and individualized adjustment—a detail you'll appreciate once you try this helmet on. Our guess is that this helmet would fit almost any head shape, which is definitely not the case with most other options.
Kask Mojito Continued$199 4 of 9
The little details of the Kask also stand out. The leather chinstrap is so sturdy and well made it makes other helmets feel cheap in comparison. The padding and fabric in the interior of the helmet provided excellent cushion and durability. It's made with a sanitized fabric that's easier to clean and harder to break down, which will help it last much longer than traditional helmet padding.
Who it's for: Anyone who is seeking comfort and fit above all else. Great for long rides in hot weather.
Smith Optics Overtake$250 5 of 9
The goal of the new Overtake helmet from Smith Optics is to combine superior ventilation, aerodynamics and protection in a new design. Their new Aerocore technology that's used instead of the standard Styrofoam material you see in most helmets doesn't look that breathable with its open-cell construction.
Looks can be deceiving. It's extremely light, and though it looks like it fills in the air vents more than a traditional helmet does, it actually lets in more air and does a better job keeping the head cool than most others we tested.
Smith Optics Overtake Continued$250 6 of 9
Smith claims this helmet is more protective than standard materials. Testing numbers show it's nearly identical to time savings to the Specialized Evade—one of the most aerodynamic road helmets on the market. Other features such as the slot in the front of the helmet made to hold your sunglasses are just as inventive. Functionally, the Overtake is on par with the best helmets we've ever tested. Smith's ability to think unconventionally during the design process should be applauded.
Who it's for: If you're looking for a performance helmet that's different from the rest, the Overtake is worth every penny.
Specialized S-Works Evade$250 7 of 9
The design shape of the Evade doesn't just make this helmet look fast—but it is. Specialized claims that the Evade is every bit as fast as their full blown time trial helmet, and in our own testing during a 40K time trial simulation, we wouldn't disagree.
What we did find surprising about the Evade were the cooling vents. The openings in the front and back were larger than expected. At cruising speeds above 16 miles per hour, your head will feel just as cool as it would in any other standard helmet on all but the hottest of days. You'll notice a difference during slow or long climbs when overall speed is decreased. In these situations, the Evade will have a tendency to trap heat from your head and make you feel hot.
Specialized S-Works Evade Continued$250 8 of 9
The shape of the helmet will be hit or miss for some. We found it to be less awkward than expected and more comfortable than most other road aero helmets.
Who it's for: Anyone who needs a really fast aero helmet for time trials, criteriums or flat road races.