Check out these four new helmets that are the best of the bunch in 2014.
Rudy Project Airstorm$174.99 1 of 5
Ventilation: 16 frontal air vents, internal channel design to aid airflow
Adjustment: RSR8 Retention System
This helmet is all about the details. The mesh liner inside keeps the top of the head cool and comfortable. The pad on the chinstrap is so helpful it's hard to imagine why every helmet manufacturer hasn't included this same feature. The adjustable dial of the RSR8 Retention System is the best we tested.
The helmet fits so well that you might forget that you're wearing it and adjustments made mid-ride on the bike are about as easy as it's going to get. The position of the air vents worked surprisingly well on hot days and the highly visible neon color is a great option for commuting to and from work.
SCOTT Vanish Evo$160 2 of 5
Ventilation: 10 Frontal Vents that run the length of the helmet
Adjustment: MRAS II Fit System
It's called the Vanish for a reason. This is the least bulky helmet we tested. It's so form fitting that it almost feels like a hat. The slim shape makes it incredibly light and the straight channel vents let in air easily to keep the head cool on hot days. The MRAS II fit system is easy to adjust. The ConeHead technology keeps the helmet among the top in safety rankings despite the reduction in foam, which helps to keep it from looking as bulbous as other models. This is a race-ready helmet that you'll want to use all the time.
Giro Aspect Helmet$175 3 of 5
Ventilation: 19 air vents with internal channeling
Adjustment: Roc Loc Air System
The design of the Giro Aspect is different than any other helmet on the market. Serious road riders will love it or hate it, which is why we think this helmet is best suited for urban cycling or for those who want to give their standard bike attire a fashionable flair.
The vent design works well to release heat and keep the head cool and the attachable bill is a nice touch that works well on sunny or rainy days. We like that this helmet doesn't look out of place on a quick ride to the grocery store or on a weekend club ride, which makes it more versatile than more race-inspired helmets. It does feel heavier than the other models we tested, so if you're serious about the weight of your equipment this may not be for you. But if you're looking for a helmet that breaks the mold of what a helmet should look like, the Aspect is worth your consideration.
Rudy Project Wing 57$500 4 of 5
Weight: 300 grams
Ventilation: 2 frontal vents, 2 side vents, and 2 rear vents
Adjustment: RSR8 Retention System
The Wing 57 continues the trend of short tail aero helmets. The ability to make minor adjustments to the fit and comfort are what set this model apart from the others. The Jet Stream attachment that attaches to the rear portion of the helmet with a magnet. This allows riders to fill in (or remove) the space between the helmet and the back depending on how aggressive your aero position is.
The intake vents at the front of the helmet can be covered or removed, depending on how hot it is outside. For an aero helmet, the Wing 57 is one of the most breathable helmets on the market and won't make you feel like you're riding with a sack over your head when it's warm out. The other plus is the optical shield, which can be removed if you'd rather wear your own sunglasses. But with the quality, look and aero benefits of the visor, our guess is that you'll probably opt to keep it on.
In our own 40K time trial simulation, riding at 300 watts with the Wing 57 produced a time that was more than a full minute faster than a standard helmet at the same power. If you're into time trials or long-course triathlons, this helmet could give you some serious time saving bonuses for a price that's more reasonable than upgrading your wheel set.