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The top 7 lightest road bike helmets

In this article I’m going to give my views on the lightest road bike helmets money can buy.

I can appreciate a road cyclist’s ambition to save grams from an already light setup, and looking to do so with a lightweight road bike helmet feels just as obvious. The average weight of a road bike helmet is around 280 grams. That’s not much weight to work with in a product where the majority basically consists of styrofoam.

And you see that reflected in the number of entries that sit far below that average weight. They are very few, and you might wonder if the reduction in weight has not been at the cost of reducing the helmets ability to do what’s most important, which is to protect you in case of a crash.

I weighed my old helmets that do not have the amount of protection you can find in the most premium helmets today. And my guess is that the proven technology, like MIPS Spherical, and polycarbonate reinforcement, adds about 60 to 70 grams to overall weight.

So if you’re looking for the best yet lightest road bike helmets, I would look for ones that weigh around 280 grams or less, yet still offer that added protection. Because that would mean that without the protection technology they would weigh 30 percent less than average, which I would consider lightweight.

With that in mind I created this overview of the best and lightest road bike helmets. And you can find a table overview at the end of the article to compare various features, including the weight.

Giro Aether Spherical

Giro Aether Spherical
Giro Aether Spherical
Giro Aether Spherical
Giro Aether Spherical
Giro Aether Spherical
Giro Aether Spherical

The Giro Aether Spherical is arguably a better value-for-money proposition than the far more expensive Aries Spherical.

That’s because it boasts the exact same crash technology in a slightly different package. MIPS Spherical crash technology to reduce rotational impact forces, a multi-density EPS liner, and a reinforced polycarbonate shell. All are the same.

The Roc Loc 5 Air fit system is also featured, ensuring a great fit of the helmet with multiple ways to adjust the padding, vertical height and circumference. To keep you cool, air is ingeniously guided along your head.

There are many colors to choose from to fit the rest of your outfit or your bike. All in all a no-brainer if you value safety and are willing to spend the money on a premium helmet such as this one.

Expert Experience

Nick BruckBauer | Contributor – October 2, 2019

The Giro Aether is a very elegant-looking helmet with a uniquely designed built-in MIPS liner, excellent ventilation, and one of the highest list prices in our lineup. Giro’s unique Spherical design houses the MIPS liner between different layers of the EPS foam shell, rather than directly against the rider’s head, allowing for the placement of internal airflow channels in the foam liner that add to the already excellent ventilation. Riders willing to shell out a bunch of cash for high-end features and a fancy design will love this model, but those looking for better value can likely find something with similar or better performance and comfort at a lower price.

Pros and Cons

Giro Aries Spherical

Giro Aries Spherical
Giro Aries Spherical
Giro Aries Spherical
Giro Aries Spherical
Giro Aries Spherical
Giro Aries Spherical

The Giro Aries Spherical is one of the safest if not the safest helmet within its category. It also has the highest suggested retail price at 300 USD. On its product page Giro boasts the helmet having the lowest Virginia Tech helmet rating (lower is better), and you have to if you charge this price.

So what exactly do you get for the money? This is one of a couple of helmets offering the MIPS Spherical technology, which reduces rotational damage with a ball-in-socket helmet setup. Furthermore the polycarbonate shell is reinforced with twin bridges on each side, alongside a roll-cage-like reinforced band. It all makes for an incredibly strong helmet that doesn’t weigh more than your average similar helmet.

It has silicon beads so sweat doesn’t drip into your eyes, or runs down your glasses, which is a feature far more useful than you might think.

The helmet is tightened on your head with the Roc Loc 5 Air fit system, something featured in all of their premium models. And something that does a great job of keeping the lightweight lid in place.

Expert Experience

Suvi Loponen | Technical writer – July 07, 2023

The Giro Aries Spherical is the company’s latest pro-level helmet, featuring its Spherical Technology system, a unique ball-and-socket design that adds more safety on top of Mips. As well as ranking as one of the safest helmets out there, the Aries is also one of the lightest helmets on the market, and the abundant vents definitely make it one of the coolest I’ve used. It does, however, come at a high price.

Pros and Cons

Lazer G1 MIPS

Lazer G1 MIPS
Lazer G1 MIPS
Lazer G1 MIPS
Lazer G1 MIPS
Lazer G1 MIPS
Lazer G1 MIPS

The Lazer G1 MIPS is marketed as one of the lightest helmets in its category. And to be fair it is.

Yet I want to put the 235 grams of this helmet in perspective, because the average road bike helmet weighs 280 grams. That’s 45 grams heavier and something you will not notice while riding.

On the other hand, things like ventilation and fit are far more important things with respect to comfort than a couple of grams less. And luckily this helmet performs exceptionally well in that area. You get 2 different sets of padding to fully customize the fit.

Unlike your classic dial at the base of your skull you actually modify the fit with a wheel on top of the helmet. This non-indexed dial draws the helmet tight around your head around the entirety of its circumference.

Although it does a fantastic job of creating a superb fit, the two strings underneath the helmet look rather delicate. And I’m familiar with fit systems breaking with helmets being stuffed into bags. So that’s something you might want to keep in mind if you’re not the type of person who’s really careful with her/his material.

In terms of safety it offers MIPS technology and sits just behind Giro’s Aries Spherical, so its most important feature is taken care of. And a helmet cover is included to marginally increase aerodynamic properties or protect you from the rain.

Expert Experience

Brandon Bilyeu | Professional cyclist – January 13, 2020

The marketing of this helmet as superlight might only appeal to a small subset of cyclists, but the reality is that this is a great, no compromises helmet that just happens to be lightweight too. The Lazer G1 shines in fit, comfort, and ventilation. Extra safety is available with the MIPS version and extra aero performance with the Aeroshell. It is by no means cheap, but for a top of the line helmet in today’s market it is a relative value.

Pros and Cons

Lazer Sphere MIPS

Lazer Sphere MIPS
Lazer Sphere MIPS
Lazer Sphere MIPS
Lazer Sphere MIPS
Lazer Sphere MIPS
Lazer Sphere MIPS

The Lazer Sphere MIPS is an excellent choice if you want a helmet with a proven track record in safety without paying an absurd price.

When looking at the catalog of helmet manufacturers you can see an exponential increase in price to obtain the latest technology or the lightest variants. The Lazer Sphere MIPS is an excellent example of this, where a decent price get’s you all the latest bells and whistles in a slightly heavier package than Lazer’s top dog.

MIPS technology, the ARS fit system with the non-indexed dial on top of the helmet, and a weight of 280 grams, which is the exact average for road bike helmets all make for a great package.

Expert Experience

Steve Williams | Product reviewer – March 10, 2021

Despite a terrible first impression, I ended up really liking this helmet, because I simply don’t notice it when I’m riding – yet the safety features promise benefits I hopefully will notice if I crash. It’s not the lightest, coolest or sexiest helmet you can buy, but it’s a very comfortable, stable and reassuring one indeed.

Pros and Cons

Kask Valegro

Kask Valegro
Kask Valegro
Kask Valegro
Kask Valegro
Kask Valegro
Kask Valegro

The Kask Valegro is by far the lightest road bike helmet I could find, and the only one diving below 200 grams (for a size small that is).

At 180 grams it’s 35 percent lighter than the average weight of 280 grams. There are many things beside weight that add to the overall comfort of a helmet, but if you’re looking for a lightweight one this is definitely it.

The weight saving had to come from somewhere, and with the same Octo-fit fastening system used in other helmets it came from the minimal padding and what feels like less material in the EPS liner. It means you not only get a lightweight helmet you also get one which is less safe than other helmets that do not similarly compromise the liner.

The thing is airy enough and you probably don’t feel the minimal padding while riding, but the cost of the weight gain is not something I’d be willing to pay. And as far as price goes, the thing isn’t especially cheap, coming from a brand which supplies the pro peleton as well.

As far as looks go, I like the Kask Protone Icon better, but the Valegro is a very pretty helmet indeed. And it comes in enough colors to mix and match with your outfit and/or bike.

Expert Experience

Mat Brett | Technical editor – August 18, 2020

Overall, the Valegro puts in a strong performance if you’re after a lightweight and cool helmet. The only real issue I had was that the pressure didn’t feel as comfortably distributed on my head as with other helmets in Kask’s range, despite an excellent fit system, although other people didn’t find the same thing. If you’re interested in the Valegro, I’d suggest you try before you buy because if the fit feels good to you this is a high-quality option.

Pros and Cons

Kask Protone Icon

Kask Protone Icon
Kask Protone Icon
Kask Protone Icon
Kask Protone Icon
Kask Protone Icon
Kask Protone Icon

The Kask Protone Icon stylish looks underwrites its premium nature as the best road bike helmet the brand has to offer.

Extremely lightweight at 230 grams, the helmet has huge intake vents which are reinforced. A well-chosen color-scheme provides a sharp contrast between the glossy or matt polycarbonate and the black reinforced EPS liner.

The amount of ventilation achieved, makes this one of the best helmets for hot and summer rides. And well-placed vents in the front alongside the CoolMax padding keep your head dry and prevent hot spots and sweat from going places where you don’t want it to go.

The Octo Fit system does a perfect job of fastening the helm evenly around your head, offering both vertical and horizontal adjustment.

Everything pro peloton riders use can be had for a small fortune, and the same goes for this helmet, which is incredibly expensive. But for that money you get an exceptionally well-designed, highly ventilated, and comfortable road bike helmet.

Expert Experience

Shaun Audane | Technical writer – July 04, 2022

An evolution of the Protone helmet, the Kask Protone Icon is reckoned to have improved on its predecessor ‘in every way possible’. Having not tested a Protone it’s difficult for me to comment on this statement, but what I can say is that the Icon is the airiest and most comfortable helmet I’ve ever used, in 35 years of cycling. At 223g it’s also possibly the lightest – I barely noticed it.

Pros and Cons

POC Octal MIPS

POC Octal MIPS
POC Octal MIPS
POC Octal MIPS
POC Octal MIPS
POC Octal MIPS
POC Octal MIPS

I will not hide the fact that I’m a fan of the Swedish brand, and with the POC Octal MIPS they’ve created another fantastic-looking product to their already impressive lineup.

Always striving to cram their products with the best technology the Octal MIPS features the Integra version of this crash technology, which means the slip plane is customized to the specifics of this helmet. The helmet has a unibody build for enhanced structural integrity in case of a crash.

It’s touted as being extremely lightweight, with a stripped down EPS liner and fit system, but it isn’t really. 270 grams sits just below the average for a premium bike helmet such as this one, and if you really want the lightest helmet you have to look somewhere else.

Personally, I feel again that this helmet is the best-looking of the whole bunch, but am acutely aware of the subjectivity of that statement. And I have read a number of comments from people being less favorable about its above-average width. Nonetheless is the craftsmanship of this helmet undeniable, and it has a safety rating to match.

Expert Experience

Nick BruckBauer | Contributor – May 7, 2020

The POC Octal is a well-built, extremely lightweight helmet with excellent ventilation that has a very distinct Swedish design. This lid provides solid crash protection with its thick EPS foam liner, but falls short of our top awards with lower rankings in our comfort and adjustability metrics with minimal padding and a simple and lightweight adjustment system. While there are other helmets out there with more creature comforts and better adjustability to fit a wider range of heads, riders looking for extreme ventilation in a lightweight package with a classic Swedish design will appreciate the Octal.

Pros and Cons

Specifications lightest road bike helmets

Name
Price
Technology
Shell
Liner
Visor
Fit
weight (gr)
eyewear port
rating
Giro Aether Spherical
225 USD
MIPS Air/Spherical/Aura II
polycarbonate
Progressive Layering 3-layer EPS
none
Roc Loc 5 Air
280
yes
12.51
Giro Aries Spherical
300 USD
MIPS Air/Spherical/Aura II
polycarbonate
Progressive Layering 3-layer EPS
none
Roc Loc 5 Air
275
yes
8.4
Lazer G1 MIPS
250 USD
MIPS
polycarbonate
EPS
none
ARS
235
9.23
Lazer Sphere MIPS
160 USD
MIPS
polycarbonate
EPS
none
ARS
280
10.23
Kask Valegro
209 EUR
MIT
polycarbonate
EPS
none
Octo-fit
180
19.57
Kask Protone Icon
275 EUR
MIT/Inner Frame
polycarbonate
EPS
none
Octo-fit
230
POC Octal MIPS
200 EUR
MIPS Integra/Unibody
polycarbonate
EPS
none
lightweight system
270
yes
10.59

Sources

Nick BruckBauer, Giro Aether MIPS Review, Outdoorgearlab, October 2, 2019
Suvi Loponen, Giro Aries Spherical Helmet, Road.cc, July 07, 2023
Brandon Bilyeu, Lazer G1 Helmet Review, Road Bike Rider, January 13, 2020
Steve Williams, Lazer Sphere MIPS helmet, Road.cc, March 10, 2021
Mat Brett, Kask Valegro helmet, Road.cc, August 18, 2020
Shaun Audane, Kask Protone Icon helmet, Road.cc, July 04, 2022
Nick BruckBauer, POC Octal Review, Outdoorgearlab, May 7, 2020
bio vanseijen

Johan van Seijen

Founder Restoration.bike

Johan van Seijen is the founder of restoration.bike. His cycling career has seen him at the starting line of classics such as the Amstel Gold Race and Liege Bastogne Liege. Realizing his racing capacity would fall short of what was needed he obtained a MS from the University of Amsterdam in engineering. His love for cycling changed into riding in an amateur capacity with his local cycling club TFC Weesp as a roadie and supporting MTB Noordwest as a mountain biker. He repairs, restores, and builds bicycles and shares his knowledge on YouTube, Facebook and this website. 

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