How to choose the right cycling helmet for race-day

Jamie Wilkins explains how to make the right helmet choice for your triathlon...

Javier Gomez

These aero road helmets are great all-rounders if you need one helmet for all your racing and riding. The best are fast, airy and light. Buy one of the top five from this test and you won’t ever be in the wrong helmet. But, if you also have a time-trial helmet and a superlight road lid, how do you choose which to wear for a specific multisport race?


Aerodynamics is everything so, if you have one, then a TT helmet is your default choice and you need a good reason to ditch it. If it’s warm, suffer a bit and drink plenty. You will still be faster.

If it’s hot then an aero road helmet will prevent serious overheating – test your helmets in training to find the tipping point. If it’s really hilly then you should still be going for something like the Scott Cadence Plus rather than a road helmet because 50g or so doesn’t matter but the aero does.

The only time you might leave an aero road helmet at home and opt for a superlight standard road helmet is if you’re racing in properly mountainous surroundings. When the gradients top 8%, weight beats aero and ventilation is essential. On the way back down you’ll likely be going as fast as you’re comfortable to go, so an aero helmet won’t help unless you’re sat on the top tube and hugging your stem at 60mph.

10 of the best TT bike helmets

Aero cycling helmets: how to choose the right shape

A quick guide to aero helmets


Aero road helmets: 10 of the best reviewed