The Best Road and Gravel Helmets of 2022
These lids tick all our boxes. (Photo: Inga Hendrickson)
2022 Summer Gear Guide

The Best Road and Gravel Helmets of 2022

These lids tick all our boxes

The Best Road and Gravel Helmets of 2022
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from VeloNews.com

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Cycling helmets are lighter, better ventilated, and generally more comfortable than ever before. Most important, they’re safer. Advances in materials and antirotation technologies, along with the integration of LEDs and crash-detecting sensors, make a compelling case for upgrading your aging lid. (Besides, most manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every three years.) Here are four to consider when it’s time for a refresh so you can keep on road or gravel riding, stress free. 

Bontrager Circuit WaveCel ($160)

Bontrager Circuit WaveCel
(Photo: Courtesy Bontrager)

This versatile helmet is suited to road, gravel, and daily commutes. It employs Bontrager’s proprietary WaveCel technology, an internal structure that acts as a crumple zone during a crash, redirecting impact forces before they reach your head. Equally important, it boasts an easy-to-adjust fit system and better ventilation than previous WaveCel helmets we’ve tried. The icing on the cake is the magnetic mounts for snapping on front and rear lights.

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POC Ventral Lite ($275)

POC Ventral Lite
(Photo: Courtesy POC)

Minimalists and those who live in hot climates will appreciate the Ventral Lite. It weighs a scant 240 grams in a size medium for the CPSC-approved version that’s sold in the United States. (Even lighter, non-CPSC-approved models are available elsewhere in the world.)On top of that, its large vents and deep internal channels make it the best-ventilated helmet we tested this season. If you’re counting grams and don’t mind the absence of the MIPS system, it’s an outstanding road helmet.

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Specialized Centro LED ($90)

Specialized Centro LED
(Photo: Courtesy Specialized)

Our testers found that many helmets designed for commuting and recreational riding don’t place enough emphasis on ventilation—and hot and sweaty is no way to end your daily ride to work. Specialized’s Centro bucks this trend with 15 airy vents. Still, city-riding essentials like reflectivity on the straps, an integrated rear LED light, MIPS technology, and a mount for a crash-detecting ANGi sensor (sold separately) had us feeling confident on dark, busy roads.

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Giro Helios Spherical MIPS ($250)

Giro Helios Spherical MIPS
(Photo: Courtesy Giro)

With the Helios, Giro brings safety tech from its top-end Aether road helmet into a slightly more affordable price range. The Helios costs $50 less, but is just as functional. It uses the MIPS Spherical system, which has inner and outer EPS foam layers that function like a ball-and-socket joint to dissipate impact forces. We’ve tested every iteration of MIPS, and this is the most comfortable version: no plastic liner to snag your hair. Plus, 15 vents kept us cool on hot summer rides.

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From Summer 2022 Gear Guide Lead Photo: Inga Hendrickson

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