Triathlon is a demanding sport that requires endurance, skill, and the right equipment. Among the most critical pieces of gear that triathletes need is a high-quality helmet. Not only does it protect the head in case of an accident, but it also helps to reduce air resistance, increase speed, and optimize performance.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll take you through everything you need to know about triathlon helmets. From understanding the different types of helmets and their features to reviewing the top helmets on the market, we’ll cover it all. We’ll also provide tips on what to consider when choosing a triathlon helmet and answer some of the most commonly asked questions.
Understanding Triathlon Helmets
Triathlon helmets are specially designed helmets that are built for multi-sport races that combine cycling, running, and swimming. Unlike traditional road bike helmets, triathlon helmets are designed to meet the unique needs of triathletes, including aerodynamics, comfort, and safety.
Different Types of Helmets and their Features
There are three main types of triathlon helmets: road helmets, time trial helmets, and aero helmets. Each has its unique features and is designed to meet the specific needs of triathletes.
|Road Helmets||These are standard bike helmets that are commonly used in road cycling. They are lightweight and offer good ventilation, making them ideal for triathletes who prioritize comfort and breathability.||Typically in-expensive|
|Time Trial Helmets / Aero Helmets||These helmets are designed to be more aerodynamic than road helmets. They have a pointed, teardrop shape that reduces air resistance and increases speed. They are ideal for triathletes who prioritize speed over comfort.||Typically expensive. But there are cheap options.|
Safety Certifications and What to Look for in a Helmet
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a triathlon helmet is safety. Look for helmets that meet safety standards like CPSC, EN 1078, or Snell. Also, consider helmets that have additional safety features like MIPS, which can help reduce the risk of head injury in case of an accident.
Helmet Fit and How to Ensure Proper Fit
A properly fitting helmet is critical for safety and comfort. To ensure a good fit, measure the circumference of your head and choose a helmet that matches your measurement. Look for helmets that have adjustable straps and retention systems, so you can adjust the fit to your liking. Finally, make sure the helmet is snug and doesn’t move around on your head.
Overview of Top Triathlon Helmets
Before we dive into the reviews, let’s take a quick look at some of the top triathlon helmets on the market. These helmets are known for their exceptional performance, comfort, and safety.
- Giro Aerohead MIPS
- SLS3 Triathlon Helmet
- Shinmax Bike Helme
- Giro Savant
- Specialized S-Works Evade II
Detailed Reviews of Each Helmet
In this section, we’ll review each of the top triathlon helmets on the market, highlighting their key features, pros, and cons.
Giro Aerohead MIPS
The Giro Aerohead MIPS is a popular choice among triathletes who want a helmet that combines speed and safety. It has a sleek, aerodynamic design that reduces air resistance and increases speed. The helmet also features the MIPS technology, which helps reduce the risk of head injury in case of an accident.
- MIPS technology for added safety
- Sleek, aerodynamic design
- Easy to adjust and customize fit with Roc Loc Air fit system
- Comes with a magnetic lens that provides added protection and visibility
- Expensive compared to some other options on the market
- May not be as well-ventilated as other helmets
SLS3 Triathlon Helmet
The SLS3 Triathlon Helmet is a high-performance option that combines aerodynamics and comfort. As a triathlete, I was impressed by the design of the helmet, especially the removable shield visor that made it perfect for a time trial TT. The helmet fit comfortably on my head with a snug fit, although it was slightly smaller than expected from the pictures. However, I was happy to find that other visors could fit and be used on this helmet, which added to its versatility.
The German design of the SLS3 Triathlon Helmet is evident in the attention to detail and quality of the helmet. I highly recommend this helmet to any triathlete looking for a high-performance and versatile option for their next race.
- Aero design
- Removable shield visor
- Comfortable fit
- Versatile with compatibility for different visors
- High-quality German design
- Slightly smaller fit than expected
Shinmax Bike Helme
I was pleasantly surprised by the Shinmax Bike Helmet’s quality and affordability. The helmet is incredibly lightweight, making it comfortable to wear for extended periods. The adjustable rear light adds an extra layer of safety, and the visor effectively keeps debris out of my eyes. The helmet’s design is sleek and modern, and it fits my head snugly without any discomfort. As a first-time bicycle helmet user, I’m impressed with the level of protection and comfort it provides. The helmet’s budget-friendly price is a huge plus, making it accessible to all cyclists, regardless of budget. Overall, I highly recommend the Shinmax Bike Helmet for anyone looking for a reliable, comfortable, and affordable option.
- Highly aerodynamic design
- Affordable price
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Adjustable rear light adds extra safety
- Effective visor keeps debris out of eyes
- Sleek and modern design
- Some triathletes may prefer more ventilation for hot weather
- May not fit all head sizes comfortably
The Giro Savant is an affordable and lightweight bike helmet that is praised for its comfort and stylish design. It has a knob-adjustable head strap that provides a secure fit and allows for easy adjustments. The helmet is available in a variety of sizes and colors, including a bright yellow that enhances visibility and safety on the road. Some reviewers note that the helmet is not as safe as others on the market, but it is still a great option for the casual everyday rider. The helmet has also been reported to have saved the life of one cyclist who suffered a hard fall. The Giro Savant is recommended by many riders for its comfortable fit, lightweight feel, and affordable price.
- Good-looking helmet
- Breathable and comfortable to wear
- Hi-viz yellow color and reflective side strips for better visibility and safety on the road
- Knob-adjustable head strap for better security
- Has saved someone’s life before
- Does not have MIPS
- Ranks 117th on UVA’s bicycle safety tests, indicating it may not be the safest helmet available
- Straps twist as they pass through the fitting below the ear, which may cause them to be slightly uncomfortable
- May produce more wind noise than other helmets
- Some users have found it difficult to adjust the straps
- May not fit well for those with a round head shape
Specialized S-Works Evade II
The Specialized S-Works Evade II is a popular choice among triathletes who want a helmet that is both aerodynamic and well-ventilated. It has a unique design that combines the benefits of an aero helmet with good ventilation, thanks to its large vents and air channels. The helmet also features a magnetic buckle for easy on and off.
- Aerodynamic design with good ventilation
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Magnetic buckle for easy on and off
- Expensive compared to some other options on the market
- May not be as well-ventilated as some other helmets
Environment-specific helmets have become increasingly popular among triathletes in recent years. These helmets are designed to cater to the specific needs of different environments, such as the bike and run portions of a triathlon.
The most common type of environment-specific helmets are those designed for the bike portion of the race. These helmets are typically more aerodynamic and have a sleeker design than regular helmets. They are intended to reduce wind resistance and help the athlete move faster on the bike.
However, these helmets may not be as well-ventilated as regular helmets, which can be a problem during the run portion of the race. For this reason, some triathletes prefer to use a different helmet for the run portion. These helmets are designed to be more ventilated, providing better air circulation and cooling during the run.
While using different helmets for different portions of the race may seem like a good idea, there are some downsides to this approach. Firstly, it can be time-consuming and impractical to switch helmets during the race. Secondly, it can be expensive to purchase two separate helmets. Finally, it can be challenging to find a helmet that fits comfortably and securely for both the bike and run portions of the race.
For those who do decide to use different helmets for different portions of the race, it is essential to ensure that both helmets fit properly and comfortably. It is also important to ensure that both helmets meet the appropriate safety standards.
If you decide to use different helmets for different portions of the race, we recommend using a more aerodynamic helmet for the bike portion and a more ventilated helmet for the run portion. Some popular options for bike-specific helmets include the Giro Aerohead MIPS and the Rudy Project Boost 01. For run-specific helmets, the Kask Protone and the Bell Z20 MIPS are both excellent choices.
Overall, using environment-specific helmets can be a good strategy for some triathletes, but it is not necessary for everyone. It is important to consider the pros and cons before deciding if this approach is right for you.
Helmet accessories are common features on many triathlon helmets, and they can offer additional benefits to the user. Some of the most common helmet accessories include visors, ear covers, and chinstraps. In this section, we’ll discuss the benefits of these accessories and how to use and maintain them.
Visors are a popular accessory for triathlon helmets because they can help protect the eyes from the sun, wind, and rain. Many visors are also adjustable, so they can be tilted up or down to provide additional protection from the sun or to reduce glare. Some visors are also removable, so you can take them off when they are not needed.
To use a visor, simply attach it to the front of your helmet using the clips or Velcro straps that are provided. Make sure the visor is securely attached so it doesn’t fall off during your race. When you’re not using the visor, store it in a safe place to prevent it from getting damaged or lost.
To maintain your visor, clean it regularly with a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt, sweat, and other debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could scratch or damage the surface of the visor. If your visor becomes damaged or cracked, replace it immediately to ensure continued protection for your eyes.
Ear covers are another popular accessory for triathlon helmets, especially in colder weather. They can help keep your ears warm and protect them from wind and cold temperatures. Some ear covers are also designed to reduce wind noise, which can improve your hearing during the race.
To use ear covers, simply attach them to the sides of your helmet using the clips or Velcro straps that are provided. Make sure the ear covers are securely attached so they don’t fall off during your race. When you’re not using the ear covers, store them in a safe place to prevent them from getting damaged or lost.
To maintain your ear covers, clean them regularly with a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt, sweat, and other debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the fabric or cause the ear covers to lose their shape.
Chinstraps are an essential part of any triathlon helmet, but some helmets come with additional chinstrap accessories that can provide additional comfort or security. For example, some helmets come with padded chinstraps that can help reduce chafing or irritation during long races. Other helmets come with adjustable chinstraps that can be tightened or loosened to ensure a comfortable and secure fit.
To use a chinstrap accessory, simply attach it to your helmet according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Make sure the accessory is securely attached so it doesn’t come loose during your race. When you’re not using the chinstrap accessory, store it in a safe place to prevent it from getting damaged or lost.
To maintain your chinstrap accessories, clean them regularly with a soft, damp cloth to remove dirt, sweat, and other debris. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that could damage the fabric or cause the accessory to lose its shape. If your chinstrap accessory becomes damaged or worn out, replace it immediately to ensure continued protection and comfort during your races.
In conclusion, helmet accessories can offer additional benefits to triathletes, but it’s important to use and maintain them properly to ensure continued protection and comfort. Whether you’re using a visor to protect your eyes from the sun or wind, ear covers to keep your ears warm and protected, or a padded chinstrap to reduce chafing, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and clean and store your accessories properly to ensure they last for many races to come.
Helmet Fitting Services
Proper helmet fitting is crucial for ensuring maximum protection and comfort during a triathlon. While many triathletes may attempt to fit their own helmets, there are professional fitting services available that can help ensure the best possible fit. These services are often offered by triathlon shops and manufacturers, and they can be extremely beneficial for athletes of all skill levels.
Benefits of Helmet Fitting Services
One of the main benefits of using a professional helmet fitting service is that it can help ensure that the athlete’s helmet is properly adjusted to fit their head. A well-fitted helmet will not only provide maximum protection but also ensure that it is comfortable and will not shift during the race. Additionally, a professional fitter can help an athlete choose the right helmet based on their specific needs, preferences, and budget.
A professional fitting service can also save time and money in the long run. A poorly fitting helmet may need to be replaced sooner than expected or may cause discomfort during training and racing, leading to lost training time and decreased performance. A professional fitting can help prevent these issues, ensuring that the athlete is comfortable and protected throughout their training and racing.
Recommendations for Finding a Reputable Fitting Service
When looking for a reputable helmet fitting service, there are a few key factors to consider. First, look for a shop or manufacturer with a strong reputation and experience in the triathlon industry. They should have knowledgeable staff who can help guide athletes through the fitting process and answer any questions they may have.
It’s also important to find a fitting service that offers a wide variety of helmets to choose from, ensuring that the athlete can find a helmet that fits their needs and preferences. Many fitting services may also offer custom fitting options, such as adjustable padding or straps, to ensure the perfect fit.
Overall, a professional helmet fitting service can be an excellent investment for any triathlete looking to improve their comfort and performance during training and racing. With the right helmet and a properly fitted helmet, triathletes can focus on their performance and safety, knowing that they have the best possible protection and comfort.
Maintenance and care for triathlon helmets
To ensure your helmet provides maximum safety and performance, it’s important to take proper care of it. In this guide, we’ll provide an overview of proper maintenance and care for your triathlon helmet.
Cleaning Your Helmet After each use, it’s important to clean your helmet to remove any sweat, dirt, or grime that may have accumulated during the race. To clean your helmet, follow these steps:
- Use a soft, damp cloth to wipe down the exterior of the helmet, including the shell, vents, and straps.
- For stubborn dirt or grime, use a mild soap and water solution to clean the helmet. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials, as they can damage the helmet’s exterior.
- Rinse the helmet thoroughly with clean water and allow it to air dry completely before storing it.
Storing Your Helmet When not in use, it’s important to store your helmet properly to avoid any damage or wear and tear. Follow these tips for proper helmet storage:
- Store your helmet in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight or heat sources.
- Avoid storing your helmet near chemicals or other substances that can damage the helmet’s exterior.
- Store your helmet with the straps unfastened, so they don’t become tangled or damaged.
- If possible, store your helmet in a helmet bag or case to protect it from scratches or other damage.
Replacing Your Helmet Over time, your triathlon helmet will begin to wear down, which can compromise its safety and performance. To ensure your helmet is always in top condition, follow these guidelines for helmet replacement:
- Replace your helmet after any impact or accident, even if there are no visible signs of damage.
- Replace your helmet every 3-5 years, even if it hasn’t been involved in an accident.
- If you notice any cracks, dents, or other damage to your helmet, replace it immediately.
- If your helmet no longer fits properly, replace it with a new one that fits properly.
Triathlon helmet innovation
The world of triathlon gear is constantly evolving, and the same applies to triathlon helmets. As new technologies emerge and athletes demand higher performance, there are a few emerging trends that triathletes should keep an eye on.
- Integrated Sensors: Some manufacturers are incorporating sensors into their helmets that can track metrics such as speed, heart rate, and power output. This technology can help athletes monitor their performance in real-time and make adjustments as needed.
- Customization: As mentioned before, many triathletes are looking for helmets that fit their personal style and preferences. As a result, manufacturers are offering customization options such as color choices, graphics, and personalized fit.
- Sustainable Materials: As sustainability becomes an increasingly important consideration in all industries, helmet manufacturers are also looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact. Some companies are using recycled materials, biodegradable plastics, and other eco-friendly alternatives to traditional materials.
- Improved Safety: While helmets are already designed to protect athletes from head injuries, manufacturers are constantly looking for ways to improve safety even further. New materials and designs are being developed that can better absorb impact and reduce the risk of injury.
- 3D Printing: 3D printing technology is being used to create custom-fit helmets that conform perfectly to an athlete’s head. This can improve both comfort and safety by eliminating any gaps between the helmet and the head.
It’s important to note that these trends are still in the early stages of development and may not be widely available yet. However, as technology advances and demand grows, we can expect to see more triathlon helmets incorporating these features in the future. As always, it’s important to do your research and choose a helmet that meets your individual needs and preferences.
Triathlon helmet laws and regulations
Helmet laws and regulations are an important consideration for all triathletes, as failure to comply with these laws could result in legal repercussions. Different regions have different laws and regulations regarding triathlon helmet use, and it is important for athletes to be aware of these laws to ensure they are in compliance.
In the United States, for example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets safety standards for bicycle helmets. Any helmet sold in the U.S. must meet these standards, and failure to comply with these standards can result in a fine or other legal penalties. It is also important to note that some states have additional helmet laws that may apply specifically to triathlons or other multi-sport events.
In Europe, helmets used in cycling or triathlon events must meet the EN 1078 standard. This standard specifies that helmets must provide protection against impact and penetration, as well as include a retention system that keeps the helmet in place in the event of an accident. Helmets that meet the EN 1078 standard bear a CE marking.
Ironman helmet regulations
The passage outlines the rules and regulations regarding the use of helmets in triathlon events. Firstly, it states that the helmets worn by athletes must be approved by a national accredited testing authority recognized by the World Triathlon and relevant National Federation. It then mandates that helmets must be worn at all times while riding a bike during the event, including race competition, course familiarization, and training sessions. Altering or omitting any part of the helmet is prohibited, and the helmet must be securely fastened at all times while in possession of the bike. If an athlete moves the bike off the race course for any reason, they may only unfasten or remove the helmet after they have moved outside the boundary of the bike course route and dismounted from the bike. The penalty for violating these rules may include disqualification (DSQ) or a time penalty of 30 or 60 seconds, depending on the severity of the violation. These rules are designed to ensure the safety of triathlon participants and enforce compliance with recognized helmet safety standards.
To sum up, it is important for triathletes to check the regulations in their region or country to ensure that they are in compliance with all applicable laws and standards. In addition to complying with legal requirements, wearing a properly fitted and certified helmet is an essential part of ensuring personal safety during training and competition.