When you buy a $500 helmet

Basically, the only helmets that have every looked good are the old leather hairnet types! But ditto, I’m happy with the fit and look of the Van Rysel. Would prefer MIPS, but not at treble the price!

I hated it, absolutely hated it. Told myself I’d never get a stupid looking helmet, even if it is super aero. But man, I want a POC Procen Air now. It looks stupid, but we all look stupid on our bikes with our tight spandex. I’ve hopped on the narrow bar train. I’m going all in to be that weird aero breakaway guy. Bring it on.

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Well, first of all, isn’t the Procen a gravel helmet, now? And second, speak for yourself. I imagine I look erudite when riding my bike…or maybe I should write ‘aerodite’.


Flip side of this is that I’ve had a wasp get into my helmet vent once and sting me, and on multiple other occasions have had insects get caught in the vents and had to remove the helmet to get them out. Thankfully no other stings to date, but the one was traumatic enough that when I can hear and feel frantic buzzing on my head because something has gone into the vent it freaks me out quite a bit and actually puts me off riding through some country lanes at this time of year when everything is lush and green and there’s a lot of insects around. So may take a closer look at the Smith and Treks!

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Yup…I’ve definitely had bees and other stingy beasts get in my lid and bite me.

But I’ll take the ventilation over the protection…the ventilation is beneficial on every warm ride while the insect bite is a rare (if painful) occasion.

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Yeah, I see this as risk management.

  • Severity of Injury (or Impact?)
  • Frequency of Exposure

I will take the cooling as the 99% of the time since I’ve had all of 1 or 2 bee’s in the helmet over 30+ years riding. And I say this as someone who caries an epi-pen due to sting allergies, that was stung through a glove the last time I had a bee interaction on a ride.


I’m still not really sold on mips as a huge upgrade, considering how the helmet sits on the head and the play that it anyway has I’m not sure that mips actually ads much in dampening rotational forces, since the helmet moves anyway if we hit something. but If I had to option I also would choose a MIPS version, it for sure doesn’t hurt.


I agree. I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy MIPs if I had a perfectly good non-MIPs helmet. Virginia Tech straps helmets to dummies that don’t have hair. Hair is like natural MIPs. I also suspect that most people don’t strap a helmet on as tight as they do on test dummies and that will allow the helmet to slip on impact.

The good thing is that MIPs helmets no longer in the ultra premium category. One can find MIPs at every price point.

I hadn’t followed this topic from the beginning because I’m not that interest in TT helmets but every time I see this topic pop up in the list, I think:

“F— no, would I paid $500 for any helmet.”


a question for @joshcroxton and anyone who has input as per an aero helmet that strikes a fine balance between speed and airflow. I started with a Poc Ventral and found that helmet while looking rather bulbous on me did breathe pretty well, is comfortable and was faster than the garneau quartz I had been using. Less excited now that I saw it come in last in the tests. At the end of last year I grabbed a Giro eclipse for aero and cosmetic reasons. Great that it came in 6th and it matches my road bike perfectly but I’m finding the Giro is a quite a bit warmer than the Poc and less comfy. I’m to the point that for the muggy new england summer months I might get a full venty helmet like the Poc ventral air but I’d rather stick with some with some “aero” benefit.

So for Josh, while you were in the wind tunnel did you notice any of the helmet letting more air get to your scalp than others while also putting up decent numbers? is that info to be found in the article proper? And for anybody else with experience with helmets on the list, do you find any of these aero helmets that breathe almost as well as a full venty helmet while still being quick?

On the topic of helmets,
I’m in the market. I have a Kask Utopia right now that I like quite a bit BUT

  • I have damaged the foam a while ago (not by falling. Long story). It might still be ok to use but I don’t wanna risk it anymore.
  • Can’t put sunglasses through the vent and this bothers me a lot.

I’m looking at Evade III. Looking at the CN results, I love that it’s one of the fastest choices, it looks great too!

Question : Evade III users, does it play well with your sunglasses? i.e. able to tuck it securely in the vent? What brand / model of sunglasses do you wear. Thank you!

Yes, they tuck securely…at least for most model sunglasses. I have no issues with stowing my Oakley Radarlock, Roka Matadors and my Eyejackets. I have a newer pair of Oakleys (similar to the Sutro but can’t recall the model name) that has shorter arms and that does not store as well.

While they are secure, they do sit a bit lower than I would like…i can see the edge of the glasses as I look forward (some of this is admittedly due to the fact that I get very low in my road and gravel positions).


I’ve got the Evade 3 and love it, was a Utopia user previously. Some backyard hand-waving tests suggested the E3 is faster, and seems very well-ventilated for its class. Have Koo and Tifosi and Oakleys, and as Power13 suggests, they all slot in well but ride a bit low, more a distraction than an impediment.


I can’t answer your question specifically, as I wasn’t the one on the bike in the tunnel. However, from my experience testing them before and since, for a balance of aero (based on our test) and airflow (based on my perception), I’d say the Scott Cadence is the top pick. It was fourth fastest, and the big vents up front pair nicely with those at the rear to cool you down - it’s also a nice helmet to wear, has MIPS Air, and comes with an integrated rear light which is a nice touch for riding on the road at dawn/dusk. That’s the ‘money’ pick though as it’s not a cheap helmet, similar money to the Evade, and to be honest I’d say the Evade is a close 2nd if you wanted to stick with the popular choice. The wildcard to throw in is the Julbo Sprint. Decent result in the test, still nice and airy, and about half the price if you can find one.

To answer @Wirt too, you can put your sunglasses in the Evade fine, and as others have mentioned, they ride a bit low but not obtrusively so, with some pairs I put them in upside down to avoid this. If you care about the aero, though, you might want to find somewhere else to put them… I’ll say no more until I’ve gotten round to writing that article up!


It’s mostly on the climbs that I wanna take them off. I sweat A LOT. But flat and descend speeds help keep it on the bay. Climbs, I just SHOWER.

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The message was the kick up the backside I needed to get on and write it up, so that’s how I spent my morning. Here’s why you shouldn’t stuff your glasses into your vents:

In the interest of avoiding being spammy and making people click the link, it adds about 3.5 watts worth of drag (at 40km/h), or about 15 seconds over 40km.

Still, probably better than the Koo Billy, if anyone remembers that :rofl:


although this is interesting to know, I’d assume most people will take off glasses at a steep ascent where the glasses might fog up or like my head @wirt just becomes the niagara falls and the glasses get soaked with sweat. I don’t see myself riding at 40kph without glasses. If you’ve ever got a bug in the eye at that speed you probably know why you shouldn’t take off cycling glasses at speed - so real world relevance to me: 0. Still an interesting tidbit so thanks for sharing.


The only time I’ve taken my glasses off going that fast (or close) was during a torrential downpour and Iiterally couldn’t see anything with my glasses on. Clear lenses as well, just so much rain. I didn’t put them in my vents though, I hooked the temple in my jersey around the nape of my neck. I’m assuming that this wouldn’t change the cda much.


yeah this. where i wanna take off the glasses is about 8-10mph going uphill


Or worn contact lenses…