Top 11 Triathlon Helmets for Maximum Aerodynamics
Next to having aero bars or a time trial bike, an aero helmet provides delivers proven ROI in terms of reduced drag and maximizing speed. Whether for triathlon, time trials, or road, aero helmets can help save considerable watts while enhancing airflow and comfort.
With cycling technology improving every year, the spectrum of helmets and protective wear continues to evolve. Choosing the right aero bike helmet to match your riding type, fashion sense, and price point is not an easy decision (especially if aesthetics matter).
If you’re in the market, here are 11 of our favorite aero helmets for triathlon, time trial, and road.
The POC Cerebel Raceday Helmet is a compact, aerodynamically-optimized triathlon helmet that’s designed for top performance. The helmet features a magnetically-detachable ZEISS visor and lightweight EVA shell that’s soft-molded for minimal drag.
If you’re familiar with POC, then you’ll know that few aero helmet brands compete with the quality and performance that POC offers. Award-winning and wind tunnel tested, the POC Cerebel Raceday is one of the best aero helmets for triathlon and time-trialing alike.
Hands down a podium topper in the helmet world, Kask is a brand that continues to push the envelope. The KASK CPSC Bambino is a testament to the company’s research and development in aero helmets, offering one of the best options for triathletes and time trialists alike.
At a glance, you can tell the CPSC Bambino offers the ultimate aerodynamic efficiency. Wind tunnel tests back it up, too, as its shell offers one of the best-performing options for minimal drag helmets. In short, there’s a reason why multisport pros use this as their triathlon helmet.
Complete with Mit technology and an integrated magnetic visor, the KASK CPSC Bambino is just as functional as it is good-looking. For hot weather use, it has a Coolmax interior with a removable inner padding that can be tossed in the wash. Weight weenies will appreciate that it’s only 350 grams (medium size), which is one of the highest aero helmets out there.
Available in three sizes and multiple colors, the KASK CPSC can be purchased on Amazon starting at $420.
Less dramatic compared to traditional teardrop helmets, the Giro Aerohead has become a trusted staple in the triathlon community. The Aerohead has a more aggressive aesthetic that can be perfectly fitted with easily adjustable tension and vertical positioning.
For competitive athletes, this flagship aero helmet from Giro checks all of the boxes for speed, ventilation, and crash protection – all without breaking the bank. Equipped with Multi-Directional Impact Protection (MIPs), it’s also one of the safest TT helmets out there. Roc Loc Air technology helps optimize comfort and ventilation as well.
This TT-minded aero bike helmet is available in a matte black finish (along with black and yellow accents) and matte white. It’s on Amazon for about $299. Also, check Backcountry for better deals (and customer services).
If you’re a most comfortable, well-ventilated, and aerodynamic (and also lightweight) helmet, the Abus GameChanger is indeed your new favorite helmet. The strategically-designed ventilation speaks for itself (hello, hot summer days.) And more vents mean less weight, implying that the GameChanger is just 260 grams.
Available in a rainbow of colors, the Abus GameChanger is a beautiful helmet for any occasion. It’s a unisex design seen on today’s top male and female cyclists across a range of riding, from world-tour road cycling to ultra-distance gravel cycling.
German-made and globally proven, the Abus GameChanger is competitively priced at $249 on Amazon.
For a less time-trial-aggressive look, the Giro Vanquish is a true aero road helmet that delivers universal utility for all types of riding. It delivers on many of the same features as the Aerohead (MIPs, magnetic visor, aero design, etc) but offers slightly greater air ventilation and overall versatility for road, TT, tri, or gravel.
The Vanquish aero helmet is designed around Giro’s TransformAir Technology, which is engineered to improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce drag. Completing the aero look, the visor from Zeiss Optics is worth mentioning, as it’s designed with clarity-enhancing VIVID lens technology.
The KASK Utopia is a proper aero road helmet that’s perfect for triathlons, road races, gravel events, and more. It’s a great all-around option that delivers uber-aero, KASK-quality performance for all types of riding. The Utopia is also one of the lightest options at a mere 260 grams.
In addition to providing wind tunnel-approved aerodynamics, the KASK Utopia is also strategically ventilated to keep cyclists cool, particularly at top speed like time trials and tris. Its dual adjustments for vertical fit and tension make it a nicely-fitting helmet.
It’s also a well-designed aero helmet that is just attractive as it is fast. Wear it for training, racing, and everything in between, the KASK Utopia is a 5-star bike helmet worth every penny. It’s also stamped with KASK’s WG11 test, so it doesn’t compromise on crash protection.
Available in a wide spectrum of beautiful colors, the Utopia is usually $299 on Amazon.
As a long-standing leader in the world of time trial helmets, LAZER designs some of the most aerodynamic, well-ventilated, and lightweight helmets available.
The LAZER Tardiz 2 is a 335-gram (small size) “aerodynamic race helmet” that’s been specially designed for triathlon and time trial. It’s one of LAZER’s entry-level options that fits the bill even for the fastest cyclists. Its cut teardrop design is preferred for being more functional, comfortable, and aesthetically pleasing.
Get it in matte white or flash yellow, the Tardiz 2 starts at $159 on Amazon.
Keep your aero helmet low-key without compromising on high-end performance with the Bell Z20. A sharp-looking aero road helmet that’s liberally ventilated and lightweight (weighing just 296 grams for a medium), the Bell Z20 is a tour-tested, MIPs-supported option.
The Bell Z20 is a highly engineered masterpiece, offering a well-constructed shell on the exterior and a mindfully designed interior that pulls away sweat and moisture. But unlike most topshelf aero bike helmets, it doesn’t cost a small fortune.
Available in various color schemes, you can find the Z20 for $150 on Amazon, or less.
As a collaboration project between KASK and the Australian Track Cycling Team, Mistral is engineered with aerodynamics as a top priority. And weighing just 345 grams, Mistral is incredibly lightweight and designed for world-class performance.
Available in several distinct color schemes, the KASK Mistral offers a cool combination of old-school design and new-school performance. While it’s not a cheap option, the Mistral is a standout choice that’s unique among track/time trial/triathlon helmets.
Depending on the size and color scheme, the Mistral is priced at around $450 on Amazon.
The Smith Jetstream TT is arguably the safest aero helmet on the market today. It combines MIPS and Zonal Koroyd technology to deliver optimal impact protection, giving the most competitive cyclists best-in-class confidence.
Weighing in at 410 grams, the Jetstream TT offers a lightweight feel and is aerodynamically designed for top performance in time trials, track cycling, and triathlon. It comes with two switchable visors – one in clear and the other in visual-enhancing ChromaPop lens.
If there’s one thing Smith takes seriously it’s comfort and ventilation. The Jetstream TT is designed with ample vents to help maximize airflow and cool factor. So if traditional TT helmets are too hot for your head, the Jetstream may be the anomaly.
Smith’s Jetstream TT is a top-shelf choice priced at $380 on Amazon.
If you’re looking for an affordable triathlon helmet for around $100 or less, the SLS3 is a performance-minded option that comes highly reviewed (4.2/5 stars across over a hundred reviews). Like Abus bike helmets, it’s German-designed and provides ample aerodynamic performance for any competitive cyclist.
Weighing just 280 grams (with shield), the SLS3 is extremely lightweight for a TT-oriented helmet with a magnetic visor affixed. It’s also well-ventilated with four front and four rear vents for optimal airflow. Keep in mind that it’s universally fit with just one size.
You can purchase the SLS3 triathlon helmet for just $99 on Amazon.
FAQs About Aero Helmets
Because shopping for aero bike helmets comes with a lot of questions, below we discuss a few frequently asked questions on the topic. Do you have a specific question that’s not mentioned below? Contact us and ask!
How much time does an aero helmet save?
There are several variables that can influence aerodynamics on the bike, from the body, arm, and head positioning to equipment like wheels, helmets, and clothing. One study that looked at the aerodynamic advantage of time-trial helmets in cycling racing found that both helmet shape and head position significantly influence drag forces. (1) Another study observed that the addition of a large visor provided a substantial drag coefficient reduction. (2)
With so many factors involved, it can be difficult to assume a specific amount of time saved with an aero helmet. But based on the studies above, as well as an in-depth analysis of a normal versus an aero helmet on an elite cyclist in the dropped position(3), the general conclusion is that a cyclist can save between 30 and 60 seconds per hour of riding with an aero helmet, or a 0.83 percent to 1.66 percent improvement.
How many watts does an aero helmet save?
The amount of watts saved with an aero helmet depends on the model and design. For example, KASK’s Utopia, an aero road helmet that came out in 2018, was wind tunnel tested to save up to 6 watts at speeds of 30 mph (50km/h) compared to a conventional road helmet. Actual time trial helmets have been shown to save even more watts, with some TT helmets saving upwards of 8-12 watts, depending on the model, compared to a normal road helmet.
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About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is an experienced multisport athlete who specializes in various forms of cycling. Mountain biking, road cycling, and eventually triathlon is what initially catapulted Tyler into endurance sports at a young age. Today, he competes in ultra gravel bike races on the professional level. Tyler is the Head of Content for Better Triathlete and leads the site’s editorial team. Learn more about Tyler. Or follow him on Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn.
1. Beaumont, F et al. “Aerodynamic study of time-trial helmets in cycling racing using CFD analysis.” Journal of biomechanics vol. 67 (2018): 1-8. doi:10.1016/j.jbiomech.2017.10.042