Low Profile Bike Helmets

If we, as a person, wanted to keep a low profile, we would be trying not to be noticed. We would be keeping our head down and our nose clean, and generally just trying to blend in with the crowd.

However, when it comes to low profile helmets the meaning is not the same, and, in fact, the end result would most likely be that when wearing a low profile helmet we would actually be more noticeable and our admirers would be green with envy.

Bradley Wiggins wearing Giro helmet.
Photo by Simon Connellan on Unsplash

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When looking for a low profile helmet, we want a helmet that will fit our head like a glove. A helmet that fits so snugly that it looks like it was painted onto our head. A head and helmet combo that has been fused together as one, a second skin.

Ultimately, we are trying to avoid a helmet that makes us look like Super Mario or a mushroom head.

This then turns our low profile helmet into a high profile talking piece as everyone looks to admire our choice of headgear.

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Low Profile Bike Helmets Comparison Table

On Mobile Devices, drag Table left to see more, if necessary.

Brand/Image Size Range # Vents Certification Weight
Kask Rapido
52 – 62 cm
20.5″ – 24.4″
24 CE, CPSC,
220 gram
7.8 oz
Kask Mojito
48 – 64 cm
18.1″ – 25.2″
26 CE, CPSC,
220 gram
7.8 oz
Louis Garneau
52 – 62 cm
20.5” – 24.4”
31 CPSC, CE,
ASTM F1447
250 gram
8.8 oz
Scott Arx Plus MIPS
51 – 61 cm
20.1″ – 24″
CPSC 275 gram
9.7 oz
Lazer Z1 MIPS
52 – 61 cm
20.5” – 24″
31 CE, CPSC,
230 gram
8.1 oz
Giro Synthe MIPS
52 – 62.5 cm
20.5” – 24.5”
26 CE, CPSC,
290 gram
10.2 oz
Kask Protone
50 – 62 cm
19.7″ – 24.4″
20 CE, CPSC,
220 gram
7.8 oz
Giro Vanquish MIPS
52 – 62.5 cm
20.5″ – 24.5″
350 gram
12.3 oz

As can be seen, all of the helmets are CPSC certified, as well as having the CE Mark, the European standard for bicycle helmets, while many also carry the certification for Australia/New Zealand.

Four of the eight helmets chosen have the MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) installed, which reduces rotational motion and redirects rotational energy in the case of an impact or accident. The MIPS liner will slightly rotate on impact thus reducing the risk of concussion and protecting against brain injury.

+++1. Kask Rapido Road Cycling Helmet
+++2. Kask Mojito Road Helmet
+++3. Louis Garneau Course Helmet
+++4. Scott Arx Plus Helmet
+++5. Lazer Z1 MIPS Helmet
+++6. Giro Synthe MIPS Road Helmet
+++7. Kask Protone Helmet
+++8. Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet

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One Man’s Head Hugger Is Another Man’s Mushroom Head

One thing I have noticed while researching low profile helmets is that after I short-list a whole lot of helmets, then I go through my list looking at images and videos of people actually wearing the helmets, I will often end up scratching my head wondering why a particular helmet made it onto the short-list.

Eventually, I realized that what might look like a perfectly fitting, head-hugging helmet on one person may look like a total mushroom head on another person.

As it turns out, it has everything to do with face shape. A helmet worn by someone with a round face or full in the face (meat on the cheeks) can very easily look like the helmet was designed perfectly for their head.

Huh? But, why?

That exact same helmet on a long, thin face will look just like if you sat the helmet on top of a broomstick. Mushroom head.

For those of you with a thin face, don’t despair! All is not lost. In our overview of helmets below, you should be looking at the Kask or Scott helmets. They look great on everyone.

One thing that should be noted about helmets that appear to be molded to your head shape is that they usually cost more than regular helmets, but, hey, the alternative just doesn’t bear thinking about, does it?

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1. Kask Rapido Road Cycling Helmet

I mentioned above that low profile helmets will cost more, but there’s one exception to that rule – the Kask Rapido.

Here you can have not only a beautiful helmet from an internationally renowned brand, but it also looks great and fits like a low profile helmet should, all for less than $100.

The Kask Rapido helmet is available on Amazon.

The Rapido is made with a polycarbonate shell using ‘in-mold’ technology to join the outer shell with the inner EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner for better shock absorption.

Twenty four air vents provide a cool air-flow on the hottest of days.

Utilizing Kask’s ‘Up n Down’ fit system, the Rapido will hug your head like a second skin. Using the rubberized dial or by squeezing the adjuster at the rear of the helmet, you can adjust the fit both horizontally and vertically for a perfect fit. The inner padding is completely removable and washable.

Available in 2 sizes ranging from 52 cm (20¹⁵/₃₂″) to 62 cm (24¹³/₃₂″), with up to ten colors to choose from. The Medium size weighs in at a lightweight 220g!

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell with ‘in-mold’ technology
  • EPS lining
  • 24 air vents
  • Up n Down fitting system
  • Removable and washable padding
  • CE-EN-1078, CPSC-1203, AS/NZS-2063 Certified
  • Weighs 220g (Medium size)

With the same sleek appearance as Kask’s top range helmets, an unbelievable price point, as well as CPSC-1203, EN-1078, and AS/NZS-2063 certification, the Kask Rapido is a value-packed lightweight helmet that is hard to overlook.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our KASK helmet size chart.

Take a look at the video below to see how low profile it really is.

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2. Kask Mojito Road Helmet

Originally launched in 2012, the Kask Mojito has a great reputation among professional cyclists as a comfortable helmet which looks great.

Even today, it is still popular but getting harder to find. It is still available on Amazon, but finding your size in your choice of color is getting more difficult each day.

The Kask Mojito helmet is available on Amazon.

As with the Kask Rapido, it offers excellent value from this Italian helmet manufacturer, but over the $100 mark this time. Prices range from the low hundreds to a tad below two hundred dependent on size and color.

In-mold technology fuses the polycarbonate shell to the EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam liner for added protection.

The Mojito boasts a total of 26 large air vents providing unsurpassed ventilation, and Kask’s ‘Up n Down’ fit system allows you to adjust the fit both horizontally and vertically by squeezing the adjuster or turning the rubberized dial at the rear of the helmet.

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell with ‘in mold’ technology
  • EPS lining
  • 26 large air vents
  • ECO-leather chinstrap
  • Up n Down fitting system
  • Removable and washable padding
  • CE-EN:1078, CPSC:1203, AS/NZS:2063 Certified
  • Weighs 220g (Medium size)

The inner lining is treated with an antibacterial and antimicrobial protection process, and the padding is removable and washable as is the featured ECO-leather chinstrap.

The Mojito size ranges from 48 cm (18 7/64″) to 64 cm (25 13/64″), and weighs only 220 g for the Medium size.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our KASK helmet size chart.

Check out the low profile of the Kask Mojito in the video below.

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3. Louis Garneau Course Helmet

Another fantastic low profile helmet, this one is from Louis Garneau, the Course Helmet.

On the outside is a Polycarbonate shell that is aerodynamically designed to optimize air-flow through 31 vents to the internal inner-nerve system which is molded inside the EPS liner to provide the ultimate in airflow around the rider’s head.

Superior ventilation, comfort, and safety.

The Louis Garneau Course helmet is available on Amazon.

Featuring Garneau’s Spiderlock® Pro II stabilizing system which can be easily adjusted on the head with only one hand by using the anti-slip wheel provides a customized fit.

Inside the helmet, there is the X-Static XT2T padding made from quick-drying anti-microbial material.

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell
  • EPS foam liner
  • 31 air vents
  • Inner evacuation channels
  • Spiderlock® Pro II stabilizing system
  • X-Static XT2T padding
  • CPSC, ASTM F1447, and CEN Certification
  • 250 grams

The Louis Garneau Course comes in 3 sizes which range from 52 cm (20½”) to 62 cm (24½”), and three different colors. Meets or exceeds the safety standards for CPSC, ASTM F1447, and CEN.

Reasonably weighted at 250 g, and with a price tag just under $200, it is worthy of any cyclist’s consideration as a low profile bike helmet.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our GARNEAU helmet size chart.

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4. Scott Arx Plus Helmet

Here is one helmet that really excites me. The Scott Arx Plus is a very low profile helmet packed with innovative technologies.

Designed for both road cycling and mountain biking, it has the MIPS brain protection system built-in to protect your head against rotational energy in the case of an accident.

This lightweight helmet has optimized outer vents that connect to inner cooling channels providing you with ultimate cooling and comfort while you ride.

The Scott Arx Plus helmet is available on Amazon.

The in-mold polycarbonate shell is fused to the inner EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) liner creating a lighter, more comfortable helmet that features the MRAS 3 fit system.

The Micro Rotary Adjustment System (MRAS) can be adjusted single-handedly for optimal comfort and stability with Scott’s proprietary fit system.

The Scott Arx Plus helmet has been described by many as extremely comfortable and the best feeling helmet ever. For your convenience, the front visor is easily removable.

Main Features Summary:

  • In-mold Polycarbonate shell
  • Impact Absorbing EPS liner
  • MIPS technology
  • Optimized Ventilation
  • MRAS 3 Fit system
  • CPSC Certification
  • Weight approx. 275g.

The Arx Plus is available in 3 sizes ranging from 51cm (20⁵/₆₄”) to 61cm (24″), and several color choices.

It is fully CPSC certified and is very popular and highly rated. Not to mention, very reasonably priced.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our Scott helmet size chart.

Courtesy SCOTT Sports on Youtube.

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5. Lazer Z1 MIPS Helmet

Not only is this a great looking, low profile helmet, but it is also scored a 5 Star safety rating in Virginia Tech’s safety tests. It also has the MIPS brain protection system which absorbs energy in the event of an accident.

The Lazer Z1 MIPS Bike Helmet is available on Amazon.

An in-mold polycarbonate outer shell with a whopping 31 vents making it one of the lightest helmets on the market. The head-hugging Advanced Rollsys fitting system keeps it snug and secure on your head. It’s ponytail friendly too!

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell
  • MIPS protection
  • Advanced Rollsys fitting system
  • 31 vents
  • CPSC, EN-1078, AS/NZS:2063 certified
  • Weight 230 grams (Small size)
  • Ponytail friendly

A very popular helmet which seems to be getting hard to get hold of. It comes with 2 types of padding, race and comfort, which are interchangeable. The race pads are lighter than the comfort pads. Available in 3 sizes ranging from 52cm (20½”) to 61cm (24″).

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our LAZER helmet size chart.

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6. Giro Synthe MIPS Road Helmet

With the Giro Synthe MIPS road helmet, Giro has gone all out to provide a helmet that has an extra-strong shell for better safety.

Combining a tough outer shell with an inner polycarbonate shell which is fused to the EPS liner, which in turn houses a tough reinforced roll-cage. All of that is even before you get to the integrated MIPS brain protection system!

The Giro Synthe MIPS Road Helmet is available on Amazon.

The shell comprises 26 wind tunnel vents with internal channeling which pulls cool air into the helmet while the hot, stale air is forced out the rear of the helmet.

Fit and adjustment is made using Giro’s famous Roc Loc® Air fit system which allows you to adjust the fit and tilt of the helmet with just one hand.

Main Features Summary:

  • Polycarbonate shell
  • In-mold construction
  • Roll-cage reinforcement
  • MIPS brain protection
  • 26 wind tunnel vents
  • Roc Loc® Air fit system
  • CPSC, EN-1078, AS/NZS:2063 certified

Available in 3 sizes ranging from 52cm (20½”) to 62.5cm (24½”), and up to ten different colors to choose from.

The Giro Synthe is one of the ‘go to’ helmets for those looking for a good-looking low profile road bike helmet. And it’s easy to see why.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our GIRO helmet size chart.

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7. Kask Protone Helmet

The Kask Protone helmet would have to be one of the sleekest, low profile helmets that money can buy. Sadly, it requires more money than most people would be willing to spend on a bicycle helmet, but there’s no harm in taking a look anyway.

The Kask Protone Helmet is available on Amazon.

Handcrafted in Italy, the Protone claims to have the lowest drag resistance to any other ventilated helmet. That’s important if you’re a pro-cyclist.

On the inside, there is 3D DRY padding along with Coolmax® Fiber which is removable and washable. The inner padding is also treated with an anti-bacterial and anti-microbial Sanitized® process.

The Octo Fit adjustment system allows you to make adjustments using the rubberized micro-dial. You can make adjustments both vertically and laterally to obtain the perfect fit on any shaped head.

The Protone has been wind tunnel tested for amazing aerodynamics.

Main Features Summary:

  • In-mold Polycarbonate shell
  • Incredibly Aerodynamic
  • 3D DRY Padding
  • Coolmax® Fiber padding
  • Octo Fit adjustment system
  • Eco-leather Chinstrap
  • CPSC-1203, EN-1078, and AS/NZS-2063 certified.

Available in 3 sizes ranging from 50cm (19¹¹/₁₆″) to 62cm (24¹³/₃₂″), a vast color range is also available of somewhere between 19 to 25 different color variants. It is also CPSC-1203, EN-1078 and AS/NZS-2063 certified.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our KASK helmet size chart.

Check it out in the video below, and start saving your pennies.

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8. Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet

The Giro Vanquish MIPS helmet is an extremely neat helmet. A very snug fitting, low profile helmet, but it may not be for everyone.

It is what is often called an Aero or Triathlon helmet, but to me, it’s not as spacey as some of the Aero helmets I have seen. Not only that but the price tag will also deter some people.

The Giro Vanquish MIPS Helmet is available on Amazon.

The Vanquish is not for your average home to work commuter, probably more suited to time trials or triathlons.

While it has the standard polycarbonate shell with EPS inner lining, the advanced technology that has gone into making it lighter and more durable, like ‘progressive layering’, ‘four-piece interlocking shell’, ‘TransformAir technology’, ‘roc loc 5 MIPS integration‘, and so much more, helps to justify the end price and overall value.

Main Features Summary:

  • In-mold construction
  • Progressive layering
  • Integrated MIPS
  • Roc Loc 5 Air MIPS fit system
  • Wind Tunnel ventilation system
  • Anti-microbial padding
  • Magnetic Vivid Shield by Zeiss
  • Eyewear compatible
  • Ponytail friendly

Available in 3 sizes ranging from 52 cm (20½”) to 62.5cm (24½”), and six different colors. Even though no safety certification is mentioned, I’m sure that the Giro Vanquish meets the relevant Safety Standards for all countries where it is sold, as are all Giro bicycle helmets.

Even if you’re not planning on riding time trials, but just want to reduce headwind in your cycling exercise regime, an aerodynamic helmet like this could be just what you need.

Link to How to Know Your Helmet Size.
Link to our GIRO helmet size chart.

Check out the video below to see it in action.

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Which Helmet Would I Choose?
Mmmm, decisions, decisions. I must say that I like all the technology that has gone into the Giro Vanquish, but it is just not me. I could not imagine me riding around wearing that at all.

I do quite like the Giro Synthe, the Scott Centric, and all the Kask helmets. So, if money was no object, then I think I would go for the Giro Synthe. It looks great, is a fair price, has MIPS protection and is the choice of champions.

I also really like the look of the Scott Centric, and it’s not overly pricey, plus it also has MIPS as well.

On the other hand, if I really wanted to stick within my budget, and still have a name brand helmet on my head, I would have no qualms about choosing the Kask Rapido or the Mojito.
Looks like I’m going to have to flip a coin.

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