One distinctive difference between a road and a mountain bike helmet is a visor. While the former lacks one, the latter has, and that begs the question – why don’t road bike helmets have visors?
Well, there are two primary reasons a road bike helmet lacks a visor. A visor blocks traffic view, which can pose a danger and cause falls or accidents on the road, given how fast road bikes go. Second, a visor increases drag, thus slowing you down.
Thus, it’s clear and proper to say that a visor on a road bike helmet is a potential threat to the rider. But understanding why road bike helmets lack visors will give you accurate knowledge of choosing your road bike helmet wisely.
This guide will expound on why road bike helmets lack visors. But first, let’s understand what a visor is, its purpose, and the purpose of the road bike.
Let’s get started!
What Is a Helmet Visor?
A visor is usually the front part of a bike helmet that is pullable to cover your entire face and is a standard feature on mountain bike helmets.
The Purpose of a Visor On Bike Helmet
The primary purpose of a visor is to cover your face and protect it from natural elements like snow, rain, or sun. It also protects you from severe facial injuries during a crash.
A visor is typical and associated with mountain bike helmets because mountain bike riders face challenging terrains full of obstacles.
They deal with flying branches, insects, gravel, or mud, which are potential hazards to your face. So, simply put, a visor protects a rider from all these destructive elements.
The Purpose of a Road Bike
Road bikes, as the name suggests, are used for the road. Therefore, they must be aerodynamic and sleek in design to reduce drag. As we all know, minimal drag translates to speed fitting the purpose of road bikes.
So, road bike cyclists embrace aerodynamics in everything, not only in the bike and helmets. They also wear tight clothing (shorts and shirts) to reduce drag.
Another thing that road bikers do is that they sit lowly and tight on their bikes to reduce drag as much as possible.
The reason for all these is that riding on the road is enough of a challenge. There are a lot of inevitable obstacles like cars, animals, and other pedestrians. While all these pose great danger to the road cyclist, why add more with a visor?
Why Don’t Road Bike Helmets Have Visors?
Now that we know what a visor is, its purpose, and that of a road bike, let’s look at two significant reasons why road bike helmets lack a visor below.
1. Block Traffic View
Let’s get this, as the name suggests; road bikes are for the open road. So, you will be riding on heavy-traffic streets where cars are at your back, front, or even on the sides.
It also means that cars will come in the same direction as you or towards you. Others could be going out of the streets and changing lanes.
So, even if your focus is on cycling forward, you need to be aware f your road surroundings. It often means making glances at the back and sides.
While this is possible with sunglasses on, it’s impossible to turn your head so quickly while wearing a helmet with a visor. A visor impedes your clear view of the road and the traffic behind you, especially when riding at high speed.
2. Increase Drag
Road users like riding fast. That’s why road bikes are aerodynamic in design. The helmets are aerodynamic, too, to reduce drag.
Having a visor on your road bike helmet will undoubtedly slow you down. Instead, most road bike users wear sunglasses over a helmet visor.
That ensures they take glances at the surrounding environment, protect their eyes from intense UV light, and ensures they ride fast without many obstructions.
You can get an aerodynamic road bike helmet here (Check on Amazon).
How to Attach a Visor to Road Bike Helmet?
While visors are more common on mountain bike helmets than on road bikes, you can get a bike helmet with a visor (Check on Amazon). But if you have a bike helmet already, you can easily buy and attach a visor.
Just find a compatible visor and one that fits perfectly on your road bike helmet.
However, the only reason you should get a road bike helmet with a visor is when your sunglasses are ineffective and you want to cover your whole face and head from rain, sunlight, wind, flying debris, and insects.
But when you put a visor on your road bike helmet, remember not to ride as fast as when without a visor. That is because, as seen above, it will create drag and block your traffic view.
People Also Ask
1. Do I Need a Visor On My Bike Helmet?
If you own a mountain bike, you need a visor on your bike helmet to shield you from flying branches, debris, wind, snow, rain, and insects.
However, if you have a road bike, you do not need a visor on your bike helmet. Instead, opt for sunglasses or goggles to shield your eyes from sunlight.
2. Do Road Bike Helmets Have Visors?
Honestly, road bike helmets do not have visors. That is because visors increase drag while obstructing your traffic view. That said, you can attach one if you like it.
3. Why Do Road Helmets Not Have Visors?
Road bike helmets lack a visor for two reasons. A visor blocks a clear view of the road and traffic and slows you down when you want to ride fast.
In conclusion, why don’t road bike helmets have visors?
As seen, road bike helmets do not have visors. That is because a visor on a road bike helmet obstructs your vision and increases drag. For such reasons, most road bike users prefer wearing a cap, goggles, or sunglasses to block the intense UV light over a visor.