Retro To Modern: How Have Bike Helmets Evolved?

Retro To Modern: How Have Bike Helmets Evolved?

Helmets have become a key part of the professional cyclist’s wardrobe, making cycling safer as well as aiding with aerodynamics. But it’s not always been this way! Alex and Manon have teamed up with Giro to show you the history of the helmet, and how they developed into the designs you see today.

In association with @Giro Sport Design

Useful Links:
Adventure Documentaries, Exclusive Shows & Live Racing on GCN+:
Download the GCN App for free:
Join us at the Global Bike Festival:
Visit the GCN Shop:
Join the GCN Club:

What are your thoughts, do you prefer aero helmets, or lightweight climbing helmets? Let us know in the comments!

Watch more on GCN…
📹 MET Factory Tour 👉
📹 Watch our Editor’s Choice Playlist 👉
📹 Or why not check out our Features Playlist 👉 ​​

🎵 Music – licensed by Epidemic Sound / Artlist 🎵
I Used to Be Free (Ooyy Remix) (Instrumental Version) – Ooyy
Pursuit in Blue – Martin Landstrom
What Love Do (Instrumental Version) – DAJANA
Arcaders – Ben Elson
Milky Way Express – Lupus Nocte
1983 – Ben Elson
Retro Today – Alexandra Woodward

#gcn #cycling #roadbike #helmet #giro

Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto /

The Global Cycling Network (GCN) is the largest online cycling channel in the world, bringing together a global community of road cyclists to celebrate everything that’s great about the world of cycling.

Our videos bring fans compelling daily content including expert tutorials, techniques, training, racing, cutting-edge bike tech, unparalleled behind the scenes event coverage, humour, entertainment, and more.

Presented by ex-pro riders, GCN offers a uniquely qualified insight into the world of cycling, and most importantly it’s fuelled by our passionate and enthusiastic fans – everyone who makes up the GCN community. We also bring the latest and greatest tech to your attention, showcase the best places in the world to ride and get exclusive access to events and races.

Welcome to the Global Cycling Network | Inside Cycling

Thanks to our sponsors:

Castelli Clothing:
Giro Helmets:
Pinarello Bikes:
Zipp Wheels:
Enervit Nutrition:
Topeak Tools:
Canyon Bikes:
Pirelli Tyres:
Orbea Bikes:
Vision Wheels:
Wahoo Fitness:
Park Tool:
Elite Bottles:
Whoop Fitness:
Selle Italia:
Shimano Wheels:
Shadow Stand:
DMT Shoes:

Watch our sister channels:
GCN Tech –
GCN Racing –
Global Triathlon Network –
GCN Italia –
GCN en Espanol –
GCN auf Deutsch –
GCN en Francais –
GCN Japan –
GCN Training –
Global Mountain Bike Network –
GMBN Tech –
Electric Mountain Bike Network –


  1. Graeme Blundell on June 23, 2022 at 10:04 pm

    Was this not just a Giro infomercial?

  2. C Schmi on June 23, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    2:20 so a helmet allowed him to take more risk. So, not wearing a helmet will keep a person from taking extra risk like that guy thats banned them. The logic is literally sound. More safety makes people feel comfortable taking risk while less safety keeps people from taking risk.

  3. Moshe Rogoff on June 23, 2022 at 10:05 pm

    I was a freshman in college Sept 1971. I think either that Fall semester or by Spring 1972 I (and many of my friends) began commuting to campus by bike. I was the first — and the ONLY one in my group — to wear a helmet. This was when Bell (known even then for motorcycle helmets) came out with one of the very first hardshell bicycle helmets. Consisted of a white Lexan (this was the GE brand of polycarbonate) vented shell with a styrofoam (aka polystyrene) inner. Straps were fastened under the chin using a D-ring sort of buckle, akin to what some canvas belts still use today. I still have that first helmet. And wear it… never took a fall where my head hit ground!

  4. Jamie Agnew on June 23, 2022 at 10:06 pm

    Came across as an advertisement for Giro helmets to me.

  5. Kuri on June 23, 2022 at 10:08 pm

    Job done! I will buy a Giro helmet.

  6. AJITH V on June 23, 2022 at 10:12 pm

    Could not hear any mention about a UK made brand of helmet that is supposed to take multiple impacts. They did not pay you?

  7. Michael Mauer on June 23, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    Having been a racer in the era before foam helmets (I raced in the Midwest when Gregg Lemond was a junior), I used to wear my leather hairnet while training and got lot’s of catcalls from drivers. I think the first modern helmet was the Bell with a foam inner & plastic outer. I ordered mine from a small add in bicycling magazine for around $35 in the 70s, it saved my face in a track crash. A subsequent Gyro probably saved my life 8 yrs. ago when I was t-boned at 25mph, flipped upside down and landed on my head and shoulder ,breaking my scapula and giving me what’s now called “ Traumatic Brain Injury”. The results of that lasted over a year. modern helmets WORK! I never ride without it.

  8. Taicho Cyclist on June 23, 2022 at 10:14 pm

    I swore by the helmet especially after being broadsided by a speeding, light beating driver a few years ago that could have spilled my beans on the tarmac. Gone are the cool days of wearing caps like how "Big Mig" wore his but for safety, helmets are a definite must these days against anything that can possibly happen on the road.

    Staying alive for yourself and loved ones, peace.

  9. David Reeson on June 23, 2022 at 10:15 pm

    Can we take a moment to compliment the video editors for their on-point 80s game!

  10. Matt_whatsnext on June 23, 2022 at 10:16 pm

    Now in 2022, some bicycle courier company owner goes back in time and prohibits his staff from wearing helmets. 😑

  11. SuperYamaGucci on June 23, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    Bring back my Bell/Reebok Pump Razor.

  12. Dan Hartwig on June 23, 2022 at 10:17 pm

    I was really hoping to see some more early, primitive and worthless helmets. In the 80s and 90s it was perfectly normal not to wear one. Now I would feel like a complete tool riding without a helmet.

  13. Adrian King on June 23, 2022 at 10:20 pm

    Nice Ad… and I love GCN. As I write this in my GCN core black sweatshirt. If an upload is an ad, please do let the viewer know. And, I actually own a Giro hat.

  14. santiagobenites on June 23, 2022 at 10:22 pm

    I’m loving my Kask Protone replica helmet that I bought online. It looks good, it fits me perfectly, and it’s cost me about 90% less than the price of the original Kask!

  15. Martin Mortensen on June 23, 2022 at 10:23 pm

    You need to go more in dept with cleat position and angle of the cleat. You are not updated on the subject anymore…

  16. Aaron Li on June 23, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    I was just lamenting that they don’t have the Helios in my preferred color yesterday. Guess it doesn’t matter anymore XD I’m kind of confused though, according to Giro this helmet is better than the Helios in basically every way, yet costs the same. Am I missing something or is a helmet that literally came out last year already obsolete?

  17. TheKoa Extreme004 on June 23, 2022 at 10:26 pm

    It would be nice if you try bontrager wavecel

  18. George Harpool on June 23, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    My first helmet looked like a marshmallow and I don’t think it had vents.

  19. Mattia Bartoli on June 23, 2022 at 10:27 pm

    Did I just witness Alex throwing an autographed piece of cycling history to Manon? 😱

  20. jeremy north on June 23, 2022 at 10:28 pm

    This is just an advert for Giro

  21. JPV Van der Merwe on June 23, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    I raced for 5 years before the ‘must use a helmet’ rule came into effect.
    More vents for me thank you very much.
    Still loving my Giro Atmos helmet <3

  22. BingoBango on June 23, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    I just recently got myself an air attack new in box on a major clearance albeit an old stock! Matches my racing kit too I don’t care if I look "retro" by todays means

  23. The Broken Mountain Biker on June 23, 2022 at 10:30 pm

    I think the main thing I’ve noticed about modern helmets is how much better they fit your head. I remember the older giant polystyrene mushroom helmets used to wobble about on your head constantly. I find new helmets are so comfy and fit so well you hardly even notice you’re wearing one.

  24. Anne Grey-Blackman on June 23, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    Prefer MET

  25. Dwi Rohmani Suci on June 23, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    is someone here willing to give me a helmet? I dont have it and I need it to start cycling 😅

  26. Dennie Jarrell on June 23, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    We gonna get a full review of that giro eclipse anytime soon? Thinking of ordering one. 🙂

  27. Stuart M on June 23, 2022 at 10:34 pm

    Its almost like an infomercial…..

  28. Harold Coulombe on June 23, 2022 at 10:35 pm

    What’s about the fantastic custom-made fit-to-perfection from England-based HEXR?👍

  29. eagerbob on June 23, 2022 at 10:36 pm


  30. Dallin Draney on June 23, 2022 at 10:36 pm

    Definitely more vents. My favorite it is the POC ventral spin.

  31. Tenacious _E on June 23, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    🙄Six and a half minute advert for Gyro.

  32. C B on June 23, 2022 at 10:37 pm

    Thank you Alex and Manon , et al…..I am in the market for a new one actually….Peace

  33. ajkelvin on June 23, 2022 at 10:39 pm

    dope shoes Manon, i have the same style

  34. Mohammad H on June 23, 2022 at 10:40 pm

    Giro advertisement

  35. Be Lieve on June 23, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Motorcycle helmets has come a long way. Bicycle helmets, not so much.

  36. Simon Goh on June 23, 2022 at 10:43 pm

    If only Fabio Casartelli wore a helmet when he crashed. 😥

  37. Dean m Cooper on June 23, 2022 at 10:44 pm

    i was born in 1970,,

  38. Neri Garcia on June 23, 2022 at 10:45 pm

    Just recently went to Abus for my helmets with the Airbreaker and Gamechanger. I just liked the looks of them. But I also have a Met Trenta, Giro Synthe, and Kask Protone as part of my collection before moving to Abus. Honestly, I go for looks over weight, aerodynamics, ventilation, or safety features. I figure they all work similarly and meet similar standard, some just better than others, but might as well look good whilst crashing. 😆

  39. Ted Christesen on June 23, 2022 at 10:46 pm

    Add for Giro……..

  40. oh yeah! on June 23, 2022 at 10:48 pm

    I just replaced both helmets. Two nice giros!

  41. Lubo on June 23, 2022 at 10:49 pm

    Living in UK, so even the summer temps doesn’t climb very high… that’s why I always favour an aero helmet with fever vents, still keeps the head plenty cool even in the summer months. At the same time saves few watts, so it’s a no brainer 😆

  42. DesRoin on June 23, 2022 at 10:50 pm

    I’m currently riding with a POC helmet which I like a lot. Problem with Giro for me is the standard sizes are either too big or too small for my head, however their base shell shape fits my head really nicely which is why I run a Giro Enduro helmet for everything but road cycling and just live with having to strap it down to the last notch ^^’

  43. Dennis P. on June 23, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    Hey Manon. I like your NB shoes 👍🏽

  44. John Aldred on June 23, 2022 at 10:51 pm

    If you wanna get A-HEAD get a HELMET…!

  45. Lucas deABREU on June 23, 2022 at 10:52 pm

    Cool ad

  46. mike kunnecke on June 23, 2022 at 10:57 pm

    Actually, in the early 1970s the local Atlanta GA racing club began wearing MSR rock climbing helmets.At the time we referred to leather helmets as "coffin hairnets" as the only function seemed to be leaving a more attractive corpse.

  47. LSD on June 23, 2022 at 10:58 pm

    My girlfriend likes my purple helmet

  48. KPøng on June 23, 2022 at 10:59 pm

    As a MET Helmets fan i love Filippo Perini’s hands as a drop in shot at 1:57! In a video about GIro no less! haha I do like their designs; i just love the designs of MET a bit more 😉

  49. Filippo Pogačar on June 23, 2022 at 10:59 pm

    Kask is better

  50. Martin McCann on June 23, 2022 at 11:00 pm

    Bit of an error when talking about Kelly, Lemond and San Remo. While Sean did beat Greg in 1986 neither were wearing a helmet. The pic is from the 92 win where he beat Argentin and was wearing one.

Leave a Comment