Whether you are about to set out on a bike race or casually pedaling around town, what you cannot leave behind is a bike helmet. It is more of an essential component that goes with your bike rather than an accessory, for the sole reason that it can be a lifesaver ever so often.
However, this does not mean that a bike helmet should be a burden that you need to carry over your head to protect yourself against a crash. The best bike helmets aren’t just perfectly designed to protect you against any dangers of head injury, they are also comfortable and well ventilated so you wouldn’t even remember if you are wearing something on your head at all. At the same time, stylish designs that are available for these bike helmets are bound to make you look great on your bike.
So if you are ready to explore the world of bike helmets, read on. In addition to all the facts that will help you pick the right bicycle helmet, you will also find bike helmet reviews of some of the most protective and comfortable products out there.
Best Bike Helmets In Summary
Why is a Bike Helmet Important?
No matter whether you are riding on a busy road or in the streets, rugged pathways or smooth terrains, rider safety is the first thing that you need to worry about. And the very first thing that pops into mind when speaking of rider safety is a bike helmet. Most riders will skip other safety gadgets such as knee pads and elbow pads, but one thing which cannot be left home is your bike helmet.
Most countries or cities even have laws regarding it. In these areas, if a cyclist is on the road without a helmet over their head, they are likely to be charged with a heavy fine. Wearing a bike helmet becomes an absolute must in these areas, for example in Australia.
Even if your city does not bind you through any such law, your survival is in itself a good enough reason to motivate you into wearing a bike helmet every time you head out on your bike. The prime purpose of a bike helmet is to protect you against any head injuries if you encounter a collision. A collision, even when riding at a low speed, without a bike helmet can result in severe damage or even cost you your life. Wearing a helmet ensures that you return home safe and sound even if you do encounter an unforeseen accident.
Bike Helmet Reviews
#1. Giro Montaro MIPS Helmet
Giro Montaro is a well-designed bike helmet, especially suitable for mountain biking, with its MIPS liner and visor. The purpose of the MIPS liner in the inner side of the helmet is to produce a slight rotation upon impact to absorb the excess energy produced during a crash. This prevents any damage to the cyclist and therefore enhances the level of protection that is offered by the bike helmet. The visor is in place to prevent your face from dust or any other kind of foreign particles. It can even be adjusted using the visor adjustment system to make space for goggles of the cyclist. The strap grippers on the back will keep the goggles in place even during a rough ride.
Besides, with a shell built from In-Mold poly carbonate, the helmet is more durable and lightweight than you can imagine. Ventilation is just as good with over 16 vents to allow sufficient air flow and prevent the cyclist from experiencing any discomfort. Besides your protection, there are certain additional features that will impress you as well, like the built-in camera mount with a design that will protect your investment upon an unforeseen impact.
- The camera mount may not work well with certain models of cameras.
- Less protection is offered for the rear part of the head.
#2. Schwinn Thrasher Lightweight Helmet
Backed by thousands of positive reviews and rated as a best selling model on Amazon, it is not just one of the best but also among the cheapest of bike helmets that you will find. Along with a multitude of color options, the helmet is also available in different sizes for adults, young cyclists and also for kids.
Together with the 360 degrees comfortable protection that the helmet offers, there is also a dial adjustment system which allows you to customize the fit to the specific size of every cyclist. The side straps will allow adjustments for the included visor to accommodate any type of eyewear that the cyclist might be wearing. You can also just as easily, remove the visor if you do not feel its requirement.
Along with the lightweight microshell used for construction, there are 20 air vents to allow air flow and keep you cool even on a hot day. Overall, it offers an excellent level of coverage and protection at such low a price.
- The adjustment straps aren’t very secure.
- The helmet does not offer extra room at the rear for a ponytail.
#3. Thalia Bike Helmet
If you are a fan of budget deals, here is another bike helmet that is bound to impress you. Designed especially for women cyclists, the helmet is available in a variety of attractive colors and patterns and offers a high level of comfort and protection for regular commuters.
The bike helmet is designed for any woman who has a head circumference between 54 and 58 cm. For further fine tuning the adjustment according to your head size, the helmet includes a unique True Fit adjustment system which allows a proper fit in only a single step to save you from wasting your time fiddling around with the helmet.
This CPSC certified bike helmet uses soft padding on the interior for guaranteed protection and comfort throughout your ride. Additionally, there is also a built-in visor to protect you from sun glare and dust during your rides. You will also find the bike helmet well-ventilated and cool with the 16 vents that the shell is embedded with. Among the budget bike helmets, you will find this one of the most comfortable and lightweight protection for your head.
- The helmet is only available in a single size which may not suit some women, especially those with large heads.
- The visor is detachable but cannot be adjusted.
#4. POC Cycling Helmet for Commuting
This is the ideal protection that the daily commuters can be geared up with. Not only does it protect you against the usual head-on collisions, it also saves you from a possible side-on collision. This side protection comes from the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System or MIPS lining on the inner side of the frame of the helmet which rotates upon impact to absorb all the excess rotational energy produced during an impact.
Additionally, the high-density EPS liner allows for a progressive stop when you encounter a collision which protects your head from the low-energy as well as high-energy impacts. The outer shell is extra strong for durability and will protect you as well as your investment from dents even if you encounter a collision.
The size adjustment system allows you to fine-tune the helmet fitting according to the unique size and shape of your head so that it stays in place even when riding at high speed. Weighing only 420 grams, the helmet is lightweight and sufficiently ventilated to allow comfort in hot weather.
- The helmet offers less protection for the ears.
- Ventilation holes are fewer than those available on most other bike helmets.
5. Lumos Smart Bike Helmet
What makes this bicycle helmet a preferred choice of most city cyclists is the integrated LED lighting which comes with a wireless remote which you can attach to the bike handlebar to press the right button to turn on the corresponding lights on your helmet which will indicate the surrounding riders whether you are planning a right turn or a left turn. Brake lights are also available which, when turned on, will glow 38 red LEDs at the back of the helmet and will alert those around you that you are planning to apply brakes. The batteries are rechargeable and will last for over 6 hours when you use it in flash mode. In solid mode, however, it will last for over 3 hours, which is also quite sufficient even for a long bike trip.
Besides the lighting, the bike helmet also makes your protection a top priority and is CPSC and CE certified to prove it. It will fit all adult head sizes which lie between the range of 54 cm and 61 cm and features a good amount of padding on the inside to protect the cyclist against an impact. Additionally, the retention system is adjustable which will allow you to fine tune the fitting to the exact size of your particular head.
- This particular model does not include MIPS technology.
- This bike helmet weighs a bit more than what most cyclists would appreciate.
6. Bell Annex Commuter Bike Helmet
If you are looking for a stylish helmet which accommodates for a versatile biking experience, you will love everything about this bike helmet. Available in multiple styles and colors, the helmet features 3 size options so you may select one that’s perfect for the circumference of your head.
It is one of those premium helmet models which are equipped with MIPS technology which involves a MIP lining on the interior which will rotate and prevent most of the energy transferred from the point of impact to your head. Additional protection comes from the tough microshell on the exterior and the EPS foam lining which also protects against most high-energy and low-energy collisions that the cyclist may experience. The 15 vent holes are controlled through a unique Active Aero Slider which lets the rider control the airflow, temperature and the aerodynamics of the bike helmet through a tiny button situated over the top of the helmet.
Additional features that will be of interest to most cyclists are the light mount on the back where you can carry a safety light and a soft, detachable visor on the front to protect you from the glare of the sun.
- It costs a bit higher than most other bike helmets.
- Weighing over 1.8 pounds, this bike helmet is a bit on the heavier side.
7. Giro Switchblade Mountain Bike Helmet
This one is another bike helmet by Giro designed especially for use by mountain bike and MTB riders. It is available in a variety of colors and 3 size option so that every cyclist may find a good fit. Together with CPSC certification which holds for the US, it also features EN-1078 certification which means it’s good enough for use in Europe too. Although it’s a full face helmet for ultimate protection when you are out riding on rough terrains, the chin bar is detachable which allows you to convert it into a regular commuter bike helmet for urban use.
The advanced Roc Loc Air DH ft system integrated into the design of the helmet prevents any movement of the helmet even if it encounters a sudden jolt. The helmet is built to last and offers sufficient padding on the inside to protect you against impacts. Together with this, the in-mold construction prevents any bacterial growth on the inside so you can experience a fresh and healthy trip each time. Furthermore, 20 air vents allow for sufficient air flow to keep you cool and comfortable even on hot, sunny days.
- The bike helmet is heavier than many others, but you may shed some pounds by removing the chin bar.
- It is among the more expensive varieties.
8. Smith Optics Podium Cycling Helmet
Time trial and races call for a highly advanced, aerodynamically intelligent bike helmet which is everything you can expect in this particular model. Designed for professional cyclists, this bike helmet is available in two sizes and weighs only around 340 grams so that you may ride at top speed without the helmet weighing you down.
The helmet comes in a range of attractive colors and includes the advanced MIPS technology for maximum protection of the rider’s head upon an impact. The built-in visor protects you against glare and dust while the antibacterial lining protects the inside of the helmet against any bacterial growth.
Additionally, the VaporFit adjustment system allows a perfect fit for every cyclist while the oversized vents are intelligently positioned to minimize the drag force on the cyclist to ensure that nothing prevents the bike from gaining speed. With CPSC, Nzs 2063 and EN-1078 certifications, it is truly one of the most high-performance bike helmets that will offer ultimate protection and undisturbed vision, together with being lightweight and comfortable to wear.
- It is among the most expensive bike helmets that you will find.
- The lack of ventilation may make it a hit uncomfortable on hot days.
9. TeamObsidian Airflow Bike Helmet
This mid-priced bike helmet is popular among cyclists for multiple reasons. It comes in two color options and two sizes, all of which will include a tough outer shell and inner foam to guarantee ultimate protection as well as comfort for the cyclist. In addition to the superior shock absorption technology which promises a safe ride, the helmet is also well-ventilated to keep it cool around your head even on hot summer days. 22 air vents are present all through the outer shell to provide a good degree of airflow for ventilation around your head.
Together with superior protection and ventilation, the manufacturer has also managed to keep the weight as low as 0.6 lbs to allow a good top speed and comfort of the cyclist. Furthermore, it comes fitted with a detachable visor, removable and washable padding, quick release chin strap and a back dial for adjusting the fitting of the helmet over your head. Unlike most other bike helmets, there is also a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty with the package.
- MIPS protection technology is not offered by this model of bike helmet.
- The helmet is not tough enough for mountain bikers.
10. Bern Watts Bike Helmet
This is a wise choice for all those cyclists who would like to stay comfortable riding in all kinds of weather. Proper ventilation makes the bike helmet suitable for use in the summers while the winter kit that can be purchased separately makes it perfect for cooler days. The rear light mounts also makes the helmet compatible with back lights for a safe riding experience in the dark.
Furthermore, this CPSC and EN-1078 certified all-season helmet makes use of a dial adjustment system to fine tune the fitting of the helmet so that it stays in place even when the bike rides on rough routes. The construction of the helmet is durable and strong yet light in weight while the inner EPS foam lining offers just the right balance between the cyclist’s safety and comfort.
Together with the hard visor that is a part of the bike helmet, you will find it a great protection gear for riding around the city. You can choose the bike helmet from among the three sizes that are available. There is also a wide range of color options for the same model so that every cyclist may find his or her favorite.
- The visor attached to the bike helmet is not detachable.
- The ventilation on the bike helmet is not suitable for mountain bikers.
Bike Helmet Buyer’s Guide:
Besides the type of bike helmets that suits your riding style best and the correct fit, there are certain other features as well that you will need to think about if you wish to select the perfect one for yourself. Here is what you will need to consider while making your pick:
A bike helmet should feel comfortable on your head. A correctly fitted helmet is the first and foremost factor to ensure the comfort of the cyclist but we have already covered that under the previous heading. To add to the same point, also make sure that there are no pressure points anywhere on your head while you wear a bike helmet. In case you feel any sort of pressure at any point on your head, the bike helmet is either not your correct size, or is not shaped for your head. You need to select a different size or go for a different model altogether in such a situation.
Besides the fitting, there are certain other things as well which will make up a comfortable bike helmet. These include ventilation, padding and sweat control features. Larger vents on the surface of the bike helmet will allow more airflow around your head, keeping you comfortable in summers. Sweat control comes from the sweatpad that is attached inside your bike helmet.
Make sure that the helmet you choose does not involve a lot of weight since you’ll be wearing it all the while that you are riding the bike. The lighter the helmet you can get a hold of, the better. A lightweight helmet does not only add to a more comfortable ride, it also allows you to achieve more speed with less effort. Even the smallest factor that can affect the speed of your bike can make a huge difference if you’re a professional cyclist and take part in races. It is for this reason that many professional cyclists opt for a lightweight helmet even if it means paying a little extra money.
You will find a sticker, usually on the inner wall of the bike helmet, that gives you all the information regarding the standards that it complies with. Usually, the helmets sold in the US include a CPSC certification which says that it complies with all the standards that are set forth by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. EN 1078 is a similar standard but works for bike helmets in Europe. These standards are set out to ensure that the bike helmet is built with the right level of shock absorption, proper retention system, protection properties and also that the field of vision is not compromised while wearing it.
There are certain additional factors as well which will need to be considered by certain types of cyclists. For example, more padding may be required for a head that’s unusually small. If your head is abnormally large, you may need to check for a model which will include that size in the size chart. If you’re bald, ventilated helmets aren’t the excellent choice for you since they can result in tan lines on your scalp.
How to find the right fit for your bike helmet?
Finding the right fit for your bike helmet is crucial to your safety. An improper fitting of the bike helmet will fail to deliver the degree of protection that it was designed to provide in the first place. Finding yourself the right fit involves multiple factors at a time. Let’s consider each one separately.
Most bike helmets feature a sizing chart from which you are supposed to pick the size that will include your measurement in its size range. But to make a suitable selection, you will first need to measure the circumference of your head. Take a measuring tape and measure around your head at the point where it is the widest. Now that you have your measurement, match it with the correct size available in the sizing chart for the model. The size of the bike helmet should be such that it fits you snugly even without the retention system.
Almost every helmet will include a retention system which allows you to make further adjustments to the size to ensure that it fits you snugly and stays in place when riding your bike. To check if your bike helmet is the right fit, you need to put the helmet on and tighten the retention system. It should fit snugly on your head without being uncomfortable. Women’s bicycle helmets are designed with a little more room at the back to accommodate a ponytail.
Different sizes of lining pads can also be used to adjust the fitting of your bicycle helmet. Use lining pads that are removable so that you can clean and dry them after every few trips for a more hygenic experience.
The fitting of the bike should be such that it does not affect your vision while riding. If you wear any forms of eyewear such as sunglasses or vision correction glasses, make sure these are not obstructed with the bike helmet. The retention system of your bike helmet or its frame, especially if it is a full face helmet, should not come in contact with your eyewear.
Different Types of Bike Helmets
Many varieties of bike helmets are available based on the type of biking that you’re into and your budget. Here are some of the varieties that you will find.
These are the most common varieties of bicycle helmets that you will find since most customers are likely to purchase from this category. These bike helmets will feature a basic design that is well-ventilated to keep you cool and may even include built-in lights and waterproofing. The higher end models are lightweight so that you do not feel any burden over your head. Some commuter helmets are also built with minimum ventilation to prevent your head from getting wet when its raining.
Road bike helmets are designed to be placed closer to the head and feature a good number of ventilation holes to keep your head cool. Another thing that these bicycle helmets focus on is to improve the overall aerodynamics of the bike and the rider. Together with the improved aerodynamics, these road helmets are also light in weight to make them ideal for wearing on the road.
Aero Road Helmets
On the higher end of the price spectrum, you will find these aerodynamically intelligent helmets which include minimum ventilation holes in the design. The ventilation which is present in the design will complement a wind pathway that reduces the drag on the cyclist. While you may think that a little bit of air resistance around your head may not make much of a difference to your speed, it may be the one thing that gives you an edge over your competitors when you are in a bike race.
Mountain Bike Helmets
Mountain bike helmets are stronger and offer a greater coverage for the head as compared to the standard road bike helmets. They will sometimes also cover most part of your neck and ears for a greater degree of protection in the event of a collision. With the added coverage, they will also offer a greater degree of ventilation so that the cyclist feels comfortable while wearing them even when going on longer journeys. The ventilation holes are also covered with a mesh covering to prevent any dust or bugs from getting in. There is also a visor for the same purpose of keeping the dust off your face.
Full Face Helmets
Full face helmets provide the greatest amount of coverage for your face, head and neck. They are the preferred options for the types of biking that are the riskiest for example downhill racing. Together with your head, these bike helmets will also cover your lower jaws, cheeks, ears, neck and teeth to prevent any kind of major damage in case you experience a fall or a collision. However, because these bicycle helmets offer minimum ventilation, they are not recommended for riding uphill or casual biking.
Kid’s Bike Helmets
Besides the smaller size of these bicycle helmets which are designed to fit a kid’s head, different patterns, styles and colors are available to motivate the youngsters into wearing these essential safety gadgets. Other than the smaller size and the eye-catching designs, these helmets offer pretty much the same protection capabilities and ventilation as an adult bike helmet.
Without a doubt, bike helmet is an essential gadget that you absolutely must not forget to wear when you head out on your bike. Now that you know how to pick the right bike helmet out for yourself, make a wise decision that works perfectly for the shape and size of your head and your style of biking. Do not hesitate to pay a few extra bucks for a superior quality bike helmet that offers a good level of protection because, after all, it’s your life that’s at stake! Purchase an excellent bike helmet today and make sure that you have a safe and enjoyable biking experience every time you hit the road.