What is a Bike Helmet
If there's one crucial component of any cyclist's riding kit, it's a bike helmet. Any bicycle is a vehicle, which means it moves at a certain speed and, therefore, an accident is quite likely, so the helmet will protect your head and minimize the risk of serious injuries. Moreover, any bike helmet protects from sun rays and serves as a cover for your head.
Bike helmets are very popular all over the world and in some countries wearing them while cycling is even obligatory. Millions of people ride bicycles every day and not only for fun, many people ride to work since it's healthy and costs nothing at all. Moreover, many cities have paid parking lots, which means you can park your car for a certain fee only but there's nothing to pay for if you are a cyclist! Therefore, we have decided to select the most popular and bestselling bike helmets so that you can choose the one for yourself.
Sports sunglasses will make your bike riding a way more pleasant experience.
What Features to Compare
Bikes are different, so bike helmets are different, too. They are designed specifically for the type of cycling each rider practices. So, let's not beat around the bush and go straight to the helmet types:
- Aero Road and Time Trial - these 2 types look very similar and they are designed to minimize the air drag. No need to mention, these helmets are used for races and road cycling.
- Mountain Bike - they are, probably, the most widespread in the world of cycling. Mountain bike helmets usually have vent holes and a visor that protects eyes from the sun.
- BMX - these helmets are created to protect riders who adore extreme cycling (trial, BMX, street), downhill, dirt jumping, etc.
- Kids & Youth - bike helmets of this type are intended to provide the maximum safety possible. As usual, they feature different color patterns since kids adore colorful outfit.
- Full Face - helmets of this type provide protection for the lower part of your head, i.e. for your jaw. These bike helmets are crucial for fast downhill riding and extreme cycling. Moreover, they have a fairly big visor that perfectly protects from the sun. Of course, Full Face bike helmets are also very helpful in protecting your face from branches and twigs when you are riding through a wild forest or a similar terrain.
There's one more feature to be considered - the helmet construction. In general, they are either Hard Shell or In-Mold. What does this mean? It isn't that difficult. In hard shell helmets, the shock-absorbing foam layer and the outer plastic casing are separated from each other. Such helmets are heavier but they are rather durable and provide great protection against any impact. In-mold bike helmets, the outer surface and the shock-absorbing foam are a single unit. These helmets are very convenient because of their small weight. Moreover, in-mold helmets have lots of vent holes, through which the air comes and cools your head. If you think that in-mold road bike helmets provide poorer protection, you're wrong - they protect your head perfectly well. In all, in-mold bike helmets are great for everyday cycling.
Size and Material
The next step you should make on a helmet selection path is the choice of the relevant size. There are the following helmet sizes for adults:
- XS - 19"-20'',
- S - 20"-21'',
- M - 21.75"-23.25'',
- L - 23.25"-24.75'',
- XL - over 25''.
The sizes for kids and teens are, of course, different:
- Toddler - 18.5"-20.5'',
- S/M - 20.5"-22.5'',
- M/L - 22.5"-23.75''.
Once you put a helmet on, you should also adjust its fit. That's why most bike helmets have a special fit adjustment system that usually works like this - you turn a small dial at the back of the helmet and it tightens or loosens the straps. That's simple and you can do it right while riding.
Of course, you should consider the material every bike helmet for men, women, and kids is made of. Most of them are based on EPS (Expandable PolyStyrene), which can't be recovered once damaged. So, if an accident happens, you can only throw such helmet away. Some bike helmets are made of EPP foam (Expanded PolyPropylene) - it recovers from a minor shock, which means such helmets are more durable.
Finally, we recommend you to check how convenient each bike helmet is and it's determined by some extra features. For example, a good helmet should have numerous vent holes that cool your head and prevent your hair from getting wet. It's really important if you go for a day-long summer ride. Also, most helmets have a removable visor. Some models have a special anti-insect mesh (it protects your hair from unpleasant insects living in any forest). If you wish to ride a bike in winter, make sure to choose the helmet compatible with a winter liner that will keep your head warm in winter. Finally, the straps of the fit system should be soft enough.
Bern Unlimited Brentwood Summer Bike Helmet is designed for BMX. If you adore making stunts on your bike, this fantastic helmet will fully protect your head in case you fall. Bern is superb for dirt jumping, downhill riding, and other extreme activities. This is a hard shell type of bike helmet, so it absorbs incredible impact and doesn't break apart after a minor fall. Choosing this mountain bike helmet, you can be sure it will serve you for quite a long time.
Size and Material
Bern is a renowned manufacturer of bike helmets and one of the secrets to success is a wide choice of available sizes. The bike helmet we have reviewed (for adults) is offered in the following major sizes: S/M: 21.25" - 22.5'', L/XL: 22.5" - 24'', XXL: 24" - 25''. No need to mention, you can easily tighten or loosen the straps of the bike helmet using a special Crank Fit dial on the rear side of the unit. Thus, you can quickly adjust the fit even while cycling. As for the material, Bern uses its proprietary Zipmold® foam, which minimizes the thickness of the helmet (compared with other types of material) and, therefore, decreases the weight of the helmet.
This mountain bike helmet has a flip visor that effectively protects rider's eyes from dust and sun rays. Also, Bern bike helmet has as many as 10 vent holes that cool your head and, thus, prevent overheating. Bern offers this bike helmet in 13 different colors, so you can easily pick the one you like the most. Let's also mention that this amazing helmet can be used in winter if you have a special winter liner (sold separately). Another major advantage we would like to emphasize is that this bike helmet can be used to protect your head when you are riding a skate. Top choice, no doubt!
Giro Feature is a mountain bike helmet that you can wear for all kinds of bike riding: from a usual morning ride to an extreme journey to the wilderness. It's an in-mold bike helmet that combines a small weight and provides a very efficient ventilation. Giro engineers have done their best to help you feel the maximum level of comfort. The sleek low profile of this mountain bike helmet reduces the air drag, so you can wear it even if you are going to have a speedy ride on the local roads. Also, the moto-style visor is quite large and really helpful against sun rays.
Size and Material
Giro offers quite a lot of sizes, so any bike rider can easily find the right one. Never think that a helmet alone protects your head - an oversized helmet will be rather useless. So, let's mention what major sizes this mountain bike helmet is available in. They are S: 20" - 21.75'', M: 21.75" - 23.25'', L: 23.25" - 24.75''. As you can clearly see, Giro mountain bike helmet can be used by teens and adults, so measure your head size and you will know what helmet you need! As for the material this fantastic mountain bike helmet is made of, it's expandable polystyrene - the most popular substance used for making bike helmets. Our testing team claim this mountain bike helmet provides excellent protection in case you fall down or bump into some obstacle ahead (a fence or a tree). Of course, you must never risk too much and ride at a huge speed in a really dangerous place.
To provide a rider with the utmost comfort, Giro mountain bike helmet is quite compact and streamlined. As a result, it's lightweight and you don't get tired after 2-3 hours of cycling. As we've already mentioned, the visor of this bike helmet is rather big and it protects your eyes from sun rays so well that some people (according to the feedback we've received) don't even use glasses. The straps are soft and slim, so you nearly don't feel them on your face while riding. As for the ventilation, Giro mountain bike helmet has 12 vent holes - enough to cool your head on a sunny day. And if you wish to match the colors of a bike and all your outfit, this helmet is available in 10 different color patterns.
Bell Adrenaline is a mountain bike helmet though you can use it for everyday cycling, too. This is quite a multifunctional helmet, actually! If you can't live without cycling, this mountain bike helmet is a great choice for a reasonable price. Though, let's go back to our topic. So, this model features an in-mold design, so the unit is very lightweight and ensures a good ventilation. Wearing this bike helmet, you won't feel any discomfort and your head will be well protected.
Size and Material
This Bell mountain bike helmet is available in a single size, which is M: 22" - 23.6''. So, if your head is smaller, this model will be too big. However, it's designed to fit the head of an average adult. The helmet has a True Fit adjustment system based on a self-adjusting fit belt. From what we've seen, the belt causes no discomfort unless your head is too big for the helmet of this size. Now, let's mention the material: Bell bike helmet is made of expandable polystyrene, just like many other helmets.
Bell bike helmet has a removable visor for protecting your eyes from sun rays and dust. Also, a Pinch Guard strap ensures a secure fit - the helmet will never fall off your head even if you make some extreme stunt. As for the vent holes, this Bell mountain bike helmet has 10 of them in the front part and 6 in the rear part; 16 in total - enough to cool your head even when it's sizzling hot. This bike helmet for adults is available in 2 colors only: black and white, so the choice is quite limited. In the end, we recommend you to attach a head- and a taillight to this helmet. If you like cycling at night, these items are truly necessary.
Schwinn SW124 2PK
Schwinn Thrasher is one more mountain bike helmet on our shortlist. This excellent helmet can be used not only for MTB riding but for town rides or even road cycling. However, this bike helmet isn't meant for extreme riding, so if you wish to try some downhill, choose an appropriate helmet for the sake of your safety. As for the construction, it's an in-mold helmet, so it's very lightweight. Also, this mountain bike helmet provides a good ventilation, ensuring a comfortable ride no matter how hot the air is.
Size and Material
Schwinn bike helmet is available in the following size - M/L: 22.88" - 24'', so most adults can wear it. The webbing is easy to adjust, so you can easily find the perfect fit. Also, there are moisture-wicking pads designed to keep your head dry during long rides. Schwinn bike helmet is made of expandable polystyrene - a commonly used material that provides effective head protection. As we've mentioned in the WTLF part, this material is shock-absorbing but it usually ruins after the accident. Thus, if you fall down the helmet will protect you but you will need to buy a new one.
Obsidian Cicling Airflow Ultra Lightweight
TeamObsidian is another representative of mountain bike helmets, though it's suitable for riding in a town or for amateur road cycling (professional racers use different helmets). Actually, this is a rather multifunctional helmet. Speaking of the construction, it's an in-mold unit which boasts an ultra small weight. Therefore, if you adore cycling for many hours, this is the best choice since it will not only cause no fatigue to your head or neck but it will also provide a good ventilation.
Size and Material
The ultra-lightweight mountain bike helmet is available in 2 sizes - S/M: 21.25" - 22.75'' and M/L: 22.75" - 24.25''. Unlike many other bike helmets for men and women, this TeamObsidian model has an innovative adjustment system - you can adjust the helmet not only horizontally but also vertically. No need to mention, you can turn the adjustment dial with one hand right on the go. Let's say a few words about the material this bike helmet is made of - it's expandable polystyrene, known for its small weight and good protection capabilities.
This mountain bike helmet comes with a removable visor that you can easily adjust to protect your eyes from sun rays. And if you don't need one, just remove it and use the helmet alone. This amazing bike helmet has 22 wide vent holes that do a terrific job at cooling rider's head. Also, this helmet has a soft pad on a chin strap - it's very helpful during long rides. If you wish to emphasize your style, this mountain bike helmet is offered in 2 colors: black and white. Unfortunately, no other color options are available.
1. Duncan Moore Buyer’s guide: how to choose a cycling helmet, RCUK. May 24, 2015.
2. Keeping One’s Head, Consumer Reports. April 2016.
3. How to Choose a Bike Helmet - Video, BikeRadar. July 16, 2014.
4. Helmet Buying Guide, Wiggle.
5. How to Choose a Bicycle Helmet, wikiHow.
6. How to Choose a Bike Helmet, Eastern Mountain Sports.
7. Luke Lydiard How to Choose a Mountain Bike Helmet, Outdoor GearLab. June 1, 2015.
8. Oliver Bridgewood, Best Bike Helmets: a Buyer’s Guide, Cycling Weekly. May 26, 2016.
9. How to Choose the Right Helmet? Decathlon.