The best bike helmets are the ones you remember to wear. Surprisingly, a large population of bike owners are not wearing helmets when they ride, and it needs to come to an end. Not all bike helmets are created equal. This guide includes the best road bike helmet, mountain bike helmets and commuter helmets. It also includes the best helmets for kids in each riding discipline.
One item that remains constant regardless of riding discipline is your helmet’s concussion prevention technology. There are a lot of options with Koroyd, MIPS, Wavecell and more. For more information on helmet safety features read this guide to the Safest Bike Helmet. In summary, those advanced concussion prevention technologies work. They turn direct impacts into glancing blows, resulting in less brain movement, less concussions, and a safer riding experience.
Best Road Bike Helmet
It’s been scientifically proven time and time again that aerodynamics makes a bigger impact on performance than counting all the grams going onto your bike. Thankfully, road cyclists can enjoy an aerodynamic and lightweight helmet. Typically, the higher the price of your helmet the more aerodynamic and lightweight it will be.
A great helmet that his the sweet spot of balancing price and features is the Giro Isode MIPS. (Check Current Price on Amazon). The Isode MIPS has 24 vents to keep your head cool, too. A common feature on Giro bike helmets is universal sizing. The Isode MIPS will fit head circumferences of 54-61cm.
If your head size is smaller than that, or your looking for the best bike helmets for kids that are road cycling, then the Giro Hale will be a great fit. Made for head sizes of 50-57cm the Hale will fit children as well as some adults. You don’t sacrifice safety with the Hale either. It is a MIPS helmet with a price tag under $60. (Check Current Price on Amazon).
Best Mountain Bike Helmets
The best mountain bike helmets will have excellent ventilation, a sun visor, and more coverage around your head than other helmet styles. Mountain bike helmets also come in full face versions that have a protective shell around your jawline and chin. For cross country and trail riders the open face helmet is preferred for better visibility and comfort. Enduro and downhill mountain bikers need full face helmets because they ride at a much faster top speed.
The best mountain bike helmet for cross country and trail riding is the Smith Engage MIPS. (Check Current Price on Amazon). It is lightweight, has 21 large vents and provides additional coverage on the back of your head. For mountain bikers that ride with sunglasses, the Smith Engage MIPS has ultimate integration with Smith Optics Sunglasses. This means the brow of the helmet will align perfectly with the top of your sunglasses without rubbing or pushing into your nose.
The best mountain bike helmet for kids is the Giro Tremor MIPS. (Check Current Price on Amazon). The Tremor comes with universal sizing so you don’t have to replace it as your child’s head grows. It comes with MIPS making it one of the safest kids bike helmets, too. If that isn’t enough, the polycarbonate outer shell is durable and lightweight making it a comfortable option.
Best Bike Helmet For Commuting
The needs of a commuter cyclists are different from those of a road cyclists. For commuting there is less focus on power numbers and cadence, and more focus on comfort. Commuter cyclists will carry higher speeds while riding alongside traffic, and that means coverage is important, too. Finally, good visibility in your peripherals is crucial for staying safe as a commuter cyclist.
The best bike helmet for commuting, and casual neighborhood rides, is the Bern Hudson. (Check Current Price on Amazon). It has a built-in visor for added safety and visibility in sunny riding conditions. It also has a moisture control liner, like a sweatband, so you don’t have a wet face when arriving to work or other destinations. The feel is comfortable, but it also ventilates well. Bern Hudson helmets look great, but with six color options even picky cyclists will find one they like.
In conclusion, the best way to stay safe on your bike while improving your riding experience is to buy a helmet made for your riding discipline. Make sure it is comfortable, and it fits correctly. If not, the helmet will end up sitting on a shelf rather than on your head.