Bicycle Helmets 101: The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide




Factual importance of wearing Bicycle Helmets:

The statistics on bicycle riding and accidents are staggering. The Governors Highway Safety Association reports that in 2015 more than 900 cyclists died in traffic accidents. Those are sobering numbers. But could you imagine those very same statistics if everyone was wearing a helmet? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s National Center for Statistics and Analysis recently reported that Bicycle Helmets reduce the likelihood of head injury by an estimated 69 percent.

Why Bicycle Helmets?

Choosing Bicycle Helmets can be a daunting experience. Some riders want to feel cool, while others want protection. Some look cool, others don’t. Some fit snugly, others don’t. Some don’t look, while some do. Luckily, you don’t have to waste your time with mates. We’ve done the research and put together the ultimate bicycle helmet buyer’s guide to make shopping for the best helmet a simple, painless experience.

Safety standards and good citizen:

When it comes to cycling, many states require safety equipment to keep you safe. This is mainly because accidents can result in death, and Bicycle Helmets are one of the few things that can save your life.

Wearing a helmet while riding a bike is mandatory in many U.S. states. This is to consist of a protective shell, liner and retention strap underneath the jaw. Approved Bicycle Helmets meet requirements of construction, design, performance, markings and safe use instructions and are some of those.

Bicycle Helmets 101: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Permanent attachments must meet certain criteria, including no exterior hard projections bigger than 5mm in height and no internal projections that could cause damage. There are also standards for the materials used, including assured endurance when exposed to sunshine, severe temperatures, and rain, as well as ageing stability. Perhaps most crucially, Bicycle Helmets must meet performance criteria such as not obstructing vision, minimizing the force applied to a cyclist’s head upon impact, distributing the force of an impact, and providing a secure enough grip to remain on a cyclist’s head in the event of an accident.

The process of creating a helmet that can be brought to market is one that is highly fraught with challenges, as well as opportunities to get it right. The perfect helmet is one that is safe, protective, comfortable, cool, and affordable. Finding the balance between these is where the real work begins. At the outset, the design team works to determine a direction for the look and feel of the helmet. They create drafts and iterations, and through trial and error, narrow in on what the final product will look like.

When it comes to wearing an approved helmet, the long list of regulations should give all bikers peace of mind.

How do Bicycle Helmets function?

The primary purpose of a Bicycle Helmet is to protect the wearer’s head in the case of an accident. Bicycle Helmets must have a way of absorbing impact energy, distributing weight, and a retention system in order to do so. Bicycle Helmets are made from a polystyrene foam that compresses on impact that cushions the blow and distributes the force.

The shell of a Bicycle Helmet is made from a strong, hard material to provide protection. It will not compress when hit, so the helmet can slide on the ground to avoid jerking movements of the head and neck, which could damage the neck. This outer shell is usually made of polycarbonate plastic or fiberglass and is often brightly colored to make it more attractive to children, and so they are more likely to wear it.

The retention system consists of straps (or an elasticated band) that connect the helmet to the chin strap (or bands) and should always be used to ensure the helmet does not become detached from the head. If the retention system is used properly and adjusted to fit correctly, the helmet should stay on in normal conditions.

This can be confusing because it’s true that the padding inside a helmet is there to make the helmet more comfortable to wear. It is not fitted to be a protective layer. The protective layer is the hard shell outside, which is designed to take the impact from a crash. The padding is there to increase comfort and make the helmet more comfortable to wear.

Bicycle Helmets 101: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Things to consider in proper Bicycle Helmet fittings:

With any Bicycle Helmet, getting the appropriate fit is crucial. We all have different sized and shaped heads, which must be considered, or the helmet’s safety may be jeopardized.


To ensure the proper helmet fitting you will need to check the helmet sizing and measure the circumference of your head. How to measure? Simply wrap a tape measure around the broadest area of your head, starting around 2cm above your brow line. If you hang upside down without using the retention mechanism, the helmet should fit snugly enough to stay in place.

Why we need to do this? Because typically, brands will have three common sizes ‘small, medium, and large’ size Bicycle Helmets, but they are not limited by any standards, so what is medium in one brand may not be small in another.


As a helmet buyer, you should be aware of the helmet shape that each brand typically uses. The shape of the helmet is a major consideration, as a helmet that fits your head well dramatically reduces the chance that the helmet will move while you ride. Therefore, you need to try it first before purchasing it.

There are some general rules of thumb when it comes to helmet fit. First, Bicycle Helmets tend to fit those with narrower heads, and those with wider heads may have a hard time finding a helmet that fits. Additionally, each brand has a slightly different idea of what a person’s head is shaped like, so you should be aware of the brand’s ideal head shape as well. As a rule, Bicycle Helmets from Italian brands are typically narrower, and Bicycle Helmets from American brands are typically more rounded in shape.

Retention System:

A helmet is a safety device that is designed to protect your head from impact. It should fit snuggly and comfortably, but there should be no gaps or room for movement. It should not be so loose that it moves around on your head. A tight helmet can be adjusted by slightly tightening the chin strap. You should be able to fit two fingers between your chin and the rear of the helmet. The sides of the helmet should sit about two fingers above your ears and make a V shape underneath your ears. Make sure the chin strap is snug.


The cheek pads on a helmet are designed to rest against your cheeks. If you wear glasses, check to make sure there’s a little space between your eyewear and the helmet.

Tightening mechanism:

Many Bicycle Helmets feature an additional retention system that tightens an inner shell or brace around your skull and occipital bone. This method ensures a secure fit as well as added comfort and stability.

Hair port:

A hair port or ponytail port is a feature of some Bicycle Helmets that allows the user to fit a ponytail or bun inside the helmet. It is usually a hole or small opening in the rear of the helmet specifically for this purpose. The port is designed at the rear of the helmet to accommodate ponytails without influencing the fit or safety of a helmet. It is sometimes used on helmets for women, youth, or recreational cyclists.

Pressure points:

No matter how great a helmet looks, if it doesn’t fit, it won’t protect you. When trying on a helmet, be mindful of any pressure points or uneven pressure throughout the helmet. Any pressure in each area suggests the helmet is the wrong size or the wrong shape for you.

Protection offered by Bicycle Helmets:

At the very least, be sure your helmet has a sticker showing that it satisfies the appropriate safety standards. There are also other safety considerations that may impact your decision.

The Multi-Directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) incorporates two separate layers of EPS foam in different densities to address a wide range of impact energies. The MIPS liner has been tested and approved to reduce rotational forces to the brain caused by angled impacts to the helmet. It is designed to allow the helmet to slide relative to the head, thereby reducing rotational forces that can cause brain injury. The helmet is designed to rotate slightly around the MIPS liner during an angled impact, reducing the rotational forces to the head. The MIPS liner is a slip-fit inside the helmet. It is not attached to the helmet except when the helmet is in use.

Bicycle Helmets 101: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

The result of this advanced technology is a helmet that protects riders in a much greater variety of accidents than traditional helmet designs.

The number of vents a bicycle helmet has can mean the difference between life and death. Research shows that the more vents a helmet has, the more likely a rider will suffer a head injury. A helmet with fewer vents will protect a rider’s head, but ultimately will not be as cool-looking.

All Bicycle Helmets degrade with time, use and exposure to UV light. The minute you remove it from the box, it starts a countdown to its expiry date. The type of helmet and the materials used in it determine the amount of time it will last. All Bicycle Helmets have a date stamp on them; it may be a five-year date. Most manufacturers would say that if you have the same helmet for five to ten years.

If a helmet has been in a crash but has not been damaged, it is important to clean the inside of the helmet of any glass, plastic, or other debris. The visor or face shield should be removed, and the inside of the helmet cleaned thoroughly, possibly with a vacuum. Cracks should be looked for around the vents and on the bottom of the helmet. Inspect the rubber and foam components for damage and replace them if necessary. If a helmet is damaged in a crash, it should be replaced immediately.

Different Bicycle Helmets for cycling types: Mountain, Road, Triathlon, and Commuter.

Even though all Bicycle Helmets protect your head, Mountain biking, road cycling, triathlon, and commuter all require slightly different features from your helmet, which is why each helmet is designed for a specific riding discipline

Bicycle Helmets: The Ultimate Buyer's Guide

Kids Bicycle Helmets:

The main difference between kids and adult Bicycle Helmets is weight. Kids Bicycle Helmets are designed to be worn for a relatively short period of time, so they’re built lighter than adult Bicycle Helmets. However, even though they’re lighter, kids should still wear them every time they ride.

Any parent will tell you that their children grow up fast. They also climb fences and trees, run through lawns, play in the dirt, and generally cause havoc. It is critical that your child always wears a suitable helmet for his or her own safety. When buying a bicycle helmet for your child, keep the following considerations in mind.

  1. The helmet should be easy to adjust.
  2. It should provide a snug fit for your kid and should not be easily displaced or dislodged.
  3. Make sure that the helmet should not be too tight or too big for your kid.
  4. It should have a proper chin strap and buckle.
  5. It should meet the safety standards.
  6. Buy a helmet which is easily visible and has high visibility.
  7. If a helmet has a visor, it must be transparent.
  8. It should be comfortable to wear and have a snug fit.
  9. It should not be too heavy.
  10. Make sure that the helmet you buy meets your needs.

Mountain Bike Helmets:

Mountain biking helmets are designed to offer more protection from the rough, rugged terrain you will encounter when trail riding. With more coverage than road helmets, they’re designed to absorb more impact from rocks and branches you may encounter. There are many styles of mountain bike helmets, but one thing most have in common is a visor. Most mountain bike helmets have a visor for sun protection, but some mountain bike helmets include a visor for additional protection when off the bike.

Full face bike helmets have a grill that covers the mouth area and chin to help keep the rider safe in the event of a crash. For riding on trails, they are commonly too hot and uncomfortable to wear. A full-face helmet provides a lot of protection, but if you ride in areas with rocks, trees, or other obstacles you’ll need to take it off to see where you are going.

The essential issue with full face Bicycle Helmets is ventilation. The chin guard on a full-face helmet prevents the helmet from ever being fully vented. Ventilation is a double-edged sword. A full-face helmet will always perform better at higher speeds because a hole in the chin guard is better than no hole at all.

Road Bikes Helmets:

The most popular is the road helmet. Road helmets are the skinniest, lightest and fastest Bicycle Helmets. They prioritize aerodynamics and ventilation to keep you cool. They are designed for riding on the road, hence their name.

A premium road helmet is typically made from a carbon fiber composite material. Some manufacturers use Kevlar (a popular material for premium off-road Bicycle Helmets), but this is less common because of its low resistance to impact. These lightweight helmets are typically very aerodynamic, capable of reducing drag by as much as 50%. A premium road Bicycle Helmets are typically very streamlined, with a truncated tail that allows as little air turbulence as possible. It will also have a long visor to keep the sun out of your eyes. And, as mentioned earlier, it will not have a rear visor. Why? Because a visor gets in your way when you ride in the low, aggressive position of a road bike.

BMX Helmets:

Bicycle Helmets have become a necessity in the sport of BMX racing. However, with so many patterns and variations available, picking the correct one can be difficult. BMX Full Face Bicycle Helmets and BMX Open Face/Skate Style Bicycle Helmets are the two styles of BMX helmets.

Full face Bicycle Helmets provide additional protection for the face, chin, and mouth, but they are mostly used by racers.

The top of the head, rear of the head, front of the face and back of the head, as well as the sides of the head, are all protected by open face/skate style helmets.

Both kinds are extremely light and include a variety of fascinating and intriguing designs.

Touring and Triathlon Helmets:

Touring and Triathlon Bicycle Helmets are like mountain bike helmets in that they are good both on and off the bike. However, they are more streamlined and aerodynamic to reduce wind resistance. They also feature an easily removable liner which can be washed separately from the outer shell. This is so that the liner doesn’t become dirty or stinky as a result of being in close contact with the rider’s head. A full-face touring helmet is a great choice for cycling enthusiasts that are also avid motorcyclists. It is also a good choice for those who ride on both paved and unpaved surfaces.

Touring helmets are like mountain helmets in that they are designed for aggressive off-road riding. They are often heavier due to more reinforcement to protect you from falls. Another key difference between a touring and mountain helmet is the retention system. A mountain helmet will have a more traditional strap system, while a touring helmet is going to have a ratchet system. What does this mean? Well, touring helmets are designed to be comfortable for longer periods of time, which is why they have ratchet straps. These straps will provide a snugger fit and are easy to adjust without removing the helmet. The only downside is that a ratchet strap system is easier to adjust too much, which can be potentially dangerous for your head.

Commuter Bicycle Helmets:

A commuter helmet is perfect for short rides to and from work. They have a very minimalistic look and feel which makes them ideal for casual riders or those with a vintage bike. They are designed to be cool, comfortable and long lasting, but are not for the competitive cyclist. They are very light weight and some even have a built-in visor.

Budget for Buying Bicycle Helmets:

Newer bike helmets are equipped with safety stickers. These are usually located in the rear of the helmet and are reflective. When light is shone at these stickers, they reflect that light. Therefore, they make you visible to motorists at night.

Safety element being offered by current available bicycle helmets is the same be it costs $50 or $500. The core difference lies in the construction quality, weight, ventilation, aerodynamics, and comfort are all factors.

The outer shell of less expensive helmets is usually glued or taped on, whereas the inner shell of more expensive helmets is molded into the outer shell, providing more overall coverage while reducing weight.

The pads inside a helmet should be removable for cleaning, but it’s not as simple as taking them out and washing them. The material needs to be washed and dried in a certain way to ensure its longevity and durability, and helmets that offer this feature are better for it. Cheaper helmets tend to be one-piece, with the padding fused together into the helmet.

When shopping for a motorcycle helmet, most people start by looking at the price tag. While price is an indicator of quality in some cases, you will find that most inexpensive Bicycle Helmets are made quite well. There is a reason that the most popular Bicycle Helmets are made by well-known manufacturers such as Arai, Icon, Shark and Shoei.

The more expensive a helmet is, the better it will be, as a rule of thumb. A $200 helmet will outlast a $100 helmet, hands down. That doesn’t imply it will last a lifetime, but if you take care of it, it will be more durable in the long term. A less expensive helmet may appear to be identical, but it will be built with less expensive materials and with less attention to detail. The finish will be less long-lasting, the foam will be thinner and denser, and the vents will be less effective. The inexpensive helmet will cost more to service and replace.

Here’s a quick rundown of what you may expect based on your budget.

Under $50

Within this price range, the bulk of possibilities are kids and commuter helmets, as well as some extremely basic road and mountain bike helmets. Most Bicycle Helmets in this area have poor ventilation and are therefore only appropriate for commuting or recreational riding. Because it’s likely to be a one-size-fits-all design, there won’t be much in the way of comfy padding. This isn’t always a bad thing, especially for children’s helmets, which are designed for all-day wear.

There are a lot of Bicycle Helmets out there that look the part, but don’t offer the protection you need. We went out and checked out all the best helmets under $50 to make sure you don’t end up with a dud. In our tests, we found that most helmets in this price range had foam that wasn’t dense enough and held their shape when we pressure-tested.

If you are looking to purchase a mountain bike or triathlon specific helmet within this price range the quality isn’t going to be there. These helmets are designed to be used on the road or on the track and are only safe for those activities.

Between $50 – $150

There is a plethora of Bicycle Helmets available for about $100, but most of them are not suitable for mountain biking or triathlon. You’ll find that the helmets either have too little coverage, or the ventilation is too poor (or both). The head coverage is the main issue here: most helmets with too little coverage don’t have the additional protection of a visor, and many of them don’t offer any protection to the back of your head (a very, very common injury in MTB and triathlon). The helmets that offer sufficient coverage also often have poor ventilation and vice versa.

Mountain bike helmets are a tricky category when it comes to picking the best one for you. They all provide good coverage, especially at the rear of the head, and all have visors, but each has its own unique fit and feel, even within the same price range. The retention systems vary as well. Some helmets simply have a rear band that cinches with a dial, others have a three- or four-point retention system that includes a secondary retention strap on the chin.

Between $150 – $250

There are a lot more road bike and mountain bike helmets under $150 than you might think. Recent advancements in helmet technology have prioritized ventilation and reducing drag, resulting in a more pleasant ride for you. Because of the emphasis on comfort, road bike and mountain bike helmets in this price category can have additional features, design elements, and wider canopies. In the price range you can find good Bicycle Helmets, made of lightweight materials and might not include extra features. Non-full-face helmets in this price range have features like more head coverage, removable visors, secondary retention systems, and integrated camera mounts.

Top of the range – Over $250

This is a range for full-face Mountain Bike or Triathlon Helmets.  These Bicycle Helmets have removable chin bars and larger eye ports to allow for better vision and breathability.

Two of the most recent improvements to road and triathlon Bicycle Helmets are inbuilt electronics that can communicate heart rate and head movement, and they have a lot of potential. These are the initial steps towards smart helmets becoming a reality. The Lazer Z1 and Catlike helmets, for example, include a little box fastened to the rear of the helmet that allows them to communicate with the rider’s smartphone.

In this range of Bicycle Helmets, you will also find the addition of aerodynamic helmets that are designed to cut through the wind more easily. Many road cyclists choose this style of helmet since they can be lighter than their counterparts. Some also feature a rear spoiler to improve aerodynamics. There are also helmets in this price range that feature MIPS (or similar technology), which is designed to reduce the force of an impact. These helmets are more expensive than ones that do not have this technology. These helmets often provide exceptional ventilation and focus on improving aerodynamics.

Contact Us

If you have any suggestions or advise, please feel free to reach us via our Contact Us here.

Research Advice

If you are a research nerd and interested in publishing research papers or articles, we highly recommend that treat Google as your best friend or contact us.

2022 Tour de France: How Time Has Evolved The Tour
2022 Tour de France: List of Participating Teams
Understanding the 2022 Tour de France: A Comprehensive Guide
2022 Mountain Bike | Trek 820 | Review
Buying A New Bicycle? There Are 11 Things You Should Consider
2022 Tour de France: Jerseys And Their Meanings
Tour de France: All Winners Since Beginning 1903
Tour de France: Interesting Historical Facts
What You Need To Know About Tour de France
The Origins Of The Tour de France
Tour de France: FAQs
The Tour de France has confirmed a Netflix series and eight teams that will compete