Best Bike Helmets: Protect and Cushion Your Head
Use any of these top-rated bike helmets for your daily commutes and outdoor adventures
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PUBLISHED ON October 31, 2019
New helmets get launched every year, but an avid road cyclist knows that not all of them are perfect for cushioning and protecting your head. You need a well-fitting helmet that cradles your head and doesn’t rock back and forth as you cycle. Our buying guide features some of the best cycling helmets that will keep you safe on roads and trails.
- Best OverallGiro Register Bike HelmetSummarySummaryA well-ventilated helmet with a hard outer shell that’s suitable for biking and other outdoor sporting activities.ProsProsHas a durable hardbody shell. Lighter and cooler than most helmets. Highly shock absorbent. Universal fit. Well-padded for a comfortable fit. Features quick-dry technology. Available in multiple color options.ConsConsThe universal size may not be a snug fit for everyone. The straps aren’t adjustable.
- Best ValueSchwinn Thrasher Bicycle HelmetSummarySummaryA lightweight helmet that offers a 360-degree comfortable fit. It can be used by adults, youth, and children.ProsProsIt comes in several color options. Features 21 flow vents to keep the head cool. Adjustable straps are included for a comfortable fit. Keeps the head dry with moisture-wicking pads. Includes a front visor for shade.ConsConsThe helmet may break upon impact. The padding may come off the helmet with frequent use. Limited size options.
- Honorable MentionRetrospec Classic HelmetSummarySummaryA high-quality eight-vent helmet that’s suitable for biking, skating, scooting, and multi-sport events.ProsProsClassic yet stylish design. Feels cool and comfortable on the head. It provides sufficient protection from head-impact injuries and features adjustable straps for a secure fit. Heavily padded for shock absorption. Multiple color and size options are available.ConsConsThe outer shell may seem huge on your head. May feel bulky. The colored options may fade with time.
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- Consider buying elbow and knee pads to protect yourself from cuts, bruises, and broken bones in case you fall off your bike. You should also wear eye goggles to protect your eyes from flying road debris.
- If you are cycling on a busy road, switch on your front and rear lamp and use recognized hand signals to communicate that you want to stop or turn.
- You should dress in a reflector vest and brightly-colored clothes to make yourself visible to other drivers and avoid a collision.
- Pay attention to potential hazards on the road brought on by changes in weather or other road conditions. Slippery, uneven, or rugged surfaces may cause you to lose balance and crash.
- Do not wear earphones while riding. You need to maintain maximum situational awareness to avoid collisions.
Q: Does a bike helmet help prevent a broken jaw?
A: You can get a full helmet that covers the head and jaw area, which will also protect your teeth in case of an impact. If your helmet covers only the head area, you may still break your jaw if you fall on it. However, in other instances, the helmet will absorb the impact of the fall, and protect both your skull and jaw.
Q: How often should you replace a helmet?
A: Replace your helmet if the foam padding starts to thin, when the helmet feels uncomfortable, or when the straps get broken or loose. You should also replace the helmet after a crash even if you don’t notice any visible cracks, as its integrity may still have been compromised.
Q: What is strap creep?
A: Strap creep happens when the straps loosen and the helmet slips to the back of your head, exposing your forehead. You can use little rubber bands or make a few stitches to fasten the straps. If it gets too uncomfortable, consider buying a new helmet.
Our top pick is the Giro Register Bike Helmet. It’s well-ventilated and its aerodynamic design is great for road cycling or racing.
If you’re looking for a cheap bike helmet with an aerodynamic design, consider the Schwinn Thrasher Bicycle Helmet.