Best Bike Helmets 2022 | Bicycle helmets for men and women

world of runners; Abuse of courtesy

Cycling can be a liberating shakeup for runners looking to experience fast cross-training without less impact. Unfortunately, this mechanical speed advantage is not without risk: you can crash, and you can crash hard. Concussions are extremely common in the cycling world. Nearly 25% of cyclists have suffered a head injury at some point while riding, according to a 2019 study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Fitness— and this life-changing injury is not to be taken lightly. Modern advancements in helmet technology can make wearing a helmet virtually unnoticeable and, at times, make you faster too.

Best Bike Helmets

The Expert: As a former bike commuter without a helmet, my life was much harder for years after I inevitably hit my head on a freezing winter day. Later, as a sales clerk at The Bicycle Shop in State College, Pennsylvania, I made it my personal mission to educate as many people as possible about the benefits of wearing a helmet. At the same time, I’ve spent enough time in the saddle for the big races to know the ins and outs of what makes a helmet feel good, look better, and perform better.

What to consider when buying a helmet

Sizing

A properly fitted helmet performs significantly better than the wrong size helmet. Most lower-end helmets come in one-size-fits-all packages, but fancier helmets tend to have multiple sizes for comfort and a range of fits. Companies all size their helmets the same, based on the circumference of the head above the ears. These ranges can vary from brand to brand, so it’s important to measure your own head and keep this number handy if you can’t try a helmet on before you buy it.

Weight, ventilation and aerodynamics

One of the luxuries of running, which I will always envy as a cyclist, is the ability to feel the wind on your head mile after mile. That said, some helmets are lighter and better ventilated than others; these designs, while more expensive, can help alleviate the “brain bucket” feeling that many riders succumb to in hot weather. Even though they have less material, these helmets still have to meet the same safety standards as all the others, and the increased cost is mostly the result of more in-depth structural engineering to make every gram of foam count.

Over the past decade, the proliferation of aerodynamic, or “aero” helmets has taken the world of road cycling and triathlon by storm. This style, although it doesn’t have the many vents that keep other covers cool, is designed to improve the aerodynamics of the rider’s head, and some people say this upgrade can make an even bigger difference. bigger in a race than buying an aero bike or fancy carbon wheels.

What is MIPS and do I need it?

The multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS) is a helmet liner technology that allows a helmet to slide over your head if you hit the deck. Although this seems counterproductive, it’s incredibly useful in preventing your head from twisting sharply – with a helmet – in side impacts, which would happen if you were wearing a helmet without MIPS. In other words, MIPS also protects you from whiplash, not just concussions, and I generally recommend buying helmets with that extra protection.

Visor or no visor?

The great thing about visors is that they can block intermittent patches of sunlight coming through trees, and they can also protect you from branches, dirt, or rocks flying off your wheels. on densely wooded trails. Larger visors start to become a hindrance in a more leaned-over road riding position, where they can obstruct the view of the road. Ultimately, you’ll see helmet visors far more often in off-road applications like mountain biking than on tarmac, where riders tend to opt for sunglasses.

How We Rated These Bike Helmets

Over a decade of riding, I’ve gone through tons of helmets (no pun intended), and I’ve certainly tested some of their crash protection limits over my years in the off-road scenes. and racing. These are all helmets that I have worn myself, seen at my riding buddies, or sold in droves when working at a bike shop. I chose them all because of their outstanding features, ventilation, protection technology, aerodynamics, aesthetics and the combination of all these factors. I have also consulted some Ride a bike test editors to hear their thoughts on the matter.

Key specs

Sizes S, M, L
lester 308g (M)
Vents 27
MIPS equipped Yes

Best budget option

Isode MIPS

Key specs

Sizes Unique size
lester 285g
Vents 22
MIPS equipped Yes

Ideal for on the go

Caden MIPS II

Key specs

Sizes S, M, L
lester 360g (M)
Vents 12
MIPS equipped Optional

Ideal for triathletes on a budget

Sphere Helmet

Key specs

Sizes S, M, L, XL
lester 280g (S)
Vents 18
MIPS equipped Yes

Sleek and elegant

Omne Air Spin

Key specs

Sizes S, M, L
lester 290g
Vents 13
Equipped with SPIN Yes

Best Aero Road Helmet

game changer

Key specs

Sizes S, M, L
lester 280g (S)
Vents 18
MIPS equipped Nope

Ultralight and Breezy

S-Works Prevail II Vent

Key specs

Sizes S, M, L
lester 264g (L)
Vents 27
MIPS equipped Yes

Ideal for mountain biking

SourceMIPS

Key specs

Sizes S, M, L, XL (M); S, M (F)
lester 323g (male S)
Vents 17
MIPS equipped Yes

Best value for money for mountain biking

Camber Helmet

Key specs

Sizes XS, S, M, L, XL
lester 370g (M)
Vents 13
MIPS equipped Yes

Best Bike Helmet for Kids

rogue helmet

Key specs

Sizes XS, S
lester 251g
Vents 8
MIPS equipped Optional

More advice to help you with your helmet search, from our expert, Adam Schram

RW: What is one of the criteria you have when buying a bicycle helmet?
AS: Whichever helmets you choose, I suggest you take a look at Ranking Virginia Tech Helmets before making a decision. I don’t generally recommend anything less than four stars, but big brand helmets rarely sell anything less than that rating.

RW: When should a bicycle helmet be replaced?
AS: There are two reasons to replace a helmet, first and foremost because you crashed with it. Helmets are designed to wrinkle (much like the front of your car), and they’re effectively useless afterwards – better the helmet than your head, though. The other case that most people ignore is the expiration date of the helmet. It usually takes about five to 10 years, but the foam will eventually harden and lose its ability to absorb shock. Look inside your helmet to see if there is an expiration date on the label.

RW: We all love a bargain, but when does it make sense to spend over $150 on a bike helmet?
AS: In truth, I only think helmets above this price point will make a difference if you’re racing at a high level. Spending more can make sense if you’re really looking to shave seconds off your toughest efforts. Good full face mountain bike helmets are a bit of an exception, but it’s the only one I can think of to make.

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