Are expensive bicycle helmets worth it? This is one of the most common questions that today’s cyclists want an answer to. It is no secret that a bike helmet is one of the most essential pieces of safety equipment involved with responsible cycling.
There are a lot of options available on today’s helmet market and they can vary in price significantly. As with most things, you do tend to get what you pay for, but cyclists do want to know just how much this applies to the topic of expensive bike helmets.
Though no one likes to feel like they overspent on an item such as a bike helmet, it is important to remember that this vital piece of safety equipment is designed to protect your head in the case of a cycling accident. This is one of those pieces of safety gear that is worth spending some money on considering what it protects.
All bike helmets are subject to the same safety standards. At the same time, the more expensive helmets currently available will tend to be made from higher-quality materials. They will also often offer benefits that include:
- Improved ventilation
- A lighter weight
- A better aesthetic look
Are Expensive Bicycle Helmets Safer?
Cyclists want to know whether or not expensive bicycle helmets are safer. This is a topic that is worth looking into when it comes to learning how to select the best bike helmet for your needs. Though all bike helmets have to meet standards that are put forward by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, this does not mean that they are all created equal.
Helmets have to be tested for the quality of their construction, their field of view, their chin strap, and their ability to absorb energy. Bike helmets on the more expensive side have often been subjected to additional testing to demonstrate their ability to protect a cyclist’s head. These additional tests can end up adding to the cost of these helmets but they also lead to a helmet that provides more protection.
The factors that can truly make the purchase of an expensive bike helmet worth it include better ventilation, comfort, and overall weight. The more expensive helmet options tend to mold the inner padding together with the outer shell. This is often not the case with cheaper helmets that will instead use glue. Expensive helmets also then to be shaped in a way that offers improved fit and comfort. They will also tend to have more than one mechanism for tightening the helmet.
The bottom line with expensive helmets is the fact that they are more likely to offer the latest technology while providing a more comfortable fit that is lighter on your head. More expensive helmets will also include features that include:
- An optimized level of aerodynamics
- LED lighting
- Fitting systems for adjustment
- Mount points for cameras
- Removable components
These are some further benefits that emphasize why it can be worth it to spend the extra money on a good quality bike helmet.
How Much Money Should I Spend On a Bike Helmet?
One of the most frequently asked questions cyclists have is related to how much should be spent on a bike helmet. To answer this question, it is helpful to take a look at what you can expect to get at different pricing levels.
Helmets Under the $100 Range
Bike helmets in the under $100 range represent the lower end of the spectrum in terms of price. These helmets generally include a liner made from expanded polystyrene that resembles the material that cheap beverage coolers are composed of. In this price range, the material tends to be glued into the shell of the bike helmet. When you purchase a helmet at this price point, it will usually include simple chin straps and will come as a one-size-fits-all.
Helmets Up to $150
Bike helmets that reach up to the $150 range represent what can be accurately called the middle-tier of the product category. When you move up to this price category, it becomes easier to find a helmet that is designed specifically for the type of cycling that you do. Helmet harnesses at this price range also tend to be of better quality. Straps tend to be more flexible as well.
Helmets Over $150
This represents the premium range of bike helmets. These helmets will be made from the highest materials on the market. This includes the construction of the straps, shells, harnesses, liners, and buckles. These helmets are also better ventilated than cheaper models and they offer a more aerodynamic design that is lighter on the cyclist’s head.
What Should I Look for When Buying a Bike Helmet?
After looking into the question are expensive bike helmets worth it, the next thing to consider is what to look for when buying a bike helmet? Key considerations include:
- Choose a helmet that fits with your riding style – road helmets, recreational helmets, mountain bike helmets
- Choose a helmet that is a good fit for your head
- Look for a helmet that has additional features that you want – visor, camera mount, chin bar, LED lights, etc.
- Pick a helmet that has a light feel when wearing it
- Consider helmet aerodynamics
In each of these cases, you are going to get the best results if you are willing to invest money in a helmet that comes at the over $150 price tag.
What Makes Bike Helmets So Expensive?
Cyclists routinely ask what makes bike helmets so expensive. The answer to this question comes down to the amount of research and development that bike helmet companies have to put into continually improving their products.
Helmet manufacturers are constantly working to produce safer helmets and they are also working to design lighter helmets. Research and development combined with the need to use high-quality materials in the manufacture of bike helmets mean that the costs get passed along to the consumer.
The good news about this is the fact that helmet manufacturers are continually striving to improve the quality of the helmets that they make. This means that cyclists who purchase these helmets are gaining improved protection for their heads.
Generally speaking, if a bike helmet has a heavy price tag, there is often a legitimate reason. Regardless of this fact, it is still important to carefully investigate the pros and cons of any bike helmet that you are thinking about purchasing.