Best Bike Helmets for Purchase in 2021
Every year, 500,000 people end up in the hospital because of a bike injury, and 800 people die. About ⅓ of injuries are to the head and face, and ⅔ of deaths are because of trauma to the head or face. These are pretty scary numbers, but a smart purchase of a bike helmet can help protect cyclists from some of the most dangerous injuries they face.
Simply wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury by 85 percent! Given the dangers of biking, and the ease of simply putting a helmet on, making biking safe is a breeze. However, since helmets do so much to protect cyclists, it is wise to put serious thought into the purchasing decision.
Selecting a bike helmet may seem like a no-brainer–just get one that looks cool, right? While style can certainly impact a buying decision, it is far from the only important factor when purchasing a helmet. Check out this quick guide to the different features of bike helmets, and browse some of the top picks for bike helmets.
What should I look for when buying a bike helmet?
Wearing a helmet might seem obvious. After all, for people who started biking at a young age, there were probably plenty of people constantly saying to always wear a helmet. Even as an adult, just taking a short ride around the block without a helmet can earn harsh glares from neighbors.
However, we all know that just because people say you should do something doesn’t always mean you should. In fact, there are robust arguments that oppose wearing helmets. Think of wearing a helmet the same way you think of wearing a seatbelt. Sure, the best solution is to create safer roads and train drivers better so seatbelts aren’t needed. However, the fact remains that seatbelts save lives.
In the same way, many cyclists think roads should be made more bike-friendly so helmets aren’t needed. But the fact remains that helmets save lives, and are a practical, reasonable, and relatively low-cost measure that could save your own life.
Not only do helmets protect you, choosing to wear a helmet can help protect others by setting a good example and normalizing wearing helmets. They may also offer some protection from the weather (especially the sun), and on top of all that, they look good!
What are the safest bike helmets?
The most important feature of a helmet is how well it can absorb impact in case of an accident. To ensure that bike helmets are effective at preventing head injuries, the Consumer Product Safety Committee developed guidelines so cyclists can be sure to get a product with top-quality protection.
Helmets made after 1999 are required to meet these standards, which is signified by a sticker inside the helmet that says CPSC, ASTM, ANSI, or Snell. Any of these labels guarantee quality protection, but if you are buying a new helmet, you can rest assured that it meets the minimum guidelines.
One option for an extremely protective helmet is the Giro Isode MIPS helmet. This helmet offers the Multi-directional Impact Prevention System to make sure cyclists are protected from even the worst accidents. This particular helmet does not offer some of the weather protections or style options available in other helmets, but it does give quality protection. Another example is a full face mountain bike helmet, which offers even more protection to the front of the face.
Bike Helmets for Weather Protection
Cycling outside presents a constant challenge: battling the elements. Even the most ideal climates will have days of blinding sun or torrential rain. A helmet can’t protect you from all bad weather, but there are some features to look for to make sure you stay comfortable.
The first features to look at are ventilation and visors. Plentiful vents help keep cyclists’ heads cool and dry during long, hot rides. Many helmets offer 20 or more vents, which offers a good level of comfort. On top of that, a good visor can help keep some of the sun out of your eyes.
For example, check out this Schwinn helmet that offers twenty vents and a durable but compact visor. It also features moisture-wicking pads in the interior, which help keep your head cool.
For cyclists looking for added weather protection, consider getting a waterproof helmet cover or even an insulated helmet liner. A lightweight cover like this one form ayamaya not only protects from rain, it also keeps out dust, debris, and high winds. It also adds safety through the reflective features.
A good thermal liner can also keep your head warm and dry even on the coldest rains. These are affordable and lightweight liners that prevent the need of buying a new helmet just for cold rides.
What Are The Most Stylish Bicycle Helmets?
The classic angular design of the helmets already listed are strong, timeless choices for any rider. However, some helmet lines offer a heavier emphasis on style, such as these low profile bicycle helmets, making them great choices for some bikers.
One stylish option is this Zurell helmet that gives complete CPSC protection along with a lightweight hat that fits snugly over the helmet. This helmet will make cyclists ready to hit the road feeling confident in their safety and in their look.
Another option that skips the hat is the SLANIGIRO Urban Bike Helmet. This model offers full protection in a clean, trim silhouette perfect for rides through the city or trips around the neighborhood.
Some bike helmets even have lights, which offer both unique style and additional safety while riding at night.
How to Properly Wear a Bike Helmet
Even the best helmet is no use if it isn’t worn properly! Thankfully, adjusting a helmet is quick and easy. The first step is to make sure to buy the proper size. This mostly means buying the appropriate child or adult helmet, but some helmets are not universally sized. Make sure to consult sizing charts before buying.
Once a new helmet has arrived, it’s time to tailor the fit. Many helmets have some system that allows the rider to adjust the crown size. Simply tighten or loosen the straps so the fit is snug but comfortable. It should not move side-to-side or up and down.
Then comes time to adjust the straps. The helmet chin strap should come around the ears on each side in a Y shape and meet under the chin. Again, tighten the straps so they are snug against the head, but still comfortable to wear.
The helmet should sit so you can just barely see it if you look up. That is, about 1 or 2 finger widths above the eyebrow. Once the fit is dialed in, you are ready to hit the road with your new helmet!