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If you’re getting on a bike, you’ll need a helmet. But we all know that helmets keep you safe, and yet its often too easy to forego their protection while taking a leisurely ride or commuting. The best bike helmets are here to help, offering elevated comfort, style and — most importantly — safety on your next ride.
Whether you just bought a bike or you’re in need of a replacement helmet, you’re in luck. Bike helmets have come a long way in recent years with new technology for safety and comfort. Some even boast smart features, such as turn signals and brake lights on the Lumos bike helmet, below.
Whatever your preferences and riding style, there’s a great helmet to keep you safe.
Bike Helmet Buying Guide
Although bike helmets have a straightforward job of keeping your head safe, finding the best bike helmet for you needs and preferences takes some research. Below are some specs to consider when shopping the best bike helmets.
Safety: All bike helmets must meet safety standards of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, so there’s not too much discrepancy in terms of safety, but some are still safer than others. For example, helmets with Multi-Directional Impact Protection (MIPS) technology feature a lining that redirects energy in the event of a crash. Look out for similar safety upgrades, especially if your rides are often remote and away from other people.
Weight: No one wants to be a bobblehead, which is what it can feel like with a heavy helmet. Plus, when you’re not riding, you don’t want to carry around a bulky helmet. For these reasons, we’ve chosen top-of-the-line helmets that boast a light weight. Typically anything from half a pound to one pound (or about 280 to 500 grams) will feel light and comfortable.
Comfort: A comfortable helmet will be lightweight but also properly fitted to your head. Some high-end models also have added technology (such as improved ventilation) to ensure a comfortable feel on long rides.
Style: One of the main reasons some of us “forget” to wear a helmet is because they can look dorky. This is easily remedied with a stylish bike helmet (they do exist), so we’ve done our best to find some helmets that you won’t mind being seen in.
What Are the Best Bike Helmets?
1. Thousand Heritage Bike Helmet
For commuters and leisurely riders, this Heritage helmet from Thousand is a great choice. On the surface, Thousand’s bike helmets are a stylish homage to retro cycling gear. But underneath the style is modern technology for safety and serious comfort. The helmet boasts seven vents, which help maintain airflow for a more comfortable (and less sweaty) ride. At just over a pound, its also lightweight considering the full-coverage look.
2. Giro Cinder MIPS Road Cycling Helmet
The Giro Cinder is a straightforward, high-quality helmet that works for performance road biking or commuting. One of Cinder’s best features is comfort, as the helmet comes with 26 vents and weighs about 300 grams. You’re getting top-notch safety as well, thanks to MIPS technology, a polycarbonate shell and a durable In-Mold construction. On the style front, the Cinder is on the sporty side, but we like its minimal, no-frills design.
3. Specialized S-Works Evade II
For serious road cyclists (or commuters with a taste for quality gear), we suggest the Specialized S-Works Evade II. The helmet is about as high-quality as they come, featuring an aerodynamic design and the latest safety features. Along with MIPS SL (a lighter version of regular MIPS), the Evade II has an ANGi sensor, which automatically senses a crash and sends an alert to emergency contacts. Built-in ventilation provides ample cooling and a special gutter brow pad helps to keep sweat out of your eyes during a ride. Plus, it looks just as high-quality as it is.
4. Smith Trace MIPS Helmet
The Smith Trace is another premium helmet for serious riders. The Trace is one of the lightest bike helmets you’ll find. This is mostly due to an 18-vent, polycarbonate construction that keeps weight down without sacrificing comfort. These features — plus MIPS technology and advanced airflow — make the helmet a no-brainer for road cyclists and an upgraded option for commuters.
5. LUMOS Smart Helmet
If you’re commuting or riding in the dark, check out this smart helmet from Lumos. It’s designed for city use with smart features including front and rear lights, turn indicators (yes, really) and braking lights. The turn indicators can be activated with either the handlebar remote or — and this is even cooler — by using gesture recognition with an Apple Watch (so, you make a turn motion and the turn signal goes on automatically). Brake lights turn on automatically as you slow down, alerting cars to your motion. The helmet’s LED lights can all be controlled from your smartphone as well to check the battery or change brightness. Despite all this tech, the helmet weighs in at a light 380 grams and features 22 vents for airflow.