- Wearing a bike helmet is incredibly important for a cyclist's safety, so we've rounded up the best bike helmets you can buy.
- The POC Octal X SPIN is the best bike helmet we've tested with its great ventilation, protective design, enhanced visibility, and other great safety features.
Bike helmets have moved a long way from the polystyrene buckets that many of us grew up with. So specialized have they become that I have a shelf by my door that is just for bike helmets. It's a little embarrassing how many of them I own, and I'm considering passing my collection off as a conceptual art piece next time my mother comes to visit so I won't have to explain why anyone needs half-a-dozen pieces of safety headwear.
Cycling helmets can be aerodynamic, lightweight, high visibility and super protective. That's why the helmet I reach for to ride home from work in the dark is different from the one I pull down if I'm off for a Sunday session on the local trails.
In general, cycling helmets are designed to prevent a traumatic brain injury in the event of an impact. All helmets sold in the US have passed a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) test, which means they satisfy certain criteria that the CPSC determines will help reduce the risk of brain injury.
In recent years, systems such as MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) and SPIN (Shearing Pads Inside) have been included in helmets to help prevent brain injuries when there are multiple impacts or oblique collisions. These technologies go beyond CPSC requirements but can be helpful if a specific type of collision happens.
Obviously, the most important element of a helmet is its protection against brain injury, and this isn't something we could test. But the safest helmet is the one you always wear, and so we tested the fit, ventilation, weight, and practicality of dozens of helmets to determine which ones are the best you can buy.
Here are the best bike helmets you can buy:
- Best bike helmet overall: POC Octal X SPIN
- Best budget bike helmet: Bern FL1 Trail
- Best high-end bike helmet: Giro Aether MIPS
- Best portable bike helmet for bikeshare: Priority Bicycles Stack
- Best bike helmet for commuters: Lumos Kickstart
Updated on 10/29/2019 by Owen Burke: Updated prices and formatting.
The best bike helmet overall
The best budget bike helmet
The best high-end bike helmet
The best portable bike helmet for bikeshare
The best bike helmet for commuters
Check out our other bike gear guides
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