Bike Helmet Selection Guide

Everything you need to know about cycling helmets so that you can pick the right style, color and type to keep your head safe on the roads and trails.

So, you thought that choosing a bike was difficult, did you? Well, it is, but you might well be finding that choosing a bike helmet is even more of a challenge.

For a start, do you even NEED a bike helmet?

Maybe, maybe not. It depends on what country you’ll be cycling in and what age you are.

Then, which style do you choose? There are a whole myriad of different options, from sleek road bike ones with aero vents, retro skate-style helmets for the urban environment and gnarly full-face motorbike type helmets for mountain biking.

And, they all come in different sizes! Sadly, there’s no one-size-fits-all helmets that you can adjust infinitely to fit the exact shape of your skull.

How do you measure up your head to determine the right size of helmet to go with?

There’s a lot (like, a LOT) of questions when it comes to choosing bike helmets and I thought it would be useful to sum them all up in one article so you can get all the answers you need and go armed with that knowledge to buy the perfect helmet for you.

Let’s dive in (head first, obviously) and check out the details.

Which cycling helmet is the best for bike riding?

Go into any big sporting goods store, or scroll through the bike accessories pages on Amazon, and you’ll see a bewildering array of cycling helmets.

Helmets shaped for different types of cycling (from commuting to BMX to mountain biking etc).

Helmets with different safety features (MIPS vs WaveCel vs SPIN).

Not to mention the variety of colors, air holes, construction materials, and other ‘bells and whistles’.

How do you pick the RIGHT bike helmet for you?

How to pick a cycling helmet?

The starting point for choosing the correct helmet is to pick one that meets the cycling helmet safety standard that is relevant in the country where you’ll be using it.

In the US, helmets must meet the CPSC bicycle helmet standard, which will be indicated by a special label or marking, usually on the inside lining.

In the UK and the EU, helmets must meet the safety standard EN 1078 (for adult cycling helmets) and EN 1080 (for children’s cycling helmets).

You then need to decide what sort of cycling you’ll mainly be doing as this will determine what shape or style of helmet is correct for you.

For commuting, touring or all-round leisure cycling on smooth paved roads and trails, whether you’re on a regular bike or an e-bike, choose a recreational or road bike helmet.

For mountain biking on backcountry trails, choose a MTB-specific or full-face helmet.

Which is the best brand of bike helmet?

So long as the helmet meets the safety standards that are relevant for the country you’ll be using it in, then it doesn’t matter what brand it is.

Having said that, some brands offer helmets with extra features which can be useful (example: Thousand helmets, which feature a one-handed magnetic chin strap catch).

The brand can also be important if a rider is more likely to wear a ‘cool brand’ helmet (and therefore be protected by it), then not wear a helmet because they don’t think they look good in it.

It’s important to remember that cycling helmets only protect your head when they’re on it.

Do bike helmets make any difference?

In the world of cycling, there is probably nothing more controversial than helmets and whether they make a difference to riders safety…and whether they should be mandatory or not.

My opinion, having fallen off bikes (a lot!) is that they DO make a big difference and cyclists should ALWAYS wear them, whether they’re nipping around the block to the grocery store, setting off down a Double Black Diamond MTB trail, popping tricks on a BMX pump track, or testing their limits on a multiday backcountry bikepacking trip.

Do cycling helmets really help?

Do cycling helmets save lives? It’s a tricky question to answer because, when you do a deep dive into helmet vs no helmet statistics, you’ll find lots and lots of conflicting numbers.

On the one hand, they can protect your head in the event of a crash – the NIH published a review which showed that helmets gave a 63%-88% cut in the risk of head and brain injury for all ages of cyclists.

On the other hand, there’s some anecdotal evidence that they can encourage more reckless cycling (“I’m wearing a helmet so that makes me invincible”) and also that they can give drivers an excuse to overtake cyclists with less room to spare.

When I’m faced with a dilemma like this my natural response is to go with the option that gives me a better chance of keeping my skull intact.

Why is that Dutch cyclists never wear helmets?

It’s a reason that’s often given as to why people in other countries shouldn’t wear bike helmets.

But why do the Dutch not use them?

I think there’s a few reasons why people in the Netherlands rarely wear bike helmets and I don’t accept that any of these are justification for not donning a lid in other nations.

First, Dutch people are born cycling, in fact they probably had bike experience before then too. That makes them very good at it and they hardly ever fall off bikes.

Second, the Dutch government has invested heavily in cycling infrastructure ensuring that cyclists generally aren’t traveling next to cars, buses and trucks.

Thirdly, most car drivers in Holland are also regular cyclists and are therefore much more careful when driving past people on bicycles.

Are cycling helmets really effective?

The NIH analyzed over 50+ studies from the last twenty years and found that the use of bicycle helmets reduced the risk of suffering traumatic brain injury by 53%, and death/serious injury to cyclists by 34%.

So, yes, bike helmets ARE actually effective.

10 of the best reasons to wear a cycling helmet

How do you convince someone to wear a bike helmet? Talk to them about the consequences of not wearing a bicycle helmet AND the benefits of wearing one:

  • They reduce your risk of dying from a crash
  • They reduce your risk of traumatic brain injury from a crash
  • They reduce your risk of face injury from a crash (especially with full-face mountain bike helmets)
  • It could be a legal requirement in your country: Argentina, Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Namibia, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, Togo, UAE. Other countries have partial rules too
  • Avoid medical bills from injury
  • They keep your head warmer on cooler bike rides
  • They can keep your head dry in the rain
  • They protect your scalp from sunburn on hot days
  • A brightly-colored helmet can help you be seen more easily
  • They set a great example to your kids

What kind of cycling helmet is the safest?

A bicycle helmet is designed to protect your head when you’re cycling.

But, if you’ve been looking around for the right helmet, then you’ll likely have seen a wide range of designs, styles, brands, jargon like MIPS, SPIN and DOT.

So, which kind of cycle helmet is the safest?

Are any cycling helmets safer than others?

The critical point to remember is that you should choose a helmet that has been approved for use in the country where you’ll be riding your bicycle.

In the US, choose a helmet with a label or mark stating it is CPSC standard.

In the EU and UK, choose a cycling helmet that states it is compliant with standard EN1078 (adult helmet) and EN1080 (child helmet).

Cycling helmets work by having a layer of hard foam that deforms on impact to soak up the compressive forces in a crash, so that these forces aren’t transferred to the skull and brain.

What a number of manufacturers are now doing is to incorporate additional technology into their helmets, such as MIPS.

MIPS, standing for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, allows a cyclist’s head to move inside the helmet so that rotational movement in a crash is absorbed by the MIPS lining and not transferred to the head.

My opinion is that a MIPS helmet has the potential to therefore give an advantage in a crash.

Is it worth paying extra for MIPS? Yes, but you don’t have to.

There are a range of manufacturers now using MIPS tech and this has brought prices down considerably (check out OutdoorMaster’s GEM bike helmet for a great example).

How to check if your bike helmet is safe?

Use this checklist to determine if your helmet is safe or should be replaced:

  • Is your helmet more than 5 years old? Replace it
  • Have you had a crash wearing it and your head hit? Replace it
  • Has it been dropped hard enough to crack the foam or outer shell? Replace it
  • Is there any damage to the foam or outer shell? Replace it
  • Do the straps and rear adjustment no longer allow correct fitting of the helmet? Replace it

Remember that it’s good practice never to stick anything onto your helmet (such as decals or mohawks) as this can make it difficult to spot surface damage, such as cracks or dents, which can compromise the integrity of the helmet structure.

Do cycling helmets need to be DOT-approved?

DOT approval is for motorcycle helmets not cycling helmets.

The correct standard in the US for bicycle helmets is provided by the CPSC.

The specific details of the CPSC requirements are shown here.

Are higher priced bike helmets safer?

No matter the price, bike helmets have to meet the exact same safety criteria (as laid down by the CPSC in the US).

The differences between cheaper helmets and more expensive helmets will therefore come down to the aesthetics, how comfortable it is, how light it is, and the quality of the materials used.

Are visors on cycling helmets safe?

Many cyclists like to use helmets with visors to shade their eyes from the sun and also for aesthetic reasons.

There is some anecdotal evidence however that helmet visors can be both good and bad in a crash.

Visors can help to lift the face away from the ground in a crash, so that the helmet takes the impact.

However, visors can also shatter or partially break away from the shell of the helmet and cause injury to the face.

What color bike helmet is safest?

The color of a bike helmet will clearly not help in the event of a crash.

However, a brightly-coloured helmet is recommended as this makes it more likely that you will be seen earlier on by drivers, who can then avoid you.

Can horse riding helmets be used for cycling?

No – in the US, horse-riding helmets are designed to meet an ASTM standard, not the CPSC standard relevant to cycling helmets.

You should wear a bike helmet that is specifically designed for cycling and meets the safety standard that is relevant in your country.

The same goes for wearing skiing, snowboarding, climbing or motorcycle helmets for bicycling – they are designed to different safety standards and therefore aren’t recommended for cycling.

Buying Guide to Cycling Helmets

We’ve covered some of the main questions about cycling helmets.

Now, it’s time to dive into the detail and look at the key criteria for choosing a great bike helmet that’s perfect for you and your cycling.

We’ll be looking at how to size a helmet, what different types of bike helmet there are, and which brands to look out for.

And plenty more besides!

Cycling helmet size

There are two critical aspects of a good bike helmet: (1) it meets the safety standard relevant in your country, and (2) it fits your head correctly.

So, how do you determine what size helmet you need?

It’s really simple – all you need is a flexible measuring tape (the type that is often used for sewing or tailoring).

Unfortunately, bike helmets are not a one size fits all design and there is no standard helmet size.

Instead, they are sized according to head circumference, and that’s what you can use to get the correct size of helmet for you.

Simply take the tape measure and wrap it around your head horizontally so that it goes approximately 1” or 25mm above your eyebrows and just above your ears.

This measurement in either inches or centimetres will then be used to pick the correct helmet size.

If you don’t have a tape, then you can measure your head for a helmet using a piece of string, thread or wool.

Wrap this string around your head, as you would with the tape, then measure the length of the string with a yardstick or ruler.

Helmets come in different sizes, and are generally categorized as XSmall, Small, Medium, Large, and XLarge.

Look for a Size Guide, either on the helmet box in a store, or on the website product page for an online retailer.

This will give you a guide as to what head circumference (in inches/cm) corresponds to which helmet size.

For example, REI currently stock a Signal MIPS bike helmet from Smith Optics.

The Medium helmet on the REI size guide shows that it is suitable for riders with a head circumference of between 21.7” to 23.2”.

Therefore, if you measure your head circumference and find that it is a number e.g. 22 inches that is within the range 21.7” to 23.2”, then this Medium Signal helmet would be a good fit for you.

A well-fitted cycling helmet should have a snug but not painfully tight fit:

It should sit level and horizontal on your head – not tilted forward, not tipped backwards – take a look in the mirror to check.

If there is a dial adjustment at the back, then you can use this to tighten or loosen the horizontal head band inside the helmet to give a comfy fit.

The ‘V’ parts of the strap on each side should go comfortably around your ears and the chin strap should have a snug fit under your chin – the chin strap shouldn’t be loose, but equally you should be able to move your jaw down, talk, eat and drink.

You will know if your helmet is too small because it will feel uncomfortably tight when it’s on your head, even with the rear dial adjustment set to the loosest setting – re-check your head circumference measurement and try the next size up helmet.

You will also know if your bike helmet is too big because it will feel too loose and will likely flop around when you move your head, even with the rear dial adjustment set to the tightest setting – again, measure your head circumference then try the next size smaller helmet.

Unlike old-school leather hiking boots, however, you shouldn’t need to ‘break in’ a new helmet.

If your cycling helmet feels uncomfortable, then it’s worth checking the chin straps and head band to see if they are correct for you – loosen or tighten them to see whether the fit gets more comfortable.

If, after adjusting the straps and dial adjustment, your helmet is still not fitting well, then you should re-measure your head circumference and consider sizing up or down with a replacement helmet.

Some people are concerned that helmets look really big and chunky on their heads – remember that they’re there for your protection though and that ‘chunkiness’ is designed to cushion your head in the event of a crash.

If this is a concern and you’re about to buy a new helmet, then it’s worth looking at the different types of helmet as some are bigger than others – road bike (and some urban/commuter/fitness) helmets tend to have a smaller design, trail and full-face mountain bike helmets are bigger and many have chin protection built in too.

If you know your hat size in inches/cm then this should correspond to your bike helmet size as both use head circumference – however it is worth re-checking with a measuring tape before buying your new helmet as hat size can have a wider margin for error than a helmet.

Finally, when in doubt about your correct helmet size, remember – use a measuring tape to check your head circumference – take this measurement e.g. 52 cm, 56cm, 57cm, 22” or 24” and compare this to the size guide for your preferred helmet, either on the box or on the website page.

Cycling helmet safety considerations

For adults, the safest bike helmet to use is one that:

  • Meets the specific safety standards laid down by the country in which you’ll be using it (for example CPSC in the US, EN 1078 in the EU/UK), and
  • Fits your head correctly, and
  • Is not damaged

There are only a few countries where the law states that it is mandatory to wear a bike helmet.

You can check out the bike helmet laws by US state here.

There are many powerful reasons for wearing a helmet for cycling, these include:

  • Protecting your skull, face, and brain in the event of a crash
  • Protecting your scalp from sunburn
  • Keeping your head warm and dry in chilly or wet weather
  • Giving a good example to your kids

How many reasons do you have for not wearing one?

Cycling helmet pricing

The average price you should expect to pay for a good quality adult cycling helmet that meets either CPSC standards in the US, or EN 1078 in the EU/UK, is in the region of $50 – $300.

Visit a cycling store or check out a sporting goods website and you’ll see that there are many bicycle helmets which are near the top end of this range and are very expensive.

Helmets that are at the cheaper end of this scale will meet the exact same safety standards as those at the top end.

So, why are some bicycle helmets so expensive?

There are a number of reasons:

Firstly, they may be suitable for specific types of cycling where there are different risks, for example full-face mountain bike helmets can cost $200 – $300+, because they are shaped more like motorbike helmets and offer chin and face protection.

The brand can have a big impact on the price too – ‘cool’ brands, such as Smith, Giro and Fox Racing, will tend to be priced higher.

Is it worth buying an expensive helmet?

I would say, definitely yes, if it means that you’re more likely to wear it and therefore benefit from its protection.

Cycling helmet brands

The best bicycle helmet brand will depend to a large extent on what type of cycling you’re going to use it for and whether the ethos of the brand ties in with your personal aspirations and beliefs.

But, it’s worth reiterating that, all quality brands will ensure that their helmets meet the safety standards set by the country that they’re selling their helmets in.

Let’s take a look at some of the best brands around in the cycling helmet world.

Smith Optics are well known for their ski gear and also make some of (in my opinion!) the coolest cycling helmets – check out their Network and Forefront 2 helmets.

Bontrager also make exceptionally good helmets, many of which have their MIPS rival, WaveCel integrated into the lining which gives a crumple zone (like you have in your car) – this technology was awarded the highest rating from Virginia Tech in independent testing.

Giro are a great brand for all types of cycling apparel. Their helmet range is at the top end of the scale for price, but also at the top end for high-quality lightweight materials, aerodynamics and aesthetics.

POC do a fantastic range of cycling apparel, with a helmet range that is good for recreational styles to full-face mountain bike lids, and all have Scandinavian style built in.

Kask, an Italian helmet manufacturer, produce helmets for cycling, snow and equestrian sports. Their cycling helmets meet safety standards in the US, EU, UK and Australia. These are mid-priced bike helmets with high-end features.

Specialized are the brand name behind many of the most popular bikes and ebikes on sale today and, at the same time, they also manufacture a fantastic range of bike helmets. Specialized have also launched their ANGi Crash Sensor. A device fitted to the bike helmet that calls for help via your cell phone if you’re incapacitated after a crash.

Schwinn are the name to look out for if you want a decent bike helmet that’s comfortable, without paying the earth for it.

Bell make great bike helmets for use across a range of cycling disciplines from BMX to full-face MTB. Their price range covers the entire spectrum from entry-level riding to double-black diamond trail-worthy.

Cycling helmet construction and materials

Bicycle helmets are made and designed using a range of materials, with the shell liner normally being constructed from one of various types of foam – the most common being EPS, with other helmets using EPP or EPU.

These foams protect the rider’s head by crumpling under impact and absorbing the forces of a crash.

Other materials are also used, for example carbon fiber, Kevlar and ABS.

The material used for bicycle helmet straps is usually nylon webbing, but some helmets offer more specialist materials (such as Thousand Helmets, which use vegan faux-leather straps on some helmets).

The materials used in a helmet can offer advantages in terms of lightness, or ethics (in the case of vegan-friendly chin straps) but remember that, no matter the materials used, the helmet will need to have been certified to the relevant set of standards in the country where it’s being sold.

Cycling helmet weights

As a rule of thumb, the lightest bicycle helmets will be those designed for road biking, with road bike helmets at the higher end of the price range being the lightest of the lightest.

A mid-price road bike helmet weighs around 10.6 oz / 300g (example: the Giro Agilis).

A top-price road bike helmet weighs 9.2 oz / 260g (example: the POC Ventral).

Road bike helmets tend to be a similar weight to recreational cycling helmets (example: the Smith Signal at 11 oz / 311g).

Mountain bike or trail-riding helmets are again similar weights to recreational helmets (example: the Giro Fixture at 10.7 oz / 303g.

Mountain bikers will often wear trail-specific helmets like this, or full-face helmets which give protection to the jaw and face.

Full-face mountain biking helmets tend to be the heaviest (and bulkiest) of cycling helmets (example: the Smith Mainline at 1 lb 11 oz / 765g).

Lighter helmets can be advantageous as they won’t weigh your head down and can be cooler to wear for long bike rides.

Cycling helmet types

There are a variety of different types of bicycle helmet which are suitable for different sorts of cycling.

The best helmet type for you will therefore depend on what sort of cycling you’ll generally be doing.

For a good all-round helmet for leisure and fitness cycling, you can choose a recreational, road cycling or trail-riding helmet (example: Bontrager Solstice or Thousand Heritage).

Many recreational riders also choose a dual-sport helmet, which is advertised as being suitable for both bike riding and skateboarding – keep in mind that there are two different sets of safety standards for these sports and that a cycling helmet needs to be certified for cycling use by the CPSC in the US or to EN 1078 in the EU/UK.

A skateboard or street style helmet, with a solid dome design, can also be significantly warmer to wear in hot weather as it will often have far fewer air vents than say a road cycling helmet.

Mountain bike (MTB) helmets come in two different flavors:

For the toughest of backcountry trails there are full-face helmets which combine a motorbike style helmet with a chin bar for improved protection to the face and jaw.

These are heavier and hotter to wear, with restricted peripheral vision, and so many mountain bikers, who are only cycling lighter-duty trails, opt for a more open style of helmet.

This type of helmet gives better protection to the rear of the head (vs a road bike helmet) but is cooler and lighter to wear than a full-face helmet.

Many helmets also feature one of a number of competing technologies which are designed to reduce rotational motion on the brain during crashes – these include MIPS (standing for Multi-directional Impact Protection), Bontrager’s WaveCell, and POC’s Spin.

If your helmet has MIPS tech fitted it will have a thin yellow liner inside underneath the foam pads – this will move relative to the foam shell.

It is likely (though not always the case) that the helmet would also feature a yellow MIPS sticker somewhere on the shell.

It isn’t possible to add MIPS to a bike helmet so, if this is an extra layer of protection that you would like, you will need to buy a new helmet with it already installed.

Brands that have helmets in their ranges featuring MIPS include: Bell, Scott, Thousand, amongst many others (though, surprisingly, not HJC).

The yellow MIPS liner is a very thin material and won’t make the fit tighter on a MIPS helmet.

There are also a number of bike helmets available with in-built lights – I’m personally not a fan of these as the pace of improvements in lighting tech and battery tech may render the whole package obsolete before the actual helmet has deteriorated. Better to buy separate helmet and lights and upgrade each when necessary.

Cycling helmet protection and safety

The most protective bike helmets are those that meet the safety standards set by the relevant regulatory body in the country of use, that fit and are worn correctly, and aren’t damaged.

Different types of helmet (for example full-face MTB helmets) can offer additional protection to other areas of the head (in this case, the chin and face).

However, these may not be appropriate for other cycling situations, such as road cycling, where they restrict peripheral vision and make it difficult to see cars coming up to overtake you.

Some helmets types can offer more protection to the back of the head (MTB trail helmets and full-face helmets).

Helmets are designed to protect your head by crumpling and breaking apart – the helmet takes the forces of a crash rather than your skull.

If you do have a crash where the helmet is impacted, even if it’s not obviously been broken, you should replace it before your next bike ride as there may be damage that you can’t see.

It may seem counter-intuitive that helmets have holes in the shell – however these are there in order to allow airflow to your head, without these you would be dripping with sweat on a hot sunny day.

Road and recreational helmets tend to have more ventilation holes vs full-face MTB helmets.

Cycling helmet durability and lifespan

Unfortunately, bike helmets don’t last forever and will expire!

They have a lifespan and will then need to be replaced.

It’s generally considered to be good practice to replace your cycling helmet every five years as microscopic cracks could have developed in the shell due to prolonged sun exposure.

Can’t remember when you bought your helmet? Don’t worry, most have a sticker inside with the date of manufacture printed on it.

If the sticker has come off or the print has faded away, then it’s probably a good idea to assume that it’s older than 5 years and to replace it.

Sadly, there isn’t much you can do with old bike helmets. Recycling generally isn’t an option as helmets are made from a mixture of materials (although it’s good practice to check with local recycling facilities to see if there are any options).

One of the best ways I’ve seen to re-use an old bike helmet is to turn it upside down, line it with plastic sheeting, add soil and some colorful bedding plants…and turn it into a hanging basket for the garden.

What you definitely shouldn’t do is to sell your old helmet on for cycling use (or, in fact, BUY a secondhand bike helmet).

With someone else’s helmet it’s impossible to be certain of the history – was it ever impacted in a crash? How old is it? Has it expired?

I’m all for buying thrifted and 2ndhand goods to reduce the impact on the environment, but would never choose a hand-me-down cycling helmet because of these reasons.

FAQs

I regularly get asked questions about bike helmets, picking good ones and avoiding bad ones.

Hopefully I’ve covered off most of the topics in the sections above, but there’s a few extras that I’ll deal with below.

Why Kask helmets don’t have MIPS?

MIPS the company licenses use of the brand and technology to other companies to build into their cycling helmets.

There are plenty of companies that use MIPS, plenty that use there own variation of it, and plenty that don’t.

Kask helmets are certified to EN 1078 (for the UK and EU) , CPSC (for the US) and AS/NZS 2063 (for Australia/New Zealand).

Kask use their own internal protocol (WG11) to test for rotational impact safety.

Is POC SPIN better than MIPS?

Both SPIN and MIPS are designed to perform in the same way – allowing the helmet body to rotate relative to the inner MIPS layer or SPIN padding and therefore reducing the rotational forces on the skull in a crash.

MIPS works by having a thin inner (yellow) layer, separated from the body of the helmet and able to slide in all directions.

In contrast, SPIN (Shearing Pad INside) uses discrete pads on the inner surface of the helmet which can shear off in any direction during a crash, and therefore reducing rotational forces on the skull.

Anecdotally, we’ve heard that men and women with long hair find that their locks get tangled up less in SPIN padding than the MIPS yellow inner layer.

Is it law in the UK to wear a cycling helmet?

At the time of writing, it is not UK law to wear a bike helmet anywhere, including when cycling on the roads.

However, the Highway Code suggests that cyclists should wear a helmet.

Keep in mind that, if you do decide to wear a bike helmet on UK roads, then it should be certified to safety standard EN 1078 for adult helmets and EN 1080 for children’s helmets.

Is it illegal to cycle without a helmet?

Different countries have different rules and there can also be different rules depending on the whether the cyclist is a child or an adult.

A useful starting point is to check out these Wikipedia articles:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmet_laws_by_country
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmets_in_the_United_States
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmets_in_New_Zealand
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bicycle_helmets_in_Australia

Can hats be worn under bike helmets?

Advocacy group, The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, suggests that any kind of hat (such as a baseball cap or beanie) under a cycling helmet is only safe if the helmet is still fitted correctly.

If either cold weather or hot sun are the reason for wanting to wear a hat underneath your helmet, then it may be a good idea to swap to a more closed shell helmet with fewer ventilation holes.

Take a look at the Thousand Helmets range to see this style of bike helmet for recreational cycling or opt for a full-face helmet for mountain biking.

Bike helmets that don’t look silly

Whether you have a big head, a small head, or something in between, many people don’t like to wear cycling helmets because they feel they look stupid in them.

There are two options to consider when you feel like this:

Choose a different style of helmet because, thankfully, there’s a huge variety of shapes, styles and colors to pick from: minimalist road bike helmets, retro skate-inspired helmets and gnarly full-face MTB helmets.

Remember that there’s always safety in numbers: if you ride with a group of cyclists, who are all wearing bike helmets, then you’ll certainly feel less silly.

What is the correct size cycling helmet?

The best way to measure for your helmet size is to use a tape measure to check your head circumference and then use this to compare against the size guide that you will find on helmet boxes in-store or on website pages for online retailers.

For a detailed explanation, take a look at my helmet size guide here.

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