Best Bike Helmets [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Looking for a new bike helmet to accompany you on all adventures and commutes while giving you unmatched protection and comfort while giving unrivaled sweat-wicking airflow?
But great news, you’re at the right place!
After looking at 39 different bike helmets, I’ve found some crucial points when trying to find the very best bike helmets, so take a seat some of these are pretty juicy.
We all want our helmets to be lightweight, aerodynamic, highly ventilated all while giving ultimate protection and looking good while doing it. With so many to choose from it can be tricky.
But here’s the deal:
To make things easier I have listed down the best bike helmets, looking at comfort, weight, protection, ventilation, and much more (I’ve even listed the newest technological features like MIPS and SPIN to give you ultimate protection)
Here’s a tip: invest in bike helmets that will not only provide the best protection but also remain comfortable and well ventilated, you will be wearing it for hours on end: protection, comfort, ventilation should be your most important factors to consider.
If you’re as bold as me you’ll love my second pick on my list.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Best Bike Helmets
Bontrager rally wavecel
Bontrager brings you a sleek and aerodynamic helmet that looks pleasing to the eyes. The appeal is real with this one as the colorway along with the design language sets this helmet apart from the rest.
The olive-grey and orange combination is amazing but it does not end at that. There are other color combinations like navy blue/black, marigold/black, and an all-black colorway for a sleek, subtle look.
Wavecel will provide you with the best protection against tough impacts to the head, the collapsible cellular structure on the inside allows the helmet to absorb app impacts while also allowing your head some space to breathe.
But wait, there’s more:
You also get an adjustable visor that offers a wide range of coverage, and a BOA fit system that allows for a quick snug fit. The helmet pads on the inside are soft and comfortable, and the back-of-helmet shell extends to provide rear protection as well.
The company also provides a crash replacement guarantee in the first year of ownership. Overall, you need to add this to your kit!
- Extended front visor and rear shell
- Soft padding
- BOA instant fit system
- Collapsible cellular structure for impact absorption
Latest deal: Bontrager rally wavecel
Giro Switchblade MIPS Adult Dirt Cycling Helmet
GIRO Switchblade MIPS helmet offers unmatched full protection on the mountain trails, but this one has the option to remove the chin-bar.
This feature makes this helmet for makes this helmet good for both cold and warm conditions, perfect for mountainous terrains. This makes this the best downhill mountain bike helmets for your buck.
The wind tunnel cheek ventilation and the chin bar can be removed to provide extra cooling power from strategically placed air channels.
As if that’s not enough.
This helmet has additional hydrophilic padding to absorb up to ten times its weight in water, if you love the trails but find yourself constantly sweating then this helmet is a must-have!
Additionally, the MIPS protects and absorbs the shock preventing any trauma or injuries to the brain, making it the best downhill mountain bike helmets that are built for a brutal environment.
- Good ventilation
- Hydrophilic padding
- Antimicrobial, X-Static lining
- Absorb impact
- Quite pricey
Latest deal: Giro Switchblade MIPS
Smith Optics Signal MIPS Men's Cycling Helmet
If you’re looking for an exceptional custom fit and elevated protection all while being wrapped in Smith’s signature style then you need this helmet! They offer four unique shell sizes so you can be guaranteed a perfect fit.
It integrates a VaporFit system with a MIPS liner system for ultimate protection, preventing head rotation on impact. Plus the AirEvac ventilation system and engineered eyewear storage deliver the best integration from a smith helmet.
But that’s not all:
It is also super light and it uses in-mold construction and adjustable fit systems and 21 optimized for the best possible comfort.
It also has a thermal welding process that makes the structure extremely efficient while also having consistent energy absorption processes to prevent any trauma and impacts from crashes!
You will fall in love with this helmet its perfect for on the road and trails (plus it offers a wide range of colors to choose from)
- Shock absorbing layers to give ultimate protection
- Lightweight in-mold construction for best fit and ultimate construction
- MIPS protection
- AirEvac ventilation with 21 optimized vents
- Some people have had issues with sizing chart
Latest deal: Smith Optics Signal Cycling Helmet
POC, Omne Air Spin Bike Helmet
POC’s helmet was built to inspire you to keep pushing, whether you’re on your morning commute of seeking adventure on a new trail ride Omne Air SPIN pushes you to go further and push the limits.
The optimal liner density and thicker protection areas on the core provide all-around great protection for daily use. The ventilation and low weight make this helmet award-winning for octal and ventral protection, protecting from the most oblique impacts.
But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty details…
It incorporates both SPIN and POC patent-pending silicone pad technology to protect your head from trauma while giving unmatched levels of performance while giving you the best fit and comfort possible.
- Adjustable visor
- Padded interior
- CPSC and CE certified
- Lightweight ABS shell
- Could use better build quality
Latest deal: POC Omne Air Spin Bike Helmet
Giro fixture MIPS
Looking for a slightly cheaper option but still wanting protection like the other helmets we’ve reviewed? Look no further than Giro’s Fixture MIPS Cycling Helmet.
Giro brings you their fixture MIPS which is a sleek and stylish looking helmet, great for impact protection for under $100.
The helmet comes in different color options as well: red, frost, grey, lime, and all-black. The finish is also matte that gives it another low-profile layer that looks more understated.
The build quality on this one is great as the shell used is plenty strong and durable. It is also lightweight to remove extra weight from the top of your head. 18 wind tunnel vents enable proper and efficient ventilation, allowing no sweat to build up.
As if that’s not enough…
The construction is rugged and the padding on the inside is also good. This helmet rides like a champ.
You don’t need to spend a fortune to be protected from the quickly changing environment of the trails.
- Matte finish
- In-molding design
- Impact protection
- 18 vent ventilation
- Might not be the best fit
Latest deal: Giro fixture MIPS
Schwinn thrasher bike helmet
Schwinn is well known in the bike riding world for their gear. They bring you their thrasher which is a sleek and modern looking bike helmets with angular designs with cool lines going across it.
The vents are also there for great airflow and they also make it aerodynamic. It’s adjustable straps allow you to have the best fit and the wide amount of air vents enable great ventilation that prevents sweat build-up in a great way.
The 3-piece micro-shell enhances durability and is also super lightweight at the same time. This improves the riding experience as there is less weight to carry around.
But wait here’s the best bit
The padding on the inside is also soft and plush, great for long duration rides. It also comes in many different colors like blue, carbon, coral, flames, green camo, jungle, pink, and urban– you definitely won’t be stuck for choice.
For the price and quality, you get this helmet is one of the best.
- Proper ventilation
- Durable shell
- Color options
- Good padding and straps
- Could use better straps
Latest deal: Schwinn thrasher bike helmet
Bontrager is back at it again with their stylish new offering in the world of bike helmets. The helmet has a very ergonomic design with cool angular lines that allow for unrivaled airflow and aerodynamics.
The ventilation is also top-notch with the proper dedicated vents. As far as colors are concerned, you get black, white, and radioactive yellow that look unique and perfect.
As for durability, you get WaveCel advanced helmet technology which makes the helmet plenty strong. You can put it through a lot of rough sessions without worrying about it. The soft and comfortable padding is also great for an easy and well-rested riding experience.
The ventilation is great with the proper vents available. The quick strapping system makes it even easier for you to put the helmet on.
Riding in this helmet will be like a breeze, trust me.
- WaveCel technology; Durable and lightweight
- Plush and soft padding
- Quick fit straps
- Proper ventilation
- Could use more color options
Latest deal: Bontrager starvos
Bells Super 3R MIPS Cycling Helmet
The Bell Super 3R MIPS Helmet is specially designed for off-road riders who revel in the challenges of ever-changing mountainous terrain. Their easily removable chin bar allows you to stay cool during the treacherous climbs then protect you during the descents.
Providing the best of both worlds really. It also allows easy access in need of a drink, just take off the chin bar then you’re sorted.
It has 29 vents, layered with X-static padding, which wicks away sweat making your journey enjoyable, breathable, and cool.
The integrated MIPS offers an impact protection system and added rotational impact protection and easy adjustability fitting any head shape.
If that’s not enough.
It is fitted with a camera mount, allowing you to capture the best parts of your adventures.
This helmet is everything you’re looking for, despite all the protection elements it is an extremely light and breathable helmet.
- MPS protection
- Can be quite expensive
Latest deal: Bell Super 3R MIPS MTB helmet
Oakley DRT5 MIPS Men's MTB Cycling Helmet
Oakley’s MTB Helmet is best known for its lightweight polycarbonate shell. You can’t get better than the khaki/black combo that will not only protect you but provide lightweight comfort and style as well
Perfect for keeping you protected down the treacherous descents and boosting ventilation for those tough long climbs.
Not only that, but it also has an integrated eyewear dock so you can securely stow your shades while still keeping them handy for quick and easy access.
This helmet is also fitted with a BOA FS1-1 System so you can have that perfect fit every time. This along with MIPS gives you unrivaled control of the fit of the helmet and ensuring there’s no movement when you’re crushing trail obstacles at speed.
That’s not all.
Their silicone sweat-wicking brow pad will fight bacteria keeping your face clear from the eye-stinging sweat, even after a full day on the trails.
Oakley’s DRT5 Helmet will give you the confidence to explore your mountain biking skills and be safe in the assurance you’ll be protected if your confidence exceeds your skill levels.
- Adjustable to any fit
- High quality
- Lightweight and comfy
- Good ventilation
- Quite pricey
Latest deal: Oakley DRT5 MIPS MTB Helmet
Giro's Aether Spherical Adult Road Bike Helmets
I know I shouldn’t have made you wait for this helmet, but they always say leave best til last.
Giro has always given the highest level of performance in bike racing and Aether is one of the best, giving the performance and safety we all need in our ride.
It offers both aerodynamics and MIPS so you can get the most and best out of your ride, without compromising comfort, ventilation, weight, or style. Giro has market-leading brain protection systems designed to protect rotational motion and certain impacts.
Giro has left no expense when it comes to protection with the MIPS being placed between the EPS foam to reduce the impacts of high and low-speed collisions for more comprehensive energy. This helmet is better than any model before.
Let me tell you the best bit:
Not only does Giro give unmatched protection it also offers optimum airflow, with 21 wind tunnel vents and internal channeling to give the most superior cooling power.
All this and this helmet is super lightweight and durable, the in-mold construction eliminates all excess weight. Plus it offers a twice range of unique or classic color choices to choose from.
For racing, this helmet is one of the best and loved by professionals.
- One of the safest helmets on the market
- Lightweight and aerodynamic
- Comes in a variety of colors
- MIP protective
- Slightly expensive but worth every cent
Latest deal: Giro Aether
Best Bike Helmets Buyers Guide
Bike helmets aren’t like what they used to be, they’ve been massively developed with new technology and protective materials. For example, MIPS and SPIN prevent your head from rotating in a collision, to reduce the traumatic impact.
They’ve made helmets that are specialized for different types of cycling, a commuting helmet would be very different from a mountain bike helmet as the mountainous trails are much more unpredictable and therefore those helmets need more protection.
It is often built to keep you cool on the long climbs but protects you on the treacherous descents (if you’re an adrenaline junkie like me I would recommend a well-ventilated full-face helmet)
When buying a helmet you definitely won’t be stuck for choice, but sometimes it can be confusing as to what to look for as it depends on your head shape and riding style.
Before I try a new helmet the top thing I look out for is whether it has MIPS and how ventilated, comfortable, and lightweight the helmet is as a whole. These best bike helmet will have most of these features
If I’m spending a full day down the trails I don’t want my fresh helmet getting all sweaty, itchy, sticky, and feeling heavy on my head to the point where I can’t carry on, just after a few hours– a total buzz kill.
But don’t worry my friends, I’ve got you covered, after reading this guide and selecting one of my top picks you’ll be riding like a pro while protected and comfortable.
Let’s jump in!
What to look for when buying bike helmets?
In order to pick my top choices today, these are the top features I considered as to what makes a good quality bike helmet, if you decide none of the helmets I’ve selected in my list are for you then make sure you look for these features before clicking buy.
Safety and protective features: This is without a doubt the most important feature in a bike helmet, it can mean the difference between a traumatic brain injury and a concussion in a serious collision. It’s the only reason why we wear helmets in the first place, it’s not as a fashion statement I can assure you that.
MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System) is arguably the most important feature in a helmet, they prevent your head from rotating in a crash and absorb the majority of the shock so you have minimal impact on your brain to reduce the trauma and impact.
Comfort: Arguably comfort is the second most important factor after protection in a bike helmet, having an uncomfortable helmet is the worst, you can’t possibly reach your full potential while always trying to reposition your helmet to try and make it comfortable.
If a helmet isn’t comfortable when you have it on you’re less likely to wear it at all and that’s the last thing we want right? If you’re counting down the seconds to take it off that’s a red flag, my friend.
It all depends on the padding used inside. If the foam is plush and comfortable, you will love how it feels for longer durations of time.
Fit: Just like comfort fit is also very important, imagine picking up a shoe that’s super comfortable but 2 sizes too big– it won’t work. The same applies to the fit of a helmet, it needs to be a comfortable fit for you and your head shape.
A bad fit could also reduce the protective features of the helmet as a whole, the best bike helmets should be comfortable and fit like a glove for optimum protection.
I usually look for helmets that have adjustable features so I can adjust them to my perfect size and a size that works for me.
Weight: Weight is another factor that will contribute to the comfort of your bike helmet. You need to find a good balance between the helmet being lightweight enough to be comfortable but not to the point that it is flimsy and won’t provide you with enough protection.
Build quality: Obviously, the first thing to consider when buying a bike helmet is the build quality. Make sure the helmet is well made with a hard shell that has the right amount of flex. This allows for a safer experience as the shock absorption of the helmet is improved.
Price: There are a lot of manufacturers out there charging outrageous amounts of money for a helmet that doesn’t do a lot. You can find similar features at a much lower price so make sure you do proper research before buying a helmet that costs a lot.
Types of bike helmets:
Mountain bike helmets: You will often find that mountain bike helmets are either full-face helmets or have a visor on the front. This is because on the trials many cyclists prefer not to wear sunglasses so the visor will keep the sun out of their eyes.
Crashes in mountain biking are much more common than in road biking, this is because cyclists are dealing with a much more unpredictable environment and therefore need protecting and padding all around the head.
You’ll find that mountain bike helmets offer more padding around the back and side more than you would find in a road bike.
Road bike helmets: These are often used by road cyclists, designed to give comfort and ventilation to the rider so they can continue to excel in their performance without getting too hot.
They also ensure that their helmets provide a good amount of protection while being super lightweight.
Triathlon/ time trial helmet: These helmets are also known as TT helmets you will see them in triathlons and grand tours. They’re designed to give ultimate aerodynamics and performance rather than ventilation.
This may be strange for an ordinary cyclist.
Commuter helmets: These are often referred to as urban/ city helmets, you’ll see them commonly on riders in busy, built-up areas.
Commuting doesn’t require too much effort therefore the helmets are quite basic and offer ventilation, they often come in colors that will go better with casual clothing instead of standing out.
BMX helmets: BMXing can be quite an extreme sport, from tricks and jumps as well as riding on dirt tracks. They often look very similar to motorbike helmets but lighter so they can provide ultimate protection on unpredictable surfaces.
The helmets we looked at today provided amazing quality when it comes to the protection which is their main feature to deliver as well. The helmets were well built and durable.
Some cost more than expected but they also provided features like WaveCel technology for the shell and quick release straps with chin guards.
Overall, all helmets did great and you will absolutely love whichever one you decide to go with.
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.