Let’s face it, bike helmets are confusing! There are mountain bike helmets, road bike helmets, aero helmets and time trial helmets. The price can vary massively, as can a helmet’s application. We’ve created this Buyer’s Guide to cut through the jargon and help you pick the right helmet for you and what type of riding you're going to be doing.
These helmets are designed for off-road riding and tend to offer a greater degree of protection than road bike helmets. This is largely due to the fact that many models extend coverage around the back of your head and down around your temples.
Mountain bike helmets often feature a visor to help keep the sun, rain, snow, tree branches and other flying debris out of your face. Other mountain bike features include strategic venting and the MIPS impact dispersion system. MIPS also features on many road bike helmet models. MIPS helps to disperse the force of impacts to your head, helping to prevent serious injury and concussions.
For more information on MIPS technology, check out this video:
As the price of Mountain bike helmets increases the weight of the helmet tends to go down and the quality of venting, padding, and the helmet’s retention system increases creating a more comfortable, better fitting and often better-looking lid. What is important to note is that the price of the helmet does not reflect the level of protection the helmet offers. Top of the line $250 helmets offer the same level of protection as $45 helmets.
This is because all helmets have to adhere to national and international safety rules. In the US this standard is called the Consumer Product Safety Commission Standard (CPSC). All the helmets that we sell at Folsom Bike adhere to this strict standard.
This is a great entry-level option with an in-mould EPS foam construction and 22 vents. The Acu Dial fit system offers easy on-the-go adjustment and a comfortable fit.
The Roost offers a trail-specific design with greater protection around the rear of the helmet. The AirFlow ventilation system offers great air flow while the flat camera mount on the center of the front of the helmet allows the ride to easily attach a GoPro. The Roost’s MIPS acts to reduce the rotational force in the event of an impact.
With its compact shape and wrap-around EPS and roll-cage reinforced construction ensures a comfortable and light fit while the Roc Loc Air Fit retention system allows for millimetric adjustment on the fly. MIPS Brain Protection is also included, making this the perfect choice for day-long epic rides.
Road bike helmet technology has developed massively over the last few years with helmets becoming lighter and more comfortable.
There is also plenty of variety in terms of application. At the higher end of the road helmet spectrum, there is plenty of variety with many manufacturers offering aerodynamic focused helmets to suit the needs of racers.
Road bike helmets tend not to feature the visors that are found on their mountain bike counterparts, however, they tend to be lighter and offer more venting. MIPS technology is also prevalent, offering greater protection from rotational impacts.
As with mountain bike helmets, it’s very important to replace your helmet after any crash even if it does not look like the helmet has sustained damage. But do not fear, many companies, including Bontrager, offer crash replacement guarantees.
Top-end road helmets are far lighter than their entry-level brethren. They often feature better ventilation and more advanced and comfortable retention systems.
Several helmet manufacturers also offer aerodynamically focused models at the top end of the range, such as the Bontrager Ballista. These helmets are perfect for racers or any rider looking for aerodynamic gains on the bike.
As with mountain bike helmets, the level of protection a helmet offers is not affected by price.
This is a great choice for commuters or anyone looking to get out on the bike path and enjoy riding on two wheels. A durable EPS construction is married to one-handed Micro Dial II adjustment system for easy adjustment on the go. Moisture wicking fleece padding helps to keep the helmet sitting comfortably on your head.
The Savant MIPS is ideal for the enthusiast rider who heads out on the bike multiple times a week or who is training for a charity ride or Gran Fondo. The Savant offers authentic race-inspired style and performance with a plush, comfortable fit that’s ready to go the distance.
The slim design combines great ventilation from 25 Wind Tunnel vents, with the secure feel and convenience of the adjustable Roc Loc® 5 fit and stability system. And with the light weight and durability of In-Mold construction, it won’t weigh you down. Savant MIPS models are available with the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System.
If you’ve watched any pro racing you’ve likely seen the Giro Synthe MIPS in action. The Synthe offers the perfect blend of ventilation and aerodynamics, making it perfect for riding in the heat and racing.
The compact form slips through the air with ease across multiple yaw and head angles and offers great cooling power. Key features include the Roc Loc® Air fit system with 2-way fit tuning and Aero Mesh Panels with a dedicated port for securely docking sunglasses as you ride.
- Joshua Mott