When you were younger, you probably hated wearing a bike helmet. You probably thought it looked uncool and felt uncomfortable, but were forced to wear one anyway.
Now, you’re an adult, you probably think the same. The only difference is that now you know that you really need to wear one, so you’re forcing yourself.
Wearing a helmet is one of the best ways to protect yourself while riding a bike. We won’t go into the gory details, but the injuries sustained by someone while wearing a helmet and when they’re not are very different.
When you’re commuting to and from work, a bike helmet is even more important. This is especially true if you live in a city. If you’re regularly weaving in and out of traffic, then you absolutely cannot ride without a helmet.
But, when it comes to commuting, there are a few different things you need. Compared to the average cyclist, you need more visibility for both you and the drivers around you.
So, to help you choose a helmet that will keep you safe and stylish, we’ve put together a list of the best commuter bike helmets.
Need that helmet ASAP and don’t have time to browse? No problem, here’s our top pick for the best commuter bike helmet.
OUR TOP PICK
Our top pick for the best commuter bike helmet is this Base Camp Adult Bike Helmet. It has incorporated both style and safety into its design. It is also very affordable for a helmet with so many great features.
This helmet is ideal for someone who cares about road safety and wants a helmet that has a little style but isn’t too bold or different.
One of the best features of this helmet is the removable rear light. This light will be incredibly useful in terms of safety.
Especially during the winter months when it gets darker earlier. It will make you much more noticeable to both drivers and pedestrians.
Another great safety feature is the logo. This helmet has been engineered so that every aspect is designed for safety.
The logo is also a reflective sticker that will reflect car lights. This provides extra safety when riding to or from work in the dark.
This helmet is one size fits most. It’s useful that the manufacturers acknowledge that it won’t fit everyone. But that doesn’t mean it will only fit a few people.
The strap is adjustable and the helmet also features a dial at the back to adjust the size. This is actually preferable to a helmet that is a specific size, such as small, medium, or large.
A dial allows you to tighten or loosen the helmet to suit the size of your head perfectly.
The overall shape of this helmet is also great. It is almost a combination of a traditional vented helmet and a more stylish domed helmet.
The shape of this helmet is domed but it is also ventilated. It also features a sun visor that will be especially useful on sunny days. This is another way that this helmet improves visibility for you, not just for drivers.
Available in 2 colors
Fitted with removable rear light
The logo is light reflective
Adjustable size dial at rear
This helmet has been constructed with commuter safety in mind. It features a layer of EPS (expanded polystyrene) foam covered by a layer of ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene).
EPS is layered polystyrene that, when expanded, contains small beads of gas which protect the head. ABS is a lightweight thermoplastic polymer that is both sturdy and lightweight.
This helmet has been designed to be as safe as possible but is also very stylish. This style is more traditionally used for skateboarding. But the domed shape is just as popular as the traditional pointed bike helmet.
For a helmet of this style, it is (at the time of writing) surprisingly affordable. Unfortunately, the price does differ depending on size, which is a little disappointing.
This helmet is not only available in a wide range of colors, but in a range of patterns as well. This helmet is available in a range of matte block colors.
But is also available in patterns such as white marble and brown wood, with knots and grain lines included.
These colors are bold but matte and muted. They aren’t the usable shiny, lurid colors of traditional bike helmets.
That said, one of the reasons for those colors is safety. Bright, luminescent colors are more visible, especially in the dark when car lights are shone on them.
These helmets are available in bright colors, but they are matte and non-reflective. If you choose this helmet, it would also be a good idea to invest in a helmet light.
Or perhaps a reflective band that can be wrapped around the helmet. It’s not a bad thing if the way you look is important to you, but safety must always come first.
- Specifically designed for commuters
- Available in multiple sizes
- Available in multiple colors
- Includes interchangeable pads
- Different prices for different sizes
This helmet is specifically designed to protect a regular commuter cyclist. One of the best features is the removable and rechargeable safety light.
The light can be easily recharged with a USB cord, so you can just put it on charge every night, alongside your phone.
As mentioned before, a rear light will be incredibly useful for commuting. Especially in the darker winter months but also all year round.
One of the main causes of cycling accidents is a driver not seeing a cyclist clearly. This light will draw their attention to you when they might not be looking your way.
The light can be easily turned on or off at the touch of a button.
This helmet is similar in style to the Retrospec. It is a combination of the excellent air ventilation of the traditional bike helmet and the more modern domed style.
This helmet is one size fits all but features an adjustable chin strap and dial to tighten or loosen the fit. So this helmet will be able to fit you perfectly.
Removable rechargeable USB safety light
Available in multiple colors
Dial to adjust size
This might not be the most stylish helmet on this list but it is the most classic. This is a traditional style helmet with lots of padding and air vents.
Made from a lightweight micro-shell material, this bike helmet won’t weigh you down. It is also a one size fits all helmet. But it features an adjustable dial and chin strap so can be fitted to your exact head size.
This helmet sits at an angle like a professional cycling helmet. The style is designed more with the intention of keeping you safe, rather than making you look good.
This simplicity and the fact that it is one size fits all are the primary reasons why this helmet is so affordable. It is (at the time of writing) by far the most affordable option on this list.
That doesn’t mean it is any less safe than the others. A helmet being affordable does not mean that it is unsafe.
Available in multiple colors
Available for sizes for teenagers and adults
Price varies depending on color
This helmet is definitely one of the most stylish options on this list. It is similar in style to a skateboard helmet. It is also quite like a classic moped helmet.
It is available in a standard black or gray, or a bright and unique mint.
But this helmet also has many practical features. Helmets of this style are often not well ventilated. But this helmet has vents both at the back and on the top, so there is no problem with ventilation.
The most unique feature of this helmet is the secret poplock. The circular logo actually pops out to reveal a hole in the side of the helmet. This is really useful as it allows you to attach the helmet to your bike.
You can either loop your bike lock through the hole or use a carabiner to attach it. This simple feature is actually ingenious and will make cycling so much easier.
You won’t have to find space for your helmet in your locker or have it rolling about under your desk. You can leave it attached to your bike with no fear that it will be stolen.
This hole will also be useful if you would rather keep your helmet with you. It will make attaching it to a backpack really easy too.
This helmet is available in sizes small, medium, and large. It also features a smart adjustable vegan leather chin strap. This helmet has incorporated safety, style, and innovative practicality into its design.
Available in multiple colors
Available in multiple sizes
Does not include tightening dial
Best Commuter Bike Helmet Guide
Generally, there are two different kinds of bike helmet shape. There is the traditional pointed helmet that sits on top of the head and reaches just above the ears.
The other is more like a cross between a skateboarding helmet and a traditional moped helmet. These helmets are usually domed and cover the ears. There is some crossover and some which are almost a combination of the two.
The pointed helmet is the kind favored by professional cyclists and is the most commonly available. It is well ventilated and usually well padded. It is one of the safest kinds of helmets.
But that is not to say the other style is unsafe. Only that style has also been taken into consideration. Sometimes when style is a priority, practicality and safety are not focused on as closely. Alternatively, it is also true that some bike helmets just haven’t considered style or appearance at all.
If you care about how you look when cycling, then there is no risk in buying a helmet that is as stylish if it is safe. Or perhaps you find the domed style more comfortable, in which case absolutely go for it.
The best option, overall, might be the kind that combines these two styles. So that you have a helmet that looks good and keeps you safe. The most important thing to consider is how well it fits your head as this will be key to protecting you, should you have an accident.
Overall, the helmet that fits your head the best is the one you should choose.
With that, let’s move on to sizing. Helmets will either come in sizes such as small, medium, and large or one size fits all. Both kinds will usually come with an adjustable chin strap.
The one size fits all kind will usually come with a dial at the back. This is attached to a plastic band around the edge of the helmet. It will allow you to loosen or tighten the helmet so you have a size that fits your head perfectly.
When it comes to bike safety, the fit of your helmet is incredibly important. If you choose to order online, rather than get it fitted professionally, make sure you read the measuring instructions carefully. Follow them as closely as possible and order the size you think will fit best.
The best option is the kind that has a dial at the back to adjust the sizing. This is a much better choice as you can adjust the tightness. So you will be able to find the perfect fit.
Even if you measure your head and find a good fit for a small, medium, or large, it still won’t fit as well as a helmet with an adjustable dial.
As with any kind of safety gear, padding is of course an essential element. There are different kinds of padding used in bike helmets. Most are a firm type of foam.
Firm foam is used as it will cushion your head on impact. If the padding or the shell of the helmet were too hard, then you would be injured more. If the foam were too soft, then it wouldn’t provide support to hold your head and neck in place.
Different helmets will have different kinds of padding. Your choice generally depends on personal preference. So long as the helmet meets current safety standards (and you must check that it does) then you don’t need to be too concerned about padding.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the safest bike helmet?
This is a difficult question to answer, as we all have heads of different shapes and sizes. What is the safest helmet for you, won’t be the safest for someone else.
To make sure your helmet is as safe as possible, ensure it meets current safety standards. Also, make sure that it is easily adjustable and fits your head properly.
If you’re unsure, take your helmet to a bike repair shop or a bike store. They can help you out and guide you through choosing the safest kind of helmet.
Do bike helmets expire?
“Expire” probably isn’t the most accurate term to use. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends replacing a bike helmet every 5 to 10 years. This is a large range but mostly depends on usage.
If you’re wearing your helmet to commute every day, then it’s safest to change it after around 5 years. Are you about to start cycling again and are wondering if the helmet you’ve found packed away in your garage is safe? If it’s still in a good condition then go ahead.
If it’s really old, then it might not mean current safety regulations. So it might be worth investing in a new one. Otherwise, you’re good to go.
The reason people sometimes talk about helmets “expiring” is because the materials can degrade over time. This can be due to being eroded by things such as sweat, hair oil, or cosmetics, or just a natural degradation. So it’s definitely worth replacing it after 5 years if you’re wearing your helmet a lot.
The other main factor that contributes to a helmet “expiring” is to do with safety standards. These standards are regularly reviewed. So, as mentioned above, your helmet may “expire” because it is no longer in line with these regulations.
If you’re unsure if your helmet is safe to use, there are plenty of repair shops and bike stores that can help you out. It’s better to double check than to risk it.
Are bike helmets really necessary?
Yes, they are!
Think of a bike helmet in the same way you do a car seatbelt. They might not seem all that comfy at first, but they are a lot more comfortable than a fractured skull.
Eventually, you will become so used to wearing it that you won’t even notice it.