Bike Helmet Buyers Guide

A bike helmet is probably the most important bike accessory you can buy.

Though its not law to wear one, its a pretty good idea. Modern helmets come with plenty of features and in thousands of styles, but which one should you choose?

Choosing a bike helmet

Let’s start with the basics. Nearly all helmets are built the same way. They consist of an outer plastic shell, an inner padded liner used to dissipate impacts, extra padding for comfort, air vents and an adjustable fitting system. At Halfords, all our helmets meet rigorous European safety standards.

Getting a helmet that fits comfortably is the top priority. As theyre adjustable, all helmets display a range of head sizes that theyll fit, To find your size, simply take a tape measure and measure the circumference of your head about two finger widths above your eyebrows. If youre falling in-between two sizes, your best bet is to pop into store and try the two sizes on. When the helmets on, it shouldnt be so loose that it wobbles around; nor should it be so tight that its digging in or pushing on pressure points. A nice, snug feeling is what youre after.

Multi-Directional Impact Protection System

You may come across helmets with a Multi-Directional Impact Protection System, also known as MIPS. This innovative technology adds an extra layer of protection inside the shell, helping to redirect dangerous rotational forces in the event of an accident. MIPS helmets look and feel the same as other helmets, though youll see they have a thin yellow liner inside. MIPS helmets cost a little more than other helmets, but go above and beyond current European safety standards so are definitely worth investing in.

Bike helmet types

Whilst every helmet will protect your head, some helmets are made specifically for certain types of riding and offer additional features.

Road bike helmets

Road bike helmets are made with aerodynamics and ventilation in mind. These tend to weigh the least of all bike helmets and the ventilation holes will stop your head from getting too hot and sweaty when youre riding hard.

Shop road bike helmets

Mountain bike helmets

Mountain bike helmets will again be lightweight with good ventilation, but often come with visors and extra coverage for the back of the head. For those who need more protection, such as downhill riders, full face helmets are often used.

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Leisure helmets

Most casual cyclists choose a leisure helmet. Theyre the perfect balance between weight and ventilation. Available in a huge array of colours, shapes and styles, theres something for everyone.

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BMX helmets

If you’re skating or BMXing then a BMX bike helmet is an absolute must-have. These helmets have a distinctive shape and a little extra thickness so they can handle multiple impacts over the course of using them.

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Commuter helmets

For commuting, there are specific light and strong commuting bike helmets available. Many of these helmets come with reflective strips and even rear lights for extra visibility, making them perfect for commuters.

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Kids bike helmets

For little ones, helmets for children are often the coolest of the lot! For an in-depth look at these, watch our Kids Helmet Buying Guide.

Shop kids helmets

If you’re not sure which helmet would suit you best, pop into your local store to try a few on. Our experts will also be happy to help you select the right one. And you can always browse our full range online at halfords.com.

Remember to check our how to fit a helmet guides too!