The 5 Best Bike Helmets to Buy in 2018

If you ride a bicycle—whether you're hardcore mountain biking or you leisurely ride for pleasure—you need a helmet, period. In some places, a helmet is required by law for children. Though a helmet can't prevent an accident from happening in the first place, the protection for your head that it can provide can lessen the severity of an injury.

Bike helmets are usually lightweight and made of polystyrene foam within a hard plastic shell. Depending on the quality of the helmet (and, consequently, the cost) the plastic shell may be taped or glued to the polystyrene foam, or it may be molded into the shell during the manufacturing process itself. Both of these types of helmets can be safe (see below on what to look for to make sure your chosen helmet is up to safety standards). Higher-end models may be lighter than their cheaper cousins and have bells-and-whistles like adjustable vents to keep your head cool.

A helmet is designed to protect by absorbing the force of a crash to your skull. The polystyrene layer is crushed in a serious accident, keeping some of the force from causing worse injury to your head. It's important to remember that if you are in an accident with a helmet and that foam layer is crushed, it's time for a new helmet.

That said, what kind of helmet should you buy? Are there such things as cool or sexy helmets? There are vast numbers of brands, styles, and sizes, and the choices can be overwhelming. 

Start by looking for a helmet that has a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker inside. You'll also want to make sure a helmet has not been recalled. Then try them on to find one that fits you well. The following helmets are some of my favorites for fit and function.

Giro Pneumo Helmet

If money is no object, and style, comfort, and safety are everything, this is the helmet for you. Crazy light weight, cool as can be, and an amazingly tight fit thanks to the Roc Loc 4. It’s no wonder the pro riders like this one.

Bern Bike Helmets

Cool, retro bike helmets are back in style and Bern is leading the way. These helmets are practical, comfortable and fashionable bike and board helmet.

Bell Bicycle Helmets

A Consumer Guide "BEST BUY." A sturdy helmet with Fusion In-Mold technology. The Twin Action fit system lets you​ fit the helmet by squeezing the twin locking mechanisms and sliding it in place. It includes Cam-lock levers for easy adjustment, a snap-in visor and 19 vents to keep you cool.

Giro Sport Helmets

This is a high-performance and competition-ready mountain bike helmet that works just as well on the road. Offers 23 vents, in-mold shell, a snap mounted visor and Roc Loc 3 fit system. All that, and it's ponytail compatible.

Womens Bicycle Helmets

Finding a helmet designed specifically for women can be a challenge because most helmets aren't designed for those of us with smaller heads. Some of the better manufacturers include Giro, Bell, Fox Racing, and Bern. Look for options including universal fit with adjustable Acu-Loc system and ponytail accomodating back opening, lots of cooling vents, a detachable visor and a narrow, sleek design.

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