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Helmets Buying Guide - What bicycle helmet should I buy?

Helmets Buying Guide

Amanda Botton |

In the last decade, people have become more active and conscious about their health. Because of this, we have seen a rapid rise in the number of bicycle riders and that is great! However, there is a large number of riders that do not wear a helmet when riding, which is not good at all as a bike helmet is proven to save riders from obtaining serious head injuries, and even death.

Also, with the introduction of faster bicycles and electric bikes that can reach a speed up to 25km/h, wearing protection is crucial.

When choosing the right bicycle helmet for you, there are different types of helmets designed for different types of riding styles. Some riding activities do pose a higher risk of falling and therefore you would need maximum protection, while other activities are less risky or need more focus on comfort or weight.

Specialized Helmets

But how do you find the best bike helmet for you?

Our guide will help you get a better idea of what to look for when buying a helmet, what helmets suit what riding conditions and everything you need to know about the design and fit.

But first, let’s look at some important information about why using a one is important and what approved standards it needs to obtain.

How do bicycle helmets protect your head in an accident?

They are made of a hard, plastic shell on the outside and covered in foam on the inside. When encountering a fall, the material - both the shell and foam - will work to dissipate the energy and force of the impact, which in turn will reduce the amount of force applied to the head.

The plastic shell is designed to safely allow you to slide across the ground surface on impact without experiencing any jerky movements to your neck, while the foam is designed to cushion the hard impact to the skull.

Is it illegal to ride a bike without a helmet in Australia?

Yes, by Australian law it is mandatory for you to wear one when riding a bicycle or an electric-powered wheeled device. The helmet must be Australian Standard (AS) approved, meaning the protection shell must comply with AS 2063 or AS/NZS 2063 in order for you to legally ride on the road.

Now that you know the importance of protecting your head at all times when riding, let’s have a look at what helmet you should get.

How to choose the right helmet for me?

No matter what type you choose it is important to make sure it fits snuggly on the head yet still being comfortable - if it fits loosely it will reduce its protection capabilities.

As you know there are different types of helmets made for different types of riding styles.

Road bike riding

For road bike riding you want one that is lightweight, aerodynamic and comes with great ventilation to minimise airflow so you can go as fast as possible.

Our top pick road bike helmet is Specialized Align II MIPS Helmet and our customers do agree! The reason for this is its clean aesthetics, certified protection, comfortable fit and budget-friendly price. It comes with an industry-leading slip-plane technology called Multidirectional Impact Protection System (MIPS). This feature is built into the helmet design and works to minimise the rotational forces to the head caused by certain angled impacts.

Specialized Align II Helmet

The Align II also includes a 4th dimension cooling system for incredible ventilation, No. 1 fit system and an easy-to-adjust Headset SX dial system for a perfect and secure fit on various head sizes. As well as an in-moulded shell for enhanced strength and reduction in weight.

If you are looking for a helmet with incredible comfort and rich features, then Align II is for you.

Another favourite is the POC Ventral Spin Helmet. It is perfect for professional riders that want to optimise their performance and go that much faster.

POC Helmet

The Ventral’s top strength is its incredible aerodynamic performance, ventilation and protection. When designing this product, POC has focused on a whole-helmet approach. Providing riders with an all-around helmet that will improve their performance yet still be secure.

The helmet’s airflow zones allow air to pass through the shell with greater efficiency, making it faster. The remaining air around it is managed by the 22° aero trailing edge, which offers the perfect angle for minimising turbulence and further enhancing aerodynamic performance. By leading air through rather than around the helmet, its wake is minimised, while its ventilation and cooling properties are enhanced.

The POC Ventral also features a fully wrapped body shell with an EPS liner, giving you the perfect balance between protection and weight. It comes with a silicone pad technology called SPIN (Shearing Pad Inside) which is a lightweight adjustment system and an ergonomic precision strap that provides a secure, flexible and comfortable fit.

Mountain bike riding

Mountain bike helmets should fit tight on the head, and provide more head protection than other bicycle helmets. They often come with a visor to protect your face and vision from dirt and sun.

There are different types of mountain bike helmets depending on what type of off-road riding you do and what type of protection you find most comfortable. A half head standard-sized MTB helmet comes with high impact protection but is made for trails that require easy to medium skill level, while if you are doing hardcore off-road riding with jumps and obstacles a gull face mountain bike helmet is recommended for head maximum protection.

The most highly rated brands for MTB helmets are brands like FOX Racing, Troy Lee Design and Giro.

Fox Helmets

One of the best performance value mountain bike helmets on the market is Giro Fixture. The Giro's Fixture is designed with a confident mountain style and airy ventilation. It has a compact design that is suitable for nearly any ride, especially when there is dirt under tread.

It includes important riding features such as in-mould construction and Roc Loc Sport dial system, which will offer you the agility to ride everything from truck road adventures to adrenaline filled single-track trails. Comes with a clean and smooth design that will keep you feeling good kilometre after kilometre.

If you are a professional trail rider or MXB rider then you need the best of the best when it comes to protection - therefore a full face mountain bike helmet would be your best bet. And our top pick would be without a doubt Troy Lee Designs.

If you are an MTB or Motocross enthusiast you are sure to have heard of the brand. TLD is one of the most well-known brands for off-road bicycle and moto protective gear, and their equipment is worn by some of the best motocross athletes in the world.

The Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPS Helmets are our best sellers for a full face bicycle helmet. Since its introduction to the market, the TLD Stage has set the standard for MTB when it comes to safety, comfort, style and breathability. It is the lightest full-face helmet in its class and features innovative technology like EPP, EPS for high-speed impacts and MIPS for reducing rotational forces to the head.

Troy Lee Design Helmets

The TLD Stage Helmet comes with an X-Static helmet liner that is moisture-wicking, fights off odour and is quick to dry. It features a Polylite shell with fibre reinforcement and Polyacrilite injected chin bar with EXO skeleton that will give the helmet additional strength yet staying lightweight. It also offers excellent cooling and comfort in any situation due to its 14 exhaust ports, 11 high-flow air holes and large chin bar ventilation window. A Fidlock strap and lightweight hardware round out the overall package.

Commuting or city riding

For commuting, the most important feature a helmet should have is that the helmet is comfortable and fits your head.

Nutcase has a wide range of cool-looking helmets for everyday rides. This stylish shell comes in over 30 different colours and designs and includes the industry-leading safety feature MIPS. 

Nutcase Helmets

The Nutcase comes with 11 air vents for better airflow and has improved its retention system to provide you with a super comfortable and secure fit. It also features 2x more reflection than its predecessor so that you are visible on the road at all times.

There are so many different helmets on the market, not only made just for bicycle or electric bike riding but also for skating, electric scooters and electric skateboards. There is also a wide range of kids bike helmets and adults available.

For more options click here.

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