Giro Trinity Helmet
Best Budget Buy
For recreational riders who stick to paved trails and less-than-frightening speeds, Giro’s Trinity is the budget-friendly way to safeguard your noggin. Though it won’t provide the absolute best in aerodynamics, style, or protection, it’s an affordable option that’s plenty of helmet for the leisurely Saturday morning cruise around the park.
The Trinity is surprisingly comfortable for the price, thanks to an Acu Dial that fine-tunes the fit and will help keep the helmet in place, in case you wind up making enemies with the concrete. The styling is sleek and mostly appealing to road bikers. It also comes in seven colors, so you can personalize your riding style.
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Bell Stratus MIPS Helmet
Best Road Bike Helmet
We understand that not everyone who cycles steps out the front door dressed like Lance Armstrong, thirsting for speed. That’s why Bell’s Stratus MIPS is our favorite road cycling helmet — it’s jam-packed with style, protection, and, best of all, value! The Stratus is the little brother of Bell’s top-tier Z20 helmet, and for a fraction of the price, you get a road-ready helmet that’s lightweight, aerodynamic, and boasts MIPS protection.
Long-distance riders love this helmet most for its affordable comfort. Bell’s Overbrow Ventilation system channels air through 22 vents like a window fan, keeping your head cool and dry when hills get steep and miles enter double digits. Meanwhile, the integrated Float Sytem delivers a fit so secure and low-profile that you may forget you’re even wearing a helmet!
Thousand Heritage Helmet
Best Commuter Helmet
Over the years, we’ve continuously seen city cyclists riding helmet-less, because it’s traditionally been difficult to find one that doesn’t proclaim “I NEED SPEED!” …
Until now, that is. Thousand’s line of Heritage helmets not only protect your head — they’ll also complement the wardrobe of almost any urban commuter quite well, too.
Thousand prioritizes style, using clean lines, a simple matte finish, and a leather strap that matches your messenger bag. Thousand is also eco-friendly, using materials that are trackable and manufacturers with high ethical standards. Our favorite feature is the Secret PopLock port — thread your cable lock through a hide-away hole, then leave your helmet locked up outside — rather than plopping it on the table at happy hour. If your Heritage dome-protector is ever stolen while it’s locked to your bike, Thousand will replace it for free! How neat is that?
Smith Overtake Helmet
For cycling enthusiasts, or anyone who’s serious about protecting their dome, Smith’s top-of-the-line Overtake is a wise investment, and it’s our choice for the best helmet overall. Smith used their proprietary Aerocore technology — a combination of EPS (expanded polystyrene) and Koroyd, the company’s honeycomb-like layer of co-polymer tubes — to create a helmet that’s lighter, more breathable, and more impact-absorbing than traditional options. The full-coverage layer of Koroyd reduces the amount of heavier EPS foam, allows for larger ventilation holes, and, most importantly, disperses impact more effectively.
It’s hard to put a price on brain protection, and while this helmet is offered without MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) for those looking to save a few dollars, we highly recommend splurging for the MIPS-equipped version. In the event of an impact, MIPS’ integrated liner allows your head to rotateupon contact, thus reducing rotational forces. The fit on the Overtake is super simple to secure, too, thanks to a 360-degree fit system that can be customized with a one-handed dial twist. Because those of us who cycle often prefer to live to ride another day.
Troy Lee Designs A1 Helmet Drone
Best Mountain Bike Helmet
If you’re the type of mountain biker who gets their thrills from close calls, but you also understand the importance of style, this helmet is a no-brainer. It’s the perfect middle ground between the standard open-face and the ultimate protection of a full-face helmet, thanks to an extended rear shell that provides full coverage protection.
Because mountain biking is typically sweaty and muddy, Troy Lee created this helmet with 16 vents. They also added a moisture-wicking Coolmax liner that can be removed and washed to prevent your helmet from smelling like three-year-old gym sneakers. And because not every dome is created equally, Troy Lee gave this helmet two adjustment systems — the rear retention system has three settings for different head shapes, and a separate ratchet system locks the helmet in place, so it’s not bouncing around on your head as you bomb singletrack lines.