Wearing a helmet while cycling reduces the risk of a serious accident by more than 70% and can save your life. It’s the only way to reduce the impact of your head on the pavement if you fall. And at 15.5 mph, or even more, there can really be serious damage.
According to the law, the helmet is still not compulsory on a bike for all cyclists… For us, it’s non-negotiable: the helmet is ESSENTIAL !
What are the best bike helmets?
Here is our TOP of the best bike helmets: the strongest and above all those that have undergone the most safety tests.
Mips technology. 8 vents. Secret poplock: possibility to thread U-lock or chain lock through. Magnetic clasp. Anti-theft policy. Premium visor. Included 30 lumen USB rechargeable taillight.
Weight: 2,18 lbs | Exterior: Polycarbonate
Foldable by 50% helmet. Comfortable and lightweight. Adjustable fit system and straps. High Impact Absorbing EPS Core. Award winning design. Certified safety first.
Weight: 1,74 lbs | Exterior: ABS and polycarbonate
Why wear a helmet?
It is advisable to wear a bicycle helmet for obvious safety reasons. With a helmet, 80% of the risks of head trauma and other serious brain risks could be avoided. We strongly advise you to get your children used to wearing a helmet from a very young age so that it becomes a commonplace gesture.
How to choose the right helmet?
1# Homologation of bicycle helmets
One would think that electrically assisted bicycles would require different helmets than conventional bicycles, but this is not the case! The European rules for the approval of a helmet remain the same for both categories of bikes.
Your helmet must comply with European standard EN 1078 that’s to say :
- Well adjusted to the size of your head.
- Cover all parts of the skull i.e. forehead, temples, back and top of the skull.
- Be equipped with very resistant shock absorbers.
Speedbikes are electric bikes that can go up to 28 mph or more. Considered as a moped, this type of bike has different standards than the EAB. To learn more, I let you look at the article I wrote on the regulation of speedbikes. 😇
Thus not having the same regulation as the electric bikes, the helmets are also subjected to different standards. Indeed, they must respect the motorcycle standard, that is to say the rule ECE-R 22.05. So that the helmets are certified of this standard, it is necessary upstream to make tests on :
- Shock absorption;
- Restraint system;
- Viewing angle;
- Impact deformation;
- Chinstrap and abrasion resistance;
- Quality of the main screen;
2# The helmet must be comfortable
Ventilation and airing
The principles of ventilation and venting of a bicycle helmet are important aspects of comfort. A ventilated helmet keeps your hair from getting wet and a ventilated helmet allows your skull to breathe without minimizing your safety.
Interior helmet foams
They allow for more comfort in terms of contact between the skull and the helmet. They also allow you to wipe off any perspiration during the effort. It is possible to change or clean the foams after a long time of use, thanks to the Velcro that allows to remove and put it back easily. Some helmets can be sold with an anti-bacterial treatment in order to offer a higher level of hygiene in the long term!
Weight of the helmet
The helmet should ideally weigh less than 0.9 lbs for comfort.
3# The right size helmet
It is important to choose the right size when choosing a bike helmet. It’s even the element to pay the most attention to. A bike helmet in your size, will ensure your safety at best ! 😉
Take the size of your head circumference
Simply measure your head circumference with a flexible tape measure used for sewing. Place it in the middle of your forehead and at the occipital hump on the back of your head. If you don’t have this kind of tape measure, use a string to go around your head and transfer the measurement to a standard tape measure.
The right position for a helmet
In order to properly position your bicycle helmet on your head, not only to be safe, but also to feel good, you must :
- Loosen the adjustment knob as much as possible;
- Put the helmet on your head so that it is straight. Tip: place two fingers above your eyebrows, so that the helmet is neither too far forward nor too far back;
- Tighten the knob so that it fits tightly;
- Move your head to make sure the helmet stays in place ;
- You should not feel any pressure when your helmet is tightened, you should feel comfortable ;
- Adjust the chinstrap to the level of your face without making it too tight;
- Check that the side straps cross each other in a “Y” shape under the earlobes.
Here’s how to properly adjust your bike helmet! With these different steps, you are all set for a bike ride. 😎
4# Choose a bicycle helmet made of solid materials
A bicycle helmet is made up of four parts: the outer shell, the bottom layer, the other components and the helmet itself. Each of them has a specific role:
- The outer shell: With its PVC plate, it provides protection during shocks.
- The inner layer: With its polystyrene beads that form a foam, this part of the helmet is used to absorb shocks.
- The other components: They will keep the helmet in place to optimize the safety of the cyclist.
The price of bicycle helmets depends mainly on the materials used: the more resistant, strong and light they are, the higher the value of the helmet.
The outer shell
This part can be made of PVC, polycarbonate or ABS (acrylonitrile butadiene styrene) and can be reinforced with carbon parts. Each of these materials has its specificity:
- PVC: A helmet made of this material is considered entry-level, so it is the cheapest on the market. It has a lifespan of about two years because it ages faster due to the sun’s rays.
- Polycarbonate: This material is much more resistant than PVC, which offers optimal protection. Most helmets on the market are made of polycarbonate.
- ABS: Resists very well to temperature changes, which extends the life of the helmet. Due to its composition, ABS is a very light and shock resistant material.
The inner layer
The inner layer is the part that acts as a shocks absorber. It is mainly composed of polystyrene that can cover other materials such as: aramid, kevlar, nylon or carbon. Why these materials? Let me explain in a few words:
- Aramid: This material is known for its lightness, its high resistance capacity and its thermal properties. To give you an idea of its resistance, consider that it is the material used to design bulletproof vests!
- Kevlar: Known for its strength, lightness and, above all, for its ability to absorb shocks. It is also a material used for the design of bulletproof vests.
- Nylon: Good longevity thanks to its resistance to wear and tear. It absorbs shocks in an optimal way and has a very good thermal stability.
- Carbon: The best for the end. Excellent rigidity, resistant to wear and tear, the lowest density which makes it very light and its strength/weight ratio is the best of the materials mentioned. It remains one of the most expensive materials on the market.
All these materials are “embedded” in the polystyrene during the design of this inner layer. This system makes the helmet even more secure.
The exterior of the helmet
Here, we’re only going to add a coat of varnish to protect the helmet from cracks and such. It’s more to make sure it stays beautiful for as long as possible. 😉
5# The helmet should (ideally) protect your eyes
For maximum safety, your bicycle helmet must be equipped with a visor. Its main purpose is to protect your eyes and works in different ways:
- Protects from the sun;
- Prevents the projection of stones, sand, mud, etc;
- Protects from rain, wind, snow, etc;
- In case of fall, it can be an additional protection.
We can say that the visor is a real asset to optimize the safety and comfort of the cyclist. It is also highly recommended for cyclists who ride an electric bike! With a speed going up to 15.5 mph or even more, having a protection at the level of the eyes can only be beneficial to avoid projections for example!
The visor of a bicycle helmet can be integrated or magnetic. A magnetic visor has the advantage of being removable, so it can be easily replaced if it gets scratched. PS: If you don’t want to buy a bicycle helmet with a visor, I recommend you to wear overglasses for cycling.
6# High tech options for bicycle helmets
Integrated or mobile lighting
If you ride your bike at the end of the day or at night, an extra light on your helmet will be welcome! You have the option of adding a red light on the back of the helmet or a white light on the front of the helmet, or you can choose a helmet with a light built right into it. In this case, either the integrated rear light will be red and removable, or the lighting will consist of a set of LEDs in the helmet shell.
Connected bike helmet
Today, there are many innovations that make cycling easier, but also the world in general. In short, there are helmets with a turn signal function, that allows you to warn motorists and other road users, when you turn. To do this, you just need to add a button on the handlebar that will activate the turn signal. A very practical concept, especially in case of rain, when the roads are slippery and it is risky to remove a hand from the handlebar to signal that you are turning.
And since technology is still evolving, there are also connected helmets that not only have integrated lighting and a flashing mode, but are also connected to your phone. Thus, in case of a fall and therefore a shock, the helmet sends a signal to the phone of a loved one to warn him. This system also allows to receive hands-free calls (allowed by law).
What is the price of a bicycle helmet?
The price of a bicycle helmet can vary between €30 and €400 ($30 – $440) and whether you have a small or large budget, you will always be able to find a bicycle helmet that suits you! You should also know that a high quality helmet has an estimated lifespan of 3 to 5 years, while a low quality helmet will need to be changed more frequently.
How long does a helmet last?
Bicycle helmets are part of the PPE (personal protective equipment) that must therefore comply with the health and safety standards that have been defined by the European Union regulation. Therefore, helmet manufacturers are obliged to give the date of manufacture of the product (month and year) to allow to set an expiration date.
To find the date of manufacture, just look inside the helmet, you will find a label with a pictogram resembling a factory, the date will be just below. According to the manufacturers, the expiration date of a helmet is reached about 3 to 5 years after the date of manufacture.
Is the helmet compulsory on an electric bike?
Kind of like when you get in your car and put on your seatbelt, wearing a bicycle helmet must become a reflex. The helmet is not mandatory on traditional bikes as well as on slow electric bikes (250W motor.) However, if the bike is used by a child aged 12 or under, it is compulsory.
For speedbikes (fast electric bikes) which can reach up to 28 mph, wearing a helmet is also compulsory given the speed you can achieve.
Choosing a good bicycle helmet for children
If you’re getting your child on your electric bike, they absolutely need a helmet. A child’s helmet is not only a smaller version of an adult’s helmet, they have some special features! For example, the interior shape of children’s helmets is often more rounded, so that it is more suited to the shape of their head. Another example is that helmets for young children placed in a trailer or cargo bike have a flat shape at the back of the head, so as not to interfere with the child’s comfort when he or she wants to rest his or her head.
Also note that the safety standards for children’s helmets are similar to those for adults!
Law: penalties for not wearing a helmet
If you use a powerful electric bicycle (motor over 250W) without a helmet or if a cyclist does not give a helmet to his child, he is exposed to a fine of 135 euros (around $150).
Other bicycle prohibitions
It is forbidden for each cyclist, regardless of the type of bike he uses, to have headphones or any other device in his ear. It is also forbidden to have his telephone in his hand. A person who ignores these rules is liable to a fine of 135 euros (around $150).
Other tips to improve your safety in addition to the helmet
The high visibility vest is not compulsory but it allows you to increase your visibility day and night and can therefore avoid accidents. It is strongly recommended. If you are looking for other information on the laws relating to the circulation of electric bikes on public roads, go to our guide to electric bike regulations.