The best bike helmets in 2023 – Tom’s Guide

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Below is the list of Bike helmets for men Check out our top products that you can purchase.
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As the weather starts warming up and you’re looking to start riding your bike more, then we hope you’re on this page because you know that wearing one of the best bike helmets could, quite possibly, save your life.

We’re not being hyperbolic. In 2019, sixty-two percent of bicyclists killed were not wearing helmets, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System. Previous studies in New York City (opens in new tab) found that almost all bicyclists who died (97%) were not wearing a helmet.

But finding the best bike helmet for you can be difficult, not just for the fit, but also depending on the type of biking you plan to do. What’s more, some bike helmets are downright expensive. That’s why we tested a dozen of the best bike helmets on the market ranging in price from about $50 up to around $300.

So, before you get on one of the best electric bikes or best electric scooters to go to work or school — or to have fun — be sure to strap on one of the best bike helmets first.

The best bicycle helmets you can buy today

How to choose the best bike helmet for you

Shock absorption technology: There is still some debate about the most effective helmet technology for protecting your head. However, most researchers agree that it’s the rotational forces that tend to cause the most damage, including concussions. The most popular technology today to address these types of crashes is the multi-directional impact protection system or MIPS technology. It is designed to reduce the rotational force on one’s cranium in an accident by allowing the outer shell of the helmet to slide slightly on impact. Many helmet makers offer MIPS models, and there are a couple of competing designs including POC’s SPIN pads and Bontrager’s Wavecel liner that compresses to reduce rotational forces.

Fit Matters: Helmets need to fit snugly in order to protect your pate in an impact. Most models now feature a cage-like design that can loosen or tighten an interior set of straps to fit around your head. Over time, chin straps can stretch and loosen, so don’t forget to snug them up on occasion. Also make sure you don’t push the helmet back; they’re designed to sit slightly forward over your brow to protect your forehead.

Use case: Bikes are used in a variety of ways, from commuting to mountain biking, and bike helmet manufacturers make helmets tailored for those scenarios. While it’s perfectly acceptable to wear a mountain bike helmet when cycling to work, it may have extra features, such as a visor or a chin guard, that you don’t necessarily need, or want to pay extra for. Look for a helmet that will best match how you plan to use your bike.

How we tested the best bike helmets

(Image credit: John Quain/Future)

One of the criteria in selecting the best bike helmets to test was if they had MIPS protection, or the equivalent. MIPS, which in this use stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System, includes a layer that allows the helmet to slide relative to the head, thus reducing rotational forces which can cause concussions or other brain injuries.

Of course, we could not test the helmets under actual crash conditions, so we consulted several test reports that conducted extensive lab-based impact analysis. Those included Virginia Tech and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety’s evaluation of 162 bike helmets (opens in new tab) and a 2021 study of 27 helmets (opens in new tab) tested in oblique impacts published in the Annals of Biomedical Engineering. We also considered the results of a 2020 study conducted by a Swedish insurance company (opens in new tab) as part of our evaluation.

Below is a chart with the Virginia Tech ratings of the helmets we reviewed; the lower the number, the better.

Since fit and comfort are two of the most important features of bicycle helmets, we then head-tested every model, riding many miles in different circumstances (off road, dirt roads, highways and city streets) to see how they held up under real world use.

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