Better safe than sorry: how to buy a good and stylish bike helmet

Not everyone wears one, but those who do are staying safe. We're talking about helmets! We explain how you can find yours.

Anyone who is concerned with bicycle equipment cannot avoid the topic of the right bicycle helmet. Helmets are not mandatory for cycling in Germany - but they ensure that your head is protected in the event of an accident. That's why a bike helmet should be part of your cycling gear, no matter whether you only ride short distances to the supermarket or regularly go on long bike rides. Bike helmet tests can help you find the best current models. Luckily, there are also so many different designs nowadays that you're guaranteed to find a helmet you like. We'll tell you what's important!

The right fit for your head

The most important reference point for the fit of your helmet is the circumference of your head. Take a tape measure and place it about a finger above your eyebrows. Then run the tape around your head at a slight angle so that it is above your ears, but a little lower on the back of your head. This is how you determine the approximate helmet size. Now, when you put on a helmet, first adjust it using the dial on the back so that it fits snugly without pinching. Your bicycle helmet should:

  • not slip when you turn your head
  • leave your ears free
  • rest only in padded places.

If the helmet fits well so far, next pay attention to the closure. One to two fingers should fit between the clasp and your chin - it must not rest against your chin or even cut into it. Since the shapes differ from manufacturer to manufacturer, not every helmet fits every head. So it's best to try out different helmets to find the fit that feels right for you.

A bike helmet for every type of bike

Whether it's a daredevil downhill ride or a leisurely morning commute to the office, there are different helmet models for different bikes. And for every discipline that is the perfect fit. In our article "Which bike suits me", you will find an overview of the respective bikes for your cycling needs. Here's the matching bike helmet overview:

Mountain bike and full-face helmet

MTB helmets protect you when falling in any direction. That’s why they are the choice for high speed biking in challenging terrain. A visor or shield in the front protects you from the sun and possible branches when touring through the forest. If you ride downhill, you should choose a full-face helmet with (removable) chin guard, which also protects your jaw in case of a fall. 

Price: For good MTB helmets you can count between €50 and €150. For full face helmets you can find a good choice between €150 and €250. 

Road bike helmet

Road helmets protect the skull and front of the head in particular. These helmets are especially best for these types of riders because cyclists usually fall forward on the road. They are also characterised by their light weight, good ventilation, and aerodynamics. 

Price: Very simple entry-level models can be found for around €50. As the price increases, so do ventilation, aerodynamics, etc.; professional helmets are available for around €200. 

Leisure and touring helmet

Leisure helmets are the choice for easygoing tours on the weekend or rides through the city. Since such rides are less about speed and more about everyday suitability, the best bike helmets are often simpler than road bike and MTB helmets. They are robustly built and also ensure good ventilation of your head.

Price: Simple models are available for under €50. With a budget of €50 - €100, you will find a good helmet for you.

BMX and Urban Helmet

BMX helmets often resemble skater helmets and are especially popular among younger cyclists. As with MTB helmets, the back of the head and flanks are lower and thus better protected. However, the helmets are often only slightly ventilated. 

Price: The price is similar to leisure and touring helmets.

E-Bike helmet

If you are riding an e-bike, the choice of helmet also depends on where you’re cycling. You don't need a special e-bike helmet, but rather a model that fits your type of bike - for example, an MTB helmet for an e-mountain bike. If you ride a pedelec that can reach speeds of up to 45 km/h, a helmet is mandatory. In this case, you should choose a full-face helmet.

Price: Prices depend on the type of helmet you choose. For pedelec helmets with full visor, you should plan spending about €100 - €200.

It's the look that counts - right?

The most important thing is that your bike helmet fits properly and protects you in the event of a fall. The functionality of a helmet is paramount especially for sports cyclists on road bikes, mountain bikes, and the like. But it's also clear that if you buy a helmet that you don't really like, you won't wear it at all. That's why the look also plays a role in your choice. It's best to look at different helmets and consider whether an urban or sporty variant is more your thing. There are now a variety of brands such as Closca, Thousand, or Radkappe, which explicitly pay attention to a cool look of their helmets. They make sure that you will gladly put on your helmet during the short ride through the city - giving you a cool, not cheap, look. If you just can't get used to a bicycle helmet, then a Hövding bicycle airbag could be a safe alternative for you. However, at around €300, the price is significantly higher than what you would normally pay for a good helmet.