Finding bike helmets for women can be quite difficult since there aren’t that many available to begin with. To help you narrow down your chase, we’ve picked out the top-selling bike helmets for women and elaborated on the types of bike helmets you can find at the market.
The 8 Best Bike Helmets for Women
Best Selling Choice – Most Impact Protective
Considered #1 in the biking world, the Schwinn Thrasher bike helmet is constructed in not one but two micro-shell PC layers underlined with a full-coverage EPS foam to keep the helmet from breaking into pieces upon impact.
Made in a more angular design (perfect for women bikers), the fitting adjusts via a 360 Comfort system that features an ergonomic dial. It is further fine-tuned by the adjustable straps on the side and buckled in place.
Despite its compact structure, the Schwinn Thrasher is equipped with 20 vents that keep the head cool and air flow consistent.
The Schwinn Thrasher is a must-have for women bike riders – fits perfectly, is durable and can be worn with a braid, low and high ponytail.
Our Top Pick – Best Features
Constructed in an in-mould polycarbonate shell with an EPS foam layer carefully placed under it, the Giro Vasona offers lightweight durability and protects the head from gravel rashes on high and low speed impacts.
To maximise safety, the Vasona helmet integrates MIPS and ensures not a scratch is in sight once the rider gets up. Shaped narrower than a men’s helmet, the bike helmet adjusts the fit using a Roc Loc Sport fit system.
In its compact shape, the Giro Vasona manages to place 22 vents and ensure the head is cool and comfortable.
The Giro Vasona is perfect for women recreational riders, its features are truly unmatched by any bike helmet at this price point (less than $100 with MIPS!)
Editor’s Choice – Beginner Friendly
Made for all kinds of sport bike riding, the Retrospec Rowan bike helmet is outfitted in a fully formed ABS shell that keeps the head protected from gravel rash and soft tissue damage. Add in a layer of EPS foam and all impact shock is absorbed before it hits the skull.
Ventilation is maximised by the addition of 11 large vents that optimise the airflow and keep the head cool. Since it is already a compact shape, the Retrospec Rowan fine-tunes the fit using the removable interior padding plus chin and brow pads.
The Retrospec Rowan looks as cool as it performs, it is strong, fits like a glove and needs minimal adjusting.
Value Choice – Best Ventilation
The Retrospec Silas bike helmet is designed in a fully formed ABS shell and layered with an EPS foam underneath to maximise shock absorption and durability.
To keep the summer rides cool, the Silas bike helmet features 24 vents for intake and exhaust that are carefully placed so no part of the head is exposed to the gravel. The fitting is fine-tuned using an ergonomic dial and a nylon strap buckles in place to hold the fort securely.
The Retrospec Silas is a beginner-friendly bike helmet that features all the basics plus more and fits perfectly on women.
Stylish Choice – Most Comfortable
The Schwinn Intercept bike helmet is constructed using two polycarbonate microshells and a layer of EPS foam that keeps the skull protected upon impact and the helmet from breaking into pieces with shock.
The sleek Intercept bike helmet features an adjustable dial fit system that fine tunes the positioning of the rear cage and ensures a comfortable and customised fit.
That’s not all, the Intercept bike helmet is designed with 26 vents that help deliver unmatched cooling and make every ride a breeze.
The Schwinn Intercept bike helmet is the definition of safety and strength. It is attractive, well-performing and fits perfectly on women’s heads.
Premium Choice – Best for Commuters
An advanced take on traditional bike helmets, the POC Omne Air SPIN is constructed in a strong PC outer shell with a high-performance EPS foam liner to absorb low-speed impacts and protect the head from injuries.
With its slim profile comes a fit adjustment dial that ensures a snug but comfortable fit and a high-precision nylon strap. The highlight of the POC Omne Air is the company’s patented SPIN silicone padding that ensures maximum comfort and performance.
The POC Omne Air SPIN’s slim profile complements women riders and the incredible performance suggests a great bang for the buck.
Reliable Choice – Most Durable
The Giro Trella outer shell is made up of an in-mould polycarbonate shell and an EPS foam underlining to absorb shock and keep stress forces away from the head upon impact.
To maximise safety, it also features MIPS that disperses rotational impact forces and delivers unmatched crash protection.
Since it has a compact shape, the fitting needs minimal adjustments and is easily customised using the Roc Loc Sports fit system dial. The large 18 vents ensure maximum air flow on hot, summer days.
The Giro Trella MIPS bike helmet is a perfect addition to any women cyclist’s gear – it fits small heads well, is true to size and incredibly lightweight.
Heavy-duty Choice – Best for MTB Riding
The Smith Optics Mainline bike helmet has a complete Koroyd coverage that ensures maximum shock absorption and crash protection. Head safety is optimised by the integration of MIPS that absorb all rotational impact forces.
It fits snug and fine-tunes the adjustment using removable cheek pads, crown liners and neck rolls. Held in place with a D-ring fastener, the helmet does not get loose while riding enduro.
The AirEvac ventilation system features 21 fixed vents for cooling and comfort.
The Smith Optics Mainline MIPS is a must-have for women MTB and enduro riders.
Are All Bike Helmets the Same? All the Types of Bike Helmets You Can Find
There are tons of bike helmets available on the market and each one may seem like the real deal until you’re pedalling uphill with great ventilation but little protection. To help you avoid falling down the rabbit hole in search of the perfect match, we’ve described the three most common categories bike helmets are divided into:
Commuter Bike Helmets
Generally made for cyclists who pedal to work daily or take the bike around for grocery runs, commuter bike helmets are impact protective, well-ventilated, comfortable and best of all; they are temperature-resistant so commuters can wear it year-round. Also, most have reflective details for nighttime riding.
Road Cycling Helmets
An umbrella term for utility riding, gravel cycling, racing and recreational biking, road cycling helmets are considerably durable and aerodynamic. Some have a streamlined shape to factor in various cycling positions. They may or may not be equipped with a visor but most of them do have comm systems.
Mountain Cycling Helmets
One for the adventure lovers, mountain cycling helmets are made with exceptional durability to survive crashes on the rough terrain, great aerodynamics for off-road riding and high-speed capability for aero riding. They are usually equipped with comm systems to accommodate group riding and visors to protect against harsh UV rays.
What to Look For When Purchasing a Bike Helmet as a Woman
No matter what category of bike helmet you match with, there are a few factors to consider as priority before zeroing in on any bike helmet for women. From form factor to form fitting, there’s a bit to consider especially because women’s helmets are narrower than men’s helmets.
The precursor to choosing a good fitting helmet is knowing the circumference of your head. Every bike helmet has a different sizing chart which displays a range of numbers in cm or inches. If you’re in between sizes, move up a size and add extra padding if the helmet is loose.
Another factor to consider is the shape of your head. Most women’s bike helmets are constructed in an intermediate oval shape which commonly fits everybody. Other than that, you’ll find elongated bike helmets for oval head shapes and round bike helmets for round head shapes.
The range of sizes on a sizing chart of a bike helmet corresponds to the different head sizes it can accomodate. This feature is facilitated by an adjustment system that allows riders to fit their head perfectly inside.
Most bike helmets for women are equipped with a dial fit adjustment system which adjusts the position and pressure by turning a knob at the back. It is convenient and durable.
You can also find bike helmets with an auto-fit system which basically ‘breaks in’ as soon as you place it on top of the head. The auto-fitting bike helmets can be quite expensive.
Of the utmost importance is ventilation in bike helmets. The larger and the greater in number the vents are, the better they are for summer commutes.
Some bike helmets such as MTB helmets have fewer airflow ports but keep the head sweat-free through chin vents and breath guards. Commuter bike helmets are well-ventilated while road cycling helmets are aerodynamic.
The main difference between ventilation and aerodynamics is the air flow. Ventilation is the cooling air on your face while aerodynamic is how smoothly the air flows over the helmet. An aerodynamic helmet helps racers the most.
One of the biggest concerns of a standard bike helmet is that it isn’t ponytail-friendly which affects the way long-haired individuals wear the bike helmet. Sometimes you just want your hair up and out of the way so you can enjoy an easy, breezy ride.
Fortunately, women’s bike helmets are equipped with a small gap in the back of the helmet shell allowing riders to thread the ponytail out. It does require a bit of trial and error to get the ponytail positioned perfectly against the gap.
Another alternative is to stretch the ponytail out from above the dial adjustment knob. This way the strap doesn’t pull on the hair strands and keeps the ponytail in place.
Also known as a closure system, bike helmets are generally designed with a chin strap that buckles open and shut. This is standard, easy and convenient – works well with winter gloves as well.
For racers and utility riders, the Fidlock retention system may perform better. It is a magnetic closure that snaps in place using only one hand. Though it is a bit expensive, Fidlock has been the choice of many cyclists. Kids, adult women, people with shaky hands – it works for everyone.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between men’s and women’s bike helmets?
There’s just one difference between a men’s bike helmet and a women’s bike helmet and that is: shape. Women’s bike helmets are usually shaped narrower to accommodate the smaller sized heads but with adjustable fitting systems so it’s easier to manipulate. You might also notice a better colour and style variation for women.
Are men’s and women’s helmet sizes the same?
Yes, the helmet sizes are the same for all genders unless the helmet is specifically directed to women. Bike helmets for women are usually sized down to XS to factor in smaller heads. Aside from that, bike helmets are either targeted to adults, youth or kids and some are unisexual.
How tight should a bike helmet fit?
As a general rule of thumb, a bike helmet should fit comfortably snug such that it’s difficult to chew gum but easy to breathe. Also, there should be no pain in the pressure points of the forehead, top of the head or the neck. The helmet should fit snug and secure, not a budge while pedalling.
What size helmet do I need for cycling?
It depends on the circumference of your head. For adults, the size range usually starts from 51cm to 63cm whereas for youth the smallest size is generally 48cm and the largest size goes up to 58cm. Smaller size ranges are for kids under 5.
Can a woman wear a youth bike helmet?
Sure, anyone can wear a youth helmet. The ‘youth’ helmets only categorise a smaller size range and do not target children and teens specifically. If you have a smaller sized head, you might find the perfect fit on a youth helmet. There’s no compromise on safety.
Are youth helmets safe for adults?
Youth helmets are tested for the same safety protocols as adult helmets so the ones that pass are impact protective, durable and aerodynamic. You can even find some for mountain cycling in case you are planning to pedal off-road but cannot find the perfect fitting bike helmet.
Does BELL have cycling helmets for women?
Yes, BELL does have cycling helmets for women. The Joy Ride Collection was introduced in 2016 by the most popular motorsports brand, BELL. It includes 10 road cycling and mountain biking helmets for women of which half are MIPS equipped. Best of all, they are pocket-friendly too – there’s a MIPS bike helmet for $60!
Which bike helmet is best for ladies?
Generally, any bike helmet that fits well, has great aerodynamics and fulfils all the characteristic needs for the specific style of riding is considered as the best (for everyone). From the eight bike helmets reviewed above, we’d most recommend the Giro Trella MIPS for its versatility.
Choosing a bike helmet is largely based on trial and error. If you’ve got the head circumference down, the category matched and the priority features noted… you’re one pedal away from choosing the perfect one. Now that you’ve understood the basics, you can easily zero in on any of the above eight bike helmets for women.