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Is an Expensive Bike Helmet Worth It?

  • Bikes
Is an Expensive Bike Helmet Worth It

If you’ve been to the market for bike helmets, you know how wide the margin on cost of bike helmets is. On average, a bike helmet costs less than $50 but the price tag can reach up to $250 and more. In this blog, we explain the differences between a cheap and a costly bike helmet plus breakdown what to expect from the expense.

Costly vs. Cheap Bike Helmets: What’s the Difference?

With such a variety in price range, one does ask if an expensive bike helmet does ensure better quality. Expensive bike helmets do offer better quality but that doesn’t mean cheaper bike helmets are worse. Here’s a comparison of what the expense on bike helmet means:

Construction

The biggest difference between pocket-friendly and expensive bike helmets is what they’re made of. Most bike helmets are outfitted in polycarbonate which is durable and impact protective. 

However, expensive bike helmets are designed with fibreglass and carbon fibre which is exceptionally light, temperature-resistant and offers unmatched impact protection. It’s truly a work of art.

Adjustable Fitting

On average, every bike helmet has a fitting adjustment dial at the back and it allows cyclists the freedom to set the rear cage of the helmet snug against the head. 

Some bike helmets have an autofit mechanism which automatically ‘breaks in’ to fit the bike rider’s head. It is adjustable and available on the higher-end bike helmets.

Comfort

Bike helmets are fitted with padding inside which cushions the rider’s head and acts as a barrier against the hard outer shell and skin. Cheaper bike helmets usually have a shock-absorbing EPS foam fitted inside only. 

Whereas, expensive bike helmets feature an in-mould design that fuses the EPS foam to the outer shell so it performs better. Plus, they provide extra padding.

Extra Features

Bike helmets are available in a variety of designs but most under $50 are plain coloured and offer basic features like reflective accents and washable padding. 

While higher-quality bike helmets are equipped with LED mounts, removable chin bars, detachable visors and great aerodynamics. They range between $90 to $250 and above


Should All Cyclists Get an Expensive Bike Helmet?

Expensive bike helmets are a wonder to have in the gear but they are a luxury item. Since bike riding isn’t intrinsically dangerous, most cyclists prefer choosing a bike helmet that is impact protective and cooling. This works for daily commuters and recreational cyclists.

But, if you are a racer that is constantly in the eye of the cameras, a triathlete or an aspiring MTB rider, you should spend the extra dollar and get a high-quality bike helmet that offers incredible aerodynamics, exceptional security against falls and pleasing aesthetics.


What to Expect From an Expensive Bike Helmet

Whether it is a road cycling helmet, a mountain bike helmet or a gravel bike helmet, an expensive cycling helmet should provide you with the following:

  • A safety technology like MIPS, SPIN or WaveCel, that complements the impact protection of the outer shell and prevents headaches and neck strain.
  • If it’s a road bike helmet, it should be able to gain speed and complete the ride at least 10 minutes faster than a non-aero bike helmet.
  • In mountain bike helmets, the chin bar should be removable and the visor detachable.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do bike helmets work?

Yes, bike helmets are incredibly effective at reducing the odds of skull damage and brain injuries. They act as a barrier between the gravel and the head so most of the impact energies are cushioned and the head is protected. Even a half-helmet is better than wearing no bike helmet.

Is it illegal to ride a bike without a helmet?

It depends on where you live and the age of the cyclist. In the US, 22 states have bike helmet laws imposed but 13 don’t whereas in the UK, there are no laws enacted for bike helmet safety. However, in Australia, it’s mandatory to wear a bike helmet while riding as neglect can impose a fine up to $2200. Most laws target youth cyclists aged 18 and under.

Do MIPS bike helmets cost more?

Generally, yes. MIPS bike helmets do tend to be on the higher-end but then there are bike helmets like the Giro Foray MIPS that boast incredible impact protection in less than $100.


Final Thoughts

Now that you have a considerable idea on what to expect from an expensive bike helmet, make sure to choose right and adjust it well on the head to get the most bang for your buck – you get what you pay for.

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