7 Best budget cycling helmet- A complete buying guide

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best budget cycling helmets

Bikes allowsyou toexercises, make your daily commute,or run errands. Safety is vital, and that’s why you’re required to wear a helmet. Even so, protecting your head shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

I am Pat, and I started cycling about three years back to keep fit and for my overall health. With the news reports, it had become clear to me what sitting all day at the office was doing to me.

However, the process of getting the right helmet was a pain- there were so many options and the price range of some just wasn’t working for my pocket. There had to be a way to stick to an activity I like and still remain well within my budget.

Over the years, I’ve changed helmets as they became weathered, and here, I’ll share a few recommendations. I believed that you could be safe and get a good cycling helmet without breaking your bank.

A cheap helmet doesn’t mean that a brand hasn’t made it for optimum safety. I’ve also included a buying guide as well to help you know what criteria to follow when selecting a cycling helmet.


7 Best budget cycling helmets: Comparison table

Brand
Weight
Vents
Circumference
Amazon
Giro Register MIPS helmet
0.55lbs
22
54-61cm
GoMax Aero Helmet
0.55lbs
22
54-58cm, 56-60cm, 59-63cm
Smith Optics Maze Helmet
1.7lbs
9
55-59cm
Exclusky Mountain Bike Helmet
0.61lbs
18
56-61cm
MOKFIRE helmet
0.61lbs
22
56-62cm
TeamObsitian Airflow Bike Helmet
0.63lbs
22
52-56cm, 57-61cm, 52-56cm, 57-61cm
Giro Foray MIPS helmet
2.4lbs
21
51-57cm

 

Giro Register MIPS cycling helmet

Giro Register MIPS Adult Recreational Cycling Helmet - Universal Adult...
  • MARKET-LEADING PROTECTION: Engineered in Giro’s category-leading helmet test lab
  • MIPS: Utilizes the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System to redirect energy in a crash

If you’ve been around long enough,you may have spotted Giro. They are a sporting brand that makes helmets, shoes, apparel, and other accessories. The Register MIPS is just one of them; to encourage you to look at the various men’s and women’s helmets they have. As with the other helmets, this Giro helmet is engineered in their category-leading test lab.

Specs

  • In-mold construction of polycarbonate and an EPS Liner
  • MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system)
  • Roc Loc Sport fit system
  • 22 vents

Any adult can purchase the Register and adjust it to fit. With the ventilation available your head is always cool when riding. It’s also rugged since the helmet has a sturdy construction. There are four colors to choose from, so you can get something that suits your taste and style.

Pros

  • With the 360-degree protection the helmets provided, there’s increased protection during a fall or crash
  • The construction is strong so your head is primarily safe incase anything happens
  • It is a universal fit so anyone can purchase it and use the adjustment system to make it fit
  • Since it’s well ventilated, you can use it during long distances or on a hot day

Cons

  • A few buyers have had an issue with the chinstraps not fitting right

Verdict: Giro is a brand that’s proven to be trustworthy. What’s more, the strong construction and MIPS that redirects energy during a crash both ensure your safety.

View Price on Amazon

GoMax Aero Helmet

GoMax Aero Adult Safety Helmet Adjustable Road Cycling Mountain Bike...
  • INNOVATIVE AERODYNAMIC DESIGN - We proudly introduce you our cutting edge helmet, designed to look and feel well on your head, but most important, to provide you maximum protection. All this combo in only 8.8oz (250g). Once you try it you won't believe...
  • IN-MOLD POLYCARBONATE SHELL with PC+ American Gray EPS Liner, to offer you a real protection against shocks. When you look for a good helmet, you must find this safety standard as a premise. Our helmet is CE certified

This next helmet from GoMax is both for road cycling and mountain bike. It features an innovative aerodynamic design that’s meant to look and feel good on your head while offering you maximum protection. Even with that, it is lightweight, making for a comfortable ride even on long distances.

Specs

  • EPS construction with hard plastic layer
  • Built-in detachable visor
  • Rear adjustable dial system with LED light
  • 22 vents

With ventilation there’re optimum airflow and minimal resistance. There are also the dual fit adjustment straps so that you’re all the more comfortable. Additionally, youcan ride the bike at night because you’re assured the LED light will alert those behind you that you’re there.

Pros

  • The EPS along with the hard outer plastic makes for increased protection
  • The large number of vents available keeps you cool which is handy during hot weather or long rides
  • The LED taillight on the helmet allows motorists to spot you easily and thus keeping you safe while on the road

Cons

  • You have to replace the LED battery

Verdict: Whether on the road or mountain biking, this is one helmet that you can trust. It’s all the more useful if you’re cycling at night because motorists can spot you.

View Price on Amazon

Smith Optics Maze Helmet

Smith Optics Maze Bike Adult Cycling Helmet (Matte Black, Large)
  • Shell Material: in-mold construction
  • Ventilation: AirEvac

If you’re looking for variety with regards to color in one brand, then you can check out the Smith Optics Maze helmet. They are 26 to choose from, so if you want to get your family helmets, then they’ll be no confusion about which one belongs to who. These helmets are also multipurpose; you can use them when cycling or when skiing. They are equally lightweight, allowing you to wear them for long periods.

Specs

  • Self-adjusting system lifestyle fit system
  • Koroyd material (made from thermal welding)
  • Goggle lock system
  • 9 adjustable vents

The engineering behind the helmet means that it’s efficient and consistent in its energy absorption properties. That means that during a crash, the helmet absorbs the impact. Otherwise, the material used is breathable. The open cell construction also expels hot air while allowing cool air in.

Pros

  • Comes in an extensive selection of colors
  • It has a robust construction that minimizes injury in the event of an impact
  • You can use it for bike rides or skiing, with adjustable vents to suit the weather

Cons

  • To readjust the vents, you have to take the helmet off

Verdict: What makes this helmet fantastic is the Koroyd system in place that both has the ability to absorb energy while being breathable at the same time.

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Exclusky Mountain Bike Helmet

Exclusky Mountain Bike Helmet MTB Bicycle Cycling Helmets for Adult...
  • Protection: This mountain bike helmet is US CPSC standards certified. Material of thickened multi-density EPS foam inside helmet absorb impact energy effectively to minimize the risk of harms to head in crash, and extended rear shaped guarantees full...
  • Optimal Ventilation and Lightweight: To guarantee you benefit from optimal ventilation and save physical strength at same time with this MTB bicycle helmet, 18 air vents is formed on this bicycle helmet while it weights only 280g. Experience of mountain...

This helmet you’re assured that you’re wearing a helmet guaranteed to give you maximum protection. The helmet is meant to absorb impact energy to minimize the risk of harm that comes with a crash. Something you’ll notice about this helmet is that it has an extended rear shape. It’s to offer full protection to the cranial part of the head.

Specs

  • US CPSC certified
  • multi-density EPS foam
  • Hand dial system
  • 18 vents

The mountain bike helmet is lightweight and cool airflow, you’re assured that you’ll have an enjoyable time and have reduced fatigue. There’s a single-hand dial retention system that’s easy to adjust and secures the helmet on your head. Before purchasing, ensure that you measure your head’s circumference so that you get the right helmet. Lastly, there’s a large sun visor attachment that you can move up when needed.

Pros

  • The helmet is US CPSC certified
  • Made from study EPS form to reduce impact during a crash
  • It has adequate vents, and you can secure the helmet with one hand

Cons

  • It is not a perfect fit for everyone as the straps get undone sometimes.

Verdict: Here you have a helmet that is US CPSC certified and thus assured that it is a quality helmet. It is also quite breathable so you can use it with comfort during a hot summer day.

View Price on Amazon

MOKFIRE helmet

Sale
MOKFIRE Adult Bike Helmet with Rechargeable USB Light, Bicycle Helmet...
  • 【USB Safety Light】With built-in USB rechargeable rear light which is waterproof and rainproof, the helmet guarantees the highest possible protection and visibility on the city roads. 9 lighting modes selectable, it will help people behind you clearly...
  • 【Durable and Lightweight】In-molding technology joins thick EPS foam core and the outer polycarbonate shell to ensure better shock absorption, giving you the best protection when road cycling or mountain biking. Ultralight, weighing only 280 grams /...

The Mokfire helmet uses in-molding technology to make their helmets strong. That means there’s better shock absorption should you fall off the bike. Even with that, the gear is lightweight, and you can wear it for an extended period,whether road cycling or when mountain biking. Vents help circulate air throughout the helmet.

Specs

  • EPS foam core with the outer polycarbonate shell
  • Adjustment dial
  • Built-in USB rechargeable rear light
  • 22 large vents

It takes two hours to fully charge the rear light and is also both waterproof and rainproof. There are nine lighting modes that you can select to help people behind you know your direction even when you’re cycling at night. You can get the Mokfire in four different colors, and each one comes with two linings, one regular and one meshed.

Pros

  • Made from sturdy material that absorbs shock in the event of an impact
  • Has large vents to keep you cool and two linings to accommodate the weather
  • It has a rechargeable built-in rear light for added protection while on the road, especially at night

Cons

  • The chins strap could be longer

Verdict: The rechargeable rear light is something you’d want to have if you’re cycling at night or even during bad weather. It being water proof is a plus as you’re assured, you’ll use it for a long time.

View Price on Amazon

TeamObsitian Airflow Bike Helmet

Sale
TeamObsidian Airflow Bike Helmet - for Adult Men & Women and...
  • SUPERIOR TECHNIQUE FOR YOUR SAFETY. We follow 3 crucial steps to achieve a solid constructed bicycle helmet by first placing the exterior shell in the mould, then reinforcing it with a skeleton and finally adding the foam that will hold all the parts...
  • PROTECTED, VENTED AND COOL. Everything the cyclist in you could ask for: shock absorption technology, 22 massive air vents for an outstanding airflow across the head and a low profile, innovative design! And all this comes with a helmet that weighs only...

TeamObsitian have three steps in which they construct their bicycle helmet. They start by placing the exterior shell in the mold and after reinforcing it with a skeleton. Lastly, they add foam that holds all the parts together so that they are firmly connected. That way, in case of an accident, you’re well protected because of the shock absorption technology used.

Specs                                                

  • Low profile design
  • Detachable visor
  • Two helmet sizes
  • 22 massive vents

The gear comes in two sizes, a small-medium and a medium-large with varying circumferences. That makes the helmet is suitable for adults and teens alike thanks to its sleek matte design, which makes it look classy. The visor protects you from the elements and you can wash both the chin strap and the pads that keep you comfortable. The dial fit does also accommodate a ponytail.

Pros

  • Made from a three-step construction process that ensures maximum safety
  • It has a sleek design that makes the helmet look classy
  • Comes in two sizes and has washable components

Cons

  • The strap adjusting mechanism could be simpler

Verdict: TeamObsitian offers two sizes for their helmet, which allows it to cater to a wider demographic. It also has enough space to accommodate people who have a lot of hair.

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Giro Foray MIPS helmet

Giro Foray MIPS Adult Road Cycling Helmet - Small (51-55 cm), Matte...
  • MARKET-LEADING PROTECTION: Engineered in Giro’s category-leading helmet test lab
  • MIPS: Utilizes the Multi-Directional Impact Protection System to redirect energy in a crash

To finish off the list, we will look at another Giro helmet that is also budget-friendly and has high ratings, especially on Amazon. It features a streamlined design that also has a plush interior. Just as with the Giro Register we looked at, it features MIPS, which gives you all-round protection while you’re cycling.

Specs

  • In-mold construction of polycarbonate and an EPS Liner
  • MIPS (multi-directional impact protection system)
  • Roc Loc Sport fit system
  • 21 vents

There’s equally the in-mold polycarbonate shell along with an EPS liner. The fit system is Roc Loc 5, too, so you can make it fit as you please. You can get it in three sizes for the best fit.

Pros

  • With the 360-degree protection the helmets provided, there’s increased protection during a fall or crash
  • The construction is strong so your head is primarily safe incase anything happens
  • It is a universal fit so anyone can purchase it and use the adjustment system to make it fit

Cons

  • The chin strap could use with improved adjustability

Verdict: Giro is indeed a good brand, and when you purchase their helmet, you’re sure that you’re getting the type of helmet that provides you with maximum protection.

View Price on Amazon


What to consider when buying best budget cycling helmet

Now that we’ve looked at some budget cycling helmets you can purchase, let’s now look at what makes for a good cycling helmet. It’s not always about the price; the helmet needs to check off a few boxes. You want to get a helmet that will be suitable for you and also serve you well for a long time to come.

Fit and comfort

When you’re cycling, you want to be comfortable. Anything short of that is a distraction, and it can make the ride unpleasant, or worse, cause an accident. That’s why you must get a helmet that fits you perfectly.

If you’re constantly adjusting the straps for the dial fit, then you’re likely to lose balance, or you’ll be too distracted to notice danger ahead. Therefore, never compromise on the fit of a helmet.

Getting the right size helmet

Having a helmet that fits means buying one that matches your head size. Some brands state that their helmets are universal fits, but that isn’t the case if your head falls on the extreme spectrums when it comes to sizes. It’s perhaps better to purchase from brands that offer different sizes of helmets.

Whichever route you take, first measure the circumference of your head and then check under what spectrum it falls under. Be sure to use what the brand provides as the size categories vary from company to company.

Weight of helmet

Don’t underestimate the importance of a lightweight helmet. When you’re subjected to long rides with a heavy helmet, the result is your head hurting, and also tension on your neck and shoulders.

To avoid this level of unwanted discomfort, get something that’s light. Thankfully that doesn’t mean that the helmet cannot offer the protection needed.

Ventilation

Hot weather can affect your cycling experience if you have a helmet with no ventilation. It causes unease, and at some point, you’d be forced to take it off so that your head can breathe and to help with the sweating. To avoid all that, ensure that you get a cycling helmet with adequate ventilation; the more, the better.

The fantastic thing, though, is vents have become the norm in cycling helmets. However, do keep in mind the weather. If you live in colder regions, you want to buy something with fewer vents. Alternatively, you can get a lining for when it’s chilly.

Safety standards

There isn’t a universal standard for safety, but there are countries and regions that have to create one. Australia, the US, and Europe are among the countries that require helmet manufacturers to adhere to best practices.

You, therefore, want to gravitate towards brands that have a safe standard. Also, looking up the helmet construction is another way of knowing if you’re getting something that will indeed over the protection you need while on the road or when mountain biking.


Wrap up

WhatI find remarkable about the times that we live in is that there’s something for everyone. Being on a budget doesn’t mean that you get things that are less-than when it comes to quality. You can purchase a helmet that won’t break the bank but still have the courage and assurance that you’re protected while you’re cycling. Only make sure that they tick the boxes that we’ve mentioned on the buying guide.


FAQs

Let’s look at some answers to things people commonly wonder about.

What’s MIPS?

MIPS stands for Multi-Directional Impact Protection System. The other word for it is ‘slip-plan’ technology, and it’s a design that reduces rotational forces that come about from specific impacts impact. Essentially it gives you added protection.

When should I change my helmet?

You’re meant to change your helmet under two circumstances. The first is if you’ve had the helmet for over three to four years. You want to update it so that it can fit in with the evolved technology that is guaranteed to offer more protection.

The other instance is when it is subjected to impact during a fall or crash. Even though there are no dents, markings, or anything visible, you ought to change it because the structural integrity has been compromised.

Do helmets save lives?

Helmets cannot replace the vigilance that you need to have on the road. Helmets are meant to protect you in somewhat low impact crashes but not necessarily when a car is accelerated. It can reduce the severity of the injury to the head, but that’s not guaranteed. Thus, ensure that you stay safe.

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