We may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of our links. The LA Times newsroom or editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content. Learn more

Avoid Bad Injuries with the Best Bike Helmet

Everyone has times where they want to get on the bike and feel the wind in their hair as they ride. There is a long standing debate about whether a helmet is a necessary piece of equipment. I admit to the occasional helmet free ride.

If you have been on the road with some of the crazy people behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle you know that riding without a helmet is traveling at your own risk. You may not be able to avoid complete injury but you can protect one of your most valuable body parts, your head.

If you are a parent, protecting your kids is top priority. No matter what age they are, a helmet is a necessary piece of equipment even for a short ride. Kids tend to be fearless and willing to try things that send them flying off the bike. The last thing you want for your child is a head injury.

Today's helmets are constructed with safety features that, not that long ago, were only a dream. They are lightweight, durable, and have great ventilation. The styles, designs and color options are sure to please and you will find helmets for every riding style and budget.

For more information on what to look at in selecting the best bike helmet in 2021, We have listed below the best bike helmet available for you to help you decide what product is best to buy.

Detailing the Best Bike Helmets of 2021

Giro Agilis MIPS Adult Bike Helmet - Best Bike Helmet Overall

Lightweight, great performance, comfortable, and wind tunnel cooling are all features that describe the top rated Giro Aeon. This helmet is the choice of top cyclists for many reasons. The polycarbonate and EPS liner are fused together to keep this helmet super lightweight. In addition to the durable shell, the Aeon has an impact roll cage, for added reinforcement of the helmet without additional weight. The 24 vents are combined with channels that allow air to flow through the helmet, pushing the hot air out the back and cooling your head. The Roc Loc 5 locking system allows you to dial in the perfect fit and adjust the fit up and down as well. The X-Tatic padding is antimicrobial to keep odors to a minimum. The Aeon is a dream helmet, with features that keep you riding comfortably and safely.

best road bike helmet

Specialized S-Works Prevail Road Bike Helmet - Runner Up

The Prevail is an aerodynamic, lightweight road bike helmet designed for all-around great performance. The dual-density EPS gives you outstanding impact performance. Specialized has large ports positioned in the front of this helmet that are unique to them. The micro-dial fit system and height adjustability allow you to dial in the perfect fit. The Prevail is comparable to the number one pick on this list, it is a matter of personal preference. If price point is an issue for you, then this and the top pick may not be your choice.

Giro Atmos Racing Bike Helmet - Honorable Mention

If you are looking for a helmet that is comparable to the Aeon but with a smaller price tag, the Atmos is the helmet to look at. The Giro Atmos has 26 vents and the same wind tunnel ventilation as the Aeon. An in-mold shell and carbon fiber reinforcement offer lightweight, protection in the event of an accident. The Roc Loc 5 fit system will allow you to dial in a perfect fit. The Giro Atmos has been worn by some of the best cyclists in the world and will offer you the protection, comfort, and performance you are looking for at a somewhat smaller price tag than the Aeon.

best oracle road bike helmet

Bontrager Oracle Road Bike Helmet - Consider

The Bontrager Oracle is another lightweight option with some great features. The AgION fit pads keep odors at bay. The internal, recessed channels manage the airflow over your head to keep you cool and comfortable. The fit system allows you to adjust both the height and circumference. Brontrager also offers an unconditional guarantee. They will replace the helmet if you are involved in an accident within the first year of owning it.

Bell Furio Bike Helmet - Best Road Bike Helmet

If you are on a tight budget but still need a helmet that is comfortable and offers the protection you need, take a look at the Bell Furio. As with most bicycle and rider gear, the more you have to spend, the better the features, however this helmet comes in as a great choice for the budget minded rider. It has 20 air vents, less than the higher end helmets, but certainly enough to make a difference and keep you cool. The fit system will give you the ability to adjust the helmet easily. If you are looking for a budget friendly helmet, this is the one to try.

Nutcase Gen2 Bike Helmet - Best Commuter Bike Helmet

I chose the Nutcase Gen2 line of helmets as the top commuter pick for several reasons. The first reason is just pure fun. If you are stuck going to work and you have decided to make the commute more fun by riding, Nutcase helmets are the most fun your head can have on the commute. Yes, they offer the protection you need but they do it in style. Designed by a former creative director at Nike, you can chose from any number of crazy prints or a cool, solid matte color. These helmets make you feel like a kid again and bring a smile to your face every time you look at them. I've been riding with mine for several years, it is my personal favorite for commuting. The Gen2 has spin dial fit technology that allows you to customize the fit to your head. The magnetic buckle is a one-handed operation and no more pinching like you get with a traditional buckle. All that fun and at a very reasonable price.

Specialized Echelon II Bike Helmet

Specialized Echelon II Bike Helmet - Best Commuter Bike Helmet

The Echelon II is a budget friendly road helmet. The 2013 design has a lower profile and greater ventilation. The fit system has four height positions and a micro-adjustable dial that makes it easy to adjust the fit while you are on the move. The Echelon II's composite matrix reinforcement allows for greater ventilation without sacrificing protection. This helmet gives you a look that most cyclists think of when they think helmet but at a price most anyone can afford.

Cannondale Ryker Bike Helmet

Cannondale Ryker Bike Helmet - Best Commuter Bike Helmet

The Cannondale Ryker has a look and style like no other helmet on this list. The in-mold construction gives this helmet the strength and durability you need without adding weight. The fit system, with additional padding, allows you to get a snug fit without feeling like you will give yourself a headache before your commute is over. Cannondale tried to optimize the inner shape of this helmet to fit as many head shapes as possible.

Giro Reverb Bike Helmet - Best Commuter Bike Helmet

The Giro Reverb has a few features not found on the other helmets on this list. The brow of the helmet has a cool, fabric brim instead of the traditional hard plastic and it is completely removable. The fabric allows for a cooler feel. The Reverb has clean lines and a simple design. It has the same great in-mold construction of the higher-end helmets. The Auto-Loc fit system is an elastic based system and has front and back adjustability. This helmet was on the "Oprah's Favorite Things List" for 2012. This may be on your favorite list too, give it a try.

Rudy Project Sterling Bike Helmet - Best Commuter Bike Helmet

The Sterling has 18 well-positioned vents for maximum air flow. The anti-slip fit system has three height adjustments and an exclusive strap loop adjustment system for making adjustments on the go. It is available with two different padding systems for odor and sweat control and an optional bug netting. The Sterling has a cool eye-wear dock feature for those times when you want to remove your shades but not but them down. If you are looking to stand out, try this helmet in the Fluo color line for added visibility.

Giro Me2 Infant Bike Helmet - Best Toddler Bike Helmet

The Giro Me2 is a cute helmet for your youngest cyclist. It comes with a built-in visor and lower rear profile for added protection and a more secure fit. The Mini-Loc fit system allows you to get the best fit for your child. The microshell has a built-in bug net. The Me2 also features a pinch proof buckle to protect your child's delicate skin. The color and graphic options are fun and come in styles for boys and girls. The Me2 is a helmet that is tough to beat for your toddler and at $30 you get a great helmet for a great price.

Bell Zoomer Toddler Bike Helmet - Best Toddler Bike Helmet

The Bell Zoomer is a cute, functional helmet for your toddler. The extended rear profile offers added protection. The PinchGuard Buckle gives a no-pinch buckling system. The Zoomer has seven vents to keep your child's head cool. This helmet is one of the most budget friendly on the list.

Schwinn Classic Toddler Helmet - Best Toddler Bike Helmet

The Schwinn Classic offers an adjustable fit. It has a lower profile construction for added protection. The Classic has a built in visor to shield your child from the sun. This helmet is another option for someone looking for a simple, no frills, helmet that is budget friendly and will protect your child's head.

Nutcase Little Nutty Kids Bike Helmet - Best Kids Bike Helmet

Nutcase makes the coolest helmets on the market for kids and adults. The Little Nutty complies with safety standards for kids 5 and older. It comes with a spin dial fit system that is very user friendly. The magnetic buckle gives it an anti-pinch design feature that will save your child's chin from the inevitable pinched skin from a standard buckle. Looking for a variety of styles, Nutcase has you covered. Designs for girls, boys, and kids who just think it is fun to have a helmet with a Glo-Brain on top.

Bell Fraction Youth Multi-Sport Helmet - Best Kids Bike Helmet

The Bell Fraction is both bicycle and skate safety certified. If you have a child that goes from the skate park to the bicycle, this may be a great choice. This helmet will transition nicely between the two sports. It has classic BMX styling and comes in a variety of colors. The Fraction is available in 3 sizes.

Giro Kid's Rascal Bike Helmet - Best Kids Bike Helmet

The Giro Rascal has a safety feature not found on the other choices on the list, an integrated, rear, LED tail light. You can switch it on for added visibility. The One-Step fit system allows you to easily fit the helmet to your child. A pinch-free buckle and bug netting add to the appeal of this helmet. The in-mold construction cuts back on the weight of the helmet. The cool graphics may have your kid asking where the helmet is next time they want to ride.

Troy Lee D2 BMX Bike Helmet - Best BMX Bike Helmet

The Troy Lee D2 is another full face option for aggressive riders. The D2 meets downhill safety standards. It is a great helmet for BMX, downhill, and other action sports. The large eye port easily accomodates most any goggles. The adjustable visor allows you to find the perfect placement.

Kali Protectives Avatar 2 Spinal Bike Helmet - Best BMX Bike Helmet

What is in a name? With a name like Kali Protectives, you know what you are getting — protection. The Avatar 2 carbon was designed with motorcycle safety technology in mind. The low density EPS foam is designed for greater impact absorption. The Avatar 2 has an integrated air flow system to keep you cool and removable, washable pads and liner. It is available in five sizes and four graphics choices. This is another full face helmet for you to check out before you buy.

Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet - Best BMX Bike Helmet

The Giro Hex is an open face helmet for aggressive trail riding and BMX riders that don't want a full face helmet. It is durable, and has an in-mold construction. It has a 15 degree adjustability in the visor. Extreme fit adjustments with the Roc Loc 5 with micro-adjustments as well as front and back adjustments. It is a comfortable option with great ventilation for keeping your head cool while you're out on the trail. If you are looking for a quality open face helmet, add the Hex to your short list.

Bell Drop Bike Helmet - Best BMX Bike Helmet

The Bell Drop is a full face helmet with moto-style and performance. This helmet is safety certified for two standards, CPSC and downhill. The easily adjustable visor was designed for Bell moto-cross helmets. The liner pads are removable. The Drop is constructed with a fiberglass shell. It is a great option for the rider who wants a full face helmet without breaking the bank.

Giro Remedy FF Mountain Bike Helmet - Best Mountain Bike Helmet

The Giro Remedy is another great full face option for the freerider, mountain biker, downhiller, and more. The Remedy has a lightweight fiberglass shell and a washable interior liner for the mud runs and the sweat of the long rides. The Remedy features a no-tool adjustable visor and wind tunnel ventilation. The liner and cheek pads are replaceable. The Remedy comes in some amazing graphic designs and colors, something for everyone.

SixSixOne Recon Stealth Helmet - Best Mountain Bike Helmet

The 661 Recon has a poly-carbonate in-mold shell and extended rear profiling. The internal channeling with 18 intake/exhast vents will keep your head cool. This is not a full face helmet but is built to protect your head for your less aggressive rides. Gives the rider a secure fit with a customizable fit system. If you are on a tight budget but still want a helmet that performs, check out the Recon.

Bell Faction Multi-Sport Helmet - Best Mountain Bike Helmet

Are you looking for the classic skate style helmet? Bell Faction offers a variety of colors and designs in classic style and at a price that fits most any budget. The Faction is a great helmet for the rider who is just starting out on the trails and isn't into the aggressive scene just yet. This helmet transitions nicely from trail to commute. It has an ABS hard shell construction with dual density EPS foam. A great beginner helmet.

Buyer's Guide

Best Road Bike Seats 2021 Buying Guide

You can have the best road bike in the world but it would still not be comfortable enough if you don’t have the right bike seat for yourself. A seat is an important component of any bike, as it determines the level of comfort that you can expect while riding your bike. An uncomfortable bike seat would ruin your bike riding experience and you certainly do not want that.

Bike seats come in various types, designs, and options. Different bike seats suit different body types, body weights and heights, which is why it’s really important to understand how to find the right bike seat for yourself. While choosing the best road bike seat might not be as easy as you think it is, this guide lays everything out clearly for you to be able to understand and choose one of the best road bike seats in 2021.

Which is the Best Cushioning that You Can Get for Your Road Bike Seat?

Cushioning is one of the most important things that you need to consider while looking for the best road bike seat. The cushioning is responsible for providing you with a comfortable riding experience and appropriate cushioning will ensure that you do not get tired even while travelling for longer distances. There are multiple variations that you can opt for while selecting a cushioning for your road bike seat and you can choose the one that suits you the best.

Zero Cushioning

Some people prefer absolutely no cushioning at all, which means that it’s just the frame of the saddle and a cover made of leather/cotton over it. Riders claim that new saddles without any sort of cushioning are likely to adjust according to the shape of the body over time, which makes them more comfortable to ride. Moreover, bike seats with no cushioning also tend to stay relatively cooler and would make you sweat less. While this type of saddle might not work for everyone, it comes down to personal preferences and subjective comfort.

Foam

Foam is one of the most popular types of cushioning that you can get for your road bike seat. It is quite comfortable due to the adjustable nature of the material, which also provides a lot of support while riding the bike. Foam is also preferred for longer distances as it is sturdier and its shape does not get compromised that easily.

Gel

Gel cushioning is also quite popular due to the sort of comfort that it offers. It’s arguably the most comfortable cushioning that you can opt for, given the nature of gel. While gel is more likely to lose its firmness, it is preferred for shorter rides.

Bike Seat Pad

A bike seat pad is an additional layer of padding or cushioning that you can place over the seat if you believe that the existing cushioning is not working out for you. While a bike seat pad does allow you to add or remove the additional layer whenever you want to, it is also important to consider that a bike seat pad would not be stable enough as there would be nothing to firmly hold it in place.

Which is the Best Road Bike Seat Cover Material?

Another one of the most important components of a bike seat is the seat cover. The cover is the surface that is going to come into contact with your body, hence it is important to understand which material would be the most suitable for you. While each material has its own pros and cons, the choice depends on your preferences, requirements, and needs.

Leather Cover

Leather is a commonly-used material for road bike seat covers. As discussed above, leather is often used for seats that use no cushioning, as leather is capable of adjusting according to the rider, making it comfortable to ride. Leather is also sometimes preferred due to the look and feel that it provides.

On the other hand, leather lacks water resistance/proofing capabilities, which means that it can get damaged due to moisture if not cared for properly. Leather would also not be the most suitable material if sweat is something that bothers you during road riding.

Cotton Cover

Cotton is another material that is often used for road bike seat covers. Cotton is more stretchable and relatively more comfortable compared to leather. It also adjusts according to the rider’s weight and height quicker than leather does, which is why some people prefer cotton over other materials.

Synthetic Material Cover

Synthetic is one of the most popular materials that are used to make bike seat covers. It is easy to produce, lightweight, and easy to maintain, making it the go-to choice for a lot of riders.

Which is the Best Road Bike Seat Rails Material?

Road bike seat rails are amongst the most important things that you need to consider while purchasing the best road bike seats. These rails can be made of several materials and you can choose the one that suits your requirements.

Carbon is one of the best materials that you can opt for due to its lightweight and better shock absorbing capabilities; however, carbon is usually expensive and would not be feasible for all price ranges.

Alloy is one of the most popular options that are used to make bike seat rails, followed by steel and titanium. While steel is quite strong, it is also very heavy at the same time, which is why people prefer alloy over it. Titanium is quite suitable for the best road bike seat rails but it is also very expensive.

Are Non-slip road bike seats worth it?


Some people find bike seats really slippery, which makes it difficult for them to ride, especially over longer distances. If you do not have a good grip over your saddle, you will not be able to ride comfortably and it might also become dangerous if it gets too slippery.

Consequently, you can opt for non-slip bike saddles that come with some sort of gripping mechanism to make it less slippery and easier to grip. Non-slip bike saddles are quite easy to find. All you need to do is look for what you want, try it out, and you’re good to go.

FAQs

Does more cushioning mean more comfort?


Not necessarily. Excessive padding can also make your ride unformattable, which is why you need to find the right type and amount of cushioning for the best road bike saddles.

What is the difference between Men’s and Women’s Road Bike Seats?


While most saddles are unisex, some of them are designed specifically to suit a specific gender. In our opinion, gendered saddles aren’t exactly perfect for you, as there are a large number of different body types, weights, and heights that fall under a single gender, which is why it’s better to try it out and choose the one that is comfortable enough.

Do the best road bike saddles come in different sizes?

The width of a road bike seat is important and you should certainly consider it while buying one. The seat should be wide enough to provide sufficient support to your body, otherwise your ride would become uncomfortable.

bestcovery team.jpg
Our research team searches out the best of everything so that you can confidently pick the perfect products and services for your needs.
RELATED CONTENT
Go to top