So, what are the best bike helmets under 100? Let's find out.
Helmets. I think you should wear one every time you go out on your bike. However, there are lots to choose from, making it difficult when it comes to purchasing.
You'll need to take a few considerations into account to make sure that you get the right helmet for you. I've covered everything in detail right here.
If you're in a rush go for the Kask Rapido. It's the lightest here, can be fitted perfectly to the riders head and looks great.
Product Comparison Table
The first consideration for most people buying a helmet is likely going to be how much they spend. Not everybody can afford a high-end model, and not everybody wants to buy a high-end model.
The good news is that spending less on a helmet doesn't mean that it's going to be less safe or that it won't protect you in the event of an accident.
This is not surprising, given that almost every country in the world has minimum safety standards that companies have to meet before their helmets go to market.
So, if spending more money gives you no more protection, what does it buy you?
Comfort And Fit
One of the main things you'll get when spending more money is a much better fit. If your helmet fit's you incorrectly, it's unlikely to do its job properly if you happen to have an accident.
Checking that your helmet fits properly is something I'd recommend you do at your Local Bike Store [LBS].
If you're unable to check at your LBS, you can simply measure the circumference of your head, and go by the manufacturer's measurements on the inside of their helmets. It won't be as accurate, but it's a close substitute.
Of course, there are more elements to a good fit than having the correct circumference size. The first of those, is the straps. More money will buy you straps that fit snugly underneath your chin and around your ears with a much better material.
More effort will go into the design of the internal padding around the front of the helmet, which will often be moisture wicking as well. Moisture wicking is ideal for hot days when you're exercising hard.
You'll also find that the more money you spend, the more ventilation your helmet has. Ventilation is another ideal addition on days when you're working hard and want to keep your head cool.
A relatively recent addition to many modern helmets is the retention system you find at the back of them. It makes a big difference as you're able to get a snug fit.
It's often possible to have it so snug that you're able to put your head upside down without the helmet straps fastened, and have the helmet remain in place.
Along with the tightness aspect of the retention system, a lot of manufacturers will offer height adjustability to take into account the different shapes of people's heads.
Finally for comfort and fit is weight. If you spend more on a helmet, you'll get something that's lighter. At around $40-50 you'll get a helmet that weighs roughly 320g, but at $80-100 the helmets will weigh about 240-280g.
So, the weight difference is 40-80g, which is unlikely to make a significant impact to your performance. However, it will feel far more comfortable to wear every day when you're out riding.
How To Fit A Helmet
To learn how to fit and adjust a cycle helmet correctly, watch the excellent video below by the GCN.
Manufacturers nowadays are starting to invest a lot in making their road helmets more aerodynamic. The more expensive a helmet is, the more aerodynamic it's likely to be.
Spending a bit more money will generally get you a helmet that's better looking, but that's not always the case. If you're personally someone that likes a model that's not as expensive as others. Then it's a win-win for you. You can spend less and still look good!
What Type Of Rider Are You?
You'll also need to ask yourself what kind of riding you do and the types of conditions you do it in.
If you ride in the cold and wet conditions most of the year, it will make sense to get a helmet that keeps your head warm without too many vents.
In contrast, if you live in a hot country, you'll want a helmet that's going to let in plenty of air and keep your head cool.
If you do lots of commuting, riding on busy roads or at night, you'll want to get something that's highly visible. You'll want to think about the color, how many reflective strips there are, or even take a look at helmets that have an integrated light on the back.
If you like to ride fast, you'll want to make sure that you pay attention to aerodynamics. Believe it or not an aero helmet can make more difference than aero wheels or an aero frame.
It's worth noting that the more vented a helmet is, the less aerodynamic it will be.
Finally, you should check out the companies position on crash damage replacement. Quite a few companies on out there will offer a substantial discount if you have happened to receive an impact on your old one.
If you do receive an impact on your helmet, you should replace it, even if you can't see any superficial damage. Read this guide for more advice on when you should replace it.
So, if you're looking to buy a brand new bike helmet make sure that it meets safety standards, is a good fit, is comfortable, suits your style and the conditions you ride in, and is affordable.
Lastly, make sure that you check the companies crash replacement policy in case you were to have an accident.
Now we've gone over what you need to look for. Let's take a look at the top three helmets available right now.
Review Of The Top 3
Lazer Blade Road Bike Helmet
Lazer's Blade Helmet may be an entry-level model in Lazer's range.
But it's excellent venting, light weight, good looks and innovating cradle make it one of the best value helmets around.
The straps are sturdy and have simple adjusters enabling you to position them so that they meet just under the ears. Standard plastic clips will lock the straps together.
The Blade has a total of 22 vents that do an excellent job of bringing air to the head and keeping it cool when the sun is out.
There are two large U-shaped vents on the front of the helmet which are especially efficient at cooling down the forehead.
The head cradle is securely fastened by Lazer’s top-mounted Advanced Rollsys System, which is adjusted at the crown of the helmet rather than at the back. The system is a one-fingered operated roller that tightens or loosens the helmet’s cradle by moving the connection along a length of threaded plastic.
This means that there are not the usual clicks that you hear of a ratchet-style retention system, and it gives you the option of a more personal fit.
The Blade is not a women’s specific design, but by placing the retention system at the top of the helmet, it has left the back of the helmet almost entirely clear. Having the rear clear means that it’s ideally suited for riders with ponytails.
While the design leaves plenty of space at the back, some riders may miss the feeling of security that a lower cradle gives.
The blade weighs in at 250g, so while that is by no means heavy, it is the heaviest in this review. So this is something to keep in mind if low-weight is high up on your list.
- Room at the back of the helmet for longer hair.
- Easy to use retention system that can be adjusted via the top of the helmet.
- The option of a more personal fit.
- Slightly heavier than other helmets in this review (although this shouldn't be a deciding factor).
- High retention can leave the back of the head feeling exposed.
Kask Rapido Road Bike Helmet
Kask is well known for their high-end helmets, which have been protecting Team Sky since their first grand tour.
Aside from their high-end range, Kask also does some excellent value lower-end helmets such as the Rapido.
Kask’s Rapido is the value option in the brand’s line-up, but this doesn’t mean compromise, it’s still got fantastic Italian styling and a comfortable fit. It's an excellent choice for those on a slightly tighter budget.
As with Lazer's Blade, the Rapido's straps are made of a sturdy material and will fit snugly around the ears and underneath the chin.
Ventilation is controlled by 24 large air vents that make this an ideal helmet for summer riding. Kask says that the vents are organised in a way to optimise aerodynamics. Although, if you want a truly aero helmet, you'd be better off looking at the much more expensive Protone Helmet.
The fit is arguably the most important thing with helmets. It’s something that's often compromised on lower value options, as they have simpler cradle systems. This is certainly not the case with the Kask Rapido.
The Rapido has Kask’s ‘Up N Down’ cradle system, which is implemented in a wide variety of their helmets. The innovative cradle can pivot vertically and horizontally, moulding to the riders head shape.
Similarly to Lazer’s blade cradle, it’s highly customisable, giving the rider an excellent user experience.
The Rapido weighs in at 224g, which is exceptionally light for a helmet in this price range. Although it shouldn't be a deciding factor, if you wanted the lightest helmet you could find, this would be it.
- It has 24 vents, which keeps your head cool when the training gets tough.
- Similarly to Lazer's Blade, the retention system is very customisable, giving the rider plenty of fits to choose from.
- Very light helmet for the price.
- A large number of vents are not great if you ride in conditions that are colder.
Cannondale: 2017 Cypher Bicycle Helmet
The Cypher is Cannonade’s flagship road bike helmet, and there’s no mystery as to what makes it such an exceptional choice.
It provides coverage that is far greater than industry standards, as well as giving a brilliant amount of ventilation, all while keeping aerodynamics in mind.
The straps are anchored directly into the helmet a the front, which creates a clean look as well as stabilising them.
They’re fastened by a pinch buckle so you can set the sizing and make sure that it fit’s tightly against the lower jaw.
The Cypher boasts an impressive 30 air vents, making it the most ventilated helmet in this review. If you're looking for a truly cool head, then this should be right at the top of your list!
Although more ventilation will often reduce the aerodynamics of a helmet, so you'll need to decide what is more important to you.
The retention system is made up of soft webbing that’s well padded with foam so that it doesn’t catch or pull on your hair.
You can adjust the system through a standard lock dial that easily expands or contracts to set the fit. So, although this is good, it’s not quite as effective as the Blade where you can set the system anywhere you want along the plastic line.
Similarly to the Rapido, you can adjust the angle of the back retention system so that it alters the way in which is contacts the back of the head. This flexibility is great if you have a ponytail or a different shaped head to others.
Although the helmet is well ventilated, it's still not the lightest. Lazer's Blade takes the top spot concerning that. However, there's only 10g in it, so the difference is marginal.
- With 30 air vents is the most ventilated helmet in this review. Perfect for hot days.
- The retention system can be altered to rest on the back of the head in three different ways.
- Retention system is made up of soft padding for added comfort.
- Not as light as the Rapido
- Lots of ventilation is great for hotter days but not if you spend the majority of your time cycling in colder climates.
And The Winner Is...
For the price, it's incredibly difficult to fault this helmet. It's the lightest here, can be fitted perfectly to the riders head and looks great. If you're searching for a helmet that has the feel of a higher end model, with a significantly lower price tag,
this is the one to go for.