We probably don’t need to sell you on the benefits of biking. It’s great for regular exercise, commuting, exploring a new place… As we write this, we’re casually planning our weekly bike ride to the farmers’ market. There’s a certain freedom and excitement that comes with getting around on a bike.
If the latest import stats are any indication, bicycles are truly having a moment. According to the Department of Commerce, bike imports were up 49% in January and 37% within the last year. It’s clear that 2020 was The Great Bike Boom.
Whether or not you’ve recently gotten into biking, mountain biking, or road cycling, we’re glad you’re here and have chosen to see the world on wheels. With riding comes responsibility and safety, too. That’s where the bike helmet gets its moment to shine. Wearing a helmet helps keep your noggin’ safe against bike-related accidents that could cause brain injuries. Protect yourself from scrapes, bruises, concussions, and more with the right kind of women’s bike helmet for your riding needs. We dish on all the details — and more — below.
Truth be told, most bicycle helmets, road bike helmets, and mountain bike helmets are built for all types of riders, meaning the styles can be worn by anyone. There are, however, some considerations to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a women’s bike helmet. Think colors, safety features, size, weight, etc.
Of course, one quick Amazon search will deliver hundreds of results from brands like Bern to Bontrager and Giro to POC. It can feel overwhelming, so let’s break down a few categories to help inform your search.
If your helmet isn’t comfortable, you’re not going to wear it. That’s a no-brainer. Comfort can mean different things to different riders. In our experience designing and testing bike helmets, we’ve learned a few notable “shoulds” when it comes to a comfortable fit.
A helmet should...
Speaking of fit, adult bike and cycling helmets generally come in sizes small, medium, and large. Each size has a numerical size range associated with it. You’ll want to measure your head circumference to see which range you fall between. Follow these three simple steps to do just that:
If you’re in between sizes, we recommend sizing down. This is especially true for helmets that feature a super handy fit system that allows you to adjust the snugness or looseness of a helmet while you wear it. Women tend to have smaller head circumferences than men, so it’s important to measure for more precise sizing. One popular brand dubbed their retention system the Roc Loc.
PHOTO COURTESY OF: @theordinarypursuit
We know that design is super subjective. It also depends on the type of riding that you do. If you’re a cyclist, you’ll want to look for styles that are lightweight and aerodynamic so as to not add extra weight to the journey. Bike commuters have places to be and people to see, so a lightweight helmet with safety features such as lights and practical features such as air vents will keep riders safe and cool. Casual cruisers gravitate toward what we call the skateboard (or bucket) style for its fashionable functionality.
Regardless of where you fall on the rider spectrum, your bike helmet is likely going to be constructed of two core materials: expanded polystyrene and a polycarbonate shell. EPS foam is crushable and what’s used for the inner lining. The hard outer shell is fused onto the lining and takes the brunt of a fall, should you have an accidental spill.
Today’s brands are becoming more creative and thoughtful with how they enhance that outer shell. Color comes to mind as one of the most fun helmet style decisions. Like the little black dress or a basic black coat, a black biking helmet is classic and versatile and matches everything. Commuter helmets have seen fluorescent color upgrades with hues ranging from bright white to highlighter yellow to help riders stand out among traffic or in the dark. It’s been encouraging to see expanded colorways from pink and blue to silver and gold for those who want to make a statement while wearing their head gear.
We’ve also seen a number of helmet designs that feature visors. A visor is going to help keep the sun out of your eyes and increase your field of vision. There are generally two styles: the removable visor that snaps or clips on and off and the built-in low-profile option that’s part of the shell mold.
And finally, the chin strap. You might not consider this a big-deal design consideration, but it could be. Most chin straps are made out of nylon (a synthetic) or polypropylene (a plastic compound). An alternative option is microfiber, sweat-free vegan leather straps that help with moisture wicking while you ride. Most straps come with a snap buckle or magnetic buckle. It’s a personal choice, but magnetic generally offers quick and easy open/close without the potential for pinching fingers (a plus in our book).
PHOTO COURTESY OF: @melda_houseno23
All helmets sold and manufactured in the U.S. need to pass certain safety standards developed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Each one that passes this certification will come with a CPSC label. You might notice that some helmets are also dual certified for sports like skateboarding, mountain biking (mtb), and roller skating. A multi-sport helmet is ideal if you’re planning to wear it while participating in these other activities.
Another term that you might see floating around in product descriptions is “MIPS helmet”. MIPS stands for multi-directional impact protection system and was developed in 2001 by members of the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. It came about after studies and researchers found that people involved in bike accidents were more likely to fall at an angle. This inspired developers to engineer a new type of protection against the rotational forces that are known to transmit harmful impacts to the brain. Daily riders and commuters may opt for MIPS technology since they’re up against more obstacles on a regular basis.
If you want to take safety to the next level, the new ANGi sensor by Specialized turns nearly any cycling helmet into a crash detector and safety beacon.
Want to complement your bike helmet? Accessorize! Let other riders and pedestrians know you’re coming by attaching a bike bell to the handlebar. It’s a dainty sound that makes an impact and helps keep everyone safe on the road or bike path. Riding a bike can also be hard on the hands. Keep calluses away by wearing bike gloves that offer breathable cushioning and grip. And last, but certainly not least, the right bike bag can make a big difference. From backpacks to panniers, there’s a style for every type of rider.
PHOTO COURTESY OF: @lifeoflaurentaylor
Wearing a bike helmet could save your life. Whether you’re new to biking or a longtime enthusiast, there’s a helmet for every type of rider. Today’s helmets are generally unisex in style. That said, there are a few considerations to keep in mind when you’re shopping for a women’s bike helmet, including fit, safety features, and weight.
Most helmets offer a range of sizes, including small, medium, and large. It’s best to measure the circumference of your head to understand which size you should choose. Many of today’s helmets offer an adjustable fit system to further dial in the perfect fit. Remember, all helmets in the U.S. must meet certain CPSC requirements. This guarantees that no matter which helmet you buy, it’s tested and approved. When choosing a bike helmet, you can go the classic black route or the statement-making colorful route. This one’s a personal choice, and many brands are catering to riders who want to sport a pop of color. Above all, keep in mind our “shoulds” for comfort (hint: lightweight, breathable, and snug).
Ready to ride off into the sunset? Outfit your noggin’ in a safe and stylish Thousand bike helmet.