There are several things to keep in mind when choosing an e-bike helmet to keep you injury-free. Don’t rush to grab the most stylish-looking helmet off the shelf, there are some important considerations to bear in mind to ensure that the helmet you choose will keep your head safe and is comfortable to wear.
These helmets are focused more on casual, commuter riders, as opposed to serious road cyclists. You will commonly hear them described as “urban” or “commuter” helmets. They are focused on being comfortable, well-ventilated, and stylish rather than being highly aerodynamic.
After considering many different helmets, I decided to buy the Schwinn Thrasher Bike Helmet (link to check the price on Amazon) for regular, everyday e-bike riding. In my opinion, it’s a great balance of price and quality. It has many of the features of the high-end helmets with 20 vents, exceeds some safety standards, and it looks great. I’m really happy with it, and it’s suitable for ladies and kids too.
A very important takeaway from all of this research is that I strongly encourage you to not purchase a sub-$30 (roughly) bike helmet. I examined multiple cheap helmets trying to save money and they just aren’t very good. Some cheap helmets don’t have enough quality ventilation to keep cool while riding. Cheaper helmets usually aren’t as protective and use a thinner outer shell that will wear more quickly.
What Features to look for in an E-bike Helmet
Obviously, you’ll want a helmet that meets or exceeds the most common safety standards, but what other factors should you look for?
Here are some things to consider:
- Parts availability. Choose a helmet from a major manufacturer so that you can easily order new pad inserts or need a new strap or rear light fitting.
- Comfort. Pick a helmet that feels good when you test it, and doesn’t weigh a ton. If it feels like the size or shape might give you a headache in the store when you wear it for 5 minutes, what about when you wear it for a 5-hour ride?
- Total weight of the helmet. Some helmets feel really solid and have very thick padding, but they are much heavier, which will make you tired and strain your neck when riding.
- Ventilation. This is vital. You won’t want to ride in the middle of the summer if you don’t have great ventilation on your helmet. Make sure there are adequate ventilation holes.
- Graphics, styling and color. Get a helmet you’ll like the look of. Even more so if you are buying the helmet for your kids. The color and graphics won’t protect you in a crash, but you may find yourself replacing it in a year if you don’t like the look of the helmet.
- Price. I recommend not buying the cheap under $50 bike helmets because I simply haven’t found one that I consider to be well made, but you don’t have to spend $300 either unless you want to have an ultra-high-performance racing helmet.
Top E-Bike Helmets and Brands to Consider
- Abus – this German manufacturer of safety and security products has a range of bike helmets for road bikes, commuters and kids. The Abus Pedelec 2.0 is a nice option.
- Smith Optics Signal. A lightweight option
- Thousand Heritage Bike Helmet. A stylish, retro-looking option.
- Torch T2. A great option for riding at night, with lots of built in LEDs for all-round visibility.
- Giro Sutton MIPS Adult Urban Cycling Helmet. Highly adjustable and comfortable.
- POC Omne Air Spin Bike. Uses a proprietary technology called Spin, an alternative to MIPS. It’s highly comfortable, low profile, and comes in highly visible colors.
- Lazer Next+ MIPS LED Urban Helmet
- Bern: Hudson helmet
Safety Standards for Bike Helmets
In the US, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standard is a legal requirement for all helmets manufactured for the US market. It was introduced in 1999 and is mandatory for all helmets manufactured for sale in the U.S. after 1999.
In the EU, directive EN 1078, entitled Helmets for pedal cyclists and for users of skateboards and roller skates, is a European standard published in 1997. It is the basis of the identical British Standard BS EN 1078:1997. Source.
Recent Improvements to Bike Helmet Technology
- Double layer outer shell
- Design that extends over the temple and back of the neck
- Integrated LED tail light
- MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) a newer brain protection system for helmets, that can protect your brain from injury in the event of a crash.
Fitment and Maintenance
When selecting the right e-bike helmet it’s important that it fits properly and feels comfortable on your head, as everyone’s head is a slightly different size and shape. Try to test a few models, as the most comfortable helmet might not be the most expensive one. If your helmet isn’t comfortable, you won’t be inclined to wear it- not a good idea!
Once you’ve got it on with the straps fastened under your chin, adjust the reat adjustment wheel (common on many newer helmets) so that the helmet sits snugly, and doesn’t wiggle around loosely. Try lifting the rear of the helmet in an effort to roll it off your head in a forward direction – you should not be able to do this!
Bike helmets generally last a long time, but bike helmets should be replaced if they were in a hard crash or a certain amount of time goes by and they expire.
Try to test several models before you buy if at all possible for the reasons above.