Best Value Mens’ Cycling Helmet for the UK 2019
Broken arms and legs can heal, and a scrape or two will only add street-cred to you as a dedicated cyclist, but take a hard enough knock on an unprotected skull and you could be in for a life-changing experience.
Not all helmets are created equal, and not everyone is able to throw money at cycling equipment, even something as important as a helmet.
To help you find the right one for your budget, we’ve reviewed a range of safe and styling helmets, suited to road cycling in the UK.
What to Consider when Buying a Helmet
This is about two factors: the size of the helmet and the padding inside it.
In order to get the right size, measure around your head about 2.5cm over your eyebrows, as level as you can. Try it a few times to make sure you are as accurate as possible.
The fit of the padding is largely up to personal choice. Make sure it is thick and ample enough to be comfortable, but limited enough to allow free flow of air while riding.
For most of us, shaving a few tenths of a second off of a multi-mile ride isn’t going to warrant much sacrifice to comfort, or to the bank account.
But, if you are a fan of cycling and want to look the part too, then buying a helmet designed for time trials or professional racers might appeal. If not, then look for something that’s comfortable, fits well when secured to your head, and looks good to you.
Every helmet on the market today has some care taken to make it slip through the air without undue drag or noise, so you can buy any high-quality helmet with confidence.
Helmets come in a number of general categories:
- Aero Road
- Time Trial
- Mountain Bike
- Full Face
Many lines also include a ‘Kids,’ or ‘Youth’ range.
For the reviews below, we focused on Road helmets, with a few of them leaning toward Aero Road or Leisure, and one road/mountain crossover model.
Whether you’re an advanced rider, or a casual commuter, you should find what you’re looking for below.
The more vents your helmet has, the cooler it is likely to be. That comes at a slight expense, as there is less material there to protect your head from impact, but any helmet with a European standard sticker has been tested and shown to be effective.
The straps should be fully adjustable to fit below your chin and around your ears without pressing them painfully against your head. Clips or buckles should be solid, snap together firmly and smoothly, and the retention cradle (the part that goes around the back of your head, below the helmet shell itself) should be adjustable, and should fit flush against the lower rear portion of your skull, below the occipital bone.
The system as a whole should keep the helmet in a firm-but-comfortable, stable position on your head.
Most cyclists employ a number of strategies to stay visible to motorists and others who share the road with us. Whether you include a high visibility helmet or reflective helmet decoration to that defensive arsenal is up to you. There are several choices available, from active lights or reflective tape designs, to helmets entirely coated in high visibility colours.
Mens’ Bike Helmets Reviewed
AWE AeroLite Bicycle Helmet
This helmet by AWE is conidered ‘unisize,’ adjusting to fit from 58 to 61cm.
It is constructed of a moulded polycarbonate outer shell with a shock-absorbing foam inner core. The liner is dual-density. It fits well and is very comfortable while riding.
It boasts 24 air vents, including 9 in the rear, to allow the free flow of air in and out of the shell. It feels quite cool while riding and, though it is among the heavier helmets, it is comfortable and will suit most riders well.
The straps are fully adjustable, comfortable, and it has under-chin padding to allow a snugger fit without chafing. The padding can be removed and machine washed.
There are no high visibility reflective surfaces on this helmet.
The style is sleek and dynamic, and the design works well with the graphics – this helmet looks like it’s moving even when sitting on a table. It is a bit heavy, but fits well enough to hardly be noticed while riding.
Prowell F59 Cycle Helmet
The F59, by Prowell, is constructed of a dual-density shell that absorbs shock well and holds up to the regular bumps and bangs of cycling. The shell fits high on the head, leaving plenty of room around the ears. This feels like it increases the rider’s ability to keep track of the surroundings; there was no discernible decrease in visibility or the ability to hear.
The helmet has fewer vents than many of the others reviewed here, but they are of ample size and work along with the shallow design of the shell to allow as much ventilation to the scalp as possible.
The strap system includes excellent adjustability and a secure fit.
Each helmet had a reflective strip for increased visibility, and a SharkFin light comes with each purchase for the added protection of 360° visibility by motorists.
The style isn’t as sleek and fluid as some other designs, but the combination of the shallow shell and gaping vents results in an elegant balance between structure and airflow, yet somehow comes across as rugged and sporty. This is a very comfortable helmet, and with the versatility of the detachable visor, is a great buy.
Victgoal Cycle Bike Helmet
This retro-looking effort by Victgoal is constructed of a high-density, imported PC case. The usual hard shell with foam core and inner padding make for a comfortable fit and a secure feel.
Its 28 air vents are designed for maximum air flow, minimum drag, and even look good. The front vents are covered with a discrete, protective mesh to prevent larger insects or debris from entering through the front of the helmet.
The strap system is fully adjustable and it’s not difficult to find a comfortable, stable fit.
There is a reflector mounted on the rear of the helmet for added visibility, and the helmet is also available in high visibility yellow – though we think some of the other colour choices are too cool-looking to pass up.
Without the visor on, it is quite a plain-looking – dare I say boring? – design, but there is something about the addition of the visor that thrusts it into the realm of the retro. It becomes a thing of attitude-exuding beauty, especially in the predominantly black designs. It evokes the same feel as the old-style leather American football helmets – but with a modern edge. Strange, I know – but we love it.
C ORIGINALS Cycling Helmet
This helmet, by C Originals, is a ‘unisize’ design for 55-61cm head circumferences. It is constructed of an EPS-moulded exterior shell and foam core. It is extremely light and, though it might not take the same impact as a heavier helmet, it is up to European standards.
The vents are sufficient and all but the HI VIS YELLOW version include netting to keep the bugs out of the front vents (we have no idea why this is not included in the HI VIS model).
The straps are fully adjustable and comfortable. It was quick and easy to get a suitable fit.
Aside from the obvious benefit of the colour on the HI VIS model, each style comes with reflective stickers.
This helmet is a decent one, but doesn’t stand out with regard to styling and design. Nothing too terrible, but it looks more like a child’s helmet than an adult’s, and lacks the sleek profile or accessories that would make it appeal more to the mature rider.
AWEAir Cycling Helmet
The AWEAir, by AWE, is another ‘unisize’ helmet fitting head sizes from 58cm to 61cm. It is constructed of an In-Mould polycarbonate outer shell, with an EPS foam inner core and a comfortable, dual-density liner.
The straps are fully adjustable, and the chin strap includes a padded cushion that makes wearing it, even snugly, comfortable and secure-feeling, despite some extra sweating at contact points.
There are no extra visibility features on this helmet. That, and the black colour, make it look pretty good from a style point of view, but it does little to make you more visible to motorists.
This is not a low-profile helmet, especially when viewed from the front or rear. The safety standards are excellent, but that comes at the cost of a slight loss of sleek styling. We like the carbon-fibre print on the shell, but for a road bike this is lacking in that sleek, slippery look of outright speed. Perhaps better for a hybrid or mountain biking kit.
Prowell R6800 Road Bike Helmet
The R6800, by Prowell, is constructed of a hard outer shell and foam core for dual-density protection. It comes in two sizes, the Medium (adjusting to fit 55-61cm) and the large (59-65cm).
The venting system leaves something to be desired. Between the amount of solid surface on the outside shell, and the lack of aerodynamic flow within the helmet, it can get a bit hot for more advanced road riding. It would suit children or short-to-mid-range commuters well though.
The straps are fully adjustable and the helmet is quite comfortable.
There is a reflective strip included to increase visibility.
The style is light in both appearance and colour choice. It doesn’t have the look of a hard-core road bike, but then it doesn’t function as one either. It is a solid and reliable riding accessory and safety item – that looks well enough.
IREALIST Lightweight Cycling Helmet, £15.99
This lightweight helmet, by IREALIST, features high-grade PC and EPS construction, and is designed as a road-mountain hybrid helmet, but with minimal drag in mind.
The vents are small, but well-placed, and the lightness of the helmet helps to keep scalp sweat to a minimum. When on, it doesn’t feel much different than a regular baseball cap – plus the straps of course.
The straps are fully adjustable and include a sweat-absorbing chin pad that is machine washable.
There are no reflectors or reflective tape or stickers on this helmet, so the white elements of the graphics make up the only visibility-enhancing feature, and its efficacy depends of course on the rider’s environment – against a light background, the colour will be of little help.
The style is pleasing, especially with the optional visor attached. The wedge-shaped front edge rises to a peak at the rear, with horn-like aerodynamic features at the crown. Its styling is at home in a mountain biking context, or on the open road, so it’s a great helmet for the crossover rider who doesn’t want to buy two very specialised helmets and swap them up.
zacro Light Weight Cycle Helmet
Zacro offers this light-weight helmet in carbon-fibre print, constructed of moulded PVC and PC plastic, and EPS foam. It fits head measurements from 54cm to 62cm.
This helmet is well-vented, with 18 aerodynamically-designed holes and excellent flow during riding. The minimal interior padding is designed to facilitate airflow, but is well-placed and comfortable against the scalp.
The straps are fully adjustable and include a comfortable chin strap that can be removed and machine washed.
It comes with an expandable ‘multifunctional elastic wide band’ that is a bit gimmicky, but if you don’t already have something to pull over your face or neck for certain riding conditions, it could be a nice bonus.
There are no additional visibility features on this helmet, and the near-black appearance of the carbon fibre print does not reflect light to a safety-enhancing degree. There is room on the back to add a reflector to the foam base, if you want to, but there are no mounts or plastic surfaces to facilitate it.
The style is okay, but it seems to lean more on the ‘cool-factor’ delivered by the carbon fibre print than on the structure of the helmet itself. It has a fairly blunt front edge, and though it rises to a peak with the horn-like curves, they are not quite sharp enough to evoke a feeling of high-tech design or sleek aerodynamics. The interior design and outer print are the best features of this helmet.
Sport Direct Bicycle Helmet
This helmet by Sport Direct is a ‘unisize’ offering for heads measuring 58 to 61cm. It is a light-weight, moulded plastic and foam construction with carbon fibre print and black visor. At only 240g, it feels a lot like a baseball cap when worn, and you can almost forget you have it on, riding or stationary.
The 18 vents are well placed, especially the four gaping intake vents on the front and the air-scoop-style vents along the peak of the shell. The front vents have protective mesh over the openings as well. The helmet is cool and comfortable while riding.
The straps are fully adjustable and include a padded, machine-washable chinstrap.
We like the design on this helmet a lot – especially for an item that rings in at £12.99. The contrast between the visor and the large front vent holes draw the eye – and the airflow – up and over the top of the shell. The brightness of the carbon fibre print, against the dark recesses of the vents, evokes an almost steampunk feel, but without losing the sense of aerodynamics. It looks like it can take a hard hit – but is also light and cool. A great result by Sport Direct.
This one was a contender for first place, but for one flaw. Our only criticism is the high, black-foam section at the back; it cheapens the look. It would have been better with a contrasting plastic print, perhaps a black carbon fibre.
PedalPro Bike Helmet
This dynamic design by PedalPro is made of a hard plastic outer shell and foam core. At 252g, it is also lightweight and hardly feels like anything when worn.
It is ventilated by 22 aerodynamic vent holes, and air flow while riding is good. The padding is substantial, which makes the fit very comfortable, but can be a bit too much on very warm days. The padding is detachable and can be machine washed.
The straps are fully adjustable, and it was easy to get a good fit in a few moments of trial and error.
The helmet features adjustable red LED lights, including flash mode, for increased safety and visibility. They aren’t the most robust of lights, but if they are working when you receive the helmet, and barring any hard knocks on the road, they should be reliable enough to augment your other visibility features.
The overall look is a bang-on combination of colour and design, making the aerodynamics seem an incidental result of the artistic style. The colours are bright and fun – they almost look like candy! – and the print is a soft nod to carbon fibre, without attempting (and failing) to look exactly like it.
Amazon Mens’ Cycling Helmet BEST Sellers
- Free Sharkfin Light worth £5.49 with every helmet
- All our helmets meet CE EN1078 european safety/manufacturing standard. Prowell Helmets offer a unique range of Bicycle helmets with superior safety and style over many of our competitors at a very competitive price.
- The construction of the helmet better lends itself it to withstand multiple impacts which often occur in real-world cycle accidents, where cyclists may bounce or impact down and then slide into a roadside object or curb.
- All of our helmets come with a reflective strip for increased visibility. Replacement insect padding available on Amazon.
- Prowell Helmets are made from a "DUAL-DENSITY" structure which means that the outer shell of the helmet has a harder density to resist and distribute any impact to a wider area. The soft inner density then absorbs the shock energy.
- Safety Certification: CE EN1078
- Unisize - Adjustable To Fit 55cm - 61cm
- BUG NET - Front Nettings To Keep Insects Out - (EXCEPT HI VIS YELLOW)
- 3D Adjustable Rear Retention System - Rear Dial With Up, Down, Forward and Backward Adjustments
- Features EPS In Mold Technology + Mono PC Shell + BUG NET + 3D Rear Retention System + Efficient Cooling + Comfort Pads With Heat Sealed Edges + High Quality Chin Straps + Chin Protector + 4 Points Removable Visor + Reflective Stickers + Quick Release Buckle
- CE Certified, Tough and durable PVC & PC, EPS foam material -zacro cycle helmet helps absorbing impact and protect rider's head during crash
- light weight - 260g, the bike helmet will not cause any burden to the rider's head during cycling, With a fabric soft and comfortable headband, used as scarves, hats, head wear etc.
- Aerodynamic and ventilation design - 18 big ventilation holes allow air to go through the cycle helmet, helping to keep head cool
- Common dimension - the cycle helmet is suitable for 54-62cm head circumference with a rear dial adjustable strap and an adjustable chin strap
- Easy and quick detachable liner and visor - easy removable liner is convenient for cleaning, the visor will protect eyes from sun
- 【ADJUSTABLE SIZE FUNCTION】 Adult bike helmet with Dual Fit adjustable design, Easy-to-adjust webbing ensures a comfortable fit. Adjustable Size: 22-24 inch (57- 61 cm).
- 【VENTILATION 28 VENTS, LIGHT WEIGHT】 Bike helmet special aerodynamic design and breathable foam, Effectively reduce air resistance and reduce sweating. The bike helmet (0.56-0.58 lb) will not cause any burden to the rider's head during cycling.
- 【SAFETY PROTECTION】 High-density imported PC case with superior technology will surely improve safe performance. Bicycle helmet with durable hard shell, soft pad can absorb the pressure caused by external impact. Adult wear Bike Helmet will feel Safer and more comfortable, it will protect your head in all directions.
- 【SUNGLASSES FUNCTION AND SAFETY BACK LIGHT】Detachable Magnetic Goggles Visor Shield can be used as a sunglasses, Not only protect your face against wind and sand, But also block the strong ultraviolet light, UV400 protection. 3 Mode Safety Red Led Back light, more safer and Shine in Night Cycling, if you don't want to use the back light, it is very easy to take off.
- 【30 DAY MONEY BACK GUARANTEE】 All of our customers can return and get refunded in case the purchasing is not satisfied for any reason. You have no risk to try.
- 【Durable and Safety】:Made of EPS Material, sturdy and durable, can effectively reduce the impact of external forces and protect the head.
- 【Super Lightweight】:Lightweight integrally-molded EPS bicycle helmet, reduce the restraint on the head.Let you have a happy cycling experience.
- 【Removable visor】:With removable sun visor, if you don't need it,you can open or remove it.
- 【Comfortable and adjustable】:Rotary internal regulator adjusts the tightness of helmet.
- 【Good breathability and ventilation】:25 vents bring cool air in and flush warm air out, well-ventilated.