In some places (including the UK), it’s not the law to don a helmet while cycling, but if you think you’d feel safer wearing one, don’t ever feel as if you’ve been priced out of them.
Plenty of bike helmets are just as reliable at affordable prices; in the UK, for instance, they all have to meet European standards in terms of absorption, ventilation, adjustment and comfort.
We’ve picked out three contenders for the best bike helmet on a budget, as well as addressing some cycling headwear FAQs to give extra peace of mind.
So, if you’re looking for the best bike helmet under £100, or even the best cycling helmet under £50, we’ve picked out three you may be keen on:
Budget Commuter Cycling Helmets
Of course, if you’re a commuter, you may be looking more for a simple road bike helmet, as you safely ride from A to B in your urban town or city with no frills and minimum fuss.
But if you have a less conventional route to work, don’t discount sturdier helmets more attuned to mountain bikes. These are designed to fit tighter on your head and offer more breathability than road bike helmets, even if they can feel a bit stuffier.
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Top 3: Cheap Cycling Helmets under £50
Best Bike Commuter Helmet under £50
A lightweight, easily-adjustable, reliable helmet
- Fitted with MIPS technology
- Sturdy outer shell
- Absorbs sweat to help maintain comfort
Kicking us off is this model from Giro, arguably the best cycle helmet under £50, which boasts a lightweight yet tough outer shell and sweat-absorbent pads for great, long-lasting comfort.
It’s available in three sizes (S/M/L), but its Roc Loc Vert dial-fit system also enables you to adjust it for your perfect fit.
Plus, it’s fitted with ‘Multi-directional Impact Protection System’ (MIPS) technology, meaning the chances of sustaining a serious brain injury are greatly reduced with this on your head.
- Polyurethane Bumper helps to protect EPS Liner
- ABS Shell with EPS Liner
- Fit Kit Padding Fit System
Best Cycling Helmet under £20
Best cheap bike helmet for all age groups
- Adjustable, secure chin strap
- Suitable for children or adults
- 12 breathable air vents
For something a little more universal, this Mongoose helmet’s fitting size between 56-59cm makes it a good cheap bike helmet for children aged eight or older, and adults, too.
Whether in black or its lush white design, its durable outer shell absorbs impacts from collision to alleviate the risk of head injuries, while its secure chin strap can be adjusted to suit your own needs in this regard.
What’s more, its 12 air vents allow for great breathability, so if you’re slightly more on the intrepid side when it comes to cycling, this could be the budget helmet for you.
- Skate, scoot & ride in SAFETY with the Mongoose Urban helmet for use with BMX, skateboards, stunt scooters or roller skates
- Fitting size between 56-59cm means this helmet is suitable for both youth's aged 8+ and adult's alike
- TOUGH outer shell absorbs impacts to help reduce risk of head injuries
Best Budget Bike Helmet with Rear Light
Best affordable bike helmet with a bit of everything
- Dial-fit system for perfect fit
- 12 air vents for maximum ventilation
- Rechargeable taillight with three different settings
Last but not least, this cheap bicycle helmet from Exclusky has a little bit of everything; not least vibrant designs, with six different colours to choose from.
Its ‘In-Mold’ design absorbs impact forces from collisions, mainly through its multi-density EPS foam, while its abrasion-resistant PC outer shell is built to last even in the event of a crash.
There’s also a built-in, USB-rechargeable warning taillight thrown in, with rotating, flashing or stable light settings which you can flick through easily with just a single press of a button.
That’s not all – again, this helmet boasts 12 air vents for quality breathability, keeping your head nice and cool, while its dial-fit system can be adjusted to fit adult head sizes of between 56-61cm.
- Safety and Protection: This bicycle helmet is IN-MOLD technique utilized, Impact forces are absorbed mainly by Multi-Density EPS foam to reduce Impact harms maximumly to head, While Abrasion resistant...
- USB Rechargeable Taillight: With built-in USB rechargeable warning light, Your night cycling is more safe. Rotating/Flashing/Stable lighting modes converted easily by 1 press-button, Each model offers...
- Optimal Ventilation: According to shape and performance required of this road helmet,12 air vents and air flow inside designed to regulate the airflow to keep temperature cool, you then experience all...
How to measure head for a bike helmet?
The size of bike helmet you buy depends on head’s circumference. To work this out, wrap a tape measure around the largest area of your head, or wrap a piece of string around your head, then measure its length afterwards. As a general rule:
- Extra small: less than 20″ (51cm)
- Small: 20″– 21.75″ (51cm – 55cm)
- Medium: 21.75″– 23.25″ (55cm – 59cm)
- Large: 23.25″– 24.75″ (59cm – 63cm)
- Extra large: more than 24.75″ (63cm)
How do you wear a bike helmet?
Always try one on first. But after buying, the helmet’s side straps should meet just beneath your earlobes, and the chin strap should be tight, if not too tight. If not, adjust them accordingly.
To test how tight your helmet is, try pushing it forward and back. If you can move it more than an inch forward, tighten the side straps. If it can slide backward, tighten the straps in front of your ears.
How often should I replace my bike helmet?
Certainly after any collision while wearing one; don’t take chances with a helmet that’s taken a good whacking.
But even if you never crash, helmets will naturally succumb to wear and tear, so a new piece of headgear every three years or so (depending on usage, of course) seems sensible.