Helmets

Minimalist Bike Helmets: Top 7 Beautifully Simple Helmets

minimalistic bike helmets

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Picture this: you’re cycling down the street, the wind in your hair, the sun on your face – but wait, where’s your helmet? Oh, right, it’s that bulky, unflattering thing that makes you feel like a giant mushroom on wheels.

Too long have helmets been unstylish, cumbersome, and quite frankly uncomfortable. But did you know that you’ve got options? We’ve compiled a list of the top seven minimal bike helmets that look cool and protect what’s important. For each one, we’ve included our review and some of the interesting features and specs.

In fact, some of these helmets are so sleek you’ll barely even notice that you’re wearing them! And not just that, they’ll provide top-notch protection, too. So, whether you’ve already got a helmet and you’re looking for something less intrusive, or you’re not wearing a helmet on your bike (you should!), there’s something here to suit everyone.

Most Minimalistic Bike Helmets

  1. thousand heritage 2.0 helmet

    STYLISH AND SAFE

    Thousand Heritage 2.0

    Updated version of the Heritage with more ventilation, increased comfort, and tail headlight compatibility.

  2. poc ventral lite helmet

    EXTREME LIGHTWEIGHT

    POC Ventral Lite

    Bare-bone minimalist design with great structural integrity at an astonishing weight.

  3. abus hud y helmet

    CITY HELMET OF THE FUTURE

    ABUS HUD-Y

    Deep fit of MTB helmet meets sci-fi light styling to make a perfect city companion.

  4. specialized mode helmet

    SMOOTH OPERATOR

    Specialized Mode

    Elegant lines and hidden air vents that make a smooth finish.

  5. yakkay smart two helmet

    CUSTOMISABLE HELMET

    Yakkay Smart Two Helmet

    Round helmet base with customisable top and straps for endless style combinations.

  6. hovding 3 helmet

    AIRBAG HEAD PROTECTOR

    Hövding 3

    An airbag worn around your neck which inflates and protects your head before impact.

  7. bontrager charge wavecel commuter helmet

    FASHION-FORWARD

    Bontrager Charge Wavecel Commuter Helmet

    E-bike approved commuter helmet with a great fit and Wavecel technology.


Buying the Best Simple Helmet

A minimalistic bike helmet is characterised by several key factors that prioritise simplicity, lightweight design, streamlined aesthetics, comfort, and, most importantly, safety.

For our list, we prioritised a minimal aesthetic which doesn’t scream helmet. Instead, a good minimal helmet should blend in to your everyday outfit, perhaps even complementing it.

We’ve also favoured minimal helmet options that don’t have too many protruding features. Helmets with loads of vents are a no no when it comes to minimalism, with the exception of the POC Ventral Lite, which more than makes up for this with it’s drastic reduction in weight.

They should also be safe. Helmets with innovative safety features are always appreciated, as what’s more important in a helmet than head protection?


choosing a helmet

Things to Look For When Choosing A Simple Bike Helmet

Color 

Generally speaking, the most minimal bike helmet should be one color. While this isn’t a hard and fast rule, a helmet with more than one color or too flashy of a pattern will start to draw a lot of attention to itself for the wrong reasons.

To be considered minimal, at least aesthetically, helmets should have one principal color (or be black/white), not have too eccentric of a pattern, and usually have a matte finish rather than a glossy one. When it comes to minimalism, the best-looking bike helmet doesn’t have an overcomplicated color scheme.

Comfort 

Of course, there are more important things than looks when it comes to bike helmets. A minimal bike helmet absolutely has to be comfortable, both to wear and to transport.

It should be comfortable to wear, but also comfortable to be seen it. That’s to say, a good minimal helmet has adequate padding and support where needed, is also lightweight, but additionally shouldn’t have too many protruding parts.

The best minimal bike helmets are the ones that you truly forget that you’re wearing, and that you’re grateful you are when you need them.

Strap

Good minimal bike helmets should always have straps that can be adjusted for maximum comfort and security. They should be able to ensure a snug fit on your head without too much wiggle room.

The straps should also be made from durable and reliable materials that can withstand use, maintaining their integrity over time. It’s too often that helmets which prioritise protection have poorly constructed straps and are the first things to go.

The buckle should also be easy to use without looking at it. Whether that means a simple, efficient buckle or a magnetic one that simplifies the process and reduces the chance of pinching your skin.

Sunglasses

Whilst you’re protecting your head, avid cyclists know that you should also be protecting your eyes.

Sunglasses are as essential part of any keen cyclists gear, and the two things should marry well. Good sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement, they’re essential for blocking harmful UV rays and glare when on your bike.

When you buy a helmet, if possible, try it on before with your sunglasses. Make sure that the fit of the helmet accommodates the sunglasses and also, crucially, complements the look of them.

Size

The size of a bike helmet is absolutely crucial for both safety and fit. A properly sized helmet ensures both maximum protection and comfort while cycling.

If a helmet is too large, it might not provide adequate protection in the case of an accident. It can move around or even come off during impact, partially or fully exposing the riders head.

Proper sizing is essential. To determine the correct helmet size, it’s important to measure the circumference of your head using a flexible tape measure, measuring just above your eyebrows and ears. If you’re not sure how to do this, either look online for a tutorial, or go into your local bike shop and ask for assistance.

Safety Rating

A bicycle helmet is only as good as its safety rating. Do thorough research on the safety rating of your helmet before purchasing. Whilst it is tempting to buy increasingly minimalistic helmets, it’s no good if they’re not going to protect your head in the case of an accident.

You should also consider looking at independent analysis, such as that conducted by Virginia Tech, to determine how safe a helmet is. There are also certifications in both the USA and in Europe to determine how safe a helmet is. There doesn’t need to be a compromise for those who want top levels of safety in a minimalist bicycle helmet.


best minimalist bike helmets

Best Minimalist Bike Helmets

Brand
1Thousand Heritage 2.0
2POC Ventral Lite
3ABUS HUD-Y
4 Specialized Mode
5Yakkay Smart Two
6Hövding 3
7Bontrager Charge
Wavecel Commuter Helmet
best minimalist bike helmets

Top 7 Best Minimalist Bike Helmets

1. Thousand Heritage 2.0

thousand heritage 2 helmet
thousand heritage 2 helmet features
thousand heritage 2 helmet
  • UK Flag £81
  • US Flag $99
  • EU Flag €94

Prices are approximate

  • Safety Rating: CSPC, ASTM approved (suitable for cycling, roller skating, skateboarding)
  • Weight: 920g
  • Colours Available: 10, including: Carbon Black, Coastal Blue, Terra Cotta, Mint

Tail light compatibility

Low-profile visor

Good ventilation

The Heritage 2.0 from Thousand is the new and improved fan favourite model.

Boasting a classic silhouette inspired by the iconic helmets of the past, it has a smooth aerodynamic profile which is more or less consistently smooth across the helmet.

The new model comes with 7 air vents as well as 3 cooling channels, meaning you can keep a cool head, even on the longer rides.

It’s not just friendly to you, but to the environment too. With improved vegan leather straps, you’re not only buying a responsibly made product, but you’ll also stay comfy and sweat-free.

One of the best bits about this helmet is the Poplock feature, which allows you to lock your helmet by opening a concealed hole at the back.

With loads of colour options and safety ratings suitable for skaters and cyclists alike, it’s not wonder that it’s a crowd favourite.

Pros

  • German engineered magnetic buckle for one handed open/closure
  • Great colour options
  • Secret ‘Poplock’ opening to lock helmet to bike

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Most colour options still have a ‘trim’ colour
  • Noticeable branding

2. POC Ventral Lite

poc ventral lite helmet
poc ventral lite helmet sideview
poc ventral lite helmet in use
poc ventral lite helmet colours
  • UK Flag £235
  • US Flag $285
  • EU Flag €270

Prices are approximate

  • Safety Rating: EN1078
  • Weight: < 200g in a medium
  • Colours Available: 3: Uranian Black, Granite Grey, Uranium Black/Hydrogen White

Weights less than 200g

Great for road cyclists

Natural ventilation

The Ventral Lite from POC is a remarkable innovative lightweight helmet that strikes a great balance between weight reduction and uncompromising protection.

It’s a minimalist road bike helmet for those for value performance and meticulous engineering.

Weighing less than 200g, it’s one of the lightest helmets on the market. It features an EPS liner and in-mold PC shell, meaning it’s still protective despite it’s light weight. In fact, it has a safety standard EN1078.

It’s easily adjustable thanks to it’s 360° adjustment system that not only saves grams, but also ensures a secure and personalised fit for each rider.

There’s no denying that it doesn’t come cheap, and it’s futuristic aesthetic might not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re a road cyclist who values your safety and wants to get every second out of your performance, this is the helmet for you.

Pros

  • Extremely lightweight
  • Unmatched ventilation
  • Futuristic, minimal aesthetic

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Limited colour options

3. ABUS HUD-Y

abus hud y helmet
abus hud y helmet sideview
abus hud y helmet in use
abus hud y helmet colours
  • UK Flag £125
  • US Flag $150
  • EU Flag €142

Prices are approximate

  • Safety Rating: N/A
  • Weight: 330 g
  • Colours Available: 13, including: Metallic Copper, Moss Green and Velvet Black

Rechargable, colour changing rear light

Removable visor

Loads of colour choices

When it comes to minimalistic bike helmets, the ABUS HUD-Y is one of the safest.

The HUD-Y features a removable LED light which allows you to be seen. It’s got four settings, Power, Eco, Blink, or Pulse, and it’s easily and quickly charged by micro-usb. And, with a maximum luminosity of up to 9 lumens, it’s seriously bright.

The helmet is also breathable. The ActiCage reinforcement of the helmet structure, which is subsequently integrated into the EPS hard foam of the helmet, maintains large ventilation opening whilst adding layers of protection.

But it isn’t just safe, it’s also stylish. With 13 colours in 3 sizes to pick from, it’s easy to find a helmet that fits your head and suits your style.

It’s an excellent choice for a commuter who wants a modern-looking, minimal helmet with some great features.

Pros

  • Innovative light features are extremely useful
  • Magnetic buckle
  • Multi-position visor

Cons

  • Not cheap
  • Battery life could be better

4. Specialized Mode

specialized mode helmet
specialized mode helmet in use
specialized mode helmet sideview
specialized mode helmet diff colours
  • UK Flag £100
  • US Flag $120
  • EU Flag €115

Prices are approximate

  • Safety Rating: 5 Star Virginia Tech rating, Dutch e-bike Standard NTA8776 certified
  • Weight: 422g
  • Colours Available: 4 matte colours, including: White Sage, Black, White Mountains, Moss Green

Super-minimal aesthetic

Great safety ratings

Reasonable weight

The next on our list, we have the Mode from cycling giants Specialized. With it’s clean, elegant lines, it’s really a work of art. The matte colouring and a smooth finish really help to give a sense of style and class to the wearer.

It’s a very safe helmet, boasting MIPS protection, as well as a top score from Virginia Tech. And it’s not just safe, it’s comfortable too. With three head sizes in two distinct fit options, you’ll easy find a model that suits you.

In addition, it’s really easy to adjust it to your head. The seamlessly integrated fit adjustment system is a nice touch, allowing you to personalise the helmet to your head.

The most noticeable feature is definitely its hidden ventilation system. Internal channeling means that air will keep flowing through the helmet as you move, ensuring that you don’t get too hot.

The style might not be to everyone’s taste, and it doesn’t come cheap, but if you want a simple, minimal helmet which is really safe and well constructed, it’s a great option.

Pros

  • Great colour options
  • Very highly rated Mips safety system
  • Smooth, minimal design conceals air-vents

Cons

  • Bulky
  • No single colour option
  • Ventilation may not be sufficient for very warm climates

5. Yakkay Smart Two

yakkay smart two helmet
yakkay smart two helmet view
yakkay smart two helmet in use
  • UK Flag £75
  • US Flag $92
  • EU Flag €87

Prices are approximate

  • Safety Rating: CE/EN1078 and CPSC1203 certified
  • Weight: 260g for medium
  • Colours Available: Almost endless colour combinations

Minimal helmet shell

Customisable with different covers and straps

Hat-styled options

The Yakkay Smart Two is a great bicycle helmet for those who normally wouldn’t like to be seen wearing one.

The helmet itself is an in-mold bike helmet with a PC shell integrated and an EPS inner shell. This means it’s durable, has a smooth surface and is lightweight. You can wear the helmet as is it, but the best part is that you can easily customise the appearance.

The Smart Two is made so that it can be combined with a range of helmet covers to give it the appearance of a hat of your choice. From straw hats to bucket hats there are a huge number to choose from.

You can also customise the traps, choosing from Yakkays range of stainless steel from a small range of different colour. The result? Countless possibilities when it comes to the end helmet.

Most importantly, though, it’s safe. The snug shell fits securely, and is both CE/EN1078 and CPSC1203 certified (Europe and the USA).

If you don’t like the look of a helmet and want something that protects your head and draws minimal attention to it, this could be for you.

Pros

  • Reasonable price
  • Customisable with endless colour options
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Covers might limit ventilation
  • Covers are expensive
  • Many separate pieces create an over designed product

6. Hövding 3

hovding 3 helmet
hovding 3 helmet in use
  • UK Flag £300
  • US Flag $370
  • EU Flag €349

Prices are approximate

  • Safety Rating: No specific rating, but up to 8x safer than a traditional helmet
  • Weight: Around 800g
  • Colours Available: Just black, but there are a couple of patterned covers available

Inflatable airbag styled helmet

Bluetooth connection

Easily charged by battery

 

The award-winning Hövding 3 is a revolutionary leap forward in bicycle helmet technology.

At first glance, the Hövding 3 may just look like to be a stylish collar or accessory, but don’t be fooled – it’s a cutting-edge airbag helmet that deploys in 0.1 seconds in the event of an accident, protecting both your head and your neck.

It works by reading your movement 200 times a second, and, upon detecting impact, quickly deploys itself. The airbag is reusable, too. Simply deflate the airbag after deployment and replace the gas cartridge and it’s good to go.

The Hövding 3 is extremely popular in Scandinavia, particularly in Denmark and Sweden, and for good reason. It’s an excellent helmet for the fashion conscious who don’t want to spoil their hair. It’s expensive, of course, but when it’s potentially 8x safer than a regular helmet, who wants to compromise?

Pros

  • Very good protection
  • Helmet option for people who don’t want to ruin their hair
  • Notifies contacts in the case of an accident

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Smart and only effective when charged

7. Bontrager Charge Wavecel Commuter Helmet

bontrager charge wavecel commuter helmet
bontrager charge wavecel commuter helmet features
bontrager charge wavecel commuter helmet colours
  • UK Flag £132
  • US Flag $160
  • EU Flag €151

Prices are approximate

  • Safety Rating: NTA 8776 certified, approved for S-EPAC use. Also Virginia Tech 5 star rating
  • Weight: 392-498g
  • Colours Available: 3: Black, Battleship Blue, Radioactive Yellow

Time magazine invention of the year

Crash replacement guarantee

New ‘Wavecel’ (crumple zone) technology for improved protection

The Bontrager Charge WaveCel Commuter Helmet is an exceptional choice for urban cyclists seeking both style and safety. It’s mostly smooth and has minimal protruding features.

This fashion-forward helmet is designed for commutes, e-bike rides, and everyday adventures, offering a blend of fashion and function. It is built with the the award winning safety technology, WaveCel, ensuring top-notch protection for riders, even at e-bike speeds.

It’s got an excellent fit and is easily adjustable with one hand. It’s also comfortable in all conditions, with a built-in visor and a covered top that prevents the rain from entering through and getting through hair wet. Not only that, but it’s got moisture wicking washable pads inside, meaning you’ll keep the sweat off you too.

In terms of affordability, the Charge WaveCel helmet is priced higher than basic helmet options, starting at around $160. However, but, it’s a justified investment due to the advanced safety technology and superior protection it provides.

Pros

  • BOA® Fit System for great snug fit
  • Great safety ratings
  • Excellent airflow

Cons

  • Scratches easily
  • Spacetrooper esque design
  • Limited colour options

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