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Biking & Accessories

Best Bike Helmet

Everyone has times where they want to get on the bike and feel the wind in their hair as they ride. There is a long standing debate about whether a helmet is a necessary piece of equipment. I admit to the occasional helmet free ride.

If you have been on the road with some of the crazy people behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle you know that riding without a helmet is traveling at your own risk. You may not be able to avoid complete injury but you can protect one of your most valuable body parts, your head.

If you are a parent, protecting your kids is top priority. No matter what age they are, a helmet is a necessary piece of equipment even for a short ride. Kids tend to be fearless and willing to try things that send them flying off the bike. The last thing you want for your child is a head injury.

Today's helmets are constructed with safety features that, not that long ago, were only a dream. They are lightweight, durable, and have great ventilation. The styles, designs and color options are sure to please and you will find helmets for every riding style and budget.

Giro Aeon Bike Helmet

Lightweight, great performance, comfortable, and wind tunnel cooling are all features that describe the top rated Giro Aeon. This helmet is the choice of top cyclists for many reasons. The polycarbonate and EPS liner are fused together to keep this helmet super lightweight. In addition to the durable shell, the Aeon has an impact roll cage, for added reinforcement of the helmet without additional weight. The 24 vents are combined with channels that allow air to flow through the helmet, pushing the hot air out the back and cooling your head. The Roc Loc 5 locking system allows you to dial in the perfect fit and adjust the fit up and down as well. The X-Tatic padding is antimicrobial to keep odors to a minimum. The Aeon is a dream helmet, with features that keep you riding comfortably and safely.

Specialized S-Works Prevail Road Bike Helmet

Specialized S-Works Prevail Road Bike Helmet

The Prevail is an aerodynamic, lightweight road bike helmet designed for all-around great performance. The dual-density EPS gives you outstanding impact performance. Specialized has large ports positioned in the front of this helmet that are unique to them. The micro-dial fit system and height adjustability allow you to dial in the perfect fit. The Prevail is comparable to the number one pick on this list, it is a matter of personal preference. If price point is an issue for you, then this and the top pick may not be your choice.

Giro Atmos Racing Bike Helmet

If you are looking for a helmet that is comparable to the Aeon but with a smaller price tag, the Atmos is the helmet to look at. The Giro Atmos has 26 vents and the same wind tunnel ventilation as the Aeon. An in-mold shell and carbon fiber reinforcement offer lightweight, protection in the event of an accident. The Roc Loc 5 fit system will allow you to dial in a perfect fit. The Giro Atmos has been worn by some of the best cyclists in the world and will offer you the protection, comfort, and performance you are looking for at a somewhat smaller price tag than the Aeon.

Bontrager Oracle Road Bike Helmet

Bontrager Oracle Road Bike Helmet

The Bontrager Oracle is another lightweight option with some great features. The AgION fit pads keep odors at bay. The internal, recessed channels manage the airflow over your head to keep you cool and comfortable. The fit system allows you to adjust both the height and circumference. Brontrager also offers an unconditional guarantee. They will replace the helmet if you are involved in an accident within the first year of owning it.

Bell Furio Bike Helmet

If you are on a tight budget but still need a helmet that is comfortable and offers the protection you need, take a look at the Bell Furio. As with most bicycle and rider gear, the more you have to spend, the better the features, however this helmet comes in as a great choice for the budget minded rider. It has 20 air vents, less than the higher end helmets, but certainly enough to make a difference and keep you cool. The fit system will give you the ability to adjust the helmet easily. If you are looking for a budget friendly helmet, this is the one to try.

Nutcase Gen2 Bike Helmet

I chose the Nutcase Gen2 line of helmets as the top commuter pick for several reasons. The first reason is just pure fun. If you are stuck going to work and you have decided to make the commute more fun by riding, Nutcase helmets are the most fun your head can have on the commute. Yes, they offer the protection you need but they do it in style. Designed by a former creative director at Nike, you can chose from any number of crazy prints or a cool, solid matte color. These helmets make you feel like a kid again and bring a smile to your face every time you look at them. I've been riding with mine for several years, it is my personal favorite for commuting. The Gen2 has spin dial fit technology that allows you to customize the fit to your head. The magnetic buckle is a one-handed operation and no more pinching like you get with a traditional buckle. All that fun and at a very reasonable price.

Specialized Echelon II Bike Helmet

Specialized Echelon II Bike Helmet

The Echelon II is a budget friendly road helmet. The 2013 design has a lower profile and greater ventilation. The fit system has four height positions and a micro-adjustable dial that makes it easy to adjust the fit while you are on the move. The Echelon II's composite matrix reinforcement allows for greater ventilation without sacrificing protection. This helmet gives you a look that most cyclists think of when they think helmet but at a price most anyone can afford.

Cannondale Ryker Bike Helmet

Cannondale Ryker Bike Helmet

The Cannondale Ryker has a look and style like no other helmet on this list. The in-mold construction gives this helmet the strength and durability you need without adding weight. The fit system, with additional padding, allows you to get a snug fit without feeling like you will give yourself a headache before your commute is over. Cannondale tried to optimize the inner shape of this helmet to fit as many head shapes as possible.

Giro Reverb Bike Helmet

The Giro Reverb has a few features not found on the other helmets on this list. The brow of the helmet has a cool, fabric brim instead of the traditional hard plastic and it is completely removable. The fabric allows for a cooler feel. The Reverb has clean lines and a simple design. It has the same great in-mold construction of the higher-end helmets. The Auto-Loc fit system is an elastic based system and has front and back adjustability. This helmet was on the "Oprah's Favorite Things List" for 2012. This may be on your favorite list too, give it a try.

Rudy Project Sterling Bike Helmet

The Sterling has 18 well-positioned vents for maximum air flow. The anti-slip fit system has three height adjustments and an exclusive strap loop adjustment system for making adjustments on the go. It is available with two different padding systems for odor and sweat control and an optional bug netting. The Sterling has a cool eye-wear dock feature for those times when you want to remove your shades but not but them down. If you are looking to stand out, try this helmet in the Fluo color line for added visibility.

Giro Me2 Infant Bike Helmet

The Giro Me2 is a cute helmet for your youngest cyclist. It comes with a built-in visor and lower rear profile for added protection and a more secure fit. The Mini-Loc fit system allows you to get the best fit for your child. The microshell has a built-in bug net. The Me2 also features a pinch proof buckle to protect your child's delicate skin. The color and graphic options are fun and come in styles for boys and girls. The Me2 is a helmet that is tough to beat for your toddler and at $30 you get a great helmet for a great price.

Specialized Small Fry Toddler

Specialized Small Fry Toddler

Just like the big kid style of the Small Fry, this helmet has some great features. It is shaped for use in a child trailer. The Small Fry has a built-in visor for shielding the sun. The in-mold shell construction increased the strength of the helmet while keeping it lightweight. The cute graphics will make any kid happy to wear a helmet.

Bell Zoomer Toddler Bike Helmet

The Bell Zoomer is a cute, functional helmet for your toddler. The extended rear profile offers added protection. The PinchGuard Buckle gives a no-pinch buckling system. The Zoomer has seven vents to keep your child's head cool. This helmet is one of the most budget friendly on the list.

Schwinn Classic Toddler Helmet

The Schwinn Classic offers an adjustable fit. It has a lower profile construction for added protection. The Classic has a built in visor to shield your child from the sun. This helmet is another option for someone looking for a simple, no frills, helmet that is budget friendly and will protect your child's head.

Bontrager Little Dipper

Bontrager Little Dipper

Unlike other low profile helmets that only cover part of the rear section with graphics, the Bontrager Little Dipper takes the fun all the way. The graphics cover the entire shell. In-mold construction gives this added strength without added weight. The Little Dipper comes with a pinch proof buckle and great ventilation to keep little heads cool. There are styles for boys and girls.

Nutcase Little Nutty Kids Bike Helmet

Nutcase makes the coolest helmets on the market for kids and adults. The Little Nutty complies with safety standards for kids 5 and older. It comes with a spin dial fit system that is very user friendly. The magnetic buckle gives it an anti-pinch design feature that will save your child's chin from the inevitable pinched skin from a standard buckle. Looking for a variety of styles, Nutcase has you covered. Designs for girls, boys, and kids who just think it is fun to have a helmet with a Glo-Brain on top.

Bontrager Solstice Youth Kids Bike Helmet

Bontrager Solstice Youth Kids Bike Helmet

Does your child want to do everything just the way you do it? If that includes wearing the same style bike helmet, the Bontrager Solstice Youth helmet just may be the one to look at. This helmet looks just like mom and dad's but a little more fun. Bontrager has some great colors and designs to choose from. This helmet is lightweight and has a one-hand micro-manager fit system for great adjustability. It comes complete with a removable visor, just like the grown-up style and washable, moisture wicking fit pads.

Specialized Small Fry Kids Bike Helmet

Specialized Small Fry Kids Bike Helmet

The Specialized Small Fry helmet is a combination of fun and function that looks somewhat like a grown-up version but not quite there yet. The dial fit system is designed specifically for smaller heads. The in-molded shell improves the strength of the Small Fry and keeps it lightweight. The front vents are covered with mesh to keep the bugs out. The shape of this helmet was designed to easily be worn when riding in a bike trailer.

Bell Fraction Youth Multi-Sport Helmet

The Bell Fraction is both bicycle and skate safety certified. If you have a child that goes from the skate park to the bicycle, this may be a great choice. This helmet will transition nicely between the two sports. It has classic BMX styling and comes in a variety of colors. The Fraction is available in 3 sizes.

Giro Kid's Rascal Bike Helmet

The Giro Rascal has a safety feature not found on the other choices on the list, an integrated, rear, LED tail light. You can switch it on for added visibility. The One-Step fit system allows you to easily fit the helmet to your child. A pinch-free buckle and bug netting add to the appeal of this helmet. The in-mold construction cuts back on the weight of the helmet. The cool graphics may have your kid asking where the helmet is next time they want to ride.

Specialized Deviant II BMX Bike Helmet

Specialized Deviant II BMX Bike Helmet

The Deviant II offers some serious full face protection for the rider with one goal in mind when they hit the trail — gravity defying air. This may be a bike helmet but it screams moto-style. They're also ergonomically designed to accommodate your favorite goggles. The removable, washable liner and cheek pads are great for those muddy rides and the sweat from powering through the race. Great ventilation and an adjustable visor are just a few other great features of the Deviant II. This helmet is perfect for the aggressive BMX racer.

Troy Lee D2 BMX Bike Helmet

The Troy Lee D2 is another full face option for aggressive riders. The D2 meets downhill safety standards. It is a great helmet for BMX, downhill, and other action sports. The large eye port easily accomodates most any goggles. The adjustable visor allows you to find the perfect placement.

Kali Protectives Avatar 2 Spinal Bike Helmet

What is in a name? With a name like Kali Protectives, you know what you are getting — protection. The Avatar 2 carbon was designed with motorcycle safety technology in mind. The low density EPS foam is designed for greater impact absorption. The Avatar 2 has an integrated air flow system to keep you cool and removable, washable pads and liner. It is available in five sizes and four graphics choices. This is another full face helmet for you to check out before you buy.

Giro Hex Mountain Bike Helmet

The Giro Hex is an open face helmet for aggressive trail riding and BMX riders that don't want a full face helmet. It is durable, and has an in-mold construction. It has a 15 degree adjustability in the visor. Extreme fit adjustments with the Roc Loc 5 with micro-adjustments as well as front and back adjustments. It is a comfortable option with great ventilation for keeping your head cool while you're out on the trail. If you are looking for a quality open face helmet, add the Hex to your short list.

Bell Drop Bike Helmet

The Bell Drop is a full face helmet with moto-style and performance. This helmet is safety certified for two standards, CPSC and downhill. The easily adjustable visor was designed for Bell moto-cross helmets. The liner pads are removable. The Drop is constructed with a fiberglass shell. It is a great option for the rider who wants a full face helmet without breaking the bank.

Specialized Dissident Mountain Bike Helmet

Specialized Dissident Mountain Bike Helmet

The Specialized Dissident is for the mountain biker who pushes the limits, grabs as much air as possible, and takes the downhill with as much speed as he or she can get out of the bike. The Dissident is not for the budget minded, at around $350, this helmet is not for everyone. The price is justified by the great features. This helmet could possibly be the lightest full face helmet on the market. Mesh covered vents and 4th dimension cooling allow air flow to keep you cool on the tough rides. Amazing safety features for those times when you may take a dangerous spill. The EJECT system gives pull tabs for Medic's to safely remove the helmet so that head and neck can be stabilized. Think of it as an airbag for your head. This helmet has passed some of the strictest safety certifications and is well worth the price tag for the serious rider.

Giro Remedy FF Mountain Bike Helmet

The Giro Remedy is another great full face option for the freerider, mountain biker, downhiller, and more. The Remedy has a lightweight fiberglass shell and a washable interior liner for the mud runs and the sweat of the long rides. The Remedy features a no-tool adjustable visor and wind tunnel ventilation. The liner and cheek pads are replaceable. The Remedy comes in some amazing graphic designs and colors, something for everyone.

Specialized Vice Mountain Bike Helmet

Specialized Vice Mountain Bike Helmet

The 2013 Specialized Vice comes with a better fitting strap system. Specialized works hard to improve on everything they design. As the name implies, with the deep sides and deep rear profile, you will feel like your head is safe and secure. Great ventilation will keep your head cool. You can't beat the $85 price for a lightweight, open face, mountain biking helmet. The Vice is available in multiple color options and three sizes.

SixSixOne Recon Stealth Helmet

The 661 Recon has a poly-carbonate in-mold shell and extended rear profiling. The internal channeling with 18 intake/exhast vents will keep your head cool. This is not a full face helmet but is built to protect your head for your less aggressive rides. Gives the rider a secure fit with a customizable fit system. If you are on a tight budget but still want a helmet that performs, check out the Recon.

Bell Faction Multi-Sport Helmet

Are you looking for the classic skate style helmet? Bell Faction offers a variety of colors and designs in classic style and at a price that fits most any budget. The Faction is a great helmet for the rider who is just starting out on the trails and isn't into the aggressive scene just yet. This helmet transitions nicely from trail to commute. It has an ABS hard shell construction with dual density EPS foam. A great beginner helmet.

I've been a cyclist since I was a child. I've owned as many as 5 bicycles at a time and all served a different purpose. I had a mountain bike for rough trails, a hybrid for on and off rail trails, a light weight racing bike for road riding, a modified mountain bike for longer distance riding, and a touring bike. I currently own the most compact folding bike available on the market. It's great for commuting and travel. I do the basic maintenance on them and I use a bike for travel purposes. I have had the folding bike down the east coast and from California to Maryland. I'm currently a staff writer for a NYC bike shop and enjoy seeing all the new equipment as it hits the store.
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