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Bike Helmet Guide

In our Bike Helmet Guide, we’ll help you get all the info you need to find a great bike helmet that you’ll absolutely love. By the end of this article, you should have a solid idea of what you’re looking for, making shopping a whole lot easier. Let’s jump in.

How do I choose a bike helmet?

In order to choose a new bike helmet, you’ll want to consider a few factors. Below we cover the following main aspects: use type, protection technology, important features, and sizing. We’ll also show you our top brands and models and answer common questions at the end.

If you’re not sure where to start, just follow along with this guide. If you want to explore by topic, click on the navigation buttons to skip to specific sections.

Choose a bike helmet type

While you can use any helmet in any situation, there are a few different types that are specifically designed to excel in certain situations. Check out the different styles below:

road bike helmet

Road Bike Helmets

If you are serious about road cycling, you’ll likely want a helmet designed to excel in those conditions. Road bike helmets prioritize weight, aerodynamics, and ventilation. These models are designed for top speed and overall performance so you can ride your best.

mountain bike helmets

Mountain Bike Helmets

If you’re mostly riding trails, mountain bike helmets are the way to go. They offer more coverage for the back of your head and they usually come with a visor to help keep the sun out of your eyes.

commuter bike helmets

Commuter Bike Helmets

If you’re a bike commuter or someone who normally sticks to streets and bike paths, a commuter helmet is a great idea. These helmets typically have less ventilation since commuters are often cruising more than sprinting, and they also have a sleeker style that looks good around town.

multi-sport bike helmet

Multi-sport Bike Helmets

If you’re just looking for a solid bike helmet that won’t let you down, multi-sport models will get the job done. Lots of helmets fall into this catch all category. All purpose or multi sport bike helmets are affordable and comfortable, and are designed to be good for lots of types of riding. They aren’t especially focused on any one area of performance, they’re more suited so offer riders a little bit of everything.

kids bike helmets

Kids Bike Helmets

Unless your child is knee deep in the youth racing scene, a typical kids-sized multi-sport helmet is the perfect choice for young riders. These models often have a removable visor, plenty of ventilation, and cool colors. We sell kids bike helmets for all ages, so just check the size and find a color they’ll love!

Bike helmet protection technology

Here are some of the different types of safety technology found in most bike helmets.

It’s important to note that every single helmet we sell at Sweet Pete’s and any helmet sold by a major brand, has passed all necessary safety tests to be used in Canada. While there are more advanced technologies that go a step further, any helmet you buy from us is good to go. Both technologies below offer extra protection.

bike helmet with MIPS technology


MIPS, or Multi-directional Impact Protection System, is a special liner that sits in between the pads and the shell of the helmet. In the event of a crash, the liner slides and absorbs some of the force of the impact in order to reduce the rotational forces on your head.

bike helmet with WaveCel technology


WaveCel is a Bontrager specific helmet technology that works similarly to MIPS. Instead of a flat liner, the WaveCel insert is a 3D honeycomb structure that shears, twists, and crumples to absorb rotational forces.

Think about bike helmet features

Here are a few features to consider when shopping for your next helmet. Depending on how you ride, these features may or may not be important.

mountain bike helmets are great when they have visors


Having a visor can make a big difference when riding on a sunny or rainy day. Many helmets come with removable visors that allow you to be flexible. While they aren’t great for road biking aerodynamics, just about every other rider can enjoy a visor.

bike helmet ventilation is key for breathability and temperature control


Ventilation will keep you cool out on your ride. The harder you’re working, the more you’ll appreciate proper ventilation so you don’t overheat.

bike helmet visibility is a good safety feature


If you ride on the road with cars, having a visible helmet is a great way to stay safe. Light colors like blue, yellow, and orange are perfect for increasing your visibility while you ride.

Bike helmet size chart

Most bike brands use a similar size chart, but it’s best to look into any model you’re considering. Helmet sizes are usually measured in centimeters, and if you don’t know your head size you can take a piece of string, wrap it around your head, then measure that distance. It’s often better to go up a size if you’re right in between two.

UNIVERSAL YOUTH52 - 5720.4 - 22.4
UNIVERSAL WOMEN'S52 - 5720.4 - 22.4
UNIVERSAL ADULT54 - 6121.2 - 24
UNIVERSAL XL58 - 6522.8 - 25.5
S52 - 5620.5 - 22
M55 - 5921.625 - 23.25
L58 - 6222.875 - 24.375
XL61 - 6524 - 25.625

Best Selling Bike Helmets

shop Bell Hub bike helmet

Bell Hub

Commuter Bike Helmet

Price: $99.99 - $129.99

shop Giro Register bike helmet

Giro Register

Multi-Sport Helmet

Price: $64.99

shop bontrager starvos wavecel bike helmet

Bontrager Starvos WaveCel

Road Bike Helmet

Price: $134.99

Our Top Bike Helmet Brands

Shop bell bike helmets
Shop Bontrager bike helmets
Shop Giro bike helmets
Shop Fox Racing Mountain bike helmets
Shop Troy Lee Designs Bike Helmets
shop giant bike helmets

Bike Helmet FAQs

How do I know if my bike helmet is too small or too big?

The helmet should fit comfortably over your forehead. If it covers your eyebrows, the helmet is too big. If it doesn't cover the majority of your forehead, it's probably too small. Make sure the helmet doesn't put too much pressure on your temples, but it also shouldn't wiggle around freely when you shake your head.

What is the safest bike helmet

Any helmet is better than no helmet, but while every helmet we sell meets the current safety standards, helmets with MIPS or WaveCel technology go a step further and provide addition protection.

What is the most comfortable bike helmet?

Everyone is a little different, so it's impossible to tell what will be best for everyone. Start by picking the right size, then look for other features that will improve comfort, like padding and ventilation.

How much money should I spend on a bike helmet?

You can get a great bike helmet for $40-$100. If you want more features or better safety technology, $100-$150 models often are a good investment to make. If you want peak performance, models $150 and up are the way to go.

Do bike helmets have expiration dates?

While helmets don't have specific expiration dates, the foam shells do degrade over time. It's best to get in the habit of examining your helmet before a ride to catch and cracks. After a couple years, it's important to start paying close attention to the condition of your helmet so you can avoid using something that won't protect you properly. 

What should I look for when buying a bike helmet?

Look for a helmet that fits your style of riding, and look for features that will help you get the most out of your rides, including ventilation, visors, and visibility. If you want top performance, you can go for a helmet with MIPS or WaveCel that will give you added protection.