Different types of bike helmets - Here's what you should know

Emilie Hauss
  • 4 minutes

The process of selecting a helmet may seem trivial to some, but it's a very important step in ensuring head safety while cycling. There are many styles, sizes and fits available depending on the type of helmet you want. Although there are different sizes available to fit as many people as possible, all companies make slightly different shapes. If you can, it would be a good idea to try a few on to ensure you get the best fit for your head.

Price vs. Safety

Whether you choose a $50 helmet or a $300 helmet, you should know that they all meet the same safety standards, otherwise they wouldn’t be on the market. The difference between an entry-level helmet and a $300 helmet is defined by its weight and ventilation holes, and above all else by its comfort and adjustment possibilities.

The different types

Urban and recreational helmets

Often round and ball-shaped, these so-called recreational helmets are the ones most often recognized by hybrid bike enthusiasts. Although they can be worn by all types of cyclists, they’re more often used in urban areas because they have a more casual look and are closer to BMX helmets. Moreover, they often have very original colours and prints.

Road helmets

This type of helmet is most often worn by road and gravel bike enthusiasts. Lightweight, well ventilated, and available in several sizes, the road helmet is ideal if you’re looking for performance and aerodynamics. Also, on hot days, you'll appreciate the many ventilation holes that allow wind to flow through your hair.

Triathlon and time trial helmets

These helmets, often featuring an elongated back, have a single purpose: to be as aerodynamic as possible during time trials or triathlons. Usually not ventilated at all, this feature is intended to improve the cyclist's air penetration when riding at high speeds.

Mountain helmets

Mountain helmets have a special feature where they drop down to the back of the head to better protect in case of a fall. In addition, these helmets have a longer adjustable visor to protect from tree branches and the sun. For the more extreme cyclist, there are also full-face helmets for downhill and BMX racing.


The lifespan of a helmet is approximately four or five years. Since it’s exposed to the sun and perspiration, it tends to dry out and lose absorption properties over time. Therefore, it’s recommended to change your helmet after this period even if it hasn’t received any visible impact.

Whether you’re a Sunday cyclist, an urban cyclist or a bike path cyclist, accidents can happen. Be careful on the road and protect your head!