Helmets have come a long way since I started cycling. Gone are the days when all you had to pick from was a one size fits all skid lid. Now every discipline of cycling has claimed a shape and style of helmet for themselves.
Now it’s debatable whether there’s a need to separate helmets into mens and womens categories, but with the market awash with female specific lids, it’s only right we give them some air time.
No matter what you ride, whether it’s a commuter, mountain or road bike, there’s something in this selection for everyone. Here’s our hand-pick of the best women’s cycling helmets for each discipline…
An affordable, minimalist, road race-inspired design makes this a great starter helmet for roadies. Specialized have enough experience with helmets to know what works in terms of fit. They’ve also created ‘Hairport’ which essentially allows the retention system at the back of the helmet to drop low enough for your pony tail to slot through. Does it work, or is it a marketing ploy? We’ll have to get back to you on that one.
It must have been an interesting design meeting, when someone from Las decided that sticking diamantes on a helmet would make it marketable to women.
An interesting concept to say the least, especially because underneath the sparkles, there is a well made, comfy and highly adjustable helmet. Okay, so the bling is an optional addition, but still, just the thought of diamantes and hearts make me question the reliability of this women’s cycling helmet.
Liv/giant is the women’s arm of Giant, dedicated to providing cycling gear to the female rider. Liv/giant, have obviously paid attention to market research and there isn’t a hint of pink insight on this lid. The Ares is a mid-range helmet, and although it has a sleek, subtle white exterior, it is packed with features.
To protect your grey matter, the Liv/giant Ares includes a Carbon Crown™ and Cinch4™ fit system, designed to keep everything in place and safe and 22 cooling vents, will help keep you cool while your pedalling hard.
For those who have not yet come across YAKKAY helmets, you’re in for a treat. A rather a unique concept; they allow you to create your own stylish lid. YAKKAY’s women’s cycling helmets consist of a gloss helmet base, (you can pick from 6 colours) with 5 ventilation holes on top and a cover of your choice.
When we say cover, we’re talking options of trilby’s, caps, and hats in an array of material. These creations are taking the world by storm, winning a whole host of design awards in the process.
5. Bern, Berkeley
More information: Bern
The Berkeley helmet is Bern’s most popular women’s cycling helmet. It’s surprisingly lightweight, and protects your noggin with a refreshingly non-bike design. Simple, sleek and colourful – we like!
If you don’t fancy the peaked look, the visor is removable, however be warned that means you have to take the inner lining out, (there is a non-peaked liner you can buy).
Bern’s helmet sizing is also on the large side, so you might want to opt for a smaller size than usual.
Sawako Furuno is a women’s cycling helmet brand for women who don’t want to compromise on style while being safe on their bikes.
Although perhaps a tad out there for my commute, they are a fab alternative to the rather subtler options on the market.
If you want to stand out in a crowd, errrr, peloton, then why not give the Leopard model a go.
Mountain bike helmets
The Giro Xara, utilises all of the amazing features of the men’s Xar off road helmet but tweaks the coverage and style to be more specific to the needs of the female rider. It is a great option for trail riders looking for a stylish low-profile design with breezy ventilation and great durability.
We’re fans of the matt black shell with subtle white polka dot design, even the hint of pink doesn’t put us off. The Xara is also available in various other colourways, matt titanium or pearl white with yellow highlights.
The Vanish Evo Contessa MTB helmet offers a corking combination of ventilation, fit and safety. A sharper, more rugged looking women’s cycling helmet, this high-end lid wouldn’t look out of place on the racing circuit.
It’s a shame none of the helmets in the women’s range feature Scotts MIPS technology that is designed to protect your brain against angled impacts, we’re not sure why this is, but once we find out we’ll let you know.
The Fox Flux has a rounder profile than a lot of the cross-country helmets on the market and we like that you can customise the look of the lid, by removing the visor, and the spoiler on the back.
Importantly, you’re also given a little extra material to protect your head, the shell drops down more on the sides and round the back, with additional foam in the back of the helmet for added impact protection.
The Flux is still designed with comfort in mind, and its large vents suck in air and blow it out the back to keep your head as cool as it can be.
Headline image by whale05 via Flickr.com.
Liked this selection of women’s cycling helmets? You must check these out:
Tired of having the same old hairstyle for your daily commute? Why not try out our Hairstyles for Helmets: Pretty Pony Tail hairstyle?
If you’re a MTB rider, we’ve selected 6 of the Best Full Face Helmets to Suit all Budgets.
Also worth a look: 10 of the Coolest Custom Bikes.