E-bike sales have massively increased over the last few years, and make up around 10% of total bike sales. E-bikes are getting faster and more powerful, and when you’re riding them, safety is paramount.
Best Electric Bike Helmets
What’s different about an electric bike helmet?
There are currently three different types of e-bike, separated into three classes.
- Class 1 electric bikes are only pedal-assisted, meaning that it has no throttle, and goes nowhere without you, the rider, pedaling. Bikes like these have a maximum assisted speed of 20mph.
- Class 2 electric bikes have a throttle assist and maybe also a pedal assist, but a maximum rated speed of 20mph.
- Class 3 electric bikes are pedal assisted, with a higher maximum speed of 28mph.
No matter the class, all e-bikes have a maximum motor size of 1 horsepower, or 750 Watts.
E-bikes and your local laws
All state laws and classifications are different, and the rules regarding e-bikes can change depending on where you live.
You can find a handy primer here, but it’s always worth double checking what class your e-bike is in before you buy anything, bike or helmet both.
The best electric bike helmets in 2020
Electric Bike Half Shell Helmets
Bell’s heritage is in racing, with almost 70 years of experience backing up their designs, so you know you’re getting quality.
Designed around the needs of the modern e-bike rider, the Annex is sturdy and tough. Unlike a lot of helmets, the polycarb outer is actually fused to the EPS inner lining, which adds to stability and toughness, without compromising on safety. It’s also still equipped with Mips, helping to reduce rotational force in the case of an accident.
Available in three different sizes, it can fit almost any head (20.5 inches up to 22.5 in diameter) especially when paired with the easy to use adjustment system. 15 vents let air flow freely, including overbrow vents that keep your head cool, but can be easily closed with the slider, even in gloves.
Finally, it’s comfortable, with a flexible inner X-static padding that’s woven with silver fibers to keep bacteria and nasty smells at bay, and quick-adjust fasteners on the straps, so you can snap this on and off in seconds. It even has a camera mount, and whether you use that on your buddig Youtube career or just to keep you safe is up to you.
Overall, for town and city use, it’s hard to find a better helmet than the Annex. If you’re in the market for an e-bike helmet, we’d recommend looking at this one first. Safety standards: CPSC, CE EN1078
Comfortable and safe
Huge amount of airflow
Buckle isn’t the best
There’s no denying that Giro makes good helmets, which is why they feature more than once on this list. The Caden is the generalist model in their range, with solid performance and a lot to recommend it for.
For starters, protection. All of Giro’s helmets are designed and tested in their in-house lab, which leads the pack in several safety categories. An in-molded shell keeps your head safe from impacts, with built-in Mips to protect against rotational torsion.
Comfort comes through the adjustable EPS liner, with vertical and horizontal changes using Giro’s Roc Loc City system. 12 wind tunnel vents channel air across your head, keeping you cool, and there’s also a removable visor to keep out the sun.
It comes in three different sizes, and if the Caden isn’t to your aesthetic, it’s worth checking out the rest of the Giro range, including the Camden, further down the list. Safety standards: Unknown
Light and comfortable
No built-in light or other tech
Thousand is an incredibly popular brand, and the Heritage melds that 1950s helmet look with modern technology and engineering.
Despite looking like an old-school bucket helmet, it’s incredibly lightweight. Unfortunately, there are no Mips or DOT certifications, but this is dual certified as both a skateboard and bike helmet.
12 color options offer a lot of style, and it comes in three different sizes, all of which come with a dial fit system that lets you shrink it down in centimeter increments for the perfect fit.
Anti-theft protection is hidden at the back, with a secret compartment that locks into your bike lock, and for glasses or goggles, the low profile visor gives perfect visibility. It’s also completely vegan friendly and made from sustainable materials. Finally, it’s surprisingly budget friendly, making this a great pickup as a first helmet, or even as a backup.
Safety standards: CPSC, ASTM F1492
Comfortable and safe
Built in anti-theft
No Mips certificate
Electric Bike LED Helmets
Lumos Matrix & Lumos Street
The Matrix is an updated version of the Lumos Kickstarter, one of the first electric helmets, and the flagship helmet in the Lumos range. The Street, on the other hand, takes all of the lesson learned by the Matrix and tones them down, creating a classic helmet at a more budget price.
Fully Mips certified, both helmets are light and safe, built around an ABS shell and impact resistant EPS liner. Lumos helmets are all one size fits all, with both fitting heads from 22 to 24 inches in circumference.
The main draw of the helmet is the built-in lights. Both have front and back LED lights, with the Matrix putting out up to 1000 lumens that are fully visible from any angle, and the Street having 500 lumens, with both also working alongside the one button turn signal feature.
The rear panel of the Matrix is the real draw. It’s made from a customisable matrix (hence the name) of 77 LED lights that can be programmed into any design, letting you create symbols and other messages.
As the flagship model, all of the tech is uprated compared to other models, including up to 10 hours of battery life with a 5 hour charge time. Despite the tech, it’s also completely weatherproof.
Lumos’s app is also impressive, giving you full access to the workings of the helmet. At a glance battery life, instant changing of the rear panel, and more. All things considered, the Lumos brand make some of the best urban bike helmets on the market right now. Safety standards: CPSC, F1492, EN1078, AS2063
Solid, sleek construction
Massive light panels put out a huge amount of light
Light and comfortable
One size fits all might not fit the largest heads
Known for their high-quality protective gear for snowboarding, skating and other extreme sports, Bern are a brand to trust, and the Hudson certainly doesn’t disappoint.
Designed for city life instead of the extreme, the design is relatively mundane, similar to a lot of others on our list and out there. But it does come in a variety of cool colors that you might not see on other brands, so Bern are a good choice if you’re looking to stand out and turn heads.
Like all of the best helmets on this list, it has a built-in Mips system to save your skull in case of impact, but despite that it’s still light and comfortable, weighing less than a pound total (350g!)
For nights and harsh weather, the integrated rear light can be set to solid or flashing, and lasts for up to 10 hours, as well as charging from any USB socket. We would have liked to see a front light too, but you can’t have everything, especially at this price. Finally, you can keep it safe when you’re not by your bike, as the rear air vents are specifically designed to accommodate bike locks.
Safe and stylish, the Bern Hudson is a classic choice for commutes. If you cycle at night often and you need the added safety of a rear light, on a solid helmet for a good price, Bern has your back. Safety standards: CPSC, EN1078, NTA8776
Great general quality all-round
Stylish and smart looking
Light and comfortable
Only a basic light function, no turn signal or front light
Widely regarded as one of the best helmets on the market, the Giro Camden is the perfect balance of price, safety and features.
Starting with design, it’s obviously safe and durable with its Mips certifications, and still has the high and open front visor that a someone with glasses is looking for. Smart choices with ventilation keep the helmet slightly higher than other models, allowing for better airflow and helping to eliminate fogging. The front peak is high, and tilts upwards, so it’s also not going to interfere with any glasses or goggles.
The rear of the helmet has a huge integrated rear light, than can basically light up the entire back of the helmet, perfect for night riding and foggy and rainy days.
It’s also surprisingly reasonable value, especially for what you’re getting. Giro also offer the Bexley, which we reviewed above and is exactly the same model as this, only with a snap down eye-shield. In our opinion, if you don’t wear glasses, spring the extra dollars on the upgrade. It’s more than worth it.
Safety standards: CPSC, EN1078
Comfortable and airy
Durable, with Mips
Large rear light up panel
A vicious looking slash of a helmet, the PHZ is sleek and stylish, with performance well above its budget pricing.
That’s what we have to mention first. The price. This helmet is just ridiculously cheap, especially considering the features you’re getting. It’s light, at only 300g, but made of the same style polycarb shell with EPS inner as most other good helmets.
23 vents give you good ventilation, keeping you cool even on hotter days, and the built-in rear LED light can be set to steady or two speeds of flashing for safety, and supposedly lasts up to a ridiculous 40 hours.
Available in two sizes and five colors, this comes with a removable visor as well as easy to adjust sizing with the rear-mounted dial. It’s actually hard to find someone who says a bad word about this helmet, so if you’re looking for a budget priced model, it’s fantastic.
Safety standards: CPSC
Built-in USB safety light
There are some random words written on the back
Electric Bike Helmet with Visors
Sitting right at the limit of the $300 range, the Bexley is a safe and durable helmet with several smart features that differentiate it from competitors.
First off, it’s incredibly safe, with a Mips and NTA 8776 e-bike certificate. That’s not surprising, considering that Giro’s safety and testing labs are widely regarded as some of the best out there. It’s built around the same EPS core and polycarbonate shell as most helmets, with anti-microbial padding and a smart Roc Loc ventilation system that keeps the helmet slightly above your head, letting through more air and keeping you cool.
Built into the helmet is a huge rear light that covers almost the entire back of the helmet. The front features a retractable eye shield that snaps up or down in seconds, even in gloves, and the magnetic buckle on the neck strap snaps together with one hand, quickly and easily.
With everything combined, this is one of the best helmets on the market right now for road use. Protective and safe, but still airy and comfortable enough for general use, with exceptional features that set it apart.
Safety standards: CPSC, EN1078
Very airy and cool
Abus Pedelec 2.0
One of the first manufacturers in the e-bike market, the Pedelec 2.0 is an improved model, based on their successful Pedelec helmet. With that in mind, looking at the Pedelec 2.0, it’s obvious that it’s a great generalist helmet, with a lot to offer for a sub $200 price tag.
Made from the same tough polycarb and EPS as most other helmets on this list, the protection is there. Smart design choices like deeper temple coverage and rear neck protection increase your safety at vulnerable points.
The rear of the helmet also features a rechargeable LED triangular light, that can be set to steady or flashing, as well as reflectors behind the ears, massively increasing visibility. A reflective rain cover and built-in insect screen also keep you sheltered, no matter the conditions.
The only downside we’ve seen is comfort. Larger heads might feel a little tight inside the helmet, especially around the temples. But the helmet itself is light, and the neck strap is a magnetic buckle that can be opened and shut with one hand.
Safety standards: NTA 8776
Stylish, protective design
Wide coverage across a lot of the head
Light and airy
Rear LED light for safety
Can suffer from wind noise
MOKFIRE Adult Bike Helmet
The cheapest helmet on our list, despite the price the MOKFIRE is a decent little helmet that would make a great starter choice or backup option.
Made from the same style of polycarbonate with EPS inner lining, it’s solid and tough enough, but unfortunately has no Mips system.
There’s a built-in rear light, which can be set to steady or flashing, with 9 different functions, as well as a set of smart goggles that attach and detach to the front with magnets, keeping your eyes safe and making sure that you can switch in seconds, even with gloves on.
Honestly, this isn’t the best helmet on the list. Nowhere near. But for what you pay, it’s surprisingly impressive, and more than worth the price.
Safety standards: CSPS
Built-in LED light
One size fits all
Electric Bike Full Face Helmets
Bell Super 3R
We touched on Bell’s lineage with our top choice at the top of our list, and the Super 3R verifies literally everything we said. It’s a beast, that’s fully capable of protecting you even if the worst should happen and you end up faceplanting into a tree.
It’s made to be tough, and it should be, as it’s a mountain biking helmet, first and foremost. The tough polycarb shell and EPS inner is similar to every other helmet on this list, but what is different is what’s bolted on top of the frame.
First is the chin guard, the giant beak strapped to the front, that can be snapped on and off using the three clasps, turning this into a standard full-face helmet. There’s also an adjustable visor, which can also be removed if you really want to.
Despite being so enclosed and protective, it’s deceptively airy, with 23 ventilation points, including 4 on the brow and 6 on the chin.
Mips compliant, with multiple color options, if you’re looking for a safe, strong and tough electric mountain bike helmet, the Super 3R should definitely be on the shortlist.
Safety standards: CPSC
Highly variable, with lots of removable parts
Comfortable and airy, for a big helmet
Chin strap can take some adjustment to fit right
Demon United Podium
A more budget oriented choice than the Bell 3R, that doesn’t mean that this isn’t a fantastic helmet that won’t protect you out on the trails or the dirt.
Lightweight, at a round kilo, the helmet is CSPS certified and solidly built. One thing to watch out for is that not all models are Mips compliant, so make sure to check that before you buy. But apart from that, the solid shell and large chin guard are pretty damn resilient.
Ventilation is on point, with 13 large vents that let through a lot of air, forcing out the hot and keeping you nice and cool. It also comes in a bunch of colors, including some pretty cool designs.
The only small issue is adjustability. The buckle is plastic, but that’s an easy replacement, and the interior pads, including cheek pads, are a single size. But again, finding spares if you need something different isn’t hard, or expensive.
With all that in mind, this is an awesome helmet for the price, and it’s gonna keep you safe. It’s just not quite as well put together as the Bell.
Safety standards: CPSC
Light and comfortable
Great colors and designs
Might not fit everyone out of the box
Electric Bike Folding Helmets
Fend Folding Helmet
Designed around the needs of the modern commuter, the Fend is an awesome helmet that compresses down to 50% of its normal size, without sacrificing looks or protective capability. That means it’s much easier to carry, and actually fits inside backpacks or other bags without looking like a ridiculous turtle shell.
But the fact that it folds down doesn’t mean that you’re compromising your health and safety. The Fend beats all CPSC and EN 1078 safety standards set by EU and USA authorities for all e-bikes under 20mph.
Made from ABS with a removable inner lining, it’s light and comfortable. The two included visors are anti-scratch, with both a clear and smoked visor included. The vents are large, keeping the helmet to around 400g, and it’s adjustable, with a dial fit feature that’s easy to use, even in gloves, and easy to use straps.
In our opinion, for a budget helmet, the Fend has a huge amount of features, and it’s a great choice both for commuting and light off-road use.
Safety standards: CPSC, EN1078
Folds down to 50% size
Light and comfortable
Reasonably budget choice
No tech or other features
174 Hudson Stack
An entirely different collapsible helmet to the Fend, the Hudson Stack is a deceptively smart design that drops down into a tight little flat package that’s going to fit almost anywhere.
Light and airy, it’s comfortable and well ventilated on the head, making it comfortable on shorter jaunts and longer days. Collapsed, it compresses to around 50% of its normal size, without needing a locking mechanism or other difficult mechanism.
Available in 4 colors, it’s not going to stand out in most situations, which is good, because honestly, looks aren’t the strong point of this helmet. It’s round and ugly, like a weirdly shaped bowl.
Protection is decent, meeting both EU and USA regulations, but there’s no Mips system, which is a shame. This seems to be a constant on collapsible helmets, where the lightness and convenience is traded against safety.
That leaves helmets like this in a strange place. It’s great for shorter trips, and maybe light commuting, but for serious use, we’d recommend some of our top picks instead. Safety standards: CSPS, EN1078
Collapses down to a flat package
Lightweight but protective
Well ventilated and cool
Not as protective as a big helmet
What to consider when choosing an electric bike helmet?
Certifications and safety standards
The most important element when you’re buying a helmet is how safe it is. While modern helmets might look stylish, you’re wearing it primarily to keep your head safe in the worst case scenario.
When you’re buying your helmet, there are several safety standards you should be looking for, primarily whether it meets local certification laws, and whether it has a Mips system.
Mips, or Multi-directional Impact Protection System, is a piece of tech that allows your helmet to essentially float, so it has a small amount of rotational movement on your head.
Rotational forces are some of the worst for brain injuries, so in the case of a crash, a helmet with a Mips system takes a lot of that force away, massively reducing your chances of traumatic brain damage.
Most decent helmets sold today, and most of the helmets on our list, have Mips safety features built into them. Mips helmets will have a yellow dot with Mips written inside somewhere on the packaging and marketing material.
When you’re looking at different helmet designs, you might see them labelled with strings of certification numbers. These tend to be based on specific regional safety laws, but the ones you should be looking out for, and which are by far the most common, are below:
CSPS: This is the US Consumer Safety Protection Commission, and makes sure that all helmets sold in the USA are safe and fit for purpose.
EN1078: This is the European safety standard that covers helmets for bikes, skateboards, roller skates and similar products. It runs through a large list of tests, and is relatively stringent.
NTA-8776: This is an e-bike specific certification, and helmets with this certification have been tested to a higher level of protection and at higher speed ratings, which are more commonly achievable on e-bikes.
Ventilation is a key aspect of a decent helmet, especially if you’re planning on using your e-bike for commuting and pleasure.
Wearing a helmet for a long time can lead to a hot, sweaty head, which is why most quality helmets have built in ventilation features. But ventilation is a precarious balance. Helmets with more vents are lighter and cooler, and let much more air through, but could impact in the event of a crash.
While you can buy helmets that are light and offer fantastic protection, you’re going to pay a premium for them. Full face helmets are also much closer in, hotter and sweatier than open faced or half helmets.
Weight is another factor when considering a helmet. In general, lighter helmets are far more comfortable, both because they put less strain on your head and neck, and because they have a much better airflow. But lighter helmets are also generally less protective.
You’ll appreciate a lighter helmet on longer journeys, but if your using your e-bike to commute in heavy traffic, or you’re going off road, a heavier, safer helmet might be the better choice.
Comfort, Padding and fit
For a helmet to work, it has to stay on your head, even in the worst case scenario. A big part of that is how it fits.
You want your helmet to be close fitting and snug, almost too tight, without being uncomfortable. Almost all helmets will have built-in padding, most of which will be adjustable or removable. Padding can also help to absorb and wick away sweat, keeping you cool and healthy.
Most decent helmets also feature adjustable sizing, which may be through friction based clasps, but better helmets generally have an adjustable dial that allows you to lock your helmet size in with just one click.
Before buying your helmet, make sure that you correctly measure your head first. Most manufacturers have measurement guides that help you pre-measure before you buy, and as mentioned, the best helmets generally also have adjustable fits, usually using a dial, to within a certain range.
Most helmet manufacturers are starting to integrate tech into their helmets, adding features that make your riding experience that much more streamlined.
The most common thing you’ll see are integrated lights, both for night riding, and also as integrated turn signals that can be used while you ride, letting other road users know your movements with that much more certainty.
The combination of low energy LED lights and lithium ion batteries mean that they can last for literal hours, and can be charged quickly from any USB connection.
More expensive helmets will also have Bluetooth functionality that links to your phone or smart watch, tracking data, linking to GPS and more.
Knowing what helmet to buy
If you only use your bike in a casual setting, most basic helmets are probably good enough
However, if you use your bike to commute, investing in a more solid helmet that boasts extra safety features is a smart purchase, because of the increased risk you face from other road users.
Smart tech features are always a good purchase, though what this means depends on your use.
If you commute, a helmet with integrated lights and Bluetooth connectivity is perfect. Turn signals let other road users know what you’re doing, keeping you safer, and Bluetooth lets you link your phone or GPS to your helmet.
If you regularly ride trails or head out early in the morning or late at night, integrated lights are just as useful, but you might want to look for a helmet with built-in comms so you can talk to your crew.
When do you need to replace your bike helmet?
A lot of helmets are classed as ‘single impact,’ which means that after a collision, or even a reasonably hard knock, the core of the helmet will deform and lose some of its protective ability.
You should also replace your helmet every few years anyway, as, like anything else, general use will wear them out over time.
Do you have to wear a helmet when riding an electric bike?
Again, this is an issue that has to be addressed state by state. The rules change, and in many states, you might not have to wear a helmet, whereas in others you must, or you have to if you’re under a certain age.
A full list can be found here, but contact your local authorities if you need confirmation.
The world’s changing. E-bikes are the future, and even though you might not need to wear a helmet in your local area, you really should.
Modern helmets are smart, stylish and packed with features. Gone are the days that wearing a helmet made people look twice. Given the choice between all of our selections, the Bell Annex is a fantastic general purpose helmet that will suit most people, but realistically, anything in our top 10 is a decent pick.
Have you worn any of these helmets? Are there any must-have models we might have missed? Make sure to let us know in the comments!