A helmet during any type of bike ride is essential for protection. Most people are looking for something lightweight that feels like nothing even close to a hindrance. However, that might change in the winter, as helmets can also act as a way to help keep people warm.
A few other features are usually found on helmets for bike riders in the winter. Is it worth investing in a helmet specifically for a certain time of year? These options below are all great for riding during those months when it might be a little colder than usual.
1. Giro Timberwolf Cold Weather Bike Helmet
As one of the most trusted names in bike helmets out there, most people are very happy to see that they launched a bike helmet designed specifically for the colder weather.
Most fat bike riders are more than willing to go out there and challenge themselves in the middle of the winter, and even though it is not the most aerodynamic, it provides insulation and full coverage.
The helmet wraps around the head to provide rear and side protection that is also very comfortable. They can get away with a bit more coverage because it is all about keeping people warm as well.
The padding can be a little heavier and in the way more than normal, as people are not having to worry about being as aerodynamic as possible. Part of the overall protection is built into the material used for warmth.
They spent a lot of time making sure that everything is as streamlined as possible, so people spend less time fiddling around with their helmet when they are riding. When fit correctly, there is protection such as insulated ear pads, a removable liner, a rear clip to hold sunglasses in the right spot, and so much more.
Maybe the best feature is the slider on the top of the helmet that can either open or close an air vent located at the top. Some people will start riding and feel like they are overheated a bit in this new helmet, so having those vents help out a lot.
All in all, the helmet is designed to be something that encompasses everything a person could ask for in head protection and warmth. Instead of trying to find stuff that can go underneath a regular helmet, having something that is built specifically for this type of use is nice. It also looks great, and it is durable enough to last several winter seasons when taken care of.
- Full coverage and installation.
- Vents on the helmet can open or close.
- Dynamic fit.
- Heats up a little too quickly for some.
- Might cause some mild head fatigue on long rides.
2. Lazer Dissent
Lazer is another company that has decided to dedicate themselves to building a winter option for those who like riding outdoors.
The winter helmet is still somehow able to stay pretty lightweight, and a lot of add-ons are completely removable if a person needs to go that direction. This means a person can control whether or not they are using a warm helmet or not, and that matters when temperatures can fluctuate quite a bit.
This is another pretty heavy-duty option that is usually reserved for either fat bike or mountain bike riders. It has a lot of features that are common in other helmets from Lazer sport, but the built-in layers certainly help.
With a few different colors to choose from, the selection process is pretty straightforward. People have the opportunity to get what they need with the protection that makes the most sense for them and then go from there.
It is the cheapest option to make this list, but also the one with the least amount of features. It provides perfect protection and great warmth, but might be lacking those finishing touches some people are willing to spend more on.
- Retention system provides a perfect fit.
- 13 different vents for comfort.
- Removable visor.
- Sizing chart is a little tough to figure out online.
- Some popular color choices have limited availability.
3. Specialized Centro Winter LED Helmet
A lot of people have the Specialized central winter helmet as the best overall option for coverage, comfort, functionality, and so much more.
Not only is it a trusted brand that has been around for a while, but there are so many add-ons that make it worth a fairly hefty price tag. For those who are riding any type of bike in the winter, it is about as perfect of a system one can find.
One of the standout features is that it is prepared for day or night riding. So many people are riding their bikes at different times of the day, and the winter months are usually shorter with light. When an LED light is needed, it is located right on the helmet for quick use and outstanding visibility.
For the protection itself, the helmet comes with the MIPS brain protection system, which is the best one can find at this time. People do not run the risk of having to watch their speed or cut back on any challenges out of fear. Simply getting the custom sizing down with a one-size-fits-all system will instantly provide great protection.
Another reason why people prefer this option from Specialized is that it is the lightest out there for winter warmth and protection. Most people are not setting huge speed records in the winter, but it can sometimes cause head fatigue if a person is wearing a helmet that is super heavy.
With this helmet, there are no additional pieces that a person needs to invest in to keep their head warm and protected. It is truly a solution that is perfect for anyone looking to be as comfortable as possible when they are on a bike in the winter.
Not only do fat bike riders find themselves very comfortable riding with this helmet, but it is lightweight enough for even cyclists to use if the weather is good enough to hit the roads.
- One size fits all.
- LED lights for visibility.
- Very lightweight.
- MIPS technology.
- One size fits all option might not work for extreme sizing.
4. Garneau Ghost
There is a lot of versatility with the Garneau Ghost, and that is one of the reasons why so many people have embraced it as one of the best bike helmets out there. Not only can be used in warmer weather, but the detachable ear pads can go inside for warmth when it is needed most. This helps people save money and use it more often throughout the year.
Biking can become expensive, and owning multiple helmets is sometimes something people can’t pull off. Instead of investing in a few different helmets for certain times of the year, it might make more sense to go with something versatile like this. There are certainly a lot of details that make this a comfortable fit, even without that pads inside.
To keep everything as locked in as possible, A Spiderlock Creo Retention System is one of the best out there. It always feels like a comfortable fit that is not going to move around, without feeling too tight. If anything feels weird at any time, it just takes one hand to adjust at any point.
The helmet also has some evacuation channels inside so that the head never feels like it is overheating. When using other pieces of material to keep the head warm, it can sometimes be tough to not overheat because of the way the helmet closest things off.
Finally, most people who ride in the winter are also going to be wearing some type of protection on their eyes. There is a goggle fastener included on the helmet, which makes it very easy to simply plug-in and use right away.
The look and design of this helmet is something that seems more like a mountain bike or fat bike option, but it weighs just 12.4 ounces. That means people who are looking for a fairly lightweight option for other types of riding will be just fine. The chance of having any type of fatigue with the head is slim to none, which is all that a lot of people are looking for.
- Works for all times of the year.
- Evacuation channel keeps people cool and comfortable.
- Spiderlock Creo Retention System makes everything comfortable.
- Goggle fastener could be a little sturdier.
- Design is not as aerodynamic as one would like for commuter or road bike options.
Can a Skiing or Snowboarding Helmet Work for Biking?
In a pinch, other helmets are certainly better than no helmet at all. However, they are different impact standards that certain helmets need to meet before going to production.
They are not going to provide the same type of protection as a bike helmet, which is why it is always recommended to purchase for the actual sport.
How Effective is Putting Winter Wear Under a Standard Helmet?
This is another common option that people turn to initially if they are looking to stay warm while riding in the winter. It mainly works well for those who are not riding a fat bike, since there are not as many options out there for helmets.
The disadvantage to this is that adding layers underneath a standard helmet could make the sizing too difficult to get right. If the helmet does not fit correctly, it is not going to provide the protection needed. Make sure that everything fits nicely underneath, and it will work out a lot better.
Also, click the link for more beginner cycling tips!
Additional Bike Riding Tips in the Winter
A helmet is a great start, but what other safety precaution should a person take if they are trying to brave the winter weather? It all down to taking that extra bit of time to make sure that the body is properly protected, and the bike is ready to go as well.
Clothing, clothing, and more clothing
Protecting the head and keeping it as warm as possible is certainly beneficial, but so is taking care of the rest the body. People need to wear the appropriate amount of clothing while riding in the winter, because it can sometimes be hard to judge.
Riders in the winter will notice that it feels a little colder when they are cutting through certain parts, as the wind slams up against a persons face and gives them chills. At the same time, going at a fast pace with layers of clothing on can heat a person up as well.
It is still very possible to break a sweat in cold weather, and that is much better than the alternative of trying to stay lightweight and overall comfortable. Start with a base layer and add options until it seems like everything is sufficiently covered. There is always a chance to take clothing off later in the right, but it can force a person to turn around and go back if they do not have the proper protection.
One simple rule is to pay attention to temperature right after stepping outside. If it feels too warm, a person probably has too many layers on. If it feels just slightly chilly, this is the perfect set up.
Take extra care of extremities
The hands and the feet are the most vulnerable areas on a person’s body in the cold temperatures. After the helmet, they are the two areas that need the most attention he overlooked by any circumstances.
Keeping the hands and feet warm means not only layers, but keeping any snow or moisture away. Make sure that everything is sealed off as much as possible, because even a tiny leak can start to make things that much more comfortable.
Have extra gear ready
A winter bike ride is inevitably going to be heavier than one in the summer. All the extra clothes a person wears adds weight, and so does packing the right gear (Amazon) for emergency situations.
Packing just one extra layer of clothing should be good, but do not forget other essentials like emergency food, water, and other essentials. It all comes in handy if there is an accident, or the bike breaks down for some reason.
Keep the bike protected
Finally, make sure to pay extra attention to the overall care of the bike. No one wants to abuse their bike during the wintertime, as that could affect a person’s overall safety. Make sure to do constant check-ups, and clean the bike off after each ride as well.
A safer bike means that a helmet is less likely to need to actually do its job. As important as it is to have the proper winter helmet, the goal for everyone is never to have to use it when it matters most. Protecting the body and the bike itself is also important.