Best Cycling Helmets Under $50 | Top 9 Picks!

Best cycling helmets under $50
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Safety is very important in cycling, and choosing the right helmet can make all the difference. Helmets are not just accessories; they are essential protective gear against potential accidents and impacts to the head. 

We all know the dangers of cycling without a helmet, and there is really no excuse to get on your bike without a properly-fitted helmet, because you can get a helmet for any budget. 

There are so many great budget-friendly cycling helmets under $50. And I’ve picked out some of the best options after doing my homework and testing. 

So, here we go…

Are cheap helmets any good?

Cheap helmets can be effective and keep you safe if they meet the safety standards like CPSC or CE. 

Meeting these certifications ensures a basic level of protection against impacts. Even though pricier helmets may have extra features, like better airflow or lighter materials, the main job of any helmet is to keep your head safe in accidents. 

When choosing a helmet, what you should focus on is finding one that fits well and has the right safety certifications, instead of just looking at the price. While pricier helmets might offer extra comfort and perks, a well-fitted, budget-friendly helmet can still do a solid job of keeping your head protected. 

What’s important is that you check for certification labels on helmets and choose one that fits your needs and activities while meeting the necessary safety standards.

What is the difference between cheap and expensive helmets?

The main difference between cheap and expensive helmets is the materials, design, and extra features they have.

Expensive helmets are usually made of higher-quality materials to make them lighter and more comfortable for long-term use. They also come with more sophisticated ventilation systems for better airflow and cooling.

On the other hand, inexpensive helmets are made with basic materials and have simpler construction. They might not have all the fancy features of the pricier ones, but they still meet the safety standards. 

Cheap helmets might be a bit heavier (this is not always the case) and have simpler ventilation, but they can do the job well enough for cycling, and other recreational activities.

The right helmet for you really comes down to what you’re looking for, your budget, and what you plan to use the helmet for.

9 Best Cycling Helmets Under $50 on Amazon

HOYSIN Adult Bike Helmet with Replacement Liner

If you’re looking for a helmet that’s good quality and can handle the summer heat without breaking the bank, this one’s a solid pick.

This helmet has excellent airflow with its 14 vents and built-in channels that keep the air flowing, which is  sure to keep your head cool even on the hottest days.

The design with quick-release buckles makes putting on and taking off the helmet a quick and easy process, adding to the overall convenience. Despite the heat, this helmet stays impressively cool.

It’s lightweight, and the straps sit just right, you’ll get a snug fit without any irritation on the neck.

The adjustable fit system and cushioned interiors add an extra layer of comfort, making it a top choice for long rides. 

Aside from the performance, the nice color and overall build quality make it stand out. Plus, it’s well-built, and its performance and comfort makes it great value for the price.

Price at time of Publication: $28

Zenroll Adult Bike Helmet Bicycle Helmets with Detachable Visor 

This Zenroll cycling helmet strikes a perfect balance between lightweight comfort and solid durability. Even with a strong outer shell, it’s surprisingly lightweight, and will make your head feel secure without weighing you down too much.

I especially like the extra room it has; you can easily wear a light baseball cap underneath or if you have a lot of hair you can carefully tuck them in.

The adjustable design and overall build quality are also impressive. It has a PC outer shell and EPS foam inner shell designed to handle impacts.

And the 11 vents do a great job of keeping your head cool and preventing overheating on long rides or hot days. The dial fit system and side straps are handy for adjusting to different head sizes – a win for both guys and ladies.

What’s more, the removable foam lining pads are easy to wash, so you can keep your helmet fresh even after a long and sweaty ride.

Price at time of Publication: $27

Zacro Adult Bike Helmet Lightweight with Pads & Visor

This is one of those helmets for cyclists with a bigger-than-average head. Despite that, it has a lightweight design, a solid PC shell and shock-absorbing EPS foam to provide excellent shock absorption and drop resistance.

It has a special aerodynamic design for cyclists who love speed, and 18 vents that effectively circulates air to keep your head from sweating.

This Zacro cycling helmet generally does a great job balancing safety, comfort, and convenience – and the adjustable dial system and side straps make it work for all head sizes.

The extra padding inside also adds to the comfort, and the fact that it comes out for easy cleaning is a nice touch.

Price at time of Publication: $30


Shinmax Bicycle Helmet with Rear Light and Detachable Visor – CPSC Certificated Helmet 

The Shinmax bike helmet has a user-friendly design and all the safety features you’d expect from a protective gear. 

The built-in LED rear light is especially great for nighttime rides or cycling in low-light conditions. It has three lighting modes – steady, slow flashing, and fast flashing – for extra visibility. And the replacement battery is a thoughtful addition.

Another practical feature is the detachable sun visor, which shields the eyes from the sun and keeps rain out of your vision. 

This helmet nails it with comfort, safety, and convenience, and the 22 breathable vents will keep your head cool, even on warmer rides, thanks to the smart airflow design. 

It has a lightweight build, and adjusting the fit is very easy, so you can quickly get the perfect snugness for comfort. Plus, it doesn’t feel heavy or awkward during long rides. 

Price at time of Publication: $33

Basecamp Bicycle Helmet with Rear Light & Detachable Magnetic Goggles & Portable Backpack 

This is a well-made helmet that sits comfortably on your head, and the adjustable features let you personalize the fit for a comfort. It feels really solid, and gives you a strong sense of safety without being too heavy.

The safety features are great, especially for the price. It has back LED lights to make sure you’re seen during night rides, and the magnetic glasses are handy for sun protection.

The clear visor is held in place by strong built-in magnets that keep it secure even when you’re going fast. And when not in use, you can tuck the visor away using the same magnetic dock.

The Basecamp helmet meets the cycling standards in the US. The design is sleek and aerodynamic, with 28 vents that let the breeze flow, cutting down on air resistance and keeping you cool by preventing too much sweating.

And the best part? It’s super light, (just 0.60 lb), so it won’t feel like you’re lugging around a heavy load on your head. 

Price at time of Publication: $32

Veltuno Bike Helmet with MIPS & LED lights

Most cyclists will be really impressed with how sturdy and comfy this helmet is. The adjustable straps are made of high-quality material, and I like how easily they can be adjusted to get a good fit.

The strap has a twist adjustment so you can dial in how snug you want the helmet, and it can go in both directions so you can make minor adjustments much easier.

 I also like how practical it is with the removable visor, blocking out glare to improve visibility, especially during mountain biking. Safety is a big deal with this helmet; it meets both US CPSC and EU CE bicycle helmet standards.

The tough high-density PC shell and extra-thick EPS foam give solid protection, and the MIPS technology is a great addition to redirect energy in case of a crash. 

Price at time of Publication: $30

Retrospec Lennon Bike Helmet with LED Safety Light & Removable Visor

The Lennon is another great helmet, both in terms of style and functionality. The sleek design and attention to detail in its construction gives it a trendy look and a lightweight, breezy feel.

There’s a built-in LED light on the back for nighttime rides, to make sure others on the road see you, which is a valuable safety feature, especially when it’s dark.

The detachable visor is a flexible addition for different weather, and the quality padding makes long rides comfortable.

With 15 vents and inner air channels, this helmet will keep your head cool, even during extended rides in warm weather. 

Plus, the removable and washable padding is very practical, so you can be sure your helmet feels fresh and clean every time you get on my bike. Overall, this helmet is a great choice for its blend of style, comfort, and safety features.

Price at time of Publication: $35

Exclusky Mountain Bike Helmets for Men and Women

If you want a budget-friendly helmet that fits snugly without any pressure points, then this is a great pick. 

Its lightweight design, combined with plush interior padding, makes it exceptionally comfortable. 

What stands out the most is the excellent ventilation system. The vents are strategically placed to allow for optimal airflow, and they actually prevent you from sweaty and feeling uncomfortable.

The big sun visor is also a great match for the helmet, and it gives you a wide view and easy adjustment for better visibility in different weather. 

It fits just right without any annoying pressure points, so cycling is always fun, even on longer rides. The sturdy inspires confidence that it can handle the job if there’s ever a crash.

Price at time of Publication: $28

Adjustable Men & Women Bicycle Helmet with Detachable Visor

This helmet is well-crafted and comfy, with a sleek shape and multiple air vents designed to keep your head cool and comfortable during long rides or urban commuter biking. 

The adjustable straps and easy dial in the back make it simple to get the right fit for different head sizes, giving flexibility and comfort.

The snap-on/off straps are simple, easy to adjust, and lock in place with a plastic clip.

The detachable sun visor is great since it provides constant shade against the sun or rain, especially handy for all the mountain and road bikers. Plus, the cozy fabric liner and foam layer add extra protection for your head.

This is essentially a versatile, well-made helmet that works great for both city commuters and cycling enthusiasts like myself.

Price at time of Publication: $30

What features should a good helmet have?

A good helmet should have several key features to ensure effective protection and user comfort. Here are some important features to consider:

Safety Certification: 
  • Certification ensures the helmet meets minimum safety requirements. Make sure you only buy helmets that comply with recognized safety standards like CPSC, CE, or Snell.
Proper Fit: 
  • It’s important that your helmet fits well for the best protection. It should sit comfortably on your head without being too tight or too loose. Having adjustable straps and different sizing options helps you get the right fit. 
Impact Absorption: 
  • When it comes to impacts, your helmet is your first line of defense, so it should have a liner that absorbs and spreads out the energy from accidents, to effectively reduce the impact force on your head. 
  • Good ventilation is important for staying cool during intense activities like cycling. Helmets with smart ventilation systems keep the air flowing, and prevent you from getting too hot. 
Lightweight Design: 
  • This mostly depends on the build-quality of the helmet. A lighter helmet is more comfortable, especially if you’re using it for a long time. High quality materials will make a helmet lighter overall. 
  • Features, like adjustable straps and sizing systems, let you adjust the fit of your helmet for maximum comfort and security. 
Visor or Face Shield: 
  • If you’re into cycling, having a visor or face shield on your helmet can give you extra protection from the wind, debris, and sunlight.
Easy Buckle System: 
  • Your ideal helmet should have an easy-to-use buckle system for quick and secure fastening, this makes it easy to put on and take off. 
Style and Visibility: 
  • While it might not be a safety thing, choosing a helmet with reflective elements or bright colors can make you more visible, especially when it’s dark.

What is MIPS, and do I need it?

MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is like a safety upgrade for helmets. It’s designed to make your helmet safer by reducing the rotational forces to your head during a crash. 

Helmets with MIPS have an extra liner inside the helmet, this liner allows some movement between the outer shell and your head.

MIPS helmets can help lower the risk of certain head injuries, especially when the hit to the head is from an angle or the side. The MIPS liner helps redirect and reduce the rotational forces that reach your brain, which helps to prevent rotational trauma to the brain.

You don’t absolutely need MIPS, but it can give you extra protection, especially in impacts that involve rotation. You often find it in helmets for biking, skiing, and other similar activities.

If you’re into activities with a higher chance of hits that make your head turn, like cycling, getting a helmet with MIPS could be a good call. 

Do expensive helmets make a difference?

Expensive helmets can have extra features like better airflow, more aerodynamic, and a more advanced look. But the most important thing is that any helmet, whether cheap or expensive, meets safety standards for protection. Cheaper helmets that meet these standards will still keep you safe.

How long do helmets last?

Helmets usually last around 5 years. Even if your helmet is not involved in a crash, you might still need to change it after a few years. It’s also important to regularly check your helmet for any wear and tear. If it takes a big hit, or you see any obvious damage, it should be replaced right away. 

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