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The ventilation, fit and looks of inexpensive helmets have never been better

You don't have to spend a fortune to get a helmet that's light, comfortable and well-ventilated. Our selection of budget lids includes big names such as Giro and Lazer, so you don't even have to forgo brand credibility.

For this selection we've stuck to helmets we've reviewed in the last few years that can be had for £35 or less. Since all helmets sold in the UK have to conform to European standards, we take it as a given that they provide that minimum level of impact absorption and look for comfort, ventilation and ease of adjustment.

If you want to know about co-moulded shells and ventilation, have a read of Cycling helmets — everything you need to know.

Got a bit more to spend? Take a look at all our helmet reviews.

If you've found an inexpensive helmet that you love, let us know in the comments.

B'Twin 500 mountain bike — £16.99

BTwin 500 Bike Helmet.jpg

BTwin 500 Bike Helmet.jpg

The B'Twin 500 helmet has been rebadged as a mountain bike helmet, but we see no reason why you can't use it on the road too. There are some minor compromises, but at £17 it's an absolute bargain.

Like most lids these days, it complies with EN1078 and follows the in-mould construction (where shell and EPS liner are formed together simultaneously). Build quality is extremely high, superior to many I've tested commanding nearer £100.

Read our review of the B'Twin 500

B'Twin 500 road — £29.99

BTwin Bike Helmet 700

BTwin Bike Helmet 700

Previously known as the 700, this 282g helmet is "ridiculously good value for money", says our Shaun Audane and "shows an attention to detail that exceeds many helmets at twice the price". It's tidily-made and well-ventilated, with an easy-to-use adjustment system.

It's available in red or white so it should look good with any outfit. The only fly in the ointment is that the sizing is slightly generous, so if you're on the borderline between sizes, choose the smaller one.

Read our review of the B'Twin 500 Road Helmet

Giro Trinity — £25.99

Giro Trinity helmet

Giro Trinity helmet

A classic design with modern features at a low price from Giro, arguably the most innovative helmet brand of the last 25 years. This is a helmet that isn't making a statement, simply providing head protection. Like most value helmets, it has fewer vent holes with larger spacing, which has the added bonus of making the helmet more solid.

Read our review of the Giro Trinity
Find a Giro dealer

Abus MountX Children's Helmet — £32.98

Abus Mount X Childrens Helmet

Abus Mount X Childrens Helmet

There are cheaper kids' helmets but with the MountX you get Abus' reputation for quality and thoughtfully-designed features like a rear LED light built into the dial adjuster and a ratchet buckle with a pad to stop it snagging tender young skin.

Read our review of the Abus MountX
Find an Abus dealer

Lazer Cyclone — £21.62

Lazer Cyclone helmet - front

Lazer Cyclone helmet - front

A comfortable basic helmet that looks and feels good, the Cyclone has 19 large vents for cooling, plenty of reflective patches for visibility and a peak for rain and sun protection.

Read our review of the Lazer Cyclone
Find a Lazer dealer

Oxford Raven — £39.99

Oxford Raven helmet - detail.jpg

Oxford Raven helmet - detail.jpg

If you asked us how much we'd be prepared to pay for a comfortable, well-ventilated helmet, with a good dial retention system and modern construction techniques, that weighs about 250g, we'd probably say that was about sixty quid's worth of hat, or more. So the fact that the Oxford Raven is just £39.99 makes it a bargain, if the performance lives up to the spec on paper. It does.

Read our review of the Oxford Raven

[This article was last updated on August 25, 2017]

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.

4 comments

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kil0ran [492 posts] 1 year ago
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The BTwin 500 is the most comfortable, adjustable helmet I've owned. Contrary to the review it now comes in a variety of colours (orange, red & I think blue in addition to the yellow) & also sizes. And fear not, the peak is removable (although the profile then looks a little odd to my eyes).

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drosco [369 posts] 1 month ago
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I use the bwtin for commuting. It's great. I really like the visor on rainy days and as the review says, the build quality is brilliant. Really not sure why anyone would need more than this.

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OR_biker [20 posts] 1 month ago
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Picked up the Giro Trinity about a year and a half ago for $40.  Is pretty comfortable and adjustable, plus I liked the bright yellow for commuting.  Has now turned into my winter commuter helmet after I was able to find a steal of a deal on a Kask Protone for $100.  

The straps on the Giro are a bit weird, can't get them to lay flat at all on the side of my face, took a bit to get used to (the department store Bell helmets I used before even had strap systems that laid mostly flat).  Plus, Giro helmets sit slightly wide on my head, so give me a bit of a mushroom look.  However, I don't mind this during the winter since it gives me room to fit thicker head coverings under it to keep warm, whereas the Protone can only fit the thinnest of caps under it.

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BarryBianchi [342 posts] 4 weeks ago
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Got the B'Twin for my kids.  Then I got one for the wife.  The major fault with them is that they totally expose the massive urine extraction exercise that's going on with the "premium" lids and their comedy pricing.