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6 of the best cheap cycling helmets — find decent lids that don't cost a fortune

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

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

6 of the best cheap cycling helmets for 2021

For this selection we've stuck to bike helmets we've reviewed in the last few years that can be had for £50 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 bike helmet reviews.

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

Raleigh Mission Evo — £15.99 - £18.99

2021 Raleigh Mission Evo Helmet.jpg

Raleigh's Mission Evo helmet is an affordable option with good ventilation. With a rear light and a detachable peak, it's a versatile one too, and really doesn't deserve an 'entry level' label – even if its price suggests it.

If you simply want a well-ventilated helmet that offers comfort and doesn't look like a bowl, you can't go far wrong with the Mission Evo. There are no aero claims or high-tech features; it's a simple micro-shell construction with a comfy, adjustable strap and basket.

Read our review of the Raleigh Mission Evo
Find a Raleigh dealer

Abus Macator helmet — £24.90

2020 Abus Macator Road Helmet.jpg

The Abus Macator is a decent entry-level helmet that isn't limited to road riding. It offers good venting and has a couple of neat additions that we'd like to see on more expensive helmets, and the weight isn't too bad either.

Entry-level helmets can be a bit on the heavy side, but the Macator is just 278g for a size medium, without the peak added. We're only talking 60 or 70g lighter, but it is noticeable when you stick it on your head, adding to the overall comfort of the Abus.

The shape gives a good fit all the way around and it's easily adjustable at the rear both in height and circumference. A little thumbwheel on the back of the cradle means you can adjust it easily on the fly too.

Read our review of the Abus Macator Helmet
Find an Abus dealer

Endura Hummvee helmet — £40.84

2020 Endura Humvee cycle helmet.jpg

The Endura Hummvee is a great value mountain biking, commuting and leisure helmet that is comfortable, relatively light and benefits from some useful features. It can get a bit warm and the fit might not be perfect for everyone, but if it suits you, it's an absolute bargain.

Construction features a moulded polycarbonate shell covering an expanded polystyrene core, with a chunky twist-wheel micro-adjustment system to get a nice stable fit. Because it's aimed partly at mountain bikers, the Hummvee comes with a visor, too.

The Humvee feels impressively plush from the off and is very stable on the head, with the straps and twist-wheel adjustment doing their jobs well.

Read our review of the Endura Hummvee Helmet
Find an Endura dealer

Giant Rev Comp helmet — £48.74

Giant Rev Comp Road Helmet.jpg

The Giant Rev Comp is a very good entry-level helmet offering a comfortable fit, decent ventilation and plenty of adjustment for a very reasonable price.

Some people just want a basic helmet that does the job while meeting the relevant safety standards – a simple click and go type of lid – and that is exactly what the Rev Comp is.

Its design, though, has been pretty thorough when it comes to the vent position, often one of the failing points of many helmets below the 60 quid mark. You get 16 of them dotted all around, and I was surprised with how well they work – especially when you think that most pro-level helmets use well over 20.

In the latest version, you also get MIPS — Multidirectional Impact Protection System — which is claimed to reduce the severity of certain types of impact.

Read our review of the Giant Rev Comp helmet
Find a Giant dealer

dhb C1.0 Crossover helmet — £30.00

dhb C1.0 Crossover Helmet

We haven't tested it, but Wiggle customers are universally happy with their dhb C1.0 helmets, the least expensive of the three-lid line-up from Wiggle's house brand. There's a dial adjuster to tweak the fit, a peak for that gnarly dude look (and to keep the rain off your glasses) and Coolmax pads.

If you've a little more money to spend, the dhb R2.0 Road Helmet (£30 - £47.50) features racier styling.

Specialized Align with MIPS helmet — £47.50

specialized align helmet yellow.jpg

Very well-liked, the Align follows the styling, and has many of the features, of Specialized's top-of-the-line S-Works Prevail helmet, but costs a fraction of that spendy lid's price. It includes MIPS — Multi-directional Impact Protection System — which is claimed to improve protection from certain types of impact.

The Align II with MIPS for £40 is also worth a look, but doesn't appear to have as many vents so may not be as well-ventilated.

Find a Specialized dealer

Oxford Raven helmet — £39.99

Oxford Raven  cycling helmet - detail

If you asked us how much we'd be prepared to pay for a comfortable, well-ventilated bike 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's RRP 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

Explore the complete archive of reviews of helmets on

About Buyer's Guides

The aim of buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

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As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

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Add new comment


grasen | 1 year ago
1 like

As a person who hates helmets I have a wish. Could you make an article about the lightest helmets on the market. Last time I was living in Australia I had to have a helmet and used a helmet from NZ that weighed 210 grams. After a half hours use I thought it was too heavy

GMBasix | 1 year ago

The shape gives a good fit all the way around

I never understand why reviews of clothing, helmets and the like refer to the 'fit' of the item.

"it fits well..." - it fits the tester well. It fits the person next to them really badly.

The only way you can really know about the fit is to try things on and see if it fits your form.

wtjs replied to GMBasix | 1 year ago

The only way you can really know about the fit is to try things on and see if it fits your form

I both agree and disagree. Shoes, yes- although I have found Shimano is very consistent and reliable. Personally, I find that M always works for clothes, and for the vital cycling helmet I shove a sock on top of my head if I don't have a thin winter hat because bits of the shell always press on the scalp if you have the strap convincingly tight

The_Bedford_Cyclist | 2 years ago

The Lazer Cyclone is light and feels great. I like how it looks as well

bechdan | 4 years ago

why no planet x / on-one helmets?

BigYin replied to bechdan | 4 years ago
bechdan wrote:

why no planet x / on-one helmets?

because nobody at PX sent a envelope of used tenners the helmets for review?


dave_t replied to BigYin | 2 years ago

I've got two PX helmets neither of which cost more than a tenner each but are lighter and more compfortable that the Giro helmet that cost five times as much.

pjclinch | 4 years ago

I use an Aldi one, cost a tenner, it's fine for those occasions I use a lid.

I use it for Go-Ride coaching, and I'm not the only coach there using one...

wtjs replied to pjclinch | 1 year ago

I use an Aldi one, cost a tenner

Agreed- all the Aldi cycling stuff I have is excellent, and I expect Lidl's is too. We just don't have one.

vonhelmet | 4 years ago

I just bought a Giro MIPS helmet for like £50. Sorry, I guess.

bechdan | 4 years ago

Planet X has the Carnac Croix road helmet on offer for £9.99, Im quite impressed with the quality and fit.

DavidC | 5 years ago

This summer I used a BTwin 500 Road (700) for a couple of rides — the fit was good, it looks ok, and I was comfortable all the time. I didn't think about it while it was on my head.

I bought a BTwin 900 (€50), used it a few times, and so far I am happy with it. The head grabber at the back has more adjustment than my old Bell Volt. The straps on the 900 are very thin, lightweight. and lay flat, but the plastic bit under the ears that holds the straps is not adjustable, which may or may not be a problem. On one of the two 900s I tried in the shop, the ear bits were not even, the straps were crooked and could not be corrected. The second was perfect. The under-chin clasp/strap adjustment lets the strap slide a bit and has needed adjustment every time it has been used so far.

aegisdesign | 5 years ago

Every year or so Lidl do a commuter helmet. This year (March I think) it was £12.99.

I bought one about three years ago in matt grey for I think £10.99. This year I got a gloss white one. They also came in fluro yellow this year. The 3 year old helmet was still good but at the price it's nice to freshen up.

It has an LED light in the back and comes with a rain cover. The pads don't disintegrate like some more expensive helmets I've got. The peak is removable but you're left with 4 small holes where it plugs in.

For commuting where I don't want to wear my more expensive, lighter road or mountain bike helmets they're great, basic, durable lids. The large is large enough for my head and a buff/cap/hat under it. It's been great for winter.

Being Lidl, it has a 3 year warranty. I've not had to use that.

Weight: 270g

Made by Speq in Germany

Reedo | 5 years ago

After yet another school shooting in the US it is a bit hard to see featuring Giro or other brands (Bell, Blackburn, CamelBak, Bolle) owned by assault weapons firm Vista Outdoor. Many retailers dropped them after Florida, and publications have at least flagged the issue so consumers can decide for themselves. 

Welsh boy replied to Reedo | 5 years ago
Reedo wrote:

After yet another school shooting in the US it is a bit hard to see featuring Giro or other brands (Bell, Blackburn, CamelBak, Bolle) owned by assault weapons firm Vista Outdoor. Many retailers dropped them after Florida, and publications have at least flagged the issue so consumers can decide for themselves. 

Can you explain to me exactly what you think the link is between an article on a cycling website and a person who commits a horrendous crime in a country where their laws allow them to carry guns is please?  It's also strange that you only mention the USA, what about the shooting in Belgium, doesnt that bother you too?

hawkinspeter replied to Reedo | 5 years ago
Reedo wrote:

After yet another school shooting in the US it is a bit hard to see featuring Giro or other brands (Bell, Blackburn, CamelBak, Bolle) owned by assault weapons firm Vista Outdoor. Many retailers dropped them after Florida, and publications have at least flagged the issue so consumers can decide for themselves. 

It's fair enough to decide to boycott brands due to their owners donating huge sums of money to the NRA, but it's unreasonable to ask to boycott advertising revenue for the same reason. Buyers can easily just switch to another manufacturer and will end up spending roughly the same amount of money, but a website might not easily get another advertiser to fill the space and thus end up poorer.

Also, Vista Outdoor has stated that they are selling off their non-gun brands due to the boycott (which is a good thing) although I don't think they have actually done so yet.

Simboid | 5 years ago

B-Twin 700 (500) bought 3 years ago, very happy.

Of course I'd love an ultra expensive super light lid, who wouldn't? But I think the price would make me almost as unhappy as the RoadCC model in these pics. Is someone forcing him to stand still while a dog pees against his bike?

flaviosan | 5 years ago
1 like

i used the white b-twin road 500 for 5 years, more than 50000km, good value for money (45€at that time), comfortable, ventilation was pretty good.

When i purchased it i found included a spare set of cushions that i used after the first 3 years, unfortunately i had to retire it three weeks ago because the rear plastic fastener broke where it is bent.

I just purchased a Bell and i'm not satisfied as i was with the b-twin.


BarryBianchi | 6 years ago

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.

OR_biker | 6 years ago
1 like

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.

drosco | 6 years ago

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.

kil0ran | 7 years ago
1 like

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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