10 Shockingly Chic Bicycle Helmets

The typical bike helmet is designed for safety and comfort, not style.

If only that were true. I wouldn’t mind wearing a plain-colored noggin-cover that was purely functional. After all, I’m never like, “I wish this seatbelt matched my shoes” while riding in a car. (Just kidding. I don’t ride in cars.)

Yet sport helmet “designers” insist on covering the protective plastic surface with abstract floral designs and pink racing stripes. You know what? You can’t polish a turd. You might be able to roll it in glitter. But it still stinks.

Good judgment is always sexy. And there are a lot of protective lids that actually look decent. Attractive even. In no particular order, I present to you my favorite helmet styles.

10 Shockingly Chic Bicycle Helmets for Spring

1. Bobbin Gold Helmet

The first time I saw this golden beauty, I fell so hard. In love. This is the one that could turn me into one of those nerds that walks around the grocery store with her helmet on. Created by Bobbin Bicycles, Cyclechic.co.uk will ship to the US. Also sold in silver.


2. Yakkay Paris Helmet

The Yakkay helmet system is all about options. A simple helmet base provides protection. It fits any of the 15 cute covers. The Paris style in Black Oilskin is my pick for everyday wear. But a fluffy fur cover is very Dr. Zhivago.


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via NJ.com

3. Bandbox Bicycle Helmets Dubliner 

Like Yakkay, Bandbox Bicycle Helmets starts with a base helmet that pairs with various covers. But the style is vintage millinery. There are even huge, floppy, straw bonnets so you can dress bike like your hero Six. And don’t worry about hanging on to your hat. All the cover designs “have been field tested riding 35 mph down a 12% grade to assure satisfactory performance.” Wheeeeee! 

 4. Sawako Furuno Hanabi

You really can’t go wrong with a Sawako Furuno. This London-by-way-of-Tokyo designer just gets cycle chic. The dainty floral motif was inspired by vintage fabric and produced in limited quantities. You can still get your hands on one via Amazon, although they tend to sell out!


5. BERN Lenox EPS

After noticing how many women were shopping their men’s-only line of multi-sport helmets, Bern finally came up with a version for the ladies. I have to give them credit for keeping the styling simple and providing a range of colors that Pantone would approve of. And nary a drop of pink.



6. Casqu’En Ville Carrambar

Another base + swappable cover system, Casque’En Ville is brimming with French savoire-faire (or is it je ne sais quoi?). There’s even an ultra-light carbon fiber base helmet. Casqu’En Ville will ship to the US, but these helmets are approved to EU standards only. They haven’t yet been certified for the US market.



7. Coyle Holz Tree Piece

Coyle’s wooden helmets are beautiful, tasteful, and totally unique. High-end furniture for your head. Each one is individually handcrafted in Oregon. But if you’d like the look for a little less paper, try the Lazer Street Deluxe Helmet in Wood Grain.


8.  Lazer Cityzen Helmet

Another one from the spelling-challenged Lazer label: a fabric covered hardshell helmet. The red plaid can give Sherlock-Holmesian flair to your look or be punk-ed up, depending on your steez.


giro9. Giro Surface Multi-Sport

For the ultimate in chic, match your lipstick to your helmet. Giro is another go-to brand for affordable, adorable lids that are vaguely equestrian inspired. This model has a dial in the back so you can adjust the fit. A great feature if you like to switch up your hairstyle.


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via SAHN

10. SAHN Classic Helmet

For all you minimalist-design monks, I present the ultra-clean lines of the matte white SAHN helmet. Pure elegance from Vancouver, BC.



Bonus: Outlaw Brown Wood Grain Helmet, out of stock

The most tantalizing helmet I’ve seen. This baby is actually a motorcycle helmet. Known as a half-helmet for its light styling. It’s without ventilation holes. And heavier than a bicycle helmet. But it’s got that Sawako Furuno look for a fraction of the price. Unfortunately it’s out of stock. The Avenir Wood Grain Helmet is similar (but not as cool). How badass is this chrome version?

Learn more about proper helmet fit with Cyclechic’s illustrated Helmet Guide.

And did you know that some cycling advocates–especially the founder of Copenhagen Cycle Chic, Mikael Colville-Andersen–are against wearing bicycle helmets? Read Elly Blue’s thorough write-up on the helmet debate here.

**This post contains Amazon affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links. That said, all opinions are are my own.

17 thoughts on “10 Shockingly Chic Bicycle Helmets

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  6. Any suggestions for stylish helmets with maximum ventilation? I live in a country that’s perpetually 30 degC with high humidity…. :(

  7. What brand is the white helmet in the cover picture (with the red underside rim) as worn by the lovely lady in black?

    Thank you. Great post!

  8. It took me about a month to not be offended by the line: “One of those nerds that walks around the grocery store with her helmet on.” …because that is me. Occasionally I get lazy and just leave it on. And I’m a huge nerd. It took me about 20 years to realize that one. I play Final Fantasy 7, Dungeons and Dragons (only for the last two years), I like Star Trek and Stargate: Atlantis. I also happen to be an Extreme Lover of Fashion. Yeah, I DO ride in heels; been riding in my Fluevogs for the last 9 years…. in dresses and bloomers and even with victory rolls in my hair (I swear if I do it just right-and carefully situate bobby pins so they *won’t* poke into my brain in an accident-they look fine between taking helmet off and on again & vice versa)… but I digress. Eventually, after I ranted in my head and railed against bicycle snobbery for a number of weeks, I came back here and re-read the sentence. It still irks me a little, but I’m starting to see maybe you didn’t mean it in a derogatory manner. But in case others misconstrue your meaning there, I wanted to let you know. Because every time I walk into a store with my helmet on from now on, I’m going to feel a little extra self conscious (although also, a bit rebellious). I would just hate if anyone thought being a ‘Nerd’ meant they couldn’t have style. And style should not be a deterrent to being safe. I love my life. I can’t get dolled up and ride my bike if I bust my head open and die. Obviously you have similar feelings or you would not have done this post in the first place. I just felt-at first- like you were trying to shame me for being safe over ‘not looking like a nerd’… and it caused a knee jerk reaction to be offended. I’m sorry I just HAD to say something or it was LITERALLY going to bug me for the rest of my life. (Should I mention I’m a tad neurotic?) Otherwise, I appreciate your ‘being here’ on de ol’ Internet and sharing your finds, etc.

    Btw, I looked around but not thoroughly, have you done any articles on bike etiquette, or at least bicycle bells? One of my personal pet peeves with a lot of riders is that they don’t tell you when they’re coming up behind you. So unsafe! Not to mention, you could get spit on -by accident- if you don’t let someone know you’re there! With the increasing # of ‘cyclists’ (hate that word, makes me think of lycra and guys with bad manners), it will only get worse if we continue to behave like savages, or in some cases, rude A-holes. If you already wrote about it, I guess I’ll come across it later…. ;)

    • I haven’t been inspired to write a post about bike etiquette. Because I don’t think it’s a big deal and I don’t want to police the behavior of people who ride bikes. It’s mostly harmless. We don’t need a whole bunch of rules.

      The biggest threat to rider safety is CARS. Cars, cars, cars. They are messing with our shit.

      I’m happy that you feel like this is a safe space to express your slight neuroticism. That’s important. You know, no one gave me permission to start this blog. I just did it. I’m probably not going to change my writing to be less offensive. If anything, I feel like I need to care less about what people think (Sorry, Mom) and post from the heart.

      p.s. I actually have been spit on while riding a bike. It was pretty gross and no amount of bell-ringing would have prevented it.

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