There are two basic types of BMX bike helmets: open-face BMX helmets and full-face BMX helmets. The type you choose depends on the type of riding you plan on doing. In general, how aggressively you ride and where you ride will determine the amount of protection you need from your helmet. You can learn specifically how to choose a full-face BMX helmet here.
With "regular" or open face BMX helmets, there are two styles: skate style and traditional style. Either one can offer adequate protection for street, freestyle, and flatland riding. Skate-style BMX helmets have more of a round, bucket-like shape. They have slightly less ventilation than a typical bike helmet but make up for that with a bit more coverage on the sides and back of your head. .Traditional-style BMX helmets look a lot like the prototypical bicycle helmet—aerodynamic design, lightweight, well-vented, covering the top of your head but not extending too far down the back of your head.
By federal law, all helmets sold as "bicycle helmets" in the United States, including helmets for BMX, must meet the requirements of the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) bike helmet standard. Look for the CPSC sticker on the inside of the helmet, and do not buy a helmet for biking that does not meet the CPSC safety standard.
For helmets to protect you from a serious head injury, they must fit properly and remain in place during a crash. Below, we go over some features that help ensure a proper fit for this vital piece of BMX protective gear. Measure your head and select a helmet that fits your size. Be careful not to assume sizing; age, height, and weight have little to do with how big your head is! Measure, measure, measure, and then pick the right size for you. If you're looking for a child's BMX helmet or youth BMX helmet, check out our Kids BMX Helmet page. Not sure how to measure your child's head for a helmet? Be sure to visit our Kids' Helmet Sizing Page.
The way a helmet rests on your head is critical to how it will perform for its intended use. How many times have you seen the neighborhood kid riding his bike down the street with his helmet kicked way back on his forehead, so that he looks more like a comic strip character with an orb growing off the back of his head? This is NOT the proper way to wear a helmet. Proper helmet fit means proper head coverage. When you try on a helmet, the front of the helmet should sit down onto your forehead until just above your eyebrows. There should be room enough to slip on a pair of goggles or sunglasses, but not much more. A half-inch in most cases. BMX helmets are usually sold with a different exterior shell size to accommodate the size of the wearer’s head, along with sometimes interchangeable fit pads or a rotating dial to further customize the fit and snugness. Every BMX helmet has a sizing table in its description that shows the head size (usually in centimeters for more accuracy) and corresponding helmet size (Small, Medium, Large, etc.)
Different manufacturers make their helmet molds differently. For you, the wearer, what’s important is that the helmet fits comfortably all the way around your head. If you think you’ve got the proper size but the helmet is still a little roomy in a spot or two, that is not a big deal. You can add included fit pads where necessary to achieve a more secure fit. However, if you’ve selected what you believe is the proper size but feel an uncomfortable pressure anywhere around the circumference of your head, then this helmet is probably too small for you. Try a different size or style of helmet from the same line or try a different manufacturer altogether. To find a BMX helmet that fits you comfortably, start with SportsProtective’s Helmet Sizing Guide, then use your head measurements to compare all of the different helmet offerings from the different manufacturers that appeal to you. You will find a great selection to choose from.
Prices for BMX helmets can range from $30 to over $350. All of them meet the CPSC standards, so why is there such a huge variation in price? It depends on the extra features. Comparing open face BMX helmets to full-face helmets is like comparing apples to oranges, so we'll split up these to categories and address them separately for the discussion on price.
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