Road vs. MTB vs. City: Which Type of Helmet is Right for Me?

So you’re in the market for a new bike helmet, but you’re overwhelmed by all the choices. You’ve got all sorts of helmets in many different shapes, colors and designs. Some are expensive, while some are cheaper. Essentially, all of them serve the same purpose, but depending on what type of cyclist you are, you’ll need a specialized type of helmet that will best suit you on the road or on the trails. Let’s explore the difference between the various types of bike helmets that exist.

Road bike helmets

If you’re speeding down the road wearing a helmet, your head and face will likely become very hot, as you’re using a lot of physical energy to power your bike. However, this doesn’t have to be the case. You just need to get a proper helmet. Many road cyclists make the mistake of buying a MTB helmet for road use, which causes their heads to become hot and sweaty. But road bike helmets are designed for better airflow — they have more vents, allowing for more air to reach your head, in turn cooling you down.

Road bike helmets are usually a bit more expensive than MTB helmets, simply because they’re designed in a way that provides good airflow without compromising for safety. They’re also engineered to be sleek and light, contributing to speed.

MTB helmets

While MTB helmets and road bike helmets look similar, there is a key difference between the two: MTB helmets cover more of your head. This is because MTB riders usually take on more dangerous riding environments, such as forest trails, and expose themselves to all sorts of obstacles such as rocks and tree branches. If you fall and hit your head, you don’t want to leave part of your skull exposed to the elements. Thus, MTB helmets are optimal for safety.

Because they cover more of your head, they also have fewer vents than road bike helmets. So their airflow isn’t as good as a road bike helmet, and they’re a bit bulkier, but you have to sacrifice comfort for safety.

Finally, most MTB helmets have a built-in visor to keep the sun out of your eyes. Road bike helmets don’t, because road cyclists usually wear sunglasses. But MTB riders can’t wear dark glasses when riding down a dark trail in the middle of the forest. Hence the addition of a visor, which lets you focus on the path ahead.

City bike helmets

Cycling in the city can be dangerous. Car accidents happen, even if you’re being careful. Or another cyclist might speed in front of you, causing a collision. So a helmet of any kind is a necessity. City bike helmets almost always feature reflectors, so drivers and other road users can spot you, day and night. Many city bike helmets today also include LED lights on the back, which further increase your visibility. Basically, city bike helmets are designed to keep you safe under any circumstances.


Now you know the difference between the main types of bike helmets. At Safety Labs Helmets, we sell all three types for your convenience. Our helmets are made of hardened polycarbonate plastic for maximum shock absorption, and all of them are designed for both safety and comfort. You won’t find a better helmet anywhere else.

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