Helmet Buyers Guide

At Pure Electric, we firmly believe that helmets are an essential accessory. Although not a legal requirement in the UK, we think that the safety that they add to a ride is well worth the effort of finding one that does the job for you.

While a helmet is just a helmet, it’s important to make sure that you have one that fits properly, has the features that you want and need, and – probably most importantly – doesn’t put you off wearing one or riding your electric bike or scooter in the process.

This is Pure Electric’s essential guide to helmets.

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Helmet design

At their core, helmets are designed to do one job – to protect your head in the event that you have an accident. By providing a protective shell around your head, the severity of impacts against hard surfaces is reduced, helping to reduce the chances of a head injury.  

Helmets come in a variety of designs depending on their use. Some are built for light weight, aerodynamic or even cooling performance on the road, some for increased head coverage on a mountain bike trail, while others are designed with an eye on aesthetics in an urban setting.  

Which is right for you depends on the kind of riding you intend to do, plus any other factors that are especially important to you.  

Helmet Safety

All helmets should conform to local standards that control their quality. In the UK, the British Standards Institution adopts the regulations set out by Europe’s General Product Safety Regulations (EN 1078 for adults, EN 1080 for kid’s helmets). In order to be awarded this certification, helmets must undergo and pass a series of tests. 

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Helmet Safety

  • Different brands can give different names for technology or innovations that feature in their helmets, but the key features to look out for are: 

    EN certification that confirms a minimum standard of safety (don’t worry, all helmets stocked by Pure Electric meet these standards) 

    A cranial fit system that helps to achieve an optimal fit and comfort 

    Vents for cooling 

    A solid shell for protection against elements 

    Extra coverage for additional protection on off-road courses 

    Internal padding that increases comfort and (in some cases) wicks away sweat

     Additional rotational impact protection, such as Mips 

  • Mips (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) is a patented innovation developed originally in Sweden that aims to improve the protection of your brain in the event of a crash.  

    It usually takes the form of a ‘web’ structure inside the helmet that sits closely over the head, beneath the traditional EPS foam exterior. In the event of an impact, it allows the outer shell of a helmet to move independently of the web, dissipating some of the forces experienced by your brain. In effect, it creates a protective cocoon that can reduce the chances of a brain injury.  

    Not long ago, Mips technology was the preserve of premium racing helmets that could cost upwards of £200, but now the same safety-improving technology is available on much more cost-effective products, such as the Giro Scamp Youth Helmet.

  • In short, this means that all helmets bearing these safety standards are safe to use, although there are extra design features that could improve safety over and above this minimum standard. 

    Helmet features have developed quickly in the past decade or so. Technology that would have appeared on a professional-level cycle racing helmet ten years ago are now being featured in more accessible helmets that the general public might buy.  

    This is great news, and it means that features like stronger moulded shells, improved cranial fit systems and energy absorption and dissipation technologies are all, almost by default, making their way to competitively priced helmets.

What style helmet should I choose?

Helmet styles are split into three broad types. Picking the right style for you depends on the kind of riding that you’ll be doing, and when you’ll be doing it.  

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Helmet Styles

  • These helmets are usually characterised by lots of ventilation ports and, sometimes, lighter weight. They may offer cranial protection systems like Mips, and more intricate fit systems. Helmets for hybrid riding may also feature a peaked visor to keep sun out of your eyes.

  • Helmets designed for off-road use differ from road/hybrid models because they usually provide more head coverage. You may see more coverage around the base of the skull and the sides of the head in particular to increase protection against rocks and debris. Visors are also more common here too.

  • Helmets designed for off-road use differ from road/hybrid models because they usually provide more head coverage. You may see more coverage around the base of the skull and the sides of the head in particular to increase protection against rocks and debris. Visors are also more common here too. 

What size helmet should I choose?

If you can’t make your way to a Pure Electric showroom or helmets are unavailable to try on, then you can find your approximate size by taking a flexible tape measure and measuring the circumference of the widest part of your head. The widest part is usually around 1cm above your ears. 

Note: All helmet manufacturers feature slightly different sizing, so be sure to match your measurement with the brand’s size recommendations before buying.  

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What other safety features are there?

Depending on your budget, there are some additional features that you might wish to consider when buying a helmet.

First is integrated lighting, as seen on the Thousand Chapter helmet. While not a protective feature, having lights on a helmet arguably goes one better: by increasing your visibility to others around you, you’re more likely to be seen, and therefore more likely to prevent an accident.

You might also consider a helmet that has a fitment to attach additional lights. You can buy brackets for this from lights brands, but Dashel Helmets feature a loop on the rear side of the helmet that can fit smaller lights like the Moon Comet

Like many manufacturers, helmet brands are also now considering their impact on the environment. Key among them is Thousand, which is committed to offsetting its production emissions by 110%, effectively making it ‘climate positive’, among a host of other considerations. Meanwhile, the Dashel ReCycle Helmet is made sustainably right here in the UK. If this is important to you, then look out for brand’s claims of the things they’re doing to help the fight against global warming. 

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FAQs

  • Helmets should be replaced every 6 years, even if you haven't gotten much use out of it. Find out more here.

  • You must replace your helmet if you have an accident whilst wearing it. Most brands offer crash replacement helmets free of charge. Contact us to find out if you are eligible for this programme.

  • To find your approximate helmet size, take a flexible tape measure and measure the circumference of the widest part of your head. The widest part is usually around 1cm above your ears. 

    All helmet manufacturers feature slightly different sizing, so be sure to match your measurement with the brand’s size recommendations before buying.