Best Road Bike Helmet Under $50


Today we’d like to talk about a product that we covered in another article about the five best helmets for under $100.

In this article, we want to give you more information on our value pick – the Bell Adrenaline Helmet. All the helmets in that article are a good value for your money, but this particular helmet is an unusually fantastic deal – its normally listed for only around $25 on Amazon.

There are many reasons why someone may need a more basic helmet. Perhaps you’re on a budget or you’re just getting into the sport and transportation option of biking. Alternatively, maybe you are trying to lighten your load of things to pack to take to your summer cabin by having a second helmet that can be left there year-round.

Regardless of your reasons for investing in a good quality (but basic and economical) helmet – the Bell Adrenaline is well worth your consideration over a lot of the other options available right now.

A good quality helmet that fits well and offers good breathability is essential not only for ensuring the safety of a rider but for maximizing their comfort on the road as well – and the Bell Adrenaline delivers that.

The Basics: One size, two colors, and super comfy straps

Being a basic helmet, the Bell Adrenaline doesn’t have much choice in terms of color or size variety. It comes in one size, which is adjustable, and two colors – grey/black and white/black. Its shape and size are that of a classic biking helmet, as this item focuses on function, price, and comfort over style. It has traditional vent holes on the top for maximum breathability, and reviewers have noted that the chin strap on this budget model is particularly comfortable.

Bell: building products that have been maximizing speed and safety for over 60 years.

Bell is an old and well-known company – their positive reputation in the biking community for high-quality, durable workmanship on their products is one of the key reasons that this bike helmet is our top budget pick over the many other options we could have chosen.

How Bell got started emphasizing function over fashion and became a global brand

Bell was first established in 1954 by Roy Richter in California, and they quickly became a company of innovative firsts. The founder built his company in the California hot rod and racing scene of the 1950s, and he gained a big reputation as the number one company for speed racing and helmets quite quickly. This company places value on substance over style and builds products that are durable and meant to be used.

The clean lines and minimalist look of bell products are especially appealing to riders who travel frequently to compete, and to whom high-performance products that emphasize utility are vital. Recently, Bell has started branching out and now has their own team of unique helmet design artists. As a result, for people who want a little more flash, there is the option to later upgrade your Adrenaline to a more expensive and decorative option without compromising on quality and comfort.

First to develop the concept of helmets and still the go-to company to buy them from

In Bell’s infancy in the 1950s, developing products meant for people who want to move fast and win races resulted in some tragic consequences when unprotected people tried extreme sports. Quick to capitalize on the untapped market need to increase the safety of speed racing, Bell started to sell and design helmets for both hot rod racers and bikers as well. Since their original helmets came out decades ago, Bell has continued pushing the envelope on what is possible and has been behind nearly every major helmet innovation and major market re-design since.

When you’re buying a helmet from a company with over 60 years of experience making helmets, you know you’re getting a high-quality product.

Features and Benefits of the Bell Adrenaline Helmet

True fit: easy one step, self-adjusting head, and chin straps

The folks at Bell have been making helmets for years, so they know that one of the hardest steps of getting a new one is making sure that it fits correctly and will actually protect you in the event of an accident. To make this as easy as possible, Bell has designed all their helmets – including the Adrenaline – to be able to be adjusted with just one easy strap at the back base of the rider’s skull.

You’re not sure if your helmet fits properly, or you don’t know how to use the one-strap system? Just click the last picture listed on the Amazon product page and you’ll find a helpful video that breaks down the whole bike helmet fitting process for you.

Lightweight – increases rider visibility and has a great visor to reduce glare and rain run-off

Despite being our most budget-friendly helmet choice, the Bell Adrenaline still offers the new or economy-minded rider all the most essential features they require to be able to bike comfortably at all times and in all climates.

If you frequently ride in busy areas, in dimly lit areas or you are a person who bikes at dawn or dusk, choosing to purchase the Adrenaline in white is your best option. This bright helmet will be an added step in improving your safety on the road by increasing your visibility – although we do recommend that you also consider wearing bright, reflective clothing and ensuring that you install front and rear bike lights as well. (Check out our article here that gives tips about biking at night)

In addition to its bright color, the Adrenaline won’t weigh you down at all, as reviewers noted that this helmet was particularly lightweight and comfortable for a budget option.

Finally, several reviewers commented favorably on the usefulness of the rain visor that this helmet has, and how well designed it was.

Most people said that for an economical helmet, they were pleasantly surprised by how well they could still see during rides in the rain.

People who have larger heads and those who sweat a lot may want to steer clear

Given that the Adrenaline is a budget helmet, there are some drawbacks to consider in order to discover whether or not this one will work for you. The two main complaints reviewers on Amazon had were related the “universal fit” claim of this helmet, and its highly absorbent comfort pad at the front of the helmet.

I have a large head, what are my options?

As mentioned in our previous review, reviewers noted that those with larger heads will likely find this helmet too small and may want to consider a different budget conscious option that offers customizable sizing.

Although we stand behind our choice of ranking the Bell Adrenaline as the best budget option, we also feel that for those with larger heads, this one, which fits a head circumference of almost 25” around at its max, can be considered an acceptable alternative.

I sweat a lot, will this helmet not work for me?

Not necessarily. It is important to note that riders who worked up a sweat in this helmet found that the absorbent pad did create a watertight seal on their head and prevented the sweat from running down their faces or obscuring their vision during the ride. However, once these riders took their helmets off, all the sweat that had accumulated often ran down their faces – an experience that some found unappealing.

A quick, easy and affordable solution to this problem – if it is a concern for you – is to look into purchasing a ‘sweat-guard’ cap. These caps are tight fitting, can be used for biking and running, and contain and control sweating for all active sports.

Out of the options available, we recommend this one because it can be soaked in water and wrung out to keep you cool on hot days, and it even has fabric that offers 45 SPF sun protection for biking in hot and sunny locations!

The take-home message

Overall, we feel that although there are a few drawbacks to the Bell Adrenaline helmet, the longstanding positive reputation of the Bell name, the easy, one-strap adjustment, and the fantastic price point more than make up for it’s two small flaws. We hope you’ll enjoy this helmet as much as we do – at least until you’re ready to upgrade to another fine Bell product with even more fantastic features in the future.

The Bell Adrenaline is currently an ‘Amazon Choice’ and can be found here.