Giro vs Bell Helmets: Know the Differences Before You Buy

Just so you know, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases made via bold green links, buttons or images.

Every serious cyclist knows that a solid bike helmet is the most important piece of gear you can own. But finding the right helmet to protect you from rotational forces and other dangers is harder than you might think. There are many top helmet brands, such as Giro and Bell, and it’s difficult to know which one is best.

Bell helmet instead of Giro helmet

Giro vs. Bell Helmets

There are a few factors you should consider when choosing between the two biggest names in helmets. The main difference between Giro vs Bell helmets is the shape: Giro helmets are rounder, while Bell helmets are more oblong. Both helmet brands produce high-quality helmets overall.

This article will cover the main and smaller differences between the brands, from the fit to the accessories, such as detachable visors.

What Are Giro Helmets?

Giro helmets are made by Giro, a company that manufactures cycling and snowboard equipment. Giro helmets are made of rugged nylon. Although Giro is an independent company, it is owned by Vista Outdoor, the same brand that owns Bell.

The Giro Caden is an example of a popular Giro helmet:

Giro Caden Adult Urban Cycling Helmet - Medium (55-59 cm), Matte Black (2021) Check availability

What Are Bell Helmets?

Bell helmets are made by the company Bell, which got its start making protective equipment for motorcycle and auto racing. Besides bike racing, Bell also makes protective equipment for motorcyclists. Since Bell and Giro are owned by the same company, the two brands have similar standards for quality control and safety.

The Bell Stratus is an example of a popular Bell helmet:

BELL Stratus MIPS Adult Road Bike Helmet - Bluster Matte Black/Coal/Silver (2019), Small (52-56 cm) Check availability

The Main Differences Between Giro and Bell Helmets

The main difference between Giro and Bell helmets is in the shape and fit. There are also a few other differences that you should know about before purchasing your helmet.

Fit

The primary difference between the two helmet brands is in the shape. Bell helmets have an elongated, oblong shape that’s more like an oval or an ellipse. If you have more of an oval head or an oblong-shaped head, Bell helmets are the right choice for you.

On the other hand, if you have a rounder head, then Giro helmets are the better choice. Giro helmets have a more even, round shape.

(If you have a large head, see our post about the best bike helmets for people with large heads.)

If you are a casual rider, the shape of your helmet doesn’t matter as much, as any head protection is helpful. But if you plan to go on longer rides, finding a helmet that fits as snugly as possible along your head will make your rides more comfortable.

Size

Besides fit, there is also a difference in size between Giro and Bell helmets. Both brands make helmets that come in small, medium, large, and extra-large sizes. However, there are slight differences in the dimensions between the respective helmet sizes. A small helmet from Bell is a little roomier, while Giro large and extra-large helmets are more accommodating for larger heads.

If you try on a helmet from one brand and it doesn’t fit perfectly, try to find the same size from the other brand. Due to slight differences in sizing, the fit might be more comfortable.

Design

Design is important if you plan on cycling a lot. You’ll be spending a lot of time in your helmet, so you should buy one that also makes you feel good! Some cyclists say that Giro helmets are more stylish and creative in terms of design, but Bell helmets have their charms as well. The difference comes down to personal preference.

Which Helmets Are Safer?

If you’re in the market for a helmet, safety is probably your primary concern. Anyone who’s serious about cycling knows about the damage that rotational forces and impacts can inflict on your brain during an accident.

The good news is that both Bell and Giro helmets are known to be very safe and will help protect you against injury in case of an accident. Both brands are owned by Vista Outdoor, a leading manufacturer in sporting goods that has high safety standards.

Both brands are at the cutting edge when it comes to technology that keeps cyclists safe. Giro and Bell helmets are made with the Multidirectional Impact Protection System, or MIPS, that is known to potentially protect your head against rotational forces in addition to a direct impact in case of an accident. They also use top materials, such as polycarbonate shells, that potentially reduce impact.

Both brands put helmets through rigorous quality control, including testing laboratories that follow Consumer Product Safety Commission standards.

Which Helmets Are Better for Kids?

Both Giro and Bell make helmets in youth sizes. These ranges are slightly smaller in size and are perfect for older kids, teens, and tweens. If you’re buying a helmet for your child, you absolutely want the safest possible helmet.

Both Bell and Giro youth helmets are made with MIPS, which is known to potentially reduce the risk of concussions, and the helmets come in well-ventilated, lightweight styles. As with buying adult helmets, the main difference comes down to shape and fit. Try on the helmets to see which one fits better.

How To Find the Right Bicycle Helmet for You

In addition to the brand, there are a few other factors that can help you find the right bike helmet.

Sizing

The right helmet should be snug enough to protect your skull during an accident, but not so tight that it feels constricting. Before you go shopping (especially if you order online), use a tape measure to determine your head circumference. While you should still try on your helmet before purchasing it, the right measurements can help you narrow down your options in the store.

Additional Accessories

Depending on your cycling needs, you may require some additional accessories for your helmet. For example, many mountain bike riders prefer a detachable visor on their helmets to protect against dust and debris.

Both Bell and Giro offer models that have visors and other accessories that help protect your eyes and face.

Style of Cycling

The type of helmet for cycling that you need will depend on the type of cycling that you want to do. If you mostly do road cycling, you want a helmet that is lightweight, aerodynamic, and rugged to protect against impacts. Mountain bike helmets also need to be rugged and tend to be a little sturdier, with additional protection against rough terrain, such as visors.

Both Bell and Giro make helmets for all types of cycling. Whether you prefer road cycling or mountain biking, you’ll be able to find the right helmet from these brands.

How To Choose Between Bell and Giro Helmets

Both Bell and Giro are top brands in the cycling world for good reasons. Their helmets are of high quality and use the latest manufacturing techniques, such as MIPS, to help protect cyclists against accidents. Although Giro helmets are slightly pricier, they are in the same price bracket.

The main difference between the two brands is in the fit. Giro helmets are rounder while Bell helmets are more elliptical. There are slight differences in their sizing charts as well. The best way to choose between the two brands is to try on the helmets and figure out which one fits you best.

 

Image at top: © Glory Cycles | Creative Commons