Getting a new lid doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg - but there's a few things you should know before protecting your head on a budget.
If you've browsed our range before then you'll know we've got a huge range of affordable helmets in all styles to suit you and your budget. But we know from experience that buying cheap doesn't always end well... which is why we put together 3 quick tips that can help you weed out the helmets that might seem too god to be true and pick a cheap helmet that's also safe.
1. What do you need?
Be realistic about what you're expecting for your money which mean not just picking a helmet with loads of features and a super low price. Just because you're looking for a cheap helmet you should still be after the best quality you can for your money in terms of safety.
So if you find a sub £100 lid with bluetooth built-in, drop down sun visor, pin lock included, and a ratchet buckle fastener, then we can almost bet that quality was compromised somewhere else to make it that cheap which might be in the liner or shell construction. Key parts for your safety.
The best start to picking an affordable lid is to decide on your budget and the features you actually need from the helmet, if it's just for short rides around town then you probably don't need bluetooth built in or a pin-lock visor, so you can spend your budget on a better built helmet that only includes what you need. Always look to spend your whole budget to get the safest helmet you can find; no matter what the budget is.
2. Beware the Brand
At LDMotorcycles.co.uk we're all about supporting new clothing brands and bringing them to our UK bikers, but when it comes to helmets we're extra serious about the brands we supply.
We've all been there, your browsing online for a new lid that won't tear the lining out of your wallet and you come across what looks like the perfect deal from a brand you haven't heard of before (usually on an auction site). Now just because you don't know who they are we aren't saying to watch out but your next step should always be to do a quick Google search for the brand name. A hard and fast rule to deciding if the brand is respectable is to see who's selling them, and if your search brings up loads of results from auction sites or deal websites then you should probably lean clear.
The problem with buying helmets on a budget is we're always looking to get the most for our money and there are a lot of suspect helmet brands available out there that seem to give you a lot of bang for your buck. So always be cautious if you can't find an official brand website, any reviews of the brand, or any independent online retail website selling the brand.
3. Check the Spec
There's one major thing to look out for when you're buying any motorbike helmet but it gets even more important when you're looking at budget lids. And that is the ECE 22.05 Helmet Standards Approval.
Every helmet that's been tested and deemed safe for UK & EU roads has to be ECE 22.05 approved. Without that your not just riding illegally but your risking a lot more than you think.
All helmets with the ECE 22.05 will feature an official sticker somewhere on the helmet usually on the back, and is always stated in the spec list on our website although we don't stock any helmets that aren't approved for road use anyway. This is the most basic rule to buying a cheap lid, check if it's ECE 22.05 approved and if not then don't spend another second considering it. This is why we stress buying your helmets from an official independent online retailer and not marketplaces or auction sites as the information is not always clear and unknown brands on these sites may not be approved.
Bonus Tip: Check SHARP
SHARP is an independent government motorcycle helmet safety scheme that tests helmets based on their safety in the event of a crash or bump. Not all helmets are SHARP tested and it's not a legal requirement but is useful if you want to find out safety scores while your browse helmets.
Most testing is done on mid-high price level helmets but there are some cheaper helmets that have been tested and come out with impressive results, like from brands such as Duchinni, Nitro, Stealth and Viper.
If you want more help finding an affordable helmet then check out our Top 5 list of motorbike helmets under £200 here