Why Do Bike Helmets Have Holes?

Bike helmets come in different shapes and colors, but the presence of holes is a shared trait. You’ll hardly miss them since they are conspicuous but ever asked yourself, “why do bike helmets have holes?”

Bike helmets have holes because they serve the vital purpose of keeping you cool by letting air pass through them, which allows your sweat to evaporate and keep you cool. The number and size of holes in bike helmets depend on the brand. Ideally, more and bigger holes mean better ventilation.

While riding without a helmet will undoubtedly keep your head cool, it compromises your safety. Therefore, you are better off with a well-ventilated bike helmet.

Purpose of holes in bike helmets

Why Do Bike Helmets Have Holes? (Digging Deeper)

It’s All About Proper Ventilation

Cycling generates heat, and the holes on your helmet provide an avenue for the heat to escape, helping you stay cool and avoid accumulating too much sweat or getting red-faced. Bike helmet holes/ vents and the channels found inside work together to ensure air flows over your scalp.

A bike helmet covers your head, obstructing heat loss; thus, you will feel hot and sweaty with every second you continue riding your bicycle. This is where the holes on the helmet come in, and that’s why it is paramount to make sure your helmet has sufficient holes.

Besides the holes, a bike helmet’s ventilation also comes from proper construction. Nearly all bicycle helmets are made of expanded polystyrene (EPS), a bit of padding, an adjustable inner cradle, and an exterior plastic shell.

Polystyrene provides excellent insulation; that’s why it is commonly used in the construction industry for this purpose. The insulation factor from Polystyrene coupled with the inner channels and the holes keep you cool.

How Many Holes Do You Need In Your Bike Helmet?

While you need to make sure your bike helmet meets the safety standards to ensure you receive protection from impacts, there are no regulations on ventilation. Due to this, it can be challenging to determine how cool or hot you will feel with the helmet on your head.

However, the number of holes in a helmet will give a pretty good idea of the level of ventilation it offers.

You will likely get better ventilation from a bike helmet with bigger and more holes and less EPS material. However, it would be best to have a proper balance between weight, ventilation, and protection; that is why a well-balanced helmet is expensive.

Manufacturers employ in-mould construction to save weight, maintain strength and ventilation. Higher quality helmets are made cooler and lighter by spraying polystyrene foam into the exterior shell in the mould, allowing minimal EPS use, narrower ribs, and bigger and more holes.

The number of holes found in various types of helmets also differs. For instance, road bike helmets have more holes than mountain bike helmets; hence roadie helmets have better ventilation because more air flows through them.

Helmet With No Holes

The Problem With Bike Helmet Holes

Bicycle helmet holes are undoubtedly important, but they can compromise the strength of the helmet. In addition, the holes in bike helmets weaken them structurally, which can compromise their ability to offer protection.

These holes also hamper airflow over and on the sides of the helmet, developing turbulence that lowers your speed. A well-designed helmet keeps you safe and cool and makes you aerodynamic, which is important, especially in road biking.

Fewer holes are better for the helmet’s structural strength. However, that will make the helmet heavier and compromise its ability to keep you cool.

Helmet With No Holes- Should I Wear A Bike Helmet With No Holes?

Some helmets are made without holes, and while they may sound great for use during the cold season because there is no airflow and they retain heat, the truth is you still need ventilation even in winter.

A bike helmet without holes will overheat, and your glasses/goggles will fog, compromising your visibility. You are better off sealing a few holes with tape on your standard helmet for winter rides because that reduces airflow, which keeps you warm while still providing proper ventilation.

You can also use a helmet cover during the cold periods. If you are looking for one, you won’t go wrong with Skull Cap Helmet Liner Running Beanie – Winter Thermal Under Helmet Cycling Head Hat.

This helmet liner is a one-size-fits-all item, an exceptional cold-weather gear, so you can still cycle in winter, and has a pull-on closure. In addition, it can be worn by both women and men and makes for an excellent running beanie.

Other Ways To Stay Cool When Cycling

Besides wearing a bike helmet with holes, you can incorporate other things into your riding practice to overcome the heat and remain cool. Make sure you are hydrated, dress appropriately, use your hair as insulation, and ride at convenient times.

1. Stay Hydrated

It could be challenging to remain hydrated when riding in hot weather if you didn’t bring enough drinking water or know areas you can get water along your trail. You will quickly become dehydrated if you don’t replace the fluids lost from sweating.

Seep water constantly throughout your ride rather than only drinking when thirsty.

2. Dress Appropriately

Put on lightweight clothing with wicking qualities when going for a bike ride to help prevent sweat build-up and keep you cool. The base layer should also be lightweight to facilitate sweat evaporation and removal from your skin.

A full-length front zip can aid in regulating temperatures. Make sure your shorts are also well-fitting.

An excellent cycling clothing pair worth considering is sponeed Cycling Jersey Short Sleeve Men MTB Bike Clothing Road Bicycle Shorts Padded (View on Amazon). It’s made of breathable, has good elasticity, a full-length zipper, and offers great ventilation.

Is it safe to drill a hole in your bike helmet

3. Pick Your Riding Time Wisely

Going for a bike ride when the sun is scorching hot will only leave you extremely sweaty, hot, and miserable. Evenings, mornings, or nights can be excellent times to cycle because the temperatures are more pleasant.

4. Position Your Hair Well

Since hair insulates heat, you will feel hotter if more hair is lying under your bike helmet. However, you can hold your hair in a ponytail if it’s long before wearing your helmet.


1. Why Are There Holes In Bike Helmets?

Bike helmets are equipped with holes because cycling is a heat-generating activity, so it is necessary to have an outlet for this heat. In addition, the holes facilitate air circulation, keeping your helmet ventilated.

2. Can I Drill A Hole In My Helmet?

Do not drill a hole in your bike helmet because it will damage its structural integrity, rendering it useless in an impact

3. Why Do Cycle Helmets Have Holes?

Cycle helmets have holes because they let air into your head, and consequently, sweat evaporates, leaving you feeling cool and fresh.

In Conclusion, Why Do Bike Helmets Have Holes?

You don’t have to dread cycling in summer because of excessive heat or going for those long bikes ride. An adequately ventilated bike helmet will make your head cool and not dripping sweat.

Bike helmets have a few holes, while others have many. Choosing the one you like most is up to you, but make sure your helmet meets the safety standards to keep you protected in a crush.

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