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The BBB Grid helmet is a stylish and affordable piece of kit that aims to improve the visibility of urban riders, including through an integrated rear light, while protecting your head should you come off your bike – although you may want to consider sizing up to the large version if your head measurement falls towards the top of the medium size.
Our best cycling helmets buyer's guide rounds up all sort of helmets for all sorts of riders at all sorts of prices.
Founded 25 years ago by ex-pro cyclists Chris Koppert and Frank Moons, the clothing, accessories and parts that the company makes span all types of cycling, with products aimed both at what the Dutch term wielrenners, ie those who ride bikes for sport or fitness, and fietsers, people who use one for more sedate leisure riding and as a way of getting around towns and cities whether to travel to work or school, or run errands.
This unisex helmet is clearly aimed squarely at the latter, and while the vast majority of everyday cyclists in the Netherlands ride their bikes without one, the company's international distribution means it is available in other markets, including the UK, both online and through independent bike dealers.
Without wishing to fan the flames of the eternal helmet debate, for a number of years now I've chosen to cycle without a helmet. But the job I recently started, delivering groceries by cargo bike, means I am required to wear one, making it an opportune time to test this product.
Of course, the true test of a cycle helmet is how much protection it affords should your head hit the ground, which thankfully hasn't happened yet on my rounds. It does, however, conform to the European Standard EN-1078 for bicycle helmets, which is also the basis for the British Standard BS EN 1078:1997.
The outer shell comes in three colours: black, white and, as tested, neon yellow. I suspect most people considering this helmet will be riding a bike in an upright position, and feedback from colleagues is that the version I've been testing is clearly visible from a distance, a large part of which of course will be due to the colour.
On all three, visibility from behind is enhanced not only by two reflective tabs, but also an integrated rear light, which is simple to operate – press once for steady mode, once again for flashing mode, and again to turn it off.
The light can easily be seen from a distance of 100 metres-plus, and despite heavy usage during six hours of mainly evening shifts after the clocks have gone back, the single CR2032 button battery, accessed through unscrewing its compartment from the inside of the helmet using a small, cross-head screwdriver – hasn't yet needed changing.
Ventilation is excellent. According to the official product description, there are 10 vents, although the housing for the rear light takes up one of those, so for practical purposes, that leaves nine – three at the front, three in the middle, and three at the year.
The cooling provided by those vents mean that even on a seven-hour shift pedalling a heavy, though thankfully e-assisted, cargo bike around west London, once I take the helmet off, there's little in the way of sweat on my scalp.
The front three vents also have a mesh screen that prevents insects from making their way inside – admittedly not a problem I've encountered now we are into the winter months – as well as a detachable washable lining.
The helmet, secured in place by an adjustable chin-strap with further fine-tuning provided by a rear dial, comes in two sizes – M, for a head circumference of 54-58cm, and L, for 58-62cm.
The product tested was an M, and while my head measures 57cm, and the helmet fits nicely and isn't tight or uncomfortable, having tested it I'd be inclined to go for the larger size when purchasing, which would also enable it to accommodate a cap underneath now the winter months are coming.
So far as pricing is concerned, I think it's difficult to find a branded, urban-styled helmet at this price point that to me looks as striking as this one, and with the benefit of an integrated rear light.
Simon recently tested the distinctive-looking TSG Geo Urban Helmet TSG Geo Urban Helmet, which he liked and which also features an integrated rear LED, though at £79.99 it's a fair bit dearer than the BBB.
The Met Mobilite has a £100 RRP, though you can find it for a good deal less, and not only does it have a rear LED, it also has Mips and comes in three sizes. Matt Rated it when he put it through its paces a couple of years ago.
Since 2020 we've only tested a handful of sub-£50 helmets and those tend to feature much sportier styling. But Hollis was wowed by the Specialized Align II and Emma rated the female-focused Liv Relay. Both come in at just £45 and, like the Met, they both feature Mips.
In conclusion, this is a stylish, affordable helmet for urban riders that is aimed to increase their visibility, and I think does a good job of that, although you may want to consider the large version rather than the medium, depending on your head size and especially if you think you may wear something underneath during the colder months.
A stylish, affordable helmet that aims to increase the wearer's visibility – but you may wish to consider sizing up
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road.cc test report
Make and model: BBB Grid Helmet with Rear LED Light
Size tested: 53-57cm
Tell us what the product is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about it?
The product is aimed at both men and women, riding in towns and cities.
According to BBB Cycling, it is "A city- and e-bike helmet that will get you through city traffic safely and in style," and "its 10 vents provide both style and good ventilation." The manufacturer also highlights that it comes "with rear LED light for extra safety, reflective elements on the rear for extra visibility," and that "the fit system can easily be adjusted with one hand."
I think that's a fair description, and certainly matches my experience of using it regularly.
Tell us some more about the technical aspects of the product?
Single-piece polycarbonate outer shell, expanded polystyrene foam, 10 claimed vents (in practice, nine, given that one houses the rear light). The rear light can be set to steady or flashing, and adjustments to fit can be made using both the chin strap and the rear dial.
Solidly made and both the inside and the outer shell seem durable.
Difficult to say given that it hasn't been tested for the core function of a cycle helmet, ie how it performs in a crash, but otherwise it does the job, including improving visibility through use of colour plus the rear light and reflective panels.
It's had six weeks of heavy-duty use, including being swung from my bag when going to and from work, and there's no scratches on the outer shell. Any dirt easily wipes clean.
Product tested is claimed at 295g, the L version comes in at a slightly heavier claimed 330g.
Half the time, I forget I'm wearing it (which can be an issue post-break when I realise I've forgotten to put it back on!)
It's difficult to find a branded, urban-styled helmet that to me looks as striking as this one and that also benefits from the integrated rear light at this price point.
Tell us how the product performed overall when used for its designed purpose
With the caveat that it hasn't been tested in a crash, as mentioned in the performance section above, it does seem to provide some extra visibility, and the vents help prevent overheating.
Tell us what you particularly liked about the product
It fits nicely and is easily adjustable, the colour is striking, and I like the integrated rear light, which I tend to use in flashing mode.
Tell us what you particularly disliked about the product
Nothing really springs to mind, although having used it, I would go for yhe L size.
How does the price compare to that of similar products in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
For an urban-styled helmet, it comes in at the lower end. We like the Met Mobilite and recently tested the TSG Geo urban helmets, but they both come in more expensive than the BBB.
Since 2020, we've only tested a handful of sub-£50 helmets, and those tend to have much sportier styling. But both the Specialized Align II and the female-focused Liv Relay cost just £45 and both also have the benefit of Mips, which the BBB doesn't have.
Did you enjoy using the product? Yes
Would you consider buying the product? Absolutely – but in a size L
Would you recommend the product to a friend? Yes
Use this box to explain your overall score
For a sub-£45 helmet, and available elsewhere cheaper, for everyday riding in a town or city, it ticks all the boxes, although as mentioned I would go for the L rather than the M when buying.
About the tester
I usually ride: Hercules e-cargo bike My best bike is: Colnago Arte
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Most days I would class myself as: Experienced
I regularly do the following types of riding: commuting, general fitness riding, fixed/singlespeed, Grocery delivery by e-cargo bike