The Bell Citi bike helmet is a favorite of reviewers, and it's often recommended for commuters or casual cyclists. With 16 vents, it has good ventilation, reviewers say, and a small visor helps reduce road glare. The Bell Citi also has a round, smooth profile with few pointy edges that can snag in the event of a crash. The Citi bike helmet performs well in independent impact tests. The helmet comes in only one size, so it may not fit larger or smaller heads, but it does come in a variety of colors -- including bright yellow or glow in the dark for visibility. Most reviewers are impressed with the Bell Citi, but several have complaints about the chin straps. Some say the air whistles noisily through the chin straps and vents, and another reviewer says the straps do not stay put easily. If you prefer a sportier-looking helmet, the Giro Stylus (*Est. $85) also gets good reviews.
The Bell Citi receives reviews from both experts and consumers. The most comprehensive review comes from Cycling Plus, a U.K.-based cycling magazine that conducts a comparative test of 24 bike helmets. ConsumerReports.org also tests the helmet on impact absorption, fit and ventilation, but the review hasn't been updated in several years. Other reviews from sources like CommuteByBike.com or Time Out New York are helpful, but they are less detailed and not comparative. We also found a good number of user reviews at Amazon.com and Buzzillions.com.
1. Cycling Plus magazine
Editors at Cycling Plus, a U.K.-based magazine, test 24 helmets for fit and comfort. The Bell Citi earns a Best Buy award and one of the highest ratings of the group -- 9 out of 10. Although editors acknowledge that the Bell Citi is not the lightest helmet, they love the comfortable fit and numerous features.
Review: Road Tested: Helmets, Editors of Cycling Plus, May 2010
ConsumerReports.org is the only reviewer that tests impact absorption, but its latest bike helmet review is getting pretty outdated. ConsumerReports.org tests the Bell Citi and 13 other adult helmets on a number of criteria.
Review: Bike Helmets, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, August 2007
The British cycling site Road.cc gives the Bell Citi a 4-star rating (out of 5). Reviewer Shaun Audane tests the glow-in-the-dark version (a new color for 2010), and he calls it a "good lid for general riding." However, he would prefer more vents.
Review: Bell Citi Glow, Shaun Audane, May 4, 2010
More than 50 owners review the Bell Citi on Amazon.com, giving it above average ratings. Owners say it is easy to get a good fit, and the bright yellow color gets high marks for visibility. Some owners note that air can travel noisily through the helmet.
Review: Bell Citi Bike Helmet, Contributors to Amazon.com
5. Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
The Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute has a quick note on nearly every bike helmet on the market, including the Bell Citi. While its analysis is brief, this site is a good source for general brand information.
Review: Bicycle Helmets for the 2010 Season, Editors of Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, July 2010
6. Time Out New York
The Bell Citi is picked by Time Out New York magazine editors as a stylish helmet that will also protect your head. A local bike-store owner says the Bell Citi is lightweight, with good ventilation.
Review: Express Lane: Bike Helmets, Jacquelyn Lewis, June 2009
This review focuses mainly on style, but the Bell Citi gets high marks for the ErgoDial fit adjustment system and glare-reducing visor.
Review: Guy Gear: Bike Helmets, Dustin Driver, March 29, 2009
In this review, RL Policar tests an older version of the Bell Citi. He finds it slightly uncomfortable, but he likes the reflective materials and the visor.
Review: Bell Citi Helmet, RL Policar, Aug. 25, 2005
Only about a dozen reviewers leave their feedback on the Bell Citi at Buzzillions.com, but most think it's a good helmet for commuting. Those who dislike the helmet say it is poorly ventilated.
Review: Bell Citi Bike Helmet, Contributors to Buzzillions.com