A lot of kids’ bike helmets are pretty janky. I say this as a Dad who’s bought a number of them over the years, starting with the cutesy, ill-fitting character lids that some kid or another just HAD to have. The Specialized Shuffle youth helmet ($60 MSRP) skips the nonsense and delivers a practical, safe option that our reviewer reports is comfortable and easy to use. It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty dang close.
Specialized Shuffle Youth helmet specs
The Specialized Shuffle youth helmet features 17 vents and a clip-on visor that can be removed. The visor isn’t adjustable though, which isn’t surprising for a helmet in this price range.
Inside there’s a MIPS liner for rotational impact protection with medium-thickness, soft padding velcro’d to it. This version comes with a built-in LED in the back for added visibility and safety on the road.
The retention system features the Headset SX fit system that uses a ratcheting dial to get the right fit. Our 9-year-old tester had no problem adjusting the fit for himself, and he says it’s snug and stable without feeling constricting.
The chin strap uses a standard plastic buckle, and the straps include reflective accents for additional visibility. There’s only one length adjustment on the straps — at the chin buckle — making it difficult if not impossible to get a perfect fit around the ears.
The Specialized Shuffle youth helmet comes in one size and is said to fit riders roughly ages 7-10+. There are five colors to choose from (Satin Cast Blue Metallic Wild, tested) and ours weighs 343g, which is heavier than I would have guessed.
There’s a less expensive, $45 Shuffle youth helmet that skips MIPS and the rear LED. There’s also the Shuffle child which is designed for riders ages 4-7.
On the trail with the Specialized Shuffle Youth helmet
Two sayings come to mind when reviewing a bike helmet for kids. One: The best helmet is the one you’ll wear. Two: A helmet only works if you wear it. Adults — at least, most of them — understand why it’s important to wear a helmet, and so we do it pretty much every ride, even if reluctantly. Kids, not so much, especially if they don’t like how their helmet looks or feels.
For starters, no one is going to make fun of this helmet. It’s about a neutral as they come, which is welcome albeit a bit unusual for a youth helmet. It looks pretty much exactly like what the big kids and grownups are wearing.
The easy-to-adjust fit system ensures the helmet is stable, even off road. There’s ample padding inside and the chin straps feel soft and not scratchy. On an 8-mile ride, partially in the rain, there were zero complaints about the helmet. I did notice that the helmet strap loosened a bit over time so it’s important to re-check the fit regularly.
Bottom line: The Specialized Shuffle youth bike helmet delivers important safety features in a package that kids will have no problem wearing.
- Price: $60.
- Buy from Specialized.
- Includes MIPS and a rear LED light for safety.
- Stable fit and comfortable feel.
- Looks good.
Pros and cons of the Specialized Shuffle youth bike helmet.
- Chin strap only has one adjustment.
- Not very lightweight.