With multiple colour ways and a low-profile design, the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet was a hit in our house. The hands-free EZ-Fit system does make it so much easier to leave the house and adjust on the move, although possibly does create a need to adjust more often. As a ride mentor I was really confident that it offered enough protection, and for the rider it was a really comfortable fit and appealing design making it easy to wear. Personally I would prefer the MIPS version, but for the price this is a great, safe helmet that will bring a lot of joy to any bike ride.
Several colour ways
Quickmount rear light compatible
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Seeing my daughter finding a love for bike riding is a parenting highlight. I've been keen not to push her into it and to let her naturally find her own path, but have been leading by example - riding bikes is just what we do as a family.
Which is why the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet was a winner in our house.
To start with we share the same ethos as the American brand around how to get your kids to wear a helmet (opens in new tab) and secondly, but more importantly for my daughter, there are a whopping seven colour ways to choose from.
With two size options that range from 52-55.5cm to 55.5cm to 59cm, the age range wearing the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet could be pretty vast. So the 'youf' will be pleased to know there are subtle full block colours, including the understated matte black. With a nearly seven-year-old, however, the blue shark design won the day.
It's hard to see how a child wouldn't find their ideal helmet just out of this range alone, but check out our best kids bike helmets: a buyers guide (opens in new tab) to see all the top kids helmets on the market.
The helmet uses Bern's proprietary Zipmold construction. The brand say it's a lightweight, impact-absorbent foam which is liquid-injected into a PVC microshell. This has allowed even the inner to have a lower profile than most EPS helmets and a one-piece construction, which Bern says doesn't sacrifice safety and gives a high strength-to-weight ratio.
Weighing the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet that does seem to ring true, with the scales saying 310g for a size small. To put that in perspective, it's probably average for a weight compared to other kids helmets for a similar size, but in terms of profile it's way sleeker and lower.
From my experience, kids don't ride at a pace or duration when they're really small. Once they've discovered a love of riding solo, they do have more stamina. While an interesting-looking stone/stick/plant will provide lots of rest and cooling opportunities for the younger riders, as they get older they will find that solid urban-style helmets will warm up too swiftly, which is why we loved the ample 13 vents on the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet. It's still in keeping with the street wear design, but add a level of practicality to make keeping it on it hot weather more palatable.
If you're still working on getting the little legs in your life pedalling unaided, you might find our best kids' bikes: tips for choosing a children's bike (opens in new tab) page really helpful.
Inside the lid are removable padding and visor, which can be upgraded to an aftermarket winter set that covers ears too - a great option for many adults adjusting and readjusting hats under helmets not convinced that the child wearing it can actually see anything.
The one of the biggest talking points on the construction of any helmet is the retention system. There are multiple ways of securing a helmet to your head and ensuring the right fit, and the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet keeps it super simple with the use of a cranial cradle, adjusted in to fit by a simple elasticated band which Bern calls EZ-Fit system.
There are pros and cons of this hands-free fit approach which I explore more in the Ride section below, and the main thing is that the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet meets the safety standards of CPSC and EN1078 - which are both exceptionally rigorous test protocols.
At the back of the helmet is a Quickmount rear light-compatible mount for the aftermarket Quickmount Asteroid, a Bern-specific micro-USB rechargeable light.
Although it often feels like my daughter couldn't give two hoots about conforming and complying (mostly to any of her parents requests) the subtle social language of 'boys' or 'girls' still reaches her, and can influence decisions. So its a big thumbs up from us all that Bern doesn't segregate helmets by gender, meaning she was pleased as punch with a blue shark design, as were many fellow trail riders who commented how awesome it looks when flying past on a bike.
I'm assured by the rider that the helmet is "so comfortable" and again, from experience, I'm pretty confident that I would soon be told otherwise if it wasn't.
As the rider's mentor and caregiver in this review, I'm torn about the EZ-Fit on the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet. On one side I love it as it stops the multiple minor adjustments that my small rider requests to get the fit just so when using a dial system. Tiresome when you're both on bikes and need to constantly dismount (never try this on the move - that ol' experience thing kicking in again here).
On the downside, it doesn't hold the helmet quite as securely, so can have a tendency to slide forward. The upside is that if your rider can ride one handed, they can make the fit adjustment needed on the fly, but when paired with a pair of sunglasses it can require a semi-often push back.
I don't doubt the level of protection it would still provide even if it was further forward than ideal as there is plenty of depth at the rear of the lid, just something to be aware of.
I also expect that as my daughter's head only just tips into the size category at 52cm. As her head circumference grows, the fit will become more secure.
At around the $49.99/£50 price point, we absolutely loved the Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet. It ticks many boxes for both child and adult, and the EZ-Fit system does make it so much quicker leaving the house and getting riding.
There is a MIPs (opens in new tab) option for an additional $15/£15 which personally I would prefer my daughter to be in, but if that additional 30 per cent price tag means cost becomes prohibitive, I feel that the all-over protection design of the non-MIPS Bern Nino 2.0 youth bike helmet is a great option for any budding bike rider.
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Hannah is Cycling Weekly’s longest-serving tech writer, having started with the magazine back in 2011. She has covered all things technical for both print and digital over multiple seasons representing CW at spring Classics, and Grand Tours and all races in between.
Hannah was a successful road and track racer herself, competing in UCI races all over Europe as well as in China, Pakistan and New Zealand.
For fun, she's ridden LEJOG unaided, a lap of Majorca in a day, won a 24-hour mountain bike race and tackled famous mountain passes in the French Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites and Himalayas.
She lives just outside the Peak District National Park near Manchester UK with her partner, daughter and a small but beautifully formed bike collection.
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