I have a Bell bicycle helmet that is probably two years old, and the pads for the front and sides have disintegrated from sweat and are now little more than pieces of fabric attached to the velcro pads inside the helmet. Does anyone know where I can get replacement pads for the helmet? I have looked on retail sites like jensonusa.com and on the bellhelmets.com site and I can't seem to find them.

4 Answers 4


Here is the list of Bell helmet spares available in the UK:


[Edit: that link has died. Try this Google, or this US supplier]

If your helmet is on there then you can find the product code and Google that for someone online that has that part in stock and can sell it to you. Note that Madison is the UK distributor and has different product codes to elsewhere, so a google of the exact product description might come up good.

Once you know the product code then your LBS should have no problems ordering it for you. Note that helmets change every 2-3 years and you may not be able to get spares for an older model.

Another option is to treat yourself to a new and affordable helmet, this will come with spare pads that you can use on your existing one. Affordable ones have a lot going for them and they still have to pass the same tests as the posh ones.

IMHO the Bell helmets are very poorly designed bits of cheap Chinese polystyrene with straps and fit that are not a patch on the European makes, e.g. MET helmets. the MET helmets have straps where the adjustment buckles don't want to align 90 degrees to your skin (to dig in), a clasp that doesn't catch the skin under the chin or straps that need tightening every time you put the thing on. Then there are the Specialized helmets - to the higher Snell standard than the CPSC 'as tested by the manufacturer' standard used by Bell/Giro (did you know they were the same company?). Of course you could also go 'completely Dutch' and forego the 'nice hat' entirely.

Anyway, if the LBS is useless, consider the 'order by part number' route or get a replacement helmet which will come with enough spare pads for your existing one.

  • Wow, thanks for posting that parts list you found. To be honest I have no idea what model the helmet is, or if there is even a part # in the helmet itself. But based on that site, I'm led to believe that replacement pads do indeed exist. I'll just look a little harder, and if I can't find any I'll just go with a new helmet...I'm probably due anyway! Aug 29, 2011 at 21:56

Visit the friendly folks at your local bike shop at a quieter time of the week and ask. Chances are that they will have plenty of spare pads tucked behind the counter. Buy something else at the same time and they might let you have them for a favourable price.

This is one area where a local bike shop can provide the service that you do not get shopping online, where it is all too easy to get the wrong bits and pay postage for the privilege.

  • 1
    If they don't have spares, I've replaced helmet padding as well as the plastic retention basket at my shop. Both were special-order items, and it took a week or so each time. Aug 28, 2011 at 16:47
  • I did ask at one local shop, and was told that I would have to contact the helmet manufacturer directly... Aug 29, 2011 at 13:09
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    They fall out of boxes all the time and customers of new bikes frequently buy the helmet without wanting the box+instructions+pads. Sounds to me like your local shop are a bit over-zealous when it comes to tidying up - try another shop and a smart member of staff. Aug 29, 2011 at 13:35

They're for sale at any grocery, drug store, or discount store. You just have to walk away from the "cycling" section (which is usually very small in most grocery stores) and to the "feminine hygiene" section (which is much larger). And rather than "helmet pads", look for a package labeled "maxi pads" or some such.

You'll find nice absorbent pads (about 3/8" thick) with an adhesive strip. One pad will last a long time, but they're cheap enough to discard daily.

(Note that I'm being serious -- perhaps not "perfectly serious", but I've used these in my own helmet for decades. And one of the reasons I use them is because I sweat profusely, and they help greatly to prevent sweat running down into my eyes.)

  • I don't know why that sounds wrong, however, aren't these pads absorbent? Perhaps another option would be the 'bunion pads' that you can get for footwear. Aug 28, 2011 at 15:41
  • I'm against the idea. Whilst the pads inside the helmet provide little protection against collisions, they're primarily their for comfort and fit. A loose helmet is dangerous and so it's generaly an unwise idea to make DIY alterations to your helmet as highlighted in this question.
    – Ambo100
    Aug 28, 2011 at 20:16
  • I'm perfectly serious. Been using these things for about 30 years. The hard part is that the mfgrs keep changing how they size and name them, so it's something of an adventure picking them out. Plus my wife tends to "borrow" some from time to time. Aug 28, 2011 at 21:22
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    @DanielRHicks: Maybe you should move that "perfectly serious" comment into the answer itself.
    – freiheit
    Aug 29, 2011 at 16:33
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    I honestly thought this was a joke. Interesting. Aug 29, 2011 at 20:00

A lot of motorcycle racers use lady's panty-liner pads on their foreheads to minimize sweat dripping down. It could work with a bicycle helmet, too.

The helmet pads are otherwise almost the same cheap fabric they use for headliners in cars. Buy a few Velcro dots and make your own replacements, or a generic pad set from China for $2.69 on eBay. The pads might not line up perfectly with the vent holes, but as long as they create a slight airspace between your sweaty head and the Styrofoam helmet, it doesn't matter.

Sometimes foam weatherstripping they use for doors works, too. I used some to create air channels at the top on one of my helmets.

  • As I said about 4 years ago in an earlier answer to this same question, the panty liners (labeled "maxi pads", et al) work quite well. Aug 19, 2015 at 11:22

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