Cycling - Knowledge

Cycling Gear: Bicycle Helmet - How to Choose the One for You?

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Well! If you have a passion for cycling, you must take proper safety measures and the most important among them is to wear a helmet. It safeguards your head, face, and neck if you fall off the bike. But from the plethora of choices in brands, shapes, sizes and specific use cases how do you decide which bicycle helmet is the most suitable for your needs? Take our advice and after going through the requirements for a good helmet, you will find the one most suited to you.

Here are some helpful tips for choosing the most appropriate bicycle helmet for your needs.

how to choose a perfect bicycle helmet
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Safety

No matter how good you are at cycling, safety is always required and is a prime concern. Whether it is your first long distance bicycle ride or a short one, safety cannot be comprised at any cost!

For ideas about long rides, read our article How to Plan Your First Long Distance Bicycle Ride .

A bike helmet is more than an accessory, choose a bike helmet that offers proper ventilation, follows legal safety standards, is tough and provides a comfortable fit.

Standards

You should always choose a bicycle helmet with a standard sticker inside it.

CPSC stickers on the bike helmets mandatory in US
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In the US, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an organization to set legal standards for a helmet. Moreover, by law, only helmets that follow CPSC standards are allowed to be sold in the US Market.

Helmet Features

Visor: A visor in your helmet protects you from sunlight to provide clear vision.

Ventilation: A bike helmet mostly comes with multiple vents to create proper airflow so that the rider’s head does not heat up inside.

Bicycle helmet with a visor and strap
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Full-face protection: Prefer a full face helmet if you are a mountain bike rider. It provides a chin bar to protect your entire face.

Straps: The straps of the helmet should not be too tight or too loose and should be easy to fasten and release.

Hair Port: Helmets with a hair port are especially recommended when you have long hairs. It provides a space for ponytails.

Helmet Size

Bike helmets come in various sizes such as small, medium, large or extended. Search for a helmet that fits your head.

How to measure the size?

Check out the steps below and the provide this reading to your seller and get the appropriate helmet.

how to measure your head for ideal bike helmet size
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General Sizing Parameters Chart

For kids, prefer sizes from category XXS, XS, and S.

the chart and parameters for a bicycle helmet
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Ensure That Your Bicycle Helmet Fits

Helmet construction material, size and the correct way to wear are the most important factors to ensure that the helmet fits.

The Correct Way to Wear

The helmet should snug on your head but should not be so tight that you suffocate. Do not tilt the helmet back and expose your head to give a cowboy look. The front edge should be at least an inch above your eyebrows so that your whole head is shielded. Tighten the ring on the back side of the helmet so that it does not wobble. Moreover, straps of the helmet should come below the earlobe such that the straps form a “V” shape.

how to correctly wear a bicycle helmet
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Next, adjust them around both ears and finally connect the chin strap and buckle it such that you are able to open your mouth to take in energy bars or refreshment drinks or put a finger between your chin and the strap.

Helmet Construction

Mainly there are three construction methods – In-mold, ABS, and Softshell.

The most preferable among them is in-mold construction in which a helmet uses Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) foam and is covered with a thin plastic shell. Both are molded together during the manufacturing process instead of using glue to bind them. They are lightweight, have a proper ventilation system, and slide during a crash to protect your head.

MIPS (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) Technology based helmets provide low friction layer which protects your head from a rotational and disastrous crash.

MIPS technology bike helmet
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Choose the Type According to Purpose

There are mainly three types of bicycle helmets: Recreational/General, Road bike, and Mountain bike helmets.

Which is the best helmet type for you? Choose the type according to the kind of biker you are.

Recreational/General Helmets

Recreational helmets are the most basic ones used by commuters. They are affordable and provide protection for normal riding but they are heavier than road helmets.

Road Bike Helmets

These are lightweight, provide proper ventilation, and follow an aerodynamic design, which keeps your head safe, visor that protects your eyes, and reduced air resistance while you are racing. These are suitable gear, mainly for road bikers.

road bike helmet
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Mountain Bike Helmets

These are used by bikers mostly in mountainous areas, where they cannot increase their speed. These are designed to provide ventilation even at low speeds. Various kinds of mountain bike helmets are available in the market based on your mountain biking style. Typically, they provide improved rear-head safety and thick straps to protect you from bumpy rides on terrain areas. Some of them provide full face protection too.

a mountain bicycling helmet
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Helmet Color

Ah! Here color does not mean your favorite color.

You should choose the helmet which makes you more visible, preferably contrasting colors and avoid matching the helmet color with your bike clothes so that you are visible to a car driver and hence, avoid chances of accidents.

How to Buy

When you go to buy a helmet, there are a lot of options available in the market with or without MIPS. Definitely, safety is more important than any other factor but you cannot simply ignore the cost. You do not need to buy the most expensive and fancy helmet but the one which provides proper safety and is lightweight and comfortable. Consider all the above-mentioned factors to buy a helmet, be it safety, standard, construction, fit, type, size, or color.

Definitely, a bicycle helmet is the most important gear for your safety but there are various common cycling injuries you should be aware of.

Learn more about the Ways to Prevent Common Cycling Injuries!

We hope you use these helpful tips for the next time you go shopping for bicycle helmets.Share any tips you have about choosing bicycle helmets in the comments below!

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