More and more cyclists are hopping onto the saddle, but it can be difficult to know where to begin when it comes to selecting a bike helmet. While it may seem like an unnecessary luxury, finding the right helmet is an essential part of staying safe while enjoying the blissful freedom of bike rides. Here are a few tips to make sure you get the most out of your bike helmet.
Consider the Type of Bike You Ride
When shopping for bike helmets, the first step is to take into account the type of bike you’ll be riding. Different types of cycling require different levels of protection, so helmets vary in their construction and purpose. If you’re a dedicated mountain biker, look for a helmet with more padding and a heavy-duty chin strap. Road bike helmets are usually much lighter and aerodynamic, giving you more control when riding at higher speeds.
Look for the Safety Certification Stamp
When shopping for a new bike helmet, always look for a safety certification stamp. Different certifications exist in different countries, but most countries stipulate that a bike helmet must pass certain regulations to ensure its safety. Look out for a variation of the same symbol such as ASTM, CEN, CPSC, AS/NZS, or Snell B95. These certifications guarantee that the helmet has passed certain requirements regarding impact resistance, chin straps, and other safety standards.
Try it On and Take Adjustments
The fit of the helmet is essential for protection as well as comfort. All bike helmets are slightly different in terms of size, shape, and strap placement – so try on a few to find the one that best suits your name. When it’s on, it should feel comfortable and snug but not too tight. There should be no gap between the helmet and forehead and the straps should fit securely but not restrict movement. It’s also a good idea to make the necessary adjustments, such as tightening or loosening the straps, to get it just right.
Ventilation and Visibility
Most bike helmets are designed with ventilation slots to keep your head cool while riding. Vents also redirect air away from your head, making riding more comfortable and enjoyable. Whenever possible, try on the helmet outdoors and make sure you can see out of it with ease. The last thing you want is a helmet making it more difficult to have a clear view of your surroundings.
Price and Additional Features
Bike helmets vary in price significantly. High-end bike helmets are usually more expensive due to their higher quality materials and construction, aerodynamics, and extra features such as vents, retention systems, and visors. Basic styles are usually more affordable, but won’t offer the same level of protection or added features. Consider your budget and the type of bike you will be riding to make a sensible decision.
People Also Ask
Do bike helmets expire?
Yes, bike helmets are designed to easily absorb and spread the energy of a crash – but over time, the foam interior can weaken. Bike helmets should be replaced every 3-5 years depending on the wear and tear and the foam’s condition.
What is the best bike helmet?
The best bike helmet depends on the type of cycling and your budget. Generally, road and urban bikes have lighter and more aerodynamic helmets, while mountain bike helmets have thicker padding and tougher straps. Expensive models often also have added features such as vents, retention systems and visors.
Is a bike helmet required by law?
In the United States, it is not required by law for adult cyclists to wear a helmet in most states. However, many cities and states require children up to a certain age to wear helmets when riding their bikes.
How should a bike helmet fit?
The helmet should fit snugly and securely without any gaps between the helmet and your forehead. The straps should fit comfortably without restricting movement. Make sure to adjust the straps and buckle to get the right fit.
What is the purpose of a bike helmet?
The main purpose of a bike helmet is to protect the cyclist’s head in the event of a crash. Bike helmets will absorb and spread the energy of an impact, minimising the risk of serious injury.
Investing in a bike helmet is an essential part of staying safe on the road. By considering the type of bike, the safety certification stamp, fit, ventilation, and price, you can find the perfect bike helmet to keep you safe and make sure you can enjoy your bike rides for years to come.