Tips in Choosing the Best Bike Helmet

If you get to watch a footage of the earlier races of the Tour de France, you would notice that wearing a helmet has not been a regulation in cycling tournaments like this during the early 90s. However, today you will see most riders wearing a helmet even if they are just riding to their daily commutes. With the recent innovations, many have changed their opinion toward wearing a helmet when on the road. As many of these riders have fully understood the significance of wearing a helmet while on the road, so should you.

If you are on the lookout for the best helmet for mountain bike, you will need to consider the tips that we have listed below.

Safety

A helmet’s primary function is to protect your head and your neck during impact. As such, this safety gear is so designed with features that will ensure that there will be minimal to no injuries to any portion of the head and neck that it is designed to cover and protect.

To make sure that your protection is well taken care of, manufacturers include a thick polystyrene or polypropylene foam liner under the hard plastic shell of the helmet. This feature serves as a shock absorber during collision or impact. Fortunately, you get the assurance that the bike helmet that you are going to buy even from a local store when in the US are safe to use. Manufacturers of these (those sold in the US) are required to meet the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) standards.

Note, however, that there are different types of helmets. Some are intended for less hazardous riding like commuting to work or for those casual weekend rides. Certain types of this safety gear are specifically designed for more intense riding, such as skiing, skateboarding, kayaking, or climbing and should not be worn when cycling. As you can see the severity and types of impacts that each helmet is rated for differs depending on the sport that it is intended to be used. There are also helmets that can be used as all-around helmets, hence may be used for BMX and in other sports. You have to take note, however, to check the product description and warranty for related information to such feature.

When it comes to product safety, remember that your helmet needs to be replaced after a significant impact. Even though your helmet may still look intact, there may be unseen damages that may compromise the helmet’s integrity. If you have been wearing your helmet for years, you will still need to replace your helmet every five years as the quality of the product would have  definitely have degraded by normal wear and tear by then.

Size

Higher-end helmets are normally offered in multiple sizes that can provide a more secure and comfortable fit. However, those helmets that can be bought at lesser prices normally comes with a universal sizing ring that can fit a wide range of head sizes. All helmets indicate the head circumference that it can fit comfortably in. So, before you look for options, make sure that you already know your head size. Use a measuring tape to measure the circumference of the widest part of your head (that would be about an inch above your eyebrows).

Fit

It is not enough that you have the right size of helmet, however. You also need to make sure that the helmet will not tip or move forward or back when worn. See to it that the inner band wraps comfortably around your head. It should not be too tight nor too loose as this will make it easy for the helmet to slide off even at the slightest movement that you do.

You’ll have to try several helmets before you find one that fits pretty well on your head. You also need to make sure that the chin-strap assembly will form a “V” in front of and behind your ears. The straps should rest firmly without binding or chafing. However, you should be able to slide two fingers side by side between your chin and the strap while you are wearing the helmet.

Shape

Different helmet brands offer helmets of different shapes. Your option is endless and the perfect shape will naturally depend on your personal preference. For a head that is more elongated, a Giro helmet may fit well. For those with rounder heads, Bell helmets will be a better option, however. You will need to try several styles to see what fits best for you.

Purpose

As mentioned earlier each helmet is best suited for the type of cycling that you mostly would be doing.

Note that road bike helmets are lightweight and aerodynamic. They are usually made to be glossy as this will make the gear to slide over the pavement instead of fall straight to it in case of a high-speed accident. They also do not usually include visors.

Mountain bike helmets, on the other hand, are bulkier, especially in the back of the helmet, as they are designed to protect your head from a backward fall. Shell textures vary, nonetheless, for this type of helmet. Some are made with smooth like a road bike helmet, others come with a rougher, flatter surface. These helmets also often include visors to provide some protection from sunlight and rain.

Ventilation

Most road bike helmets and mountain bike helmets are made with multiple large vents that help create better airflow to keep you cool while on your bike.

Color

Helmets come in different colors, but as your helmet can help other motorists see you while you are speeding on the road, it’s best that you opt for one that is not only cool and stylish but one that will increase your visibility to oncoming traffic.

There are other helmets that are made with other advanced features. If you will just make a quick search online, you will find several brands that offer smart helmets. These are now real products and not just available to be admired on some sci-fi movies. Helmets that come with built-in microphones, speakers, rear-facing cameras, and many other helpful features with them are now available in many shops worldwide. The best of these helmets combine several of these features to make your riding experience safer and more interesting.

Conclusion

When looking for the best helmet for mountain bike or any other bike that you may want to use, make sure that you opt for one that offers the best features that will bring in the best value for your money.

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