A bike helmet is one of the most important safety accessories, maybe even more important than a bike maintenance.
Even a low-speed fall can cause a big damage to your head and your brain, which is something everyone must understand.
Although the law doesn’t legally require you to wear a helmet in most countries, there are so many cyclists wearing them.
That’s why in this post I will tell you how important it is to wear a helmet during bike rides, how to choose a bike helmet, but also what’s important to consider when choosing a bike helmet and buying a cycle helmet.
Why Should You Wear a Bike Helmet?
Cars are going faster than bikes, but yet not many people would choose to ride in a car without a seat belt, so why should you ride without a bike helmet?
When on a bike, there isn’t any protection available, only a helmet. As I have mentioned earlier, even a low-speed fall could cause a big damage to your head or brain.
There are different types of bike helmets, and different sizes, but also it’s important that the helmets are matching required standards for the best protection.
Types Of Bike Helmets
There are three main types of bike helmets, but they all have the same goal which is to protect your head while they are being lightweight and comfortable to wear.
Recreational bike helmets are usually called multi-use or casual and are most often used by recreational cyclists or commuters. They can also be seen used by skateboarders.
Road bike helmets are preferred by road cyclists, who are paying attention to the weight of the bike and helmet, but also on aerodynamics. It’s great for people who ride race bikes and ride in an aggressive position.
Mountain bike helmets are designed to ventilate well at low speed, and they are also used by cyclocross riders. They’re most known for their visors, enhanced rear-head coverage and a firm secure fit when riding on a rough terrain. Some of the helmets even provide full face protection, mostly for downhill riders.
Bike Helmet Features
Now when you know types of bike helmets, you also need to know features of bike helmets before getting ready to purchase your bike helmet.
Maybe you have heard of Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) which is a modern technology to gain more protection during rotational forces during a crash.
It also has a low-friction layer which allows the helmet to absorb all the impact, rather than your head.
If you find a bike helmet with MIPS technology system, it’s worth buying it as it’s the safest feature among the cycling helmets currently.
Some additional features which helmets have are ventilation, visor, straps, and a hair port.
You might have guessed already what is the ventilation for, but if you didn’t know what is the visor for, it’s for protection from the sun from going directly into your eyes.
Straps are there to secure your head inside the helmet correctly and a hair port is a great feature which is made to accommodate ponytails. This feature is useful for women cyclists, so if you are a woman who loves cycling but also staying safe and comfortable, make sure you look out for this feature.
Bike Helmet Sizes
When choosing a bike helmet, getting a right size and fit is one of the most important things.
Most helmets come in small, medium, large or extended sizes, but there are also extra-small, extra-large and also one size which fits everyone.
The best way would be to measure your head with a flexible measure tape, around the largest portion of your head, which is about only inch above the eyebrows.
After that, you only need to find the helmet your size and make sure it fits you perfectly.
A perfectly fitting bike helmet should be snug but not too tight. Push the helmet from side to side and front to back to see how does it sit on your head, and if it moves noticeably, you will need to adjust the fit by the sizing wheel at the back of your helmet, or simply try a smaller size helmet.
Also, make sure that the strap is buckled and tightened, and make sure that the strap sits comfortably around your ears.
Keep your helmet at the normal room temperature, and avoid using chemicals when cleaning a helmet.
Extensive heat might cause bubbles appear on helmet parts.
Using a soft sponge or cloth would be the best way to clean a bike helmet.
Also, I suggest you not to borrow your bike helmet to someone else, because you want to know what exactly has the helmet been through, during its lifespan.
Replacing a helmet
A helmet needs a replacement mostly after a crash, where the helmet took the impact.
Even if the helmet looks perfectly fine, it should be replaced. It’s the most important part of your safety on the road and you don’t want to risk it by using damaged helmet.
If you’ve been crash free, it’s recommended to replace your bike helmet every 5 years, if it’s been used without any problems.
The reason why every 5 years is that the weather and the sun can weaken helmets components over time.
Buying a bike helmet isn’t very complicated once you know what features to look out for, which type and size to get and how to fit it perfectly for your head.
There are many different helmets, and I will soon be making posts where I will list some of the best-tested helmets for men and women.
Along the helmet, don’t forget that cycling gloves and sunglasses are playing a big part in safety on the road as well.
Take your time and don’t rush with buying the first helmet you see just because it’s pretty.
Which bike helmet are you using? Do you have any recommendations?
Let me know your experience and opinions in comments below, but also feel free to ask if you have any questions related to the topic.
Also, feel free to share the post on social media.
Enjoy your bike ride, and stay safe people! 🙂