Are bicycle helmets important? Simple answer: Yes, every bike rider should wear a helmet.
They might seem uncomfortable or obstructive, but the truth is that wearing a helmet reduces the risk of head injury of cyclists by up to 85%.
On the other hand, cycling without a helmet is very dangerous because no matter how perfect you think you are at cycling, accidents can happen within a blink of an eye. Helmets do not only minimize the risk of brain injury, but they also reduce structural brain injury risk along with physical injury risks such as skull fracture.
Tips for Buying a Helmet
It is advisable to know the type of helmet you want to buy before you make the purchase, whether you want a cycling helmet with mirrors, light-weighted, or one with good ventilation.
When you buy either adult or children’s helmets, look for the Consumer Product Safety Committee sticker inside. This sticker or label ensures that the helmet laws are met and that the helmet will give maximum protection during an impact event.
When you are considering a hand me down helmet, make sure you check it fully for any broken areas, pieces, or cracks. Used helmets might have cracks that are not visible, therefore, might not meet the safety standards.
Try it on also before you buy—because helmets have a different fitting and every head has a different shape. Therefore, it is good to find a helmet that fits perfectly. When you are purchasing online, it is good to stop over at a bike shop and try several models first.
How to Wear a Bicycle Helmet Properly
Get an approximate size of your head and use a helmet size chart to find your helmet size. Ensure the helmet fits snugly when you try it on and that it sits flat on top and doesn’t rock side to side.
New helmets have sizing pads that can be used to fit your head. Match or mix the sizing pad to achieve greater comfort. When your child’s head grows remove the padding. For the helmets with a universal fit ring instead of a sizing pad, adjust the ring to fit your head.
The helmet should sit low on your forehead about two fingers width above the eyebrow. It should also level with your head.
Bring the left buckle under the chin to the center. Pull the strap from the back to shorten or lengthen the chin straps. Take the helmet off to adjust the straps to make things easier.
The slider on both straps should be adjusted to form a V-shaped slightly in front of or under the ears and lock the slider.
Your chin strap should be buckled tight enough until it snugs and can fit no more than one or two fingers.
Yawning or opening your mouth should make the helmet pull down on the head and if it doesn’t, consider readjusting the chin strap. Look up and you should see the front of the helmet visor. If you can’t unbuckle the chin and side strap, readjust.
Shake your head. Your helmet should not move from side to side or slip. If it does, readjust the universal fit ring and the sizing pads. Look around. You should be able to see side to side and ahead of you.
This is not to say that outdoor exercise is a substitute for practicing government-approved COVID-19 health and safety measures such as social distancing, washing hands, and wearing face masks, but rather, outdoor physical activity can help reduce your chances of suffering serious health issues from COVID-19 and can help you navigate daily life safely during the pandemic.
When to Replace a Helmet
Replace your helmet if there was an impact of a crash or if it dropped hard onto the ground. A helmet protects only from one impact. If your child has grown recheck the helmet fit and resize if needed.
However, it is advisable to replace a bike helmet after five years. Harsh weather or sunlight can make the inside components wear out with time.
Top 5 Helmets to Buy
Getting the best helmet can be a difficult decision these days. Every cyclist wants a helmet that has a low profile, lightweight, good looking, has plenty of ventilation, and has the most improved safety features for maximum protection of your head.
If you want the best bike helmet available or you are looking for a road bike that has value for money, the following are the 5 best road helmets you may want to consider when you are going to buy one:
Giro Cinder MIPS
This helmet is budget-friendly. It is lightweight, weighs about 290g for a medium-size helmet. The retention system buttery is smooth Roc Loc 5 keeps the helmet locked on your head without you feeling that it is there.
Giro has air ventilation that channels air over your head through the exhaust that is at the back of the helmet. It is also compatible with a ponytail, which means it is great for female riders.
Bell Stratus MIPS
This type of helmet has a minimalist look and offers incredible safety at a fair price. It has Bell’s Float Fit retention system that keeps it comfortable while it snugs well on your head. It weighs 275 g for a medium size. CPSC compliance integrated with MIPS technology makes this helmet a great choice for all road cyclists.
POC Ventral Air
This type of helmet has the characteristics of its popular ventral and octal design to enhance aerodynamics and ventilation. It is made with channels that allow air to pass through efficiently and quickly at both low and high speeds. This will result in the optimal cooling for your head in a lightweight helmet.
The Ventral air integrates Shearing Pad Inside technology into the helmet’s design. The helmet rotates during a crash to minimize the direct impact. It also has silicon pads for extra comfort and safety.
Bontrager Starvos MIPS
This is an entry-level helmet. Helmets that have MIPS are designed to deflect away forces from the head by rotating with angled impacts. Other than safety features it is a cool helmet. Its Starvos has thick moisture-wicking pads for comfort and broad channels for ventilation.
Dividers help the helmet keep straps from getting misaligned or twisted and the dial at the rear of the helmet allows quick tightening with one hand. This helmet comes in three colors; white, black, and red.
Lazer G1 MIPS
When you are considering buying a helmet, Lazer should be one of them. G1 MIPS is a good helmet to wear it is lightweight and is well ventilated. Its aeroshell cover should make your head nice and slippery in the wind. It has two sets of pads which are thicker and comfier.
Importance of Bicycle Helmets
The reason why bike helmets are important is that:
A bike helmet prevent fatal accidents
There are several reasons to wear bike helmets but the most important one is to protect your head from a serious injury. Head injuries can cause brain damage. Therefore, helmets prevent the acceleration of the head or brain during a contact impact reducing the risk of fatality.
The foam inside the helmet takes the energy rather than the head. If there is no foam in the helmet or you did not wear your helmet, impact energy can affect your brain and head directly causing injuries that could lead to death. Try to find a properly fitting helmet that is in good shape to ensure that it can work well in protecting your brain and head.
A bike helmet increases your visibility
Cycling along the street can be dangerous. When there is low visibility even during daylight drivers may not see you. However, with the right helmet, you can be more visible. When shopping for a road cycling helmet, ensure to get one with reflective strips at the back and front to enhance your visibility while on the road.
Besides, find a brightly colored helmet that can make drivers notice you as they focus on the road.
A bike helmet prevent a concussion
A concussion is a no laughing matter like we all joke about. It is serious and can even result in life-long disabilities or even death. Concussions come in different degrees, each with its damaging effects. A mild concussion can make you feel tired and a little shaken while a severe concussion can make you feel confused, lose consciousness, have a blurred vision, or even affect your memory.
If you have gone through this experience it is good to prevent another recurring incident.
Keep yourself safe on the road with a helmet
It is essential to understand that it is not just about wearing a helmet but rather a fitting helmet. It is good to find a proper fit cycling helmet in the store or online. Make sure to exchange your helmet if it does not fit you. A properly fitting helmet snugs around your head all day long and cannot move when your head shakes or move.
A fitting helmet will cover all your head and will prevent injury to any part of the head. Helmets are effective when worn correctly. There are several helmets to choose from, therefore, there is no reason not to find a comfortable one. The discomfort you could have for wearing a helmet is surpassed by the safety they give. You have no reason to risk even a minor injury just to avoid using a helmet because a bike helmet and safety goes in hand.