Bicycle helmet – what bike helmet to choose and what to pay attention to when buying?
What bicycle helmet to buy? The most important thing is that it should be well-fitted and made of durable materials - then the bicycle helmet will fulfill its function, and thus protect the head against breakage. Check what the types of bicycle helmets are and what to look for when buying to choose the best model for yourself.
Bicycle helmet is an element of clothing that every cyclist should buy. Nevertheless, until recently, the stereotype has persisted that helmets are needed only for children and professional cyclists. A big influence on such thinking was the fact that in the helmet not everyone is face.
Fortunately, more and more people are aware of the need to buy a helmet to protect their head while cycling. Regardless of whether we are going on a mountain trail or recreationally in the city - the risk of an accident is always and the helmet definitely improves safety. The only condition is that it is properly adapted to the head and made of solid materials.
Currently, sports stores can find a wide range of models that differ in their purpose, design, size and appearance. You do not need to worry that after putting the helmet on we will look bad - among the wide assortment everyone should find a model that suits their needs.
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Check what bike helmet to buy and what features to pay attention to.
Bicycle helmets - types
Before buying a bike helmet, we should consider which type best suits our driving style. There are 4 types of bicycle helmets:
- MTB helmet - the most popular model, designed for sports riding on mountain bikes (MTB - Mountain Terrain Bike ). Its characteristic feature is a visor attached to the front of the helmet protecting against sun and rain and the presence of ventilation holes.
- Road helmet - similar to the MTB helmet, but it will not work in more difficult terrains (e.g. Mountain). It is designed for road riding. The most important feature that distinguishes it from the MTB model is the lack of a canopy at the front.
- City helmet - a model for city driving. It has a less streamlined shape than the MTB helmet. It is equipped with additional elements that increase visibility, e.g. Reflections.
- Helmet "peanut" - used not only by cyclists, but also skaters and skateboarders. It has a solid construction with no ventilation holes, thanks to which it better protects the head than other models of helmets. Designed for freeride and BMX riding.
- Full face helmet - used by cyclists riding in extreme conditions, eg downhill riders (high-altitude mountaineering). It completely covers the face, which makes it similar to motorcycle helmets.
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Bicycle helmets - what to look for when buying?
When buying, we should take every model that we are interested in, carefully inspect it and make it compulsory. Particular attention should be paid to the following parameters of helmets:
- External material - the harder the raw material from which the housing was made, the more robust the helmet is and protects the head better. Most helmets from the lower and middle price range have a coating made of plastic and this is generally sufficient for recreational and sports riding. Professionals driving in difficult terrains can afford more expensive helmets with a ceramic coating that makes the helmet lighter and more durable.The simplest test to check the strength of the helmet is to squeeze it with both hands - if the surface is easily bent, the quality of the helmet is poor. A good helmet should resist our pressure.
- Internal material - preferably the inside of the helmet is made of a soft sponge or foam - this material will prevent abrasions and ensure comfort. Some models have an additional antibacterial insert that prevents the formation of unpleasant odors. If you decide on a helmet with such an insert, you should pay attention to be removed - it will enable easy cleaning.
- Ventilation - is especially important when driving on warm and hot days. Appropriate ventilation ensures constant air exchange, which prevents perspiration of the scalp. The ventilation holes should be covered with a mesh to prevent insects and vermin from penetrating inside. It must be remembered that too many holes in the helmet reduce its effectiveness, so it is best to choose models with a maximum of 3-4 ventilation points.
- Size - most helmets have a special knob on the back or a slider for size adjustment. Thanks to this solution, the helmet can be easily adjusted to the circumference and shape of the skull. For this purpose, it must be put on and pressed firmly to the head, then the knob to adjust the size.
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How to check if the size of the helmet is good?
A perfectly fitted helmet should rest on the head, but not overpressure. Despite the possibility of adjustment, helmets usually have a label with the suggested size. It is worth measuring your head circumference prior to a visit to the shop - we do it by wrapping the measuring tape around the head just above the ears, but above the eyebrow line. Next, we compare the result with the size of the helmet expressed in centimeters.
At the same time, remember to wear the helmet properly - its front part should be slightly above the eyebrows and not reveal the forehead. A well-chosen model does not move sideways and does not fall. During fitting, you can shake your head several times to make sure that the helmet stays in the same position.
Adjusting strap - each bicycle helmet has an adjustable belt fastened under the chin. The clasp most often has the form of a plastic buckle. You need to pay attention to whether the buckle does not oppress and rub the skin, while at the same time helping to keep the helmet in place. The type of fastening is also important - it is important that it can be easily fastened and unclipped.
Roof - protects against rain and sunrays. It is a good idea to choose a helmet with a visor, if you are going for a ride in difficult weather conditions.
Color, reflective elements - helmet manufacturers more and more often offer models for women and men, which in most cases differ only in design and size range. There is also a large range of unisex models with a universal color scheme. If we pay attention to the appearance of the helmet, it is worth choosing one that is equipped with reflective elements that increase visibility.
You have to remember a few rules, compliance with which guarantees the full effectiveness of the helmet and safety during its use:
- In theory, every helm authorized for sale should have appropriate safety certificates, but it is worth making sure that the model we choose has them. To this end, it is best to look for the en1078 mark, which is sufficient confirmation that the product meets all safety standards;
- After the accident you should buy a new helmet - you must do it obligatorily, because the old helmet, even if it does not bear any visible signs of damage, is no longer as good protective functions as new;
- Better to choose a helmet costing over pln 100 - this is a price limit above which you can be sure that the helmet is made of the best materials and effectively protects the head during an accident;
- Helmets from renowned manufacturers lose validity after 4-6 years - during this time as a result of external weather conditions, their protection values are weakened. Therefore, after a few years it is necessary to replace the helmet with a new one.