If you are going to cycle either on or off the road, you need to wear a helmet. No matter what! In 2014, 720 bicyclists died on US roads. About 60% of them were not wearing helmets. When a statistic is that high, it is not a coincidence. In fact, New York reported a much higher incidence of fatalities that were not wearing helmets, 97%. There are a few things to consider when you need to know how to pick a bicycle helmet
So, helmets are important, and choosing the right helmet is just as important. Amazon has 13,674 cycling helmets. So, how do you choose the right one. So before narrowing down your choices, consider the information below.
First, let me address a few things that everyone should to keep in mind when buying a helmet. Your helmet needs to be certified, and it needs to fit. It also needs to be safe. Also, price is important, but your safety is even more important.
If it is sold in the US, the helmet should comply with US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That means each helmet should be just as safe as the next. If you do not see the CPSC certification on a helmet you buy from Amazon, you should return it. However, almost every helmet sold on Amazon will be certified by some governing body. You may find an import from the UK, Australia, or somewhere else. And they will have a similar certification standard to the CPSC.
It is important that the helmet fits you properly. Everyone has a differently shaped head. Find one that is likely to fit your head in particular. There should be no more than a finger between your eyebrows and the front tip of your helmet. Get a measuring tape and measure your head to find the right sized helmet on Amazon. Look for a retention system in the product photos. That is the dial at the back. That way, the key to getting the perfect fit is just a quick turn.
The certification on sticker on the helmet tells you that every helmet should be equally safe. So, it does not matter how much you pay as far as safety is concerned. However, the higher price can often be a result of more than just fashion or brand name. Lighter helmets especially with more ventilation will be more expensive. Also, many companies will give you a discount on a replacement if you have an impact on your old one. This is a good thing to consider when buying your first helmet.
As I said, lighter helmets are more expensive. The manufacturer needs to make less of a helmet that is just as safe as any other certified helmet. So buying the right helmet depends on your personal reasons for cycling and how you cycle. So, here are five considerations before deciding on the right bicycle helmet.
Consider Your Riding Style
Do you cycle for fun? Buy a commuter or multisport helmet. The skaters love these, but they are really just solid, economical helmets perfect for any use. Are you a mountain biker? Look for one specifically for mountain biking. These should ventilate well at low speeds, extended head coverage, and an extra secure fit for riding those rough trails. Do you cycle on the street? You want a light helmet with plenty of air flow and sweat management. Avoid holes if you have a need for speed. They reduce aerodynamics.
Consider the Weather
If you live in a cold climate area, you probably want to buy a solid helmet especially if it often rains. Otherwise, you will want to get as much ventilation as you can. If it is sunny where you live, buy one with a visor. Actually, some visors are handy when it rains, too. Ultimately, you will want to buy more than one helmet unless you are only a sunny day cyclist. Buy one for rain and cold and another for sun and heat.
Consider Your Comfort
Sweat management is very important. The helmet should fit just above your eyebrows. So, it should be easy to keep sweat out of your eyes. However, cheaper helmets may not be as effective as some other, more expensive helmets. I’ve already spoken about getting the right fit, but be sure you try on the helmet when it arrives. If you don’t like the feel of it, return it to Amazon. Therefore, you need to think about the seller and the return policy on any helmet you buy. Also, buy one you think looks cool so you’ll wear it.
The visibility of your helmet is just as important to your safety as anything else. Dark helmets are not easily seen by drivers or even other cyclists. You should buy a helmet that is easily visible and eye catching. Sure you want to buy your favourite color, but again, your safety is more important than your color preferences. Some bike helmets have a tail light on the helmet. This will help to identify you from behind, but it may not help with head on traffic. Be seen!
How are you going to take care of the helmet? This is important to point out even before you buy one. If you take care of the helmet, the helmet will take care of you. You can use a soft cloth or sponge with water and mild soap. You can remove and wash the padding. Avoid storing the helmet anywhere hot such as an attic, garage, etc. Also, do not loan your helmet to anyone else. You need to know how it is cared for. Also, if you helmet gets damaged or is hit during a crash, replace it even if it looks fine. Internal damage can prevent the helmet from properly protecting your head.
Some short tips and tricks.
The straps can be a little tricky. The rear straps need to be longer than the front straps. That way the helmet can remain situated on your head in the perfect position. You may need to spend some time getting the perfect fit, but it will pay off in the end. Your helmet should feel snug but comfortable. And, it should remain in place if you turn your head upside down.
Getting the perfect helmet is a little difficult especially with so many to choose from. However, you are now armed with all the information you need to consider when picking the right bicycle helmet.
And just to drive home the point that you need a helmet, remember that Evel Knievel wore a helmet. He needed one, too, but no one cared how many times he crashed because he was cool. You may be cool, but you will never be Evel Knievel wearing a helmet cool. If you really need a little extra push to wear it, buy a white one with red & blue stripes and stars.