Not every helmet will be made exactly the same, however. So, if you are on the lookout for the best helmet for cycling, you will need to consider some of the things that will be mentioned in this post. It is an assuring reminder, however, that all helmets sold in the U.S. are required to meet standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). There are also other helmets are that are endorsed by other organizations, such as the nonprofit Snell Foundation.
Manufacturers also conduct safety tests to help them standardized the manufacturing of these protective gears. Continuous tests and modifications have helped helmet manufacturers to create helmets that are light, comfortable, and able to withstand significant impacts. Even then, you will still have to consider some personal preferences when choosing a helmet to use for biking.
Consider these tips to help you decide which helmet to buy that is well-suited to your specific needs.
Types of Bike Helmets
First, you have to note that there are different types of helmets. There are helmets made specifically for recreational activities. These helmets are also called multi-use and casual helmets. Other helmets are specified to be road helmets and others called mountain helmets. All of these helmets are designed to protect your head from impact while each is also made to be lightweight and comfortable.
Recreational helmets are a great option for recreational, commuter, road as well as mountain bikers. This type of helmet is also a popular choice of skateboarders and inline skaters. They are normally designed with visors to shield the wearer’s eyes from the heat and glare of the sun.
Road bike helmets, on the other hand, are preferred by road enthusiasts as they are designed to be of low weight. They also come with several vents and an aerodynamic design. These helmets do not usually come with visors as this will lessen the total weight of the gear and provide an unobstructed view if you are wearing the gear while in an aggressive riding position.
Finally, the mountain bike helmets that are often used by cyclocross riders are designed to ventilate well even at low speeds. Helmets of this type are designed with visors and an enhanced rear-head coverage. They are also made with a firm, secure fit that is crucial when moving within a rough terrain. Downhill mountain bikers and park riders prefer this type of helmet as some of these helmets also offer full-face protection for users.
How are bike helmets made?
Most helmets are made with an in-mold construction. This is preferred process where the outer shell is fused with the helmet’s inner liner without the use a liquid sealant. The finished product is light and durable, which is the common requirements of racers and frequent riders.
Another thing that you need to consider is the shell of the helmet. Most cycling helmets are made with a plastic shell or cover that holds the helmet together when there is an impact. It provides puncture-resistance and allows the helmet to slide on impact. This feature lessens the possibility of injury to the head and neck during impact.
Most helmets are also made with liners that are made of expanded polystyrene foam. On impact, these liners distribute the force to different directions to protect the head. When choosing a helmet to buy, you need to make sure that the liner fits your head firmly yet comfortably.
Another safety feature that some helmets are designed with is known as the Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS) technology. This is the manner of constructing helmets in such a way that they will provide more protection from rotational forces during impact.
MIPS-equipped helmets are made with a low-friction layer that allows the helmet’s impact-absorbing foam liner to rotate slightly around the head when it meets impact. The foam liner moves only a few millimeters, but this can lessen the amount of rotational force that may have been transferred to your brain in certain impacts without it.
Ventilation or vents designed in helmets enhance wind-flow over your head. This keeps you feel cooler and more comfortable as you ride your mountain bike. The more vents that the helmet has, the lighter the helmet is as well.
There are riders who prefer wearing a helmet with a visor. Such a feature is very common on mountain bike helmets. This visor adds a fraction of weight and slight wind resistance, however.
There are mountain bike helmets that are made with a wrap-around chin bar that is intended to provide face protection when going downhill mountain biking and park riding. Enduro racers like the added protection as well.
Other helmet features that you may want to consider are the straps and the hair port. Make sure that the straps are easy to buckle and unbuckle and make you feel comfortable when strapped.
The strap system should be comfortable and easy to buckle and unbuckle. As with the hair port, there are some helmets that are designed with a strap design that fits in a ponytail.
When looking for the best helmet for mountain bike, you’ll definitely need to choose one that fits well. You’ll need to try several helmets, even wear one that you’d found to suit your preferences, for several hours before you can actually determine whether the helmet that you picked fits you really well. It should sit level and not tilted on your head. It has to be placed about an inch above the eyebrows to keep your forehead protected.
Your helmet will be good to be worn for up to 5 years. If it has been involved in an accident before that, you will have to find a replacement for the helmet, however, even if it the helmet still looks intact.