How To Choose The Best Safety Helmet

What’s the first thing you think of when considering choosing a safety helmet? 

Maybe it’s the open road, the wind in your hair, or freedom. But there are many other factors involved with bike safety. For instance, we often forget about helmets and how they can make or break a day of riding. Their purpose is to ensure complete protection against head injuries caused by collisions with another vehicle or object. 

So, be sure to always wear one!

Factors To Consider

Safety helmets are essential for motorcycle riders as they can save lives. In 2020 alone, helmets saved 2,772 people by preventing skull fractures and traumatic brain injuries during accidents on the roadways. 

Whether you’re a seasoned biker or just starting out, finding the best fitting helmet for your needs is essential if you want to truly enjoy yourself. Not only can an ill-fitting helmet be uncomfortable and cumbersome, it can even put your life in danger should anything happen while you ride. 

Finding one that fits perfectly will allow you to continue riding safely and comfortably. Here are some factors about helmets that may help guide your search for the right one.

The Kind Of Riding

The very first factor to consider when choosing a safety helmet is what kind of riding you’ll be doing. Several features on helmets vary depending on whether it’s for mountain biking or road biking purposes.

For example, mountain bikes have a tighter design and more vents than road bikes due to their need for ventilation while going downhill at high speeds.

Padding

Mountain biking helmets tend to be heavier and have more padding in the back because they are designed for rougher terrain. Riders can fall forward or backward when mountain biking, so these types of helmets need plenty of protection.

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Visor And Eye Protection

Mountain biking helmet features vary based on the rider and the terrain. Riders who use their mountain bike under challenging conditions should have a helmet with a visor to keep sunlight out of their eyes. In contrast, downhill riders need full protection all around, including from facial impact if an accident were to occur. 

Weight And Aerodynamics 

If you’re looking for a comfortable and fast ride, then look no further than road biking helmets, with features like lighter weight construction and more air vents to keep cyclists cool on the smooth surface of the pavement.

Full-Face Protection

If you’re looking for a way to make your time riding more exciting, then investing in a full-face helmet could be a great idea. These helmets provide riders with extra protection and give them peace of mind when hitting those rugged trails.

A full-face helmet can help build confidence while riding on challenging terrain by providing an added layer of security against contact with branches, trees, and rocks.

Helmet Size – Choose The Helmet That Fits Perfectly 

The best safety helmets are never one-size-fits-all. A helmet’s size determines how well it fits the user and how well it stays in place during physical movement. Thus, before purchasing a helmet, check the sizing options and their correlating measurements. 

Some helmets are specifically designed for young children, while others are sized for adults. The majority of helmets come in various sizes (small, medium, large, and extra large).

Take Three Measurements Of Head Circumference

These measurements include from the user’s eyebrow to the top of the head, from underneath the ear to the top of the ear, and from the top of one ear to the top of the other ear.

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Get A Helmet That Fits

A poor fit can compromise safety (and your desire to wear your helmet), so make sure it’s the right size and is adjusted properly.

Sizing Parameters For Bike Helmets

  • Under 20″ (51 cm) is considered extra small
  • The small size is 20″ to 21.75″ (51 cm to 55 cm).
  • The medium size is 21.75″ to 23.25″ (55 cm to 59 cm).
  • The large size is 23.25″ to 24.75″ (59 cm to 63 cm).
  • The extra large size is defined as being above 24.75″ (63 cm).

Specify Your Interests

Is it important for you to have advanced protection technologies and better design (lightweight, cool, and more aerodynamic)? Is a light or action camera mounted in your device? If so, what other features do you want to have? The price will increase accordingly for each of these features.

How To Adjust Your Safety Helmet Properly

  • Tighten The Straps

Helmets often have an adjustment wheel at the rear. Opening the wheel all the way allows you to loosen the retention system. The helmet’s retention system is tightened as you close the wheel or dial, squeezing it more firmly around your head.

  • Pull Up Your Buckles

Make sure the straps fit comfortably under each ear and form a “V” under the chin. Adjusting the buckle under each ear will help you get a better fit if the straps do not sit the way they should.

  • Allow Wide Access

Open your mouth wide to ensure a precise fit after tightening your retention system and buckle your chin strap. You know you have a great fit if the helmet is snug against your head when your mouth is wide. If the helmet slips, tighten the chin strap.

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Pro Tips 

  • Different Helmet Brands Have Different Sizes

Various brands offer different helmet sizes, and you should always verify the manufacturer’s size chart for the specific model you are looking for to be sure you choose the right size. Many riders choose a helmet brand that they feel matches the shape of their head best and consider it the brand they will stick with. Try on a few helmets and see what fits comfortably as well as what looks good.

  • Deciding Between Two Sizes? Reduce The Size

If you choose the smaller size, it will fit snugly, and if you choose the larger size, it will be too loose to fit properly. Consider wearing a cycling cap or a thermal beanie under the helmet if the helmet is too large.

  • Snug Helmets Are Better Than Uncomfortable Ones

Helmets that fit properly don’t move around when worn. The open mouth test is a great way to ensure the helmet fits properly, ensuring it is effectively worn and not too loose or uncomfortable. To prevent the helmet from moving side-to-side while wearing it, you must not expose your forehead.

Final Thoughts

Lastly, as a rule of thumb, you should replace your helmet after one impact since most helmets are designed to absorb only one hit. It is best to retire any helmet that has experienced a direct impact on its shell, no matter how pristine it appears after the crash. 

Regardless of how crash-free the helmet has been throughout its life, you should replace the helmet after five years. Environmental factors such as UV light, pollution, heat, and sweat cause the helmet to slowly degrade over time.