Not so long ago, only the most serious cyclists regularly wore safety helmets while riding. Today, more and more casual riders are embracing the practice of wearing helmets; in fact, at least 20 states currently have laws requiring bicyclists to wear helmets. Today’s helmets are light and stylish, giving cyclists of all ages and abilities the benefits of additional safety while promoting comfort. Click here to enable the notifications for bicycles and cycles details here.
Regardless of an individual’s cycling style, wearing a helmet should be an essential part of any ride. The key to getting the most out of a helmet is to find one that fits properly and is appropriate for its intended use.
Understanding the Basic Components of a Helmet
Before committing to the purchase of a helmet, it is important to understand the basic parts of most helmets and how they affect comfort, weight, function, and durability.
*Liner: This is the polystyrene foam that coats the inside of most helmets. In case of impact, the liner absorbs the brunt of the force and is the last line of defense for a rider’s head in an accident. When shopping for a helmet, look for a liner that rests comfortably on the head. A liner should be perfectly intact and free of dents, chips, or other damage.
*Shell: The plastic outer covering, or shell, is what gives a helmet its color and style. More than just for decoration, though, the shell also adds valuable safety, as it keeps the helmet together on impact, offers puncture-resistant protection, and allows the helmet to skid in case of a crash; this helps prevent head and neck injuries in an accident. The shell should not have any cracks or chips.
*Ventilation: Vents enhance a rider’s comfort, allowing air to flow over and through the helmet. This makes for a cooler, more pleasant experience. Obviously, the more vents a helmet has, the cooler the rider will be.
*Straps: A helmet’s strap system should match the rider’s cycling style. Sturdy, thick straps are best for off-road or rough terrain riding, while thin, light straps are a good choice for road cycling or racing. Straps should be fully adjustable for comfort and proper fit, and should feature closures that are easy to operate. For female cyclists, some strap systems are specially designed to accommodate a ponytail, making for a better fit and more comfortable ride.
Match the Helmet to Cycling Style
Not all cycling helmets are created equal. A proper helmet should match the rider’s particular interests and intended use.
There are three main styles of helmet, each specifically tailored to a distinct type of cycling: sport, mountain, and road.
*Sport helmets generally run between $35 and $55. These affordable and versatile models are an excellent choice for casual cyclists, commuters, and even skaters.
*Mountain bike helmets are slightly higher on the cost scale, costing between $50 and $130. These helmets are designed to offer the ultimate in protection for cyclists who favor rough trail riding or cyclo-cross racing. Many models are equipped with visors and full coverage for the back of the head, as well as strap systems that hold the helmet to the rider’s head more securely to withstand the unique obstacles of off-road cycling.
*Road bike helmets are the most sophisticated and expensive models, with a good quality helmet ranging anywhere from $60 to $230. Best for serious road racers or competitive cyclists, these road helmets are light, aerodynamic, and extremely well ventilated.