Guide to purchasing a bicycle helmet

One of our friends from the UK, Stewart Jones submitted an article that we thought would be useful to our readers.

 

With the worst of wintery weather hopefully behind us in the UK, cyclists everywhere will be looking forward to donning their cycling gear once more in anticipation of more pleasant riding conditions.

Before heading out though it’s crucial to make sure you have all the required equipment, the most important of those being a helmet, offering the rider maximum protection in the event of an unfortunate accident.

How to choose a helmet

The first step to choosing the right helmet is to determine what style of cycle helmet you need and what fits within your budget.

Cycling helmets come in 3 styles – sport, road and mountain bike helmets. Road cycling helmets for example can range anywhere between £40 – £150 ($50-$200) with the design and materials used determining how expensive the helmet is.

All cycling helmets offer protection if you crash however features including visors, special retention systems, adjustable padding, extra ventilation will cost more. The more expensive helmets also tend to have a more adjustable fit for increased comfort.

Once you have decided what helmet you need, the next thing you need to do is to pick out a selection of helmets that take into account your budget and features you’re looking for.

Road cycling helmets for example often boast maximum air flow for good ventilation and impressive aerodynamic designs – but for those features you will be paying more.

Size is crucial

Finally it’s time for the most critical step of the entire process – to find your size. A good fit is vital. If a helmet isn’t fitted correctly it won’t offer the same protection that a helmet fitted well would do.

Look for a helmet that matches your exact head measurement. Sports helmets will often only come in only standard ‘Adult’ size however more expensive helmets will typically come in a selection of sizes depending on the circumference of your head.

Choose wisely – Even if purchasing online, try on helmets from several brands and different sizes in store beforehand to find the right one.

Lastly, be sure to choose your helmet with someone else present and if you have any queries, ask staff in-store.  They will know how helmets are supposed to fit and can help you with both the sizing and fit.

Formed by a diverse group of cyclists, Cycle Stuff Direct are providers of premium quality cycling clothing, parts and accessories to make riding your bike more enjoyable!

 


4 Comments

  1. Ben February 21, 2013 8:01 am 

    Some further advice:

    1. Don’t buy a helmet that seems at all gimmicky. In this category I include folding helmets, air bag helmets, and those silly helmets that are meant to look like hats. You plan on using this item to protect your life, so buy something trustworthy.
    2. Most helmets are only designed to take one impact. Some can be used up just by dropping them off a table. The more you spend on a helmet, the more likely this is to happen, so be sure to protect your investment. Consider a multi-impact helmet, like those manufactured by POC.
    3. For the love of Christ and all that is holy, don’t buy one of those dumb-shit reflective metallic helmets. They blind everyone withing a 3 block radius.

  2. Matt February 21, 2013 8:52 am 

    Helmets come in more than 3 styles. For example, a DH helmet looks (and functions) nothing like a “typical” road/mountain helmet.
    Also, the major differences between most road and mountain helmets are minimal unless you’re talking pretty high-end helmets. I use my “XC” style helmet for everything I do, including commuting, trail riding, and road riding. It works just fine.

  3. Nicky February 22, 2013 5:03 pm 

    Your wool hats are much better than those plastic ones for commuting.

  4. Raiyn February 24, 2013 12:59 am 

    We’re currently in the market for new helmets, mine due to age and her’s due to a crash. The number one piece of advice I can give is to find a helmet that is comfortable. Trey on a bunch to be sure to find the right one. Sure “Size is crucial”, and can help guide you as far as what size to try but one company’s head form may be entirely different than anothers and they seem to change every few years.

    I fully believe that we’ve found our next helmets, but we’re going to try a few more brands to be sure.

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