You are faced with a choice: buy a helmet or take a girl to a cool restaurant, which helmet will you choose?
I’ve put off this question for a long time, but finally it’s time to talk about how to choose a bike helmet. As a responsible citizen, I bought a helmet almost immediately after buying a normal bike. Plagued, however, doubts about the advisability of purchasing this accessory. I seem to be driving carefully, and since childhood, rolling, my head did not suffer from falls. But the fact that the local cycling community all polls had a bicycle helmet, and its presence was a prerequisite for participating in pokatushki, made me buy a helmet too.
I traveled a little with him, and the helmet increasingly remained on the shelf. I didn’t want to have a sauna on my head, and in addition I loved and love to ride with headphones (I ask you not to scold me in the comments, the traffic situation is perfectly controlled). The headphones are overhead, so they don’t get along with the helmet.
A week ago, an event happened that made me change the habit completely. Fortunately, I was smart enough to go cycling through the Carpathians in a bicycle helmet. Here’s what happened. On one of the unpaved slopes, after the last rain, the front wheel lost contact with the road surface (to the question of high-quality tires ), as a result of which I flew off the bike, and, not having time to group, landed shoulder and head on a clay embankment at the edge of the road. It is certainly not asphalt, it cost only a slight fright. However, taking into account the speed, the blow came out not weak, so without a bicycle helmet, a concussion, at best, would be guaranteed to me.
With this little excursion, I wanted to describe a typical and quite successful episode from the life of the average cyclist. The bicycle helmet is really relevant, and we will talk about its pros and cons in more detail at the end.
How to choose a bike helmet
The construction of bicycle helmets is very simple. They are made from inelastic foam, it can be of different types, but, roughly speaking, it is foam. On this occasion, they even joke that those who already have styrofoam in their heads do not wear a helmet.
It is very important that the foam is covered with a thin layer of plastic. In addition to its appearance, it allows the helmet to slide on the asphalt when it falls, dampening inertia, which also protects the neck from injury.
The very principle of operation is such that the impact energy is evenly distributed throughout the helmet, plus it is compensated by internal cushioning pads.
This function will be performed by any helmet: both the one sold in Auchan and the one manufactured by well-known companies (Giro, Bell, Fox, Cratoni, MET).
The difference in price is, of course, justified, and here’s what:
Any extra gram on your head leads to inconvenience. Try to choose a helmet weighing no more than 300 grams.
Fastening and adjustment system
A bicycle helmet should have a comfortable adjustment at the back of the head and 2 Y-shaped straps that fasten at the chin. It is advisable that these straps run through the entire helmet and not be glued to the side.
The larger the number of holes in the helmet and their size, the better the ventilation. It’s simple. It would be nice to have at least 16-20 holes.
A very useful solution. The problem of various bugs, mosquito bites and other insects getting into the helmet is effectively solved by a protective mesh.
A basic, reflective sticker is applied to the back of the helmet at the back of the head. If it is not there, this is a very unpleasant drawback.
Their quantity, quality, reliability of fastening should be at their best. In my helmet, the pads, which are supposed to absorb sweat, are already worn out, partly torn and barely stick to the Velcro. This is problem.
Any whim of girls for their money (or the money of lovers). For those who do not want to spoil their hair, there is a special hair hole. Models are not often found in stores, most likely you will have to search online.
He will protect from the sun, and in the case of branches it will be very good. However, this is not entirely an advantage, as the visor depends on the type of bicycle helmet. A few words about this.
Types of bicycle helmets
In view of the specifics of most cyclists and this site, above it was more about cross-country bike helmets (which includes both walking trips and tourism). The main task of such helmets, in addition to being reliable, is to be light and well ventilated.
Highway helmets differ only in that they do not have visors. I don’t know what caused this, probably for better aerodynamics. On cross-country helmets, the visor can be removed, but personally it does not bother me in any way.
Aerodynamic helmets – wear this if you want to look like a stranger from the movie of the same name. The elongated, closed shape of the helmet is designed to minimize air resistance in races where every millisecond counts. They are used either on the track or in road time trial races.
A bowler hat is a universal type of helmet. In conjunction with a bicycle, it is used in such extreme disciplines as BMX, trial, street. But you can also use it in mountaineering, for example. Conveniently. You need to know that in such a helmet, the head is cooked in the sun. So this is a bowler hat, literally.
Full face is a bicycle helmet that looks like a familiar motorcycle helmet. Downhill, i.e. downhill – that’s where you need this type of helmet. You can accelerate and break the forest with your head at full speed.
Based on all the above characteristics, we make the choice of a bicycle helmet. What’s more important is the size of the bike helmet.
How to choose the right size for a bike helmet
First of all, this question is most likely interested in those who want to order a helmet on the Internet. Well, theoretically, you can measure the size of a helmet at home. To do this, you need to measure the length of the head circumference 2 cm above the level of the eyebrows.
Then we compare the numbers with this plate and choose the desired size of the helmet.
The head, however, is different for everyone, and the sizes of the manufacturers may differ, so this is a sea battle game.
If it is possible to try on a helmet, then you also need to know a few features. Using different adjustments, make sure that he sits confidently on his head, does not slip from the slightest turn of his head. The straps are tightened so that when you open your mouth, the helmet presses a little on the forehead. The length of the helmet should also not crawl. At the same time, the helmet must have a margin of adjustment so that in the winter time you can put on a hat or comforter.
It is very important that the helmet is not lifted up, as in the picture:
And here’s how to do it right:
Now let’s digress directly from the question of choosing a bicycle helmet and talk about why everyone should wear a bicycle helmet.
Everyone should wear a helmet!
A public service advertisement for helmets (optional for bicycles) was made especially for the doubters:
I don’t like wearing a helmet because it ruins my hair.
I won’t wear a helmet because I look stupid in it.
I will never wear a helmet, it doesn’t look cool.
In my opinion, all questions disappear by themselves. Supporters of even the most ridiculous views have arguments in their store, a bicycle helmet is no exception.
It is believed that:
- The helmet creates a false sense of security. A person is liberated, in some cases takes risks with an eye on the fact that, at least, the head will be intact. And this really happens. Another thing is that the manufacturers of helmets guarantee safety only in the event of a fall from a bicycle at a speed of no more than 15 km / h from a height of 1 meter onto a stationary and flat object. So they, of course, protect themselves from litigation. The helmet will withstand even greater loads, but it is not omnipotent. In Australia, a study was carried out, which showed that the helmet only helps in 15% of head injuries. It sounds strange, but are we unique and can’t even get into this 15%?
- Motorists have more confidence in helmeted cyclists, and therefore subconsciously drive past them at a shorter distance. British scientist (classic) Ian Walker found that the convergence averaged 8.5 cm. And the number of those drivers who began to drive past the helmet carriers at a distance of less than 1 meter increased by 23%.
- In addition, the helmet supposedly obstructs the view, impairs aerodynamic properties, the head overheats and does not understand well.
There is also legislative regulation. A bicycle helmet is required in New Zealand and Australia, in some areas of Washington state, in many provinces of Canada, and for children under a certain age – in almost all EU countries and US states.
What is the problem here? First, Melbourne and many other cities saw a 30% or more decline in cyclists. Not everyone wants to wear a helmet without fail, plus it discourages beginners who think cycling is very dangerous. Secondly, the illusion is created that it is enough to put on a helmet and that’s it, traffic rules are forgotten directly. But this is also important.
Be that as it may, all this reasoning is refuted only by those 3 photos above. If there is the slightest and very affordable opportunity to protect yourself, then why not? By the way, you will also need bicycles and cycling gloves .
I really hope this article will motivate you to buy and help you choose a helmet – one of the most important accessories for cyclists. You now know how to choose a bike helmet, how to fit it in size, and why you need to buy it.
I would like to hear in the comments stories from personal experience or the experience of your friends about falls with or without a helmet, and about the consequences of such falls. I’m sure this would be an additional argument in favor of buying a bicycle helmet. Good luck on the road!