The Ultimate Bike Helmet Buyer’s Guide

If you're reading an article about how to choose a bike helmet, you probably don't need to be convinced to wear one for head protection. Helmets come in an assortment of styles, designed to meet the needs of riders in a variety of cycling disciplines, but they all serve the same basic function of shielding our delicate skulls from unforeseen road or trail encounters. 

 Apart from a proper fit and adequate ventilation, there are lots of other things to consider before buying the right helmet in 2022. Let’s take a detailed look at all the important aspects that should know before you buy one. 

Buyer’s Guide For Choosing a Right Helmet in 2022

We’ve compiled a list of tips that you should keep in mind when buying the right helmet. Let's get started.

1. Construction

Most helmets on the market are comprised of EPF (Expanded Polystyrene Foam) and a tough plastic shell outer casing that is either glued to the EPF or molded into the EPF.                      

In the event of an impact, the EPF is crushed and the skull is protected. After a crash, it's critical to change one's helmet. The EPF's inside structure would have degraded significantly, even if the helmet did not display any external damage. As a result, it is better to change the helmet immediately if the helmet has been involved in a crash.

2. Shell

The shell is the visible portion of your bike helmet. A hard outer shell gives you protection against concussions and other head injuries. Remember that in a crash, the shell is the first item to contact the road, therefore avoid helmets with a cheap shell!

3. Liner

The liner is usually comprised of crushable or impact-absorbing foam. It is positioned underneath the outer shell and does the majority of the job during a collision. The liner sucks up the impact energy during a crash and will try to limit the transfer of that energy to your head. 

4. Straps

When purchasing a helmet, the straps are the most important feature. You'll want straps that can be adjusted to fit your body comfortably. Also, look for a strap that is comfortable and simple to put on and take off. In the event of a crash, a good strap combined with correct internals will keep the helmet from flying off. If the helmet wiggles when you shake your head, it doesn't fit properly!

5. Ventilation

If you're planning a fast-paced road ride, this is an important element to consider.  Helmets have a variety of air channels and vents that are meant to pull cool air over the head through the front ports while discharging heated, stale air from the back. Mostly, road riders and cross-country (XC) racers favor ultralight helmets with extensive cooling vents, whereas gravity-oriented riders will accept a weight penalty for increased security.

6. Padding

The padding ensures that your helmet is comfortable and you do not sweat while wearing it. Removable, washable padding is a godsend for keeping your helmet neat and clean.

7. Size & Weight

Every person has a unique head structure. Oval, intermediate oval and long oval are the three most common types. You can determine this by examining the head structure on your own or by getting professional help. 

If your helmet is exerting pressure on the wrong parts of your head, it is most likely not the helmet you should be wearing when riding. A properly sized helmet will fit like a crown, prevent significant movements, and tug your face while being removed. As a result, always wear your helmet and pay attention to where it puts pressure on your head.

8. Retention

Retention systems refer to the straps attached to the back of the helmet. Most modern cycle helmets, especially those in the mid-price range, will contain an adjustable retention system. This aids in achieving the ideal fit. The more expensive systems will include a mechanism that can be readily modified while you’re on the move with one hand.

9. Color

Bright-colored helmets serve to keep you safe by making you more visible on the road. Motorists and others will be able to see you on the road at night because of the built-in reflectivity. Some helmets have built-in lights, which are useful because the flashing is significantly brighter than your tail light, making you much more visible. If you intend to be riding in the dark and traffic, a helmet with reflection is good.

10. Style

Bicycle helmets are available in a variety of styles. You must choose your helmet based on the riding style.

Leisure or Urban Helmets 

They are cost-effective and ideal for city commuters or persons who travel short distances regularly. Recreational helmets are well-padded for comfort and feature a high level of breathability. If you wish to go for brief morning exercise rides or have a short commute to work, you can opt for this type of helmet. 

Road Helmets

These helmets are often made of lightweight materials and have aerodynamic designs that place a strong emphasis on safety. It gives you excellent ventilation and no obstructing visors of any kind.

Mountain Bike Helmets

The shell of these helmets is extremely sturdy, with soft foam cushioning for added comfort. There are also multiple ventilation vents so you feel free to use them. Full-faced helmets provide complete head protection for downhill and park riders if you are at a higher risk of injury.

Kids Helmet

They are essentially scaled-down versions of adult helmets, but there are a few major differences worth noting. Helmets for children frequently include visors to shield their eyes from the sun, several vents to keep them cool, and numerous adjustabilities to ensure the best fit. Many kid's helmets come with non-pinch or magnetic buckles in addition to the usual buckle method to prevent pinching underneath the chin.

BMX

BMX helmet has an EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner that is wrapped in a poly-carbonate outer shell. There are two kinds of helmets - Half-shell helmets are lighter and have an unrestricted field of vision. Full-face helmets provide the most protection, but they reduce visibility and generate heat. Some BMX riders will need a full-face helmet for extra protection for the face, chin, and mouth, but this is mostly reserved for racers.

11. Helmet Technology

Bike helmets are now lighter and more attractive than before. Here are some of the attractive technologies used in helmets. 

MIPS

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The invention of the multi-directional impact protection system (MIPS) is one of the more recent technological achievements in the safety space. It's a thin liner on the interior of helmets that lets the helmet move a few millimeters over your head in the case of a crash. 

Lowering the impact force on your skull as well as the rotational stresses on the neck and head. MIPS helmets are more expensive than non-MIPS helmets but are worth the extra protection they provide. This helmet should only be considered by experts, is not suitable for beginners. 

GPS & Bluetooth 

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Nowadays, helmets are equipped with Bluetooth, allowing you to communicate with friends at a distance of 900 meters (0.5 miles) on open terrain, as well as connect with your phone (fitness apps, music, make phone calls). If your smart bike helmet includes GPS, it can track your movements from your previous commute to your current ride. It can also tell you how fast you're going. It can also interface with your smartphone, providing you with traffic or road alerts or advising you to slow down.

Camera mounts

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Helmets now come with built-in light and action camera mounts. They can be attached to various parts depending on how and at what angle you want to capture things. Generally, bikers mount a small action camera to their bike in case of an accident, either as evidence for an insurance claim. There are various types of camera mounts that allow you to mount your camera in various locations on your bike. The helmet is the most common way for a cyclist to mount a camera. Mounting the camera on the helmet allows you to record what you see during the ride and is useful for creating videos of the spectacular scenery you see on a bike trip. 

Magnetic buckles

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In terms of durability, the magnetic buckle appears to be more robust than what you'd find on a standard helmet chin strap.

12. Price

Price is often the most important consideration when buying a helmet. Helmets under $50 are typically for children or for commuting. You can buy some basic road and mountain bike helmets for this price, but they may lack some features. You should spend a little more than $100 to buy a proper helmet. 

 If you're going to spend more than $250 on a helmet, you want it to have the most up-to-date technology in every function. Furthermore, before purchasing a high-priced helmet check how often you plan on going on adventures as this is going to be a huge investment. If you plan to take your bike once in a while, buy a helmet that is moderately priced. 

 Regardless of whether you choose an inexpensive or costly helmet, you should always choose the one that makes you feel the most comfortable and that you trust to keep you safe while wearing it. 

How to Adjust a Bike Helmet?

1. Make a tightening adjustment

An adjustment wheel is commonly found on the back of helmets. The retention system will release as you fully open the wheel, allowing you to put the helmet on. It will then be restricted by tightening the wheel or dial, snugging the helmet onto your head.

2. Secure Your chinstrap

Buckle and adjust the chin strap so they form a "V" beneath each ear and are comfortable to wear. If the straps don't sit quite right, you can tweak the clasp under each ear to get a better fit.

3. Extend your arms wide

To achieve a correct fit with the retention system tightened and the chin strap secured by extending your arms. A helmet should never move from side to side of your head, and your forehead should never be exposed.          

4. Sunglasses

If you wear sunglasses during your ride, it is a good idea to ensure that they’ll properly fit along with your helmet. To check this, remove your sunglasses while wearing your helmet and see if you can remove them easily. Just ensure that the helmet's tightening mechanism doesn't touch the frame of your glasses.

5. Hairport 

If you have long hair, consider a hairport. It is designed on the back of the helmet to accommodate ponytails without impacting the fit or safety of a helmet.

When Should you Replace a Helmet?

No matter how well you look after your helmet, it will eventually need to be replaced. To conserve weight, the EPS foam that softens the impact is generally constructed as a single impact device. Helmets, like automobile bumpers, do not bounce back, so they should be considered a one-time use item in the event of a collision. Manufacturers recommend that you replace your helmet every 3-5 years, depending on how often you use it. 

You don't have to be concerned about fit because manufacturers provide sizing charts. Check the straps surrounding the buckle, since rubbing might cause it to wear out. If your helmet is starting to show its age, it's time to get a new one! With these pointers in mind, you'll be able to find the ideal helmet for you. Who knows, it could even save your life.  

Wrapping Up

You should choose a helmet based on where you plan to ride, how often you plan to ride, and what features you need. These tips for selecting the right helmet may provide you with the information you need to make a more informed decision and guarantee that you have many years of safe and pleasurable bike riding. 

While wearing the correct helmet will not prevent you from ever suffering a head injury, it will go a long way toward reducing the severity and incidence of such injuries. We hope, our article will assist you in selecting the ideal helmet for your activity and level of experience.


Disclaimer - The images inside the article were collected from the internet. We do not own any of them.

Tim Roberts
 

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