On the pages of this blog, I always encourage everyone to ride a bicycle wearing a helmet and never neglect this simple and often the only element of windfree cycling protection. However, nothing is written about the helmets themselves. Disorder, we should fix it. So, today we will talk about bicycle helmets. What they are, what are they, what to choose and how to use correctly.
Varieties of bicycle helmets
In fact, the helmets can be divided into two categories: MTB – mountain bike helmets and highway helmets (Road). MTB helmets are divided into two types, depending on the discipline: cross-country (XC, CC) and extreme orientation – the so-called “kettles” and full face (Full face). There are also two types of highways: the first one is of a classic type (very similar to a QC) and the second one is a Time trial helmet.
Cross-country helmet (XC)
It’s not exactly a scientific name, but I don’t know what else to call it. This is the most common type of bicycle helmets. Are made, as a rule, from the special foamy material covered from above by thin smooth plastic with the beautiful stripes and drawings put on it. Most of these helmets have a special visor, designed to protect against dust, splashes and sunlight. Some models have a removable visor.
Mosquito netting also occurs quite often and the thing is very useful. After all, it’s very unpleasant to go at high speed and feel like you have someone in your head is digging 🙂 Good ventilation of the helmet – it’s very important, especially in the heat of summer. The helmet is secured to the head by means of a strap and a special mechanism on the back of the head, which serves for optimal adjustment of the helmet to the size of the head.
MTB bicycle helmets
Variety of MTB bicycle helmet of extreme orientation. “Woks are usually used in such disciplines as street, dirt, bmx, etc. It is made as well as cross-country from foam material and covered with plastic, but in this case it is thicker and more durable. The ventilation holes on the helmet are much smaller and usually very small. They usually do not have an adjustment mechanism (only a strap), so the size must be selected accurately and the helmet must sit tight.
Full face – windfree cycling helmet
MTB bicycle helmet for such extreme disciplines as: Freeride, Downhill, biker-cross (4x), etc. Provides complete protection for the rider’s head. These disciplines involve very complex and technical routes, with a lot of big stones, trees, logs. At the same time, all this takes place at a very high speed, so the protection should be appropriate. It is really the best choice for trully windfree cycling, as far as this type of helmets covers whole head.
Highway bicycle helmets
Classic highway helmet
These helmets are very similar to cross-country helmets, but the visor is rare for them. There is no mosquito netting, but there may be more ventilation holes to provide better ventilation during long, high-speed trips on the heated asphalt. Many athletes use helmets on the highway races and marathons cross country, because the strength of they are not inferior to the CC MTB, it looks very airy and spectacular.
On sale are quite rare, because very highly specialized and used exclusively in races with separate start. The helmet has a characteristic droplet-shaped look and maximum aerodynamic shape for the least resistance to air flow.
Choice of bicycle helmet
Above, we briefly examined the most common types of bicycle helmets. Now let’s talk about which helmet to choose and what to look for. Since the article is written for beginners, we will choose the most common universal helmet “for every day”, i.e. for everything. Immediately raise questions: where to buy, which company to choose, how much it costs, and what to pay attention to when buying? So, in order.
Where to buy?
Buy a helmet should be in a sports, and better specialized bicycle shop. Do not even think about going and buy a helmet in the nearest hypermarket like Okay, Auchan, etc., presented there copies are made disgusting, look terrible, and at the price, at times, approaching the normal models.
Which firm to choose?
Going to the store for a helmet, you should keep in mind a list of some well-known manufacturers, whose products should be guided by:
This is not a complete list of manufacturers of bicycle helmets, but perhaps these are the most famous and proven best practices. If you have forgotten any of the known, please add in the comments. Almost all models of these helmets meet the safety standards, which should be indicated by the sticker “CPSC or EN 1078” on the inside.
How much does it cost?
The most usual, but already quite decent cross-country bicycle helmet can be bought approximately for $15-$50. For $100 probably will be more beautiful, more comfortable. And for $200 and above – even top racing helmet models.
What to pay attention to?
It is very important to choose the optimal size of the helmet. If it hangs on his head, the fall will be of little use to him, also it’s no good for windfree cycling, as long as wind gets in gaps.
You also need to take into account that in cool weather you want to wear a bandana under it, and in winter, and a thicker and more impenetrable helmet. Thanks to the adjustment wheel on the back of the head (this is how the adjustment system is implemented on most models), it is quite possible to choose a universal helmet for all occasions – quite realistic. But each helmet has its own range of adjustments, so be careful. Usually the size range is indicated on the sticker on the inside. So first try on the helmet carefully and make sure that there is a margin of adjustment in both directions.
Someone likes helmets with a visor, others do not. Personally, I took it off right away and never wore it again. Firstly, I wasn’t comfortable with it, and secondly (in my opinion) it spoils the look of the helmet.
A masked net is a very useful thing, but it is not present on all models of helmets. Especially useful when riding on a hot summer day on the field roads, when there are clouds of gadflies circling around. Also not superfluous grid will be and when driving on the evening highway, as a rule at this time there are flocks of gnats. My helmet is not netted, so in such cases I prefer to tie a bandana under it.
When choosing a bicycle helmet, first of all, we look at its appearance. And this is important. After all, not all the same as you look from the outside. A cyclist dressed in a beautiful cycling uniform, and so attracts the attention of others. But the helmet, perhaps, is one of the main elements here. So when choosing, don’t forget about it 😉
Personally, I’ve been wearing a Bell X-Ray helmet since 2005. Without a visor, it looks like a normal XC racing helmet or helmet. In summer, I tighten the adjustment wheel to the stop and the helmet sits as if it were inged, and in cold weather. It is fitted with a pretty tight fleece balaclava with a Windblock, which makes this helmet perfect for windfree cycling.
A little video about choosing a bicycle helmet: