Bicycle Helmet: Know Before You Go

Bicycle Helmet Know Before You Go

A bicycle helmet is an essential gear for a safe and sound bicycle ride. A helmet protects your head not only from injuries but also from different weather conditions. Besides, it also makes you comfortable and feels safe during the ride, enhancing your riding experience. However, if you don’t have enough knowledge about bicycle helmets, you won’t get the expected safety and comfort. 

Many people deprive themselves of getting the best benefits of a bicycle helmet because they don’t know how to use it correctly. To solve this issue, I am here with a complete guide on bicycle helmets.

So, if you are one of those who doesn’t know how to wear and fit a bicycle helmet properly, I request you to stay with me. Let’s get started:

5 Important Things About Bicycle Helmet: Let’s Go Through These:

If you want to know about a bicycle helmet, you need to start from the beginning. Each step has to be proper so that you can get the best benefits you want. A wrong step can destroy the whole thing. 

Here are the 5 important things you need to know about bicycle helmet :

1. Helmets Are For Safety:

Helmets are not just for styling. It has a purpose. And the main purpose of wearing a bicycle helmet is that it offers safety. Safety is the main concern related to helmets. 

While riding a bicycle on the road, mountain, or highways, you may fall off the cycle or any other accidents can occur. The first and the most sensitive body part that gets affected is your head. And if your head gets injured, you are at serious risk. 

To protect your head from injuries and maintain safety, you have to wear a helmet before cycling. The helmet features inner pads that protect your head from impacts. The straps keep the helmet in place even after serious shocks and impacts. This means, your head stays completely protected if you wear a bicycle helmet. 

2. Helmets Are For Protection From Weather:

Besides safety, helmets are necessary for protection from different weather conditions. Weather conditions can affect your riding experience if you are not wearing a helmet. 

Suppose, on a sunny day you are not wearing a helmet. Your head would be hot, you would be sweating excessively, and feel too hot to ride a cycle properly. It can severely disturb your comfort. But the helmet would protect your head from the scorching sun. Besides, the inner pads would soak up all the extra oil and sweat by keeping you fresh and cool. 

Similarly, it would protect you from storms, dust, drizzles, and other weather conditions. Your head would stay protected during cycling with the helmet on. 

3. Size Of The Helmet Matters:

You have to buy the right helmet size. I have attached a size chart below that you can refer to. You can see the size and measure your head band size to know the correct size of the helmet. 

If you don’t buy the right size of helmet, no matter how many fitting measures you follow, you won’t get a comfortable and compatible fit. You have to have the right and accurate helmet size if you want to get the best fitting and comfort. 

Either try the helmet before buying or see the size chart of the particular company to know which size is the best for you. Only then you will be able to have a comfortable fitting. So, the size of the helmet matters. 

4. Bicycle Helmets Expire:

Don’t think that bicycle helmets last for a long time. They do last for years but not forever. You should understand that replacing a bicycle helmet is necessary. 

After five years of use, you must replace your bicycle helmet. The outer shell must be fading away by then, become fragile, and the inner pads would not be strong enough to handle impacts. They would become so tender that they would stick to the inner shell and won’t be able to resist impacts or shocks. 

The straps would be worn out in five years. The locks and buckles would become frail by then. This means the helmet won’t be able to protect you anymore. So you must replace it. 

Besides, if your helmet has handled several impacts, you must consider checking the condition. Either repair the cracks or buy a new one to stay safe and sound. 

5. Fitting Is Important:

This below points will clear you why bicycle helmet fitting is important:

  • The helmet has inner pads that are shock absorbers and save your head from impacts. So, it is important to fix them properly. You have to fix the inner pads by attaching them with velcro tabs. If you still feel uncomfortable, you can add thick pads to the inner foams. Decide your comfort level and then attach the inner pads and extra thick pads. 
  • The ideal measurement to place the helmet is to keep a gap of two fingers between your eyebrows and the front rim of the helmet. In this way, the helmet sits straight on your head. It doesn’t tilt sideways, backward, or forward. 
  • Now, fasten the side straps by locking the flap locks just under your earlobes. Make sure that the helmet straps are sitting straight on your skin and the flaps should be fastened properly. 
  • Now is the turn to fix the occipital cradle. It goes behind your head and you need to rotate a dial so that it can get fixed. Once you fasten the occipital cradle, the helmet should not fall off your head anymore. Don’t make it too tight as it would suffocate you. Fit it snugly. 
  • The last part is to fasten the chin buckle. You have to pull down the chin buckle and secure the straps into the chin buckle near your chin. Keep a gap of two fingers between your chin and the buckles. Now pull up the retaining buckle to secure the remaining strap hanging down. And you are done!

What Are The Different Types Of Bicycle Helmets? (5 Types)

There are different types of bicycle helmets that you can use. Knowing the helmet types would help you to decide which one is best for you. 

Here are the 5 main bicycle helmet types:

  1. Road Helmet: The basic and commonly used bicycle helmet is the road helmet that has adequate vents, a hard outer shell, an elongated structure, and inner EPS pads for shock-absorbing, impact resistance, safety, and comfort. For a safe and sound ride, this is the best and popular option.
  1. Commuter Helmet: Commuter helmets have the same features as road helmets. But the shape of a commuter helmet is round. It too has EPS pads, vents, and a sturdy outer shell. 
  1. Trail Helmet: Trail helmets provide extra rear coverage covering the back part of your head. It not only safeguards your head but also prevents the helmet from riding up or moving sideways. However, buy the right size if you want to get the expected coverage. This helmet has vents too. 
  1. Enduro Helmet: This model resembles the downhill mountain cycle racing helmets. These are lightweight with extra vents for comfort and ease. It offers rear coverage with favorable protection.
  1. Racing Helmets: The racing helmet is lightweight with an extremely hard outer shell. This is one of the best as it offers facial protection, vents for comfort, and a hard shell for safety. 

What Type Of Bicycle Helmet Is Best? 

If you are looking for a helmet that can provide comfort and safety during regular rides, road helmets are the best. In fact, it is the most commonly used helmet worldwide.

The road helmets have vents for comfort and breathability. It features thin but hard outer shells with EPS foams for ease, safety, and comfort. It has fastening buckles and straps offering complete protection. It is the best option for day-to-day commutes and regular rides. 

But if you are going for challenging rides in the mountain or racing, you should go for the racing helmets that have enough vents, facial protection, and better safety. It fits well, gives adequate protection, and ensures comfort during racing, mountain rides, and long rides.

How Do You Know What Bicycle Helmet Fits You? (With A Size Chart Table)

So, how should you know that the fitting is correct? You have to understand that the fitting should not be too tight or too loose. The helmet should snugly fit your head. 

If the fitting is too loose, it would fall off your head. Otherwise, the helmet would tilt and move violently. It would make you feel uncomfortable and you would need to be conscious about fitting your helmet during the ride. 

Similarly, if your helmet is fitting your head too tightly, you would feel suffocated and choked. In that case, you would feel disturbed and strangled during long rides. So, avoid fastening the straps too tightly. 

Therefore, the right fitting is done when the helmet is not too tight or too loose on your head. It should not suffocate you or fall off your head. It should comfortably sit on your head and stay there. 

Ideally, when you fasten the occipital cradle, the helmet should not move or fall down from your head. That is how you should be sure that your helmet is well-fitted on your head. Also, leave a gap of two fingers between the helmet rim and your eyebrows. 

However, for your better understanding below I’m going to provide you a bicycle helmet size chart, it’ll help you to choose the right one for yourself:

SizeHat SizeHead Circumference (CM)
X-small6-⅝ or 6-¾ 53-54
Small6-7 / 8-755-56
Medium7-⅛ or 7-¼57-58
Large7-⅜ or 7-½ 59-60
X-large7-⅝ or 7-¾ 61-62
2X-large7-7 / 8-863-64
3X-large8-⅛ or 8-¼ 65-66
4X-large8-⅜ or 8-½ 67-68
5X-large8-⅝ or 8-¾ 69-70

How Do You Know If Your Bicycle Helmet Is Too Small?

If you accidentally buy a small helmet than your head size, you should understand this by the following factors:

  • The straps would be too tight around your face if the helmet is small. Naturally, a small helmet would have shorter straps. So, if the straps are sitting tightly against your face and the strap is not hanging down the chin area, then the helmet is small for you. 
  • If the helmet shell is tightly sitting on your head even without fastening the straps, this is not the right size for you. It would suffocate and hurt your head. Remember that the straps are there for a purpose. If the helmet itself sits tightly on your head, it is not for you. Also, you would see that your forehead remains exposed when the helmet is small. 
  • The occipital cradle should comfortably go around the back of your head. It must not hang from the back. If the helmet is smaller than your head, you would see the cradle hanging behind in a way that you can’t fasten it properly. 

Check these three factors carefully. If you face any of these issues, you should change the helmet and get a bigger one.

How Do You Know If Your Bicycle Helmet Is Too Large In Size?

So, how do you realize that you have bought a larger helmet than your head size? Let me mention the factors that you must look for if you feel that the helmet is large for you:

  • If the helmet is too big, you would not get a good fitting even after attaching the extra pads. The extra pads are given so that you can have a comfortable fit. If you don’t get a comfortable fit even after attaching the pads, then the helmet is too big for you. 
  • If the helmet moves too much even after fastening the straps, the helmet is definitely bigger than your head. When a helmet is large, it would tilt and move out of the place even if you fasten the belts and pads. If it is the case, you need a smaller helmet size.

Look into these factors to see if the helmet is bigger than your head or not. If you see any of these problems, you need to switch to a smaller helmet size.

3 Factors To Be Considered To Ensure Proper Fitting?

You need to concentrate on some factors if you want to make the fitting correct. Besides buying the right helmet size, you need to adjust some factors to get the best fitting ever. 

Here are the 3 factors:

  1. Place the inner pads correctly. Comfort level depends on how you utilize the pads. If required, add the extra thick pads over the inner foam for better comfort and fitting. 
  1. The side straps should sit on your skin snugly. Fix the flap lock properly just below the earlobe. Now fasten the chin buckle properly so that you get a comfortable fit with the straps.
  1. The occipital cradle should be fastened properly behind your head. It is the only support you get for the backside of your head. So, for better safety, fitting, and comfort, adjust the cradle neatly.

Conclusion:

You have a complete guide on how you should select and use a bicycle helmet and what factors you must look into to get the best fitting and comfort level. 

So, what are you waiting for? Buy the right size of helmet, follow the tips mentioned, and get the best helmet ever for a super comfortable ride!

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Shamim Ahmed

My journey with cycling started in 2011 and I have been cycling since then. I am a self-taught bicycle enthusiast who has collected a lot of knowledge about it through the years. On this blog, I share my passion and experiences with cycling, as well as insights and recommendations. This blog is also useful for any riders out there who want to improve their cycling skills and techniques.

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