A US study indicates that wearing a helmet when riding a bicycle cut the risk of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) by 70 percent. Australian statisticians Jake Olivier and Prudence Creighton from the University of New South Wales, who gathered data from more than 40 separate studies, found that helmet use was associated with significantly reduced odds of head injuries. With the increasing available data relevant to bike-related injuries, even casualties, as well as some laws that have been implemented related to road safety, many have accepted the fact that wearing a helmet when cycling can really save a life.
If you are one of those looking for the best helmets for mountain bike, this post is something that you need to read through. It is not just enough that you wear a helmet when you ride your bike, but you also need to consider other factors such as comfort and fit of the helmet to ensure that you’ll have an enjoyable ride.
There may be several variations of helmets available in the market today. You can actually find one that will suit your preference when it comes to style, color, and design. These are not the factors that should be given the most concern when deciding which helmet you should buy, however.
To help you come up with the best option, it is best that you understand how these helmets are made, how you can tell if the helmet that you plan to buy is safe at all, and how you can be assured that the helmet you intend to buy will do the job that it is intended to perform.
One thing that can give you some peace of mind, however, is the fact that all of the helmets that are being sold in the United States are required to pass the standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). That means that whatever options that you may see available in your local store all meet the same safety standards. A CPSC sticker inside the helmet will be your proof for such a feature. There are also other standards that certain manufacturers pursue to pass, other than those set by the CPSC.
Even if the helmet that you may be considering today meet specific safety standards, you should not just buy it right away, however. You’ll still need to consider other features of the product, such as its construction. Today, most helmets are made of expanded polystyrene foam (EPS) and are covered with or molded into a tough-but-thin plastic shell. On impact, the foam protects your head and gets crushed instead of your skull.
Cheaper helmets are made with the plastic shell glued or taped to the foam. Those that are more expensive variants come with the pieces molded together during the manufacturing process. Both of these helmet types are safe. The molded helmets are lighter, have more vents, and are generally more appealing, however.
As for the size, lower-priced helmets are usually made to fit different head sizes. All you need to do is to adjust an internal strap to get the helmet to fit snuggly. Higher-priced helmets, on the other hand, usually offer models in a wide range of sizes. You’ll want to know what will best fit your head before you look for the helmets that you can choose from. Use a tape measure to get the circumference of the biggest portion of your head, which should be just an inch or so above your eyebrows. Then, find a helmet size that matches that measurement.
Other personal preferences
Other factors that will help you find the best-suited helmet for you includes the color. Take note, however, that bright colors give better visibility while you are out on the road. Another factor that you would also consider is the cut of the helmet. You may need one that offers more cover for the back of your head. Or, perhaps, one that offers a full-face cover for downhill rides. Ventilation, visors, and other special features, such as LED lighting, GPS, Bluetooth connectivity, and so on. Not all of these may be the most important features that you’ll need in case of a collision. Still, how you look and feel while on the trail is something you need to think about.
Keeping a perfectly fitting helmet
Keep your helmet leveled and fit snugly on your head. That’s how your helmet should be kept on your head.
Your helmet should be placed level on your head, with the front of the helmet covering most of your forehead. It should not tilt back and expose your forehead as it won’t be able to provide you with the protection that it’s intended to do.
The chin strap should rest snugly beneath your chin. The point of the V of the side straps should sit just below your ears.
Then tighten the straps in front of your ears to make sure that your helmet won’t move more than an inch in any direction.
Finally, to ensure that your helmet remains firmly strapped and nicely sitting on your head, you will need to give your helmet a quick wiggle-check before you head out. Check to see if everything is in position and that there are no cracks or loose ends in it.
Remember that you cannot wear any helmet that has experienced any form of impact even if it looks intact on the outside. If your helmet remains whole and fully functioning until the fifth year of using it, you will still need to find a replacement for it. After five years of use, your helmet would have definitely been damaged, to some extent, because of wear and tear and its exposure to natural elements.