The bike helmet is a life saver. Not only that: even in the case of less serious accidents, the helmet has been shown to reduce the amount of damage suffered by the cyclist.
How to choose the best cycling helmet
Bike helmets can be of different types: in the next paragraphs, in addition to seeing the various types of helmet, we will analyze the characteristics of the bike helmets on the market, explaining how to choose the one that best suits each one.
Before moving on to the description of the technical characteristics of the bike helmet, we point out that the helmets that effectively protect against impacts bear the EC approval with reference to the standard EN 1078 . This information is usually found on the helmet strap.
Bike helmets can be divided into different types based on their size and use. Here are the main ones:
When we talk about size we don’t mean the size of a helmet, but the category of users they are intended for. The dimensions of the bike helmet, in fact, differ according to the user who has to wear it; based on this criterion, the following types are identified:
- Bike helmets for children: helmets of this type cover a large surface of the head and even reach the top of the neck. They are suitable for children, who are more delicate and tend to fall more frequently, so these helmets offer them a greater degree of protection;
- Bike helmets for kids: in this case the helmets are more similar to those for adults. The front is a little more extended to protect the face in the event of a fall. There are also versions of these helmets that protect the boy’s head in a similar way to those for children;
- Bike helmets for adults: traditional bike helmets are quite light, have a high number of air intakes and are not particularly opaque on the rear or front.
The division of helmets can also be made according to their use, in fact there are different disciplines that involve the use of a bike and a specific helmet is used for each. Helmets belonging to these categories are usually for children or adults. Here are the main types:
- BMX helmet : The helmets of this type are very similar or the same as those used by those who go on a skateboard. They have a rounded shape and also cover the lower part of the neck. They usually do not have a visor;
- Classic bicycle helmet : helmets of this type are the most used by cyclists in the city. They are very light and offer good ventilation. They come to cover up to about half of the nape and can be equipped with a small front visor;
- MTB helmet : these are helmets conceived and designed for the various mountain bike specialties. This is a macro-typology, since MTB helmets can in turn be classified according to the specific discipline: xc and trail biking helmets and full or simple enduro helmets. We have explored this topic in the page dedicated to MTB helmets;
- Downhill helmet : this type of helmet replicates those used on motocross. Downhill helmets are integral and are equipped with a chin guard that protects the face in the event of a fall. They are heavier than the others, but they also offer the greatest degree of protection;
- Racing helmet : these helmets resemble the classic ones in shape, but are more aerodynamic and lighter;
- Helmet with visor for the eyes : the visor in this case is not the fixed sun visor that we are used to seeing on most helmets, but it is a visor that lowers to stay in front of the eyes and acts as a protection against the sun and wind;
- Speedtime helmet : These helmets are highly technical and only used for certain types of competition. Their shape makes them particularly aerodynamic and they are built in such a way as to protect those who use them even in case of particularly strong impacts.
Bike helmet size
Any helmet is to be considered effective only when it is the right size . A helmet that is too large may even come off your head in the event of a fall, while a helmet that is too small would be difficult to put on properly. Bicycle helmets are usually equipped with a small plastic structure similar to a scaffold. This structure is placed between the cyclist’s head and the helmet shell and through a ring nut it can be narrowed or widened to adapt to the user’s head. We point out that the best option is always to choose a size that fits perfectly.
To choose the right size, you must first measure the head circumference of the person who is going to use the helmet. The circumference should be measured at the widest point , which is the one that passes just above the ears.
Once the circumference of the skull has been obtained, you can choose the correct helmet size more precisely. In fact, each size has a minimum and a maximum circumference for which it can fit. Here is the list of sizes with their circumferences:
- S: 50-56 cm;
- M: 52-58 cm;
- L: 59-62 cm.
The values shown are however indicative, as each brand has different sizes and measures.
The strap is another very important element, as it holds the helmet firmly on the head while riding and in the event of a fall. The strap is usually secured to the helmet in 4 points , two slightly ahead of the ears and two slightly behind. On each side, the two straps join under the ear and their ends reach under the throat.
Bike helmet materials
The material is a fundamental element when it comes to the bike helmet. The most common materials used to build the different components are:
- Outer shell: by the term outer shell we mean the hardest and most external part of the helmet . This component must be particularly rigid and resistant, without however being too heavy. Usually this part is made of PVC or polycarbonate and sometimes carbon reinforcements are also inserted to increase the hardness of the shell.
- Inner shell: the inner shell is almost always made of polystyrene , sometimes in a single block , while other times it is multiple blocks joined . Helmets with single blocks are usually cheaper and less resistant, those with multiple blocks instead have reinforcements in nylon , kevlar , aramid reinforced or graphene .
What are the best cycling helmets of 2022
Let’s start by recommending the racing bike helmets of the Kask Protone brand, which offers a wide selection of medium-high range models. One of the best known and most appreciated features of Kask Protone helmets is comfort, too often taken for granted: they have excellent adhesion to the head and the right wrapping, without creating unnecessary pressure around the head.
The Kask Protone models also feature an easy-to-use buckle adjustment system called Octo Fit , whose tightness is guaranteed and which allows you to perfectly adapt the product to your measurements.
As for the robustness, the Kask Protone racing bike helmets have an internal shell made of expanded polystyrene, thus reducing the risk of serious trauma.
Excellent fit, impact resistance, guaranteed ventilation, all combined with a comfortable internal padding (made of Coolmax ) and a classic external design and a polycarbonate product, compensating for lightness and protection.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Another leading brand in the industry is Giro Aether . The helmets are made externally in polycarbonate and internally in polyurethane foam, both designed to absorb shocks and damage in the event of a fall. However, the innovation comes from the addition of a fully independent inner shell: this technology is called MIPS and is also used very often for mountain bikes and other disciplines. This system allows to reduce the risk of head rotation in the event of an accident, it consists of a double inner shell called Spherical. The Giro Aether road bike helmet models feature excellent ventilation, are light and comfortable, and there is a very convenient system for attaching the goggles to the helmet.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
In our personal ranking of best helmet models for racing bikes , there could not be at least one model of the Belgian brand Lazer ; these helmets are particularly known for being comfortable, light and equipped with a particular patented locking mechanism.
The Genesis model of Lazer racing bike helmets has an In Mold structure, ie it has an internal shell (in expanded foam) connected to the external one; it is not a new technology, but the product guarantees safety and sturdiness, combined with an excellent ventilation system thanks to the presence of twenty-two slots.
Not to ignore design and aesthetics, Lazer Genesis is available in seven different colors , and has a total weight of 210 grams. These racing bike helmets fall into a medium to high price range.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Shinmax Bike Helmet
Saving does not mean sacrificing your safety. It is equipped with a protective magnetic visor which can be easily removed; it also features an LED type rear light with three modes (steady light, slow and fast flashing) which guarantees greater visibility in the evening and in the middle of traffic.
It is then possible to adjust the size of the helmet thanks to the presence of a strap, so as to adapt it perfectly to the head. This model is available in twelve different colors and has one of the most affordable quality / price ratios in the economic range.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
Another classic model, ideal for those who want a comfortable product that guarantees good performance is the Giro Isode ; it is of the In Mold type, i.e. it is made up of a single piece, which makes it even more robust and impact resistant.
As for the buckles and strap, it is equipped with the Roc Loc system, which allows you to adapt the helmet to your head with one hand, even while pedaling. Also used on the road, the Giro Isode racing bike helmet has an excellent ventilation system with as many as twenty-two vents through which air can pass.
It also features reflective areas on the back. While it should be praised for the aerodynamic design, on the other hand it is available in one size only (54-61 centimeters). It is unisex and the weight is around 300 grams.Buy it on Amazon at the best price
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