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Bicycling is a fun, healthy, and environmentally friendly way to commute or enjoy the great outdoors. For your safety and comfort, however, you need to wear a helmet. Even seasoned cyclists who think they don’t need one should remember that accidents can occur at any time.
The best protection comes from having a well-fitted helmet. But how do you choose the right one from the array of options available in the market?
Well, that’s why I’ve written this article. Through my personal experience with a variety of helmet brands and extensive research, I aim to guide you in selecting the best helmet that suits your needs. Let’s dive in!
Understanding Different Types of Bicycle Helmets for Adults
Cycling disciplines vary, which is why there are different types of helmets available. Whether you’re biking in the mountains or cruising around town, you’ll need a helmet that’s designed for your specific purpose.
Below are the five most common types of adult bicycle helmets:
1. Commuter Helmet:
Commuter helmets are a standard option for everyday rides. These helmets are made of thin plastic and EPS foams, providing wide rear coverage and an open front. Although their features are simple, they offer ample protection for regular commutes. The vents in commuter helmets are minimal because ventilation isn’t as crucial when speed isn’t a priority. A commuter helmet also features traditional buckles and straps for fastening, ensuring a secure fit.
2. Road Helmet:
If you’re into high-speed road biking, then road helmets are your go-to. Crafted from carbon fiber and inner EPS foam, these helmets are designed to be both durable and lightweight. They offer breathability and visibility through large vents and the lack of a visor.
Though they only cover half of your forehead and leave the rear part exposed, most road helmets include a rear occipital cradle for a better fit.
3. Triathlon Helmet:
Triathlon helmets are similar to road helmets, but with an added rear tail-like structure to increase airflow over the head. While they have minimal vents and can be slightly bulky, these helmets are moderately aerodynamic.
They’re most effective when the rider maintains a steady position and minimal movement.
4. Mountain Helmet:
Mountain helmets, also known as MTB helmets, are ideal for adventurous rides. They offer extra head coverage and come with a trendy design that includes a front-end extension for face protection.
Some models also feature visors for sun protection and large vents for comfortable, high-speed rides. For downhill biking, opt for a full-face mountain helmet for full-face coverage and protection.
5. BMX Helmet:
BMX helmets are the epitome of durability and robustness. While they were initially designed for racing, the everyday biking version provides excellent rear, front, and temporal coverage.
With minimal ventilation, BMX helmets rely on thick inner pads for comfort and a better fit.
How to Choose the Right Bicycle Helmet for You
Selecting a helmet requires considering several factors. Here are some guidelines that can help you make an informed decision:
- Size: Start by measuring your headband size and hat size, and then compare it with a size chart to find the correct helmet size.
- Purpose: Your cycling discipline will determine the type of helmet you should opt for.
- Fit: After determining the size, make sure the helmet fits well. The buckles and straps should allow for adjustments to achieve the perfect fit.
- Safety: Ensure that the helmet meets basic safety standards. Look for certifications from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and consider additional safety features like MIPS lining.
- Budget: Finally, decide on a budget that aligns with your choice of helmet. Quality and price often go hand in hand. While there are affordable helmets out there that comply with safety standards, a higher-priced helmet might offer better comfort, fit, aerodynamics, and additional features.
- Comfort: You’re more likely to wear your helmet consistently if it’s comfortable. Look for padding, proper ventilation, and lightweight materials to ensure you’ll be comfortable even on long rides.
- Aesthetics: While safety should be your primary concern, there’s no harm in wanting a helmet that matches your style or bike. Luckily, helmets come in various designs, colors, and finishes, allowing you to express your personality while staying safe
How Much Should You Spend On An Adult Bicycle Helmet?
Budget becomes a concern when buying a bicycle helmet. The types mentioned above are available at different prices. The features and quality determine the cost of a bicycle helmet.
However, it doesn’t mean that an expensive one is the best. It totally depends on how you use it. Why would you buy an expensive mountain helmet if you live in Plainland? So, decide the budget according to your purpose.
Here is a table mentioning the price ranges and the helmets you would get within the range:
|Bicycle Helmets Available
|Commuter and Basic Road Helmet
|Road and Basic Mountain Helmet
|Triathlon, Mountain, and BMX helmet
|Triathlon, Mountain, and BMX helmet
Bicycle helmets below $150 are the basic helmets for regular usage. They offer good protection and comfort for daily rides. But helmets above $150 have extra safety measures like MIPS lining, sturdy body, and outstanding ventilation. They are for adventure rides, racing, and long rides.
Think about why you need a bicycle helmet and your cycling discipline. Only then can you select the correct budget?
Size Chart Of Bicycle Helmet For Adults:
Your investment will drain if you don’t find the right helmet size. Buying the right helmet size is mandatory for ultimate protection and comfort. The size of the helmet determines the fitting. When the fitting is right, you get ease and comfort.
You need to refer to the size chart of the helmet brand you are buying from. Different helmet brands may have different size charts. However, there is a standard-size chart that you can refer to. It would mention the helmet size with the head measurement and hat size. This will give you a fair idea of the available sizes.
The chart below mentions the helmet sizes and measurements:
|Hat Size (Inches)
|20 ⅞ – 21 ¼
|6 ⅝ – 6 ¾
|21 ⅝ – 22
|6 ⅞ – 7
|22 ½ – 22 ⅞
|7 ⅛ – 7 ¼
|23 ¼ – 23 ⅝
|7 ⅜ – 7 ½
|24 – 24 ⅜
|7 ⅝ – 7 ¾
|24 ¾ – 25 ¼
|7 ⅞ – 8
|25 ⅝ – 26
|8 ⅛ – 8 ¼
For adults, these are the commonly used sizes and measurements. However, you can measure the headband size for a customized fitting and search for a suitable helmet. Try the helmet, if possible, to understand the fitting.
Top Helmet Brands to Consider
Numerous brands produce high-quality helmets, but here are some of the most popular and reliable ones:
Giro is a leading brand in helmet design and innovation. They offer a range of options to suit different riding styles, with a focus on comfort and safety. They were among the first to incorporate MIPS technology into their helmets, an additional layer of safety that can help reduce the risk of brain injury in a crash.
Bell is another iconic brand in the helmet industry, producing helmets for over 60 years. They cater to all cycling disciplines, with options ranging from entry-level to high-end, all of which meet safety standards.
POC is a Swedish company known for its commitment to safety and stylish, minimalist design. They offer a broad selection of helmets, each designed with specific safety features tailored for different cycling disciplines.
Kask is an Italian brand famous for its high-quality road and mountain bike helmets. They prioritize comfort, performance, and Italian craftsmanship in their designs.
Smith is known for their integrated eye protection and helmet solutions. They offer a diverse range of helmets, combining style, comfort, and top-notch safety features.
Safety Standards For Adult Bicycle Helmets:
To buy the best adult bicycle helmet, you must ensure it is safe. And the first remark to understand the safety standard is to see the certifications. Different helmets have different safety standards marked by CPSC. The original bicycle helmets must have a CPSC certification.
The safety standards also denote the type of bicycle helmet. Each type of bicycle helmet has a different safety standard. If you know the standard before buying, you can choose easily and understand the safety measures of the particular helmet too.
Here is a table mentioning the safety standards of different bicycle helmets for adults:
|Bicycle Helmet Type
Make sure to note this down before selecting a bicycle helmet. Check the safety standard and mark it on the helmet. Don’t buy a helmet without the safety mark by CPSC.
Bicycling is an enjoyable pastime, but it can also be dangerous if you’re not properly equipped. Wearing a helmet is a simple yet crucial step in ensuring your safety on the road or trail. By considering factors such as the type of cycling you’ll be doing, your budget, the fit, and the safety features of the helmet, you can find a helmet that not only protects you but also makes you feel comfortable and stylish.
Remember, the best helmet for you is the one that fits well and meets your specific needs. Happy cycling!