Bicycle helmets are for safety and comfort. It is never an option but mandatory gear during cycling. Many adults and experienced riders may think it unimportant. But accidents can occur at any time. And without a helmet, an accident can be fatal. Also, the comfort and confidence level remains at their peak with the helmet on.
Just as important as it is to wear a helmet, selecting the best one is equally important. A variety of bicycle helmets are available for adults. Not all will suit you. After experimenting with different brands and researching, I had to find the best one for myself. So, this is quite a task to find a suitable bicycle helmet.
But you need not worry. To lessen your task, I am here with this article. I will mention all the necessary tips and provide the necessary information. It will help you make an informed and wise decision regarding bicycle helmets.
Hang in there to learn the best!
5 Most Common Types Of Bicycle Helmets For Adults:
For different cycling disciplines, bicycle helmets are different. The shape and safety measures differ if you cycle on mountains or elevated roads. Similarly, for road trips and commuting, bicycle helmets have varied features. So, bicycle helmets are designed according to the purpose of cycling.
I am here with the 5-common-bicycle helmet types to pick the right one for your purpose. This will help you decide which one serves your cycling discipline or purpose:
1. Commuter Helmet:
Commuter helmets are the basic ones. The features are not exceptional and often subtle. This more or less looks like a motorcycle cycle with an open front part. It offers wide rear coverage. A commuter helmet is mostly made of thin plastic and EPS foams.
Commuter helmets are used for regular rides. For commuting around the city or village, these helmets are the best. These helmets are simple, lightweight, and have basic features. As speed won’t matter during commuting, vents are minimal in these helmets, unlike aerodynamic helmets. The front edge is a bit extended for sun protection. The traditional buckle and straps are featured for fastening.
Therefore, a lightweight and simple commuter helmet is the best choice if you intend to cycle regularly for transportation.
2. Road Helmet:
Road helmets have an elongated oval shape and are sturdy. The carbon fiber crafting with EPS inner foam makes the road helmet durable and strong yet comfortable. The intention is to make it safe and lightweight.
Road helmets cover half of your forehead, but the rear part is open. No rear or side protection is offered. Most road helmets have a rear occipital cradle for a better fit. The helmet straps with a chin buckle adjust the fit too. Another feature is the long and big vents for adequate ventilation. This prevents extra sweating and keeps the head airy on high-speed rides.
Road helmets don’t feature visors for better visibility. All in all, road helmets offer breathability, comfort, visibility, and safety. This is the perfect bicycle helmet for road trips and high-speed rides.
3. Triathlon Helmet:
A triathlon helmet is similar to a road helmet but features a rear tail-like structure. Most triathlon helmets feature a visor, too, for eye and face protection.
Triathlon helmets have the tail to increase the airflow over the head. However, the vents are minimal. They are a bit bulky, too, due to the tail. These helmets are moderately aerodynamic. But the issue is that you must maintain a position to gain the advantage.
Also, triathlon helmets are suitable only if you don’t ride on bumpy or curved roads. Frequent movements during cycling with the triathlon helmet can be uncomfortable. You only get the advantages if you ride steadily and move less.
4. Mountain Helmet:
MTB or mountain helmets are the best for adventurous rides. They offer extra head coverage for safety and protection. I like its trendy design with a front-end extension and rear coverage.
Mountain helmets feature few but large vents for comfortable high-speed rides. They often feature visors for sun protection. The front-end extension protects the face from injury. If you are going downhill biking, choose a full-face mountain helmet. This would provide your chin guard with full-face coverage and protection.
Therefore, mountain helmets are perfect for mountain and adventure rides. They are sturdy and offer excellent protection. Safety measures are top-notch in these helmets.
5. BMX Helmet:
Want a more durable and sturdy bicycle helmet? Then there is nothing better than a BMX helmet. BMX helmets are generally made for racing. But those are full-face helmets. For everyday biking, you don’t need a racing BMX helmet.
BMX helmets are round-shaped, almost like skate-style helmets. They offer excellent rear, front, and temporal coverage. Though the entire face is not covered, your forehead is protected. The helmet body is extremely strong and impact-resistant.
BMX helmets have minimal ventilation. But the thick inner pads offer comfort and a better fit. They look simple but classy and safeguard your head excellently.
How To Choose A Bicycle Helmet For You?
A lot of bicycle helmet options are available. So how are you going to choose yours? Let me tell you how. I have listed some factors that guided me toward the right helmet. I am mentioning those factors that can help you know which helmet is right for you:
Before anything else, measure your headband size and hat size. Compare it with a size chart to know the correct size. Now find a helmet that matches your size. So selecting the right size is the first task.
Decide on your cycling discipline. If you cycle for commuting, go for a commuter helmet. If you want to go for mountain rides, MTB helmets are there. Decide your cycling purpose and then select the helmet made for your purpose.
After finding the size, you must ensure which fits you best. Some prefer round-shaped helmets, while others fit well in elongated helmet designs. Look into the buckles and straps, ensuring the fit is adjustable.
Make sure that the helmet maintains at least the basic safety standards. Look for the certifications by CPSC. If possible, buy one with MIPS lining and other extra safety features. Confirm that the helmet is impact-resistant and durable.
According to the type of helmet, decide on a budget. Then start searching for helmets. You may go a bit up if it offers a really good one. Look into the budget chart above to know the price range of different helmets.
These are the five basic 5 factors that would help you know the right helmet.
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:
|Price Range||Bicycle Helmets Available|
|Under $50||Commuter and Basic Road Helmet|
|$50- $150||Road and Basic Mountain Helmet|
|$150- $250||Triathlon, Mountain, and BMX helmet|
|Above $250||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.
Why Should You Wear a Bicycle Helmet?
You should use a bicycle helmet to stay safe on the road. A sudden road accident can be fatal for you without a helmet. A helmet absorbs the shock and impact and reduces the pressure and strike on your head. Since it protects your head from severe injuries, you can survive a horrible accident.
Bicycle helmets not only offer safety and protection but also offer comfort. A helmet protects your head and face from sun exposure, rain, and a gush of wind. In any weather condition, you are protected with your helmet. The vents allow air to pass, avoiding suffocation. Also, your head stays upright, making you ready for a comfy and confident ride.
For ultimate comfort and safety, putting on a bicycle helmet is mandatory. It enhances your riding experience and saves you from unfavorable conditions and accidents.
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:
|Helmet Size||Measurement (Inches)||Hat Size (Inches)|
|XS||20 ⅞ – 21 ¼||6 ⅝ – 6 ¾|
|S||21 ⅝ – 22||6 ⅞ – 7|
|M||22 ½ – 22 ⅞||7 ⅛ – 7 ¼|
|L||23 ¼ – 23 ⅝||7 ⅜ – 7 ½|
|XL||24 – 24 ⅜||7 ⅝ – 7 ¾|
|2XL||24 ¾ – 25 ¼||7 ⅞ – 8|
|3XL||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.
How Can You Know Your Bicycle Helmet Fits Properly?
A bicycle helmet should not be too tight or loose on your head. The fitting should be snug. If the fitting is too tight, you will feel suffocated. Similarly, a loosely fitted bicycle helmet may fall off your head or move vigorously while cycling.
The helmet has to sit right in the middle of your head. Most inexperienced cyclists either tilt the helmet forward or backward. When the helmet is tilted backward, your forehead gets exposed and unprotected. When it is too forward, it will block your vision. Therefore, your bicycle helmet should not be tilted on any side. The front end of the helmet and your eyebrows should have a gap of two fingers. This is the ideal position.
All in all, your helmet should not fall off or move after fastening. Also, it should not choke you. It should be snugly fitted. Position the helmet so that it doesn’t tilt. And then fasten the buckles and straps to fix it. Check if it tilts or not. If not, the fitting is perfect.
Does Bicycle Helmet Prevent Concussions?
A bicycle helmet only offers basic head and face protection. But it is not proven that a helmet can prevent concussions. Even a helmet may not prevent brain injuries if the clash and impact are severe. So, don’t easily believe that a particular helmet can prevent concussions.
The exterior and interior of a bicycle helmet are engineered and made to be durable and sturdy. They are impact-resistant. But high impacts can hit the skull and cause brain damage. It’s just that your head doesn’t crush directly on the road. In that sense, a bicycle helmet reduces the injury’s severity. But it can’t be claimed that it fully prevents concussions.
For better protection, you can choose a helmet with a MIPS liner. It minimizes rotational impacts. But since the risk is still there, ensure a health checkup after an accident. Know the symptoms, too, to understand if there is any concussion.
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||Safety Standard|
|Road Helmet||ASTM F1447|
|Mountain Helmet||ASTM F1952|
|Skate-style Helmet||ASTM F1492|
|BMX Helmet||ASTM F2032|
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.
When Should You Replace Bicycle Helmets For Adults?
If your helmet faces an impact, you have to replace it soon. Some helmets can handle a single impact, while others can withstand several impacts. Depending on the impact resistance of the helmet, you need to decide when to replace the bicycle helmet after an impact. But that doesn’t mean you won’t replace the helmet, even if it faces no impact.
You should replace a bicycle helmet after 5-10 years of usage. I suggest replacing a bicycle helmet after 5 to 6 years if it is a low-budget helmet. By that time, the outer shell becomes fragile, and the inner pads wear out. They don’t provide you with the same protection or comfort as before. However, expensive and high-quality helmets can sustain up to 10 years.
If you see cracks or tears before the expiry date, you can repair them. But in case of severe damage, you must replace it. Without any impact, replace a bicycle helmet after 5-10 years of usage.
Choosing a bicycle helmet becomes easier when you have adequate information. And you have all the necessary information in this article to make the right decision. You are just one step away from getting the best bicycle helmet for adults.
Get ready for a safe and blissful cycling experience with the bicycle helmet on!