Choosing a model within the range of bicycle helmets is a particularly sensitive issue, given that it is the most important safety element. The world of cycling is plagued by marketing and terminology that often disorient us when choosing the most suitable bicycle components or accessories.
When choosing a bike helmet we must take into account different aspects such as aerodynamics, ventilation, or comfort. All these things make choosing the right helmet even more complicated.
In this article we want to shed light on the matter, to explain what are the aspects that you must take into account to help you when buying the bicycle helmet that best suits your needs.
Factors to consider when choosing a bicycle helmet:
Bicycle helmet measures
You may have noticed that most brands use “S-M-L” terminology to describe helmet size. In fact each of these terms frames measures in centimeters.
How to know the size of our bicycle helmet?
We simply have to measure the circumference of our skull at the level of the forehead, just above the eyebrows, that is the position in which we must place the helmet.
The same size of helmet can serve for different measures, so when putting on the helmet we must adjust it with the rear wheel. In case of very little adjustment, we must try a larger or smaller size.
It is important to keep in mind that the helmet must be fastened but never tightened, as this can cause a headache.
Safety of bicycle helmets
As we have said before, the helmet is the paramount safety element within cycling. Buying a bike helmet in the European Union requires that it has passed a series of approvals and certifications.
More specifically, any cycling helmet sold on Community territory must be approved to the European Directive 89/686 / EEC. This homologation is achieved thanks to EN1078 certification (Standard for cyclists and users of skateboards and inline skates).
What should I look for to make sure a helmet is safe?
EN 1078 is the code that you must look on the packaging of the hull together with the CE mark to make sure the helmet meets European standards.
Likewise in the United States and Australia they have their own certification bodies with their own approvals and safety certifications according to their own standards. Any brand that wants to sell a cycling helmet there must pass tests. Usually most manufacturers do and it is common to find the logos of the CPSC (US Consumer Product Safety Commission) and AS / NZS (Australia / New Zealand Safety Standard).
Although these are not mandatory in Spain can give us a hint that the helmet we are going to buy has gone through more test and its safety is more accredited.
Why are there different models of bicycle helmet and how do you know if they are safe? If everyone is going to be safe when using a helmet, then why is there so much difference in the price of a helmet?
The standards guarantee a minimum of safety, from there the brands can manufacture helmets with more innovations destined to protect our heads.
One aspect to consider is the hull construction, generally helmets road cycling and MTB are made for polystyrene and polypropylene inside the outer shell. In helmets, low end these two parts are made separate and then bonded while the hulls of higher quality are manufactured in the same mold formed a single piece, being more efficient in absorbing impacts, this is called construction “In-mold”.
This construction makes the product and the fact of using lighter and stronger materials such as Graphene (in case of Catlike helmets), integrating a retention system designed to maximize shock absorption MIPS (devised by Giro) or simply because of the lightness of the whole.
The black elastics make up a second layer of impact protection in the MIPS system of the helmets.
Ventilation of a bike helmet
This is one of the key points when it comes to choosing a bike helmet. You will use it for hours and during intense physical activity or even strenuous. That is why we must take into account the ventilation, and therefore cooling, that the hull we choose will provide us.