Buying a new helmet can be a bit overwhelming. There are so many choices on the market so it’s hard to know if you’re making a good one. Let us help you. This simple story, ‘Bike Helmets for Women & Men – What are the options?’, compares different helmets so you can make the right choice and know what to look for as your cycling develops. Have a read of the five options below and consider what is the right solution for you.
- Town Helmet
- Recreation Helmet
- Skate Park/BMX Helmet
- Road Helmet
- All Round/Mountain Biking Helmet
For a comparison of mountain biking helmets go to Bike Helmets for Mountain Biking – What are the options?
HEAD GROWTH & MEASUREMENTS
Keep the following information about head growth in mind and never buy a helmet that you or your child can grow into.
Most 6 yr olds have a fully grown head (this is an average your child may be different), from here on their face structure will grow and change but you will notice very little difference in their head circumference.
What this means for helmet buying is that children as young as 6yrs old can fit into adult size helmets. Please be aware of the weight of an adult helmet on a kids head – go as lightweight as possible if you choose to do this. “Youth” helmets tend to be an adults size small with kids graphics on them, cheaper components to keep the price down & lighter in weight. For kids helmet buying go to Bike Helmets for Kids – What are the options?
When investing in a helmet try to match the design features of the helmet to the type of riding you are doing. There is never an issue with having a helmet that offers you greater protection than you can ride to. The problems occur when you or your kids are riding in places with a helmet that doesn’t offer adequate protection.
MUST have features: Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head). Ability to fit it to your head either with an adjustable fit system or different pad sizes. Lightweight for comfort.
GREAT to have features: some vents for air flow, fun graphics or colours
We Recommend...Bell Local $84.95
The Local is the best town helmet we could find in the market because it is lightweight for a town style design, 453grams. It has a rear dial fit system which is not very common in full head urban styling. This gives a much improved fit and secure feel. If offers a great colour range and some fun graphics.
Size Range – small 51-55cm, medium 55-59cm, large 59-61.5cm
MUST have features: Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) In mold construction will give a helmet the ability to absorb knocks, strength and durability. Lightweight and easy to use adjustable fit system so the helmet is secure and stable on your head.
GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & sweat absorption, bright colours for visibility in traffic.
We Recommend…Bell Nomad $99.00
The Nomad is new for the 2018/19 season and will become a feature helmet in the Bell range. Building on all Bell knows about helmets the Nomad gives great features for a great price. Designed with trail riding in mind you get a comfortable, well-fitted helmet tough enough to withstand regular outings.
Size Range – 53–60cm (one size)
MUST have features: Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head). Good ventilation & sweat absorption for training in hot weather. Aero efficient and lightweight.
GREAT to have features: MIPS – multi-impact protection system as an added layer of safety.
We Recommend…Bell Stratus $269.00
Road helmets need to offer a great amount of airflow yet cover the head adequately. The Bell Stratus is a helmet that does just that making it ideal for all round, non-competitive, road riders. It has MIPS and a great aero dynamic shape. It weighs in at 275grams.
Size Range – Small 52-56cm, Medium 56-59cm, Large 59-62cm
SKATE PARK/BMX HELMET
MUST have features: Skate certification and if available BMX certification. Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head). Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts created by top of the line hard shell combined with in mold construction & liners.
GREAT to have features: Multiple pad options, quick dry padding for sweat and temperature management, easily removed for washing.
We Recommend… Bell Local $84.95
The Local has a skate certification and an Action Fit system making this helmet a great match to the skate park and general freestyle BMX riding. Being able to get a secure, stable, comfortable fit is a real plus that the Local offers. ABS hard shell outer with EPS liner – what does all that mean? A helmet that is tough, durable and able to take serious knocks.
Size Range – Small 51-55cm, Medium 55-59cm, Large 59-61.5cm
ALL ROUND/ MOUNTAIN BIKING HELMET
MUST have features: Full head coverage (a shape that resembles a human head and goes low at the back of the head) including MIPS (multi directional impact) protection. Strength and durability, ability to absorb impacts created by in mold construction & liners, density/quality of foam. Easy to use fit systems that provide the ability to have a secure & stable helmet every time it is put on a head.
GREAT to have features: Good ventilation & quick dry padding for sweat and temperature management, easily removed for washing. Visor removability, google compatibility, bright colour options to increase visibility in traffic.
We Recommend…Giro Cartelle (Womens) or Giro Chronicle (Mens) $179.00
When you or your teenager chooses to ride a bike all over town during the week and spends time off road in the weekends you want a helmet that is up to the task of being well used. The Giro Cartelle & Chronicle deliver on all the features we ask you to find in this type of performance helmet. They have a Roc Loc 5 dial system that includes vertical adjustment this means you can get as good a fit as possible no matter the shape of your head & hair! Three sizes also helps with getting a helmet to fit correctly. MIPS is another element of protection from impacts at angles. This will help when gently exploring intermediate and advanced off road tracks.
Size Range – Small 51 to 55cm, Medium 55 to 59cm, Large 59 to 63cm
Head to MOUNTAIN BIKE HELMETS – What are the options? for more on these types of helmets.
GET THE MOST OUT OF YOUR HELMET…
As you may have gathered from reading the information above it is not enough just to get the right size helmet you must also take the time to fit the helmet to your head shape. This involves getting it low, level, secure & stable…
PLEASE READ How to Size & Fit a Bike Helmet
WHEN TO REPLACE A HELMET
- after any type of crash or impact. If the helmet has done its job it will have absorbed the force of the incident so if you hardly knocked your head or didn’t feel it bump, it doesn’t mean the helmet is safe to use again
- the more it’s used the more it will deteriorate. Every time it is dropped or bumped or absorbs vibrations it is reducing it’s ability to protect you! A rough guide line for well used helmets is 4-5 years
INSPECTION & SAFETY
- regularly inspect for damage, wear & tear, cracks, splitting, dents, the shell separating from the liner, breakage in the MIPS, fraying straps, broken buckles
- never remove a MIPS from the helmet
- replace the pads to ensure good fit over time, they will lose density
- store in a safe/protected place out of direct sunlight
- gently with warm soapy water. Pads can be removed and placed in a washing machine but do not put in a tumble drier
- do not put helmet in the dish washer (can’t believe I just wrote that bit of advice but there you go)
Other resources to help make you SMILE when you goRide