As the weather warms, many Americans are looking for new ways to exercise and enjoy the outdoors – a popular option is biking. But before you take off, you need to make sure you have everything you need to ride a bike safely, including bike helmets – the experts we consulted consider wearing one essential. .
Even the best cyclists are still at risk of colliding with cars or other motor vehicles, encountering hazards like pedestrians or other cyclists, and dealing with dangerous road conditions such as nests. – hen and tree roots. Bicycle accidents can cause serious injury or death, especially when the rider is not wearing a helmet. In fact, “a bicycle helmet is a cyclist’s best line of defense, reducing the risk of head injury by over 50%,” according to the National Safety Council – a National Transportation Safety Board study found that helmets reduce serious 60 percent head injuries.
“Think of a helmet like a seat belt in your car,” said Alison Dewey, education director for the League of American Bicyclists. “You never want it to be useful, but when you need it you’ll be happy to wear it.”
How to find the right helmet for you
Cycling experts explain what to consider when buying a bicycle helmet:
- The fit of the helmet is everything. Most helmets are delivered different sizes – small, medium and large – and can be adjusted according to your needs. To know if your helmet fits, there should be two fingers’ width between the front of the helmet and your eyebrows, explained Ken Tashoff, director of Danny’s Cycles. the side straps should come over the ears, and there should be less than half an inch between your chin and the buckle strap. The helmet should stay in place when you shake your head.
- Helmets also come in different weights. Lighter helmets will be more comfortable for long rides – and are generally more expensive – noted Scott Rice, senior director of the global brand at Pacific Cycle.
- Most high end helmets will boast multidirectional impact protection systems (MIPS) which add a small, low-friction layer to the helmet that allows it to slide on impact, reducing blunt trauma to the head, Tashoff explained.
- Runners will want a helmet well ventilated to stay cool while riding, said Dewey. But the more air vents a model has, the more expensive it will generally be “because the same safety standards must be maintained with less equipment”.
- Most helmet prices vary from $ 25 to $ 200.
Make sure your helmet meets the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which independently reviews and publishes advice on consumer products. CPSC spokesperson Karla Crosswhite cautioned against counterfeit helmets, which may not offer the right security.
“It can be difficult for a consumer to know the difference,” she said. “If it is not a reputable seller and it does not comply with the CPSC safety standard, that is a major red flag.”
Headsets don’t last forever – most have a four-year lifespan, Crosswhite said. The protective foam liner deteriorates over time and may not provide adequate support. In the event of a collision, you should replace your helmet immediately, even if it appears to be intact.
The best bicycle helmets
To help keep you safe on the road, here are some of the best helmet options on the market today, each one confirmed to be CPSC compliant and otherwise chosen based on advice we’ve gotten from cycling experts. above.
1. ABUS Hyban 2.0 bicycle helmets
This helmet comes with reflectors, providing better visibility, especially when cycling at night. Other unique features include side mesh to keep insects out and a special space to put your ponytail through. The helmets come in five colors and three sizes, which can fit most adults with a head circumference of between 52 and 61 centimeters – the helmets weigh 1.8 pounds and can be adjusted via a dial on the back.
2. Cannondale Intent MIPS helmet for adults
This stylish helmet is designed for seasoned bikers. Its increased back coverage and adjustable visor make this helmet ideal for all-day mountain biking and trailering, Rice explained. It’s extremely light – weighing less than a pound – and comes in three colors and two sizes, suitable for adults with a head circumference ranging from 54 to 62 centimeters. This helmet features MIPS technology and has 13 air vents for added ventilation.
3. MIPS Giro Register Adult Leisure Cycling Helmet
This highly rated helmet is made with MIPS technology and features 22 vents for a cool, highly ventilated ride. The helmets are available in a universal and adjustable size, accommodating adults with head sizes ranging from 54 to 61 centimeters. Riders can change the size of the helmet via a dial on the back, allowing for adjustments along the way. The helmets are available in six colors and weigh less than a pound.
4. LUMOS Matrix Smart headphones
This helmet is ideal for commuters: it has LED front and rear lights and can give turn signals to alert motorists. Riders can even personalize symbols, patterns and messages on the helmet screen via a Bluetooth connection. The helmets feature MIPS technology, weigh around 1.2 pounds, and come in two colors and two sizes, fitting adults with a head circumference ranging from 56 to 61 centimeters.
5. Retrospect CM-1 Bicycle Helmet for Adult Commuters
This affordable commuter helmet, which can be used for both biking and skating, has a simple, matte design and comes in nine colors and three sizes, and can fit adults with head sizes ranging from 51 to 63 centimeters. The helmets come with 10 vents for ventilation and two additional sets of inner pads for a customizable fit.
6. Schwinn Thrasher Cycling Helmet
One of the most beloved cycling helmets on Amazon, this Schwinn helmet features over 20 air vents, additional back cover, and a removable visor. Riders can easily adjust their helmets using a dial on the back, and this helmet comes in a standard size with a head circumference of 58 to 62 centimeters. Helmets are available in over a dozen colors and patterns.
7. Thousand bicycle helmet for adults
This sleek helmet, sporting a vintage design, is available in 12 different stylish colors including rose gold and terracotta. The helmets come with seven air vents, visor and magnetic buckle. A unique feature of this helmet is its anti-theft function, which allows cyclists to lock their helmet onto a bicycle chain. The helmets come in three sizes and are suitable for adults with head sizes between 54 and 62 centimeters.
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