One head is good, but a whole one is better: choosing a bicycle helmet

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Bicycle helmet

Modern human civilization is based not only on dynamism and mobility, but also on security. Airport screening frames, modern safe cars, non-spill cups for children, thermo cups for drinks that won’t burn your hands. All these are elements of a large safety cage that surrounds our lives with the sole purpose of keeping it at its best. And therefore, if a bicycle provides you with speed of movement and freedom of choice of a route, then a bicycle helmet provides reliable head protection. Of course, it would be better not to fall at all, but you also need to approach the fall from a safe position. Therefore, in this article we will discuss the types of helmets and deal with the pitfalls of how to choose a bicycle helmet for you.


How to choose a children’s bike helmet

Children's cycling helmet

Exactly. Let’s deal with the kids first. They are known to be the flowers of life, and therefore they love to lie on the ground, on the pavement, on the bike path, and in the yard. This is often preceded by a fall. And that is why a bicycle helmet is necessary for a child. So, how to determine the size of a bicycle helmet for a head that, due to age, is smaller than the standard one? In the same way you would choose a hat for him. That is, according to its circumference. Now is not the time when you happily rush to the store trying on dozens of helmets in the hope of finding the right one. You will probably order it on the Internet, among all the sizes presented you will find the standard ones: S, M, L, XL. And at this point, go to the size table of a particular manufacturer and correlate the figures taken away with the circumference of the child’s head. It is better to trust the numbers on the centimeter, and not your gut. The scatter of the circumference of children’s helmets varies from 47 to 57 centimeters.

SizeCentimeterHat SizeInches
Youth XS47-485 7/8 - 618 1/2 - 18 7/8
Youth S49-506 1/8 - 6 1/419 1/4 - 19 3/4
Youth S/M49-506 1/8 - 6 1/419 1/4 - 19 3/4
Youth M51-526 3/8 - 6 1/220 - 20 1/2
Youth L53-546 5/8 - 6 3/420 7/8 - 21 1/4
Youth L/XL53-546 5/8 - 6 3/420 7/8 - 21 1/4
Youth XL55-566 7/8 - 721 5/8 - 22

And here are a few tips for choosing a helmet:

  1. Choose a bike helmet based on the photo, and not just on the characteristics. Your ideas about what a child needs may be very different from the ideas of a child. And you need him to use it all the time on the bike.
  2. Accessories are important, choose the softest fasteners and liners – the skin of children is rubbed off faster than that of adults;
  3. It is better to give preference to helmets with ventilation holes so the chance of overheating will be reduced. Better yet, the holes are covered with anti-mosquito inserts. This is for reasons of protection against insects getting into them.

In the case of children, it is better not to stop on the helmet, but to take care of the presence of all children’s protection.


Helmets for adults

When choosing a comfortable adult bicycle helmet for yourself, you need to clearly understand in what conditions and for what purposes it will be constantly used. So, a bicycle helmet for the city, or for comfortable commuting.

Cycling helmet for the city

 If your riding style is close to extreme, with very high speeds, you perform stunts not only on a bicycle, but also on a skateboard or rollerblades, then you better consider helmets for BMX – these are bowler hats with very high impact resistance. The head in such a helmet is reliably protected from all sides, the number of ventilation holes is minimal, but they still exist. Such helmets are as simple and concise as possible in their design. In the case of extreme riding, it is very important to pay attention to the fasteners. They should be V-shaped and fastened at each ear. Please note: there should be some free space between the buckle strap and the chin – so that two fingers can be inserted. If the helmet is too tight, it reduces the protection and if you fall, you risk injuring your chin due to the tightening of the strap.

bmx helmet
BMX Helmet

Among the various useful options, you can find options for a bicycle helmet with goggles. Glasses can be purchased separately or as a set. Goggles and protective glasses on helmets are not designed to make you have fashionable circles under your eyes, but to protect these very eyes. Dust, insects, small leaves, and twigs – all this can be a very unpleasant surprise, so we would advise you to protect your eyes as much as possible. If the bike helmet is for women and belongs to a woman who uses cosmetics, then it is better to choose the protective glass. Glasses tend to harm makeup.

Cycling helmet with goggles
Cycling helmet with goggles

Also, an interesting additional option is a bicycle helmet with a rearview mirror. Why is a cyclist worse than a car driver if they are driving on the same road? A rearview mirror can alert the cyclist of rearward hazards and help avoid unnecessary injuries.

Cycling helmet with rearview mirror
Cycling helmet with rearview mirror

Full face helmets.

It is safe to say that one of the rare varieties is a cycling helmet with jaw protection. There are many reasons for this – such helmets are designed in such a way that their weight is much more than usual, which is inconvenient in everyday conditions (and women or children do not like to wear at all because of the bulkiness, although this may be necessary). In appearance, a bicycle helmet with chin protection is very similar to a motorcycle helmet: a large, with a few holes for ventilation. A closed and brutal bicycle helmet is made with a visor. And helmets of this type are quite expensive. They are not often used by cyclists in an urban environment, but they are great for extreme cycling, or downhill and longboarding.

Full face helmet
Full face helmet

Thus, there are more pluses than minuses, the helmet is good and reliable, but not necessary for everyone.


How to choose the size of a bicycle helmet?

In fact, there is nothing complicated about this. A simple recommendation, child sizes differ from the adult ones:

  1. Measure your head with a centimetre. In extreme cases, the circumference of the head can be measured with a tape measure. Above the ears, a couple of cm above the eyebrows.
  2. And there is no point two. The resulting numbers are the size.
SizeCentimeterHat SizeInches
XXS51-526 3/8 - 6 1/220 - 20 1/2
XS53-546 5/8 - 6 3/420 7/8 - 21 1/4
S55-566 7/8 -721 5/8 - 22
M57-587 1/8 - 7 1/422 1/2 - 22 7/8
L59-607 3/8 - 7 1/223 1/4 - 23 5/8
XL61-627 5/8 - 7 3/424 - 24 3/8
2XL63-647 7/8 - 824 3/4 - 25 1/4
3XL65-668 1/8 - 8 1/425 5/8 - 26

In conclusion, it is worth saying that the helmet is a one-time product: if you get into trouble and damage it, you can no longer use it. You will need a new bike helmet, and the price is considerable. Therefore, ride with caution.
Don’t miss our top articles about sports bikes and which road bike to choose if i’m “heavy”?

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