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Ride Safely with a Bike Helmet

Bike helmets are now a given for cycling. And both kids’ helmets and adult bike helmets alike are increasingly common in everyday use. Modern cycle helmets are made of a rigid foam shell covered by a thinner plastic layer. Holes in the foam and shell allow air to circulate, reducing sweat build-up under the helmet. So bike helmets aren’t just for safety, but enjoyment, too. Toddler bike helmets, MTB helmets or road cycling helmets: any helmet has to fit well and suit your purpose in order to provide safety. We’re explaining the criteria for choosing your cycle helmet. Read more

Safety standards for cycle helmets

The basic principle of a bicycle helmet is simple: In a collision, the impact energy is absorbed and distributed by the foam so that the head remains protected thanks to the "crumple zone". The foam remains deformed - this is why a bicycle helmet is a disposable product: after a collision, it must be replaced because safety is no longer guaranteed. Some manufacturers offer so-called "crash replacements". You can then get a new helmet at a lower price after an accident.

You should replace your bicycle helmet after approx. 5 years, as the inner foam material hardens and loses its absorption capacity and the hard outer material can also become brittle. Depending on the purpose and use, it may also make sense to consider buying a new one earlier. Since helmets for bicycles become lighter, more aerodynamic and safer every year, the decision should not cause much headache!

In some countries, there are test standards that bicycle helmets must meet - otherwise they may not be sold. Thus, all helmets meet the safety standards. In addition, some manufacturers strive to provide additional protection. For example, there are cycling helmets with MIPS ("Multi-directional Impact Protection System"), which reduce the impact of rotational forces on the head in the event of an accident and thus minimise the risk of concussion. Helmets also differ depending on the intended use (e.g. mountain bike helmet, children's bicycle helmet, etc.).

Especially Important: Fit and Size of Your Cycling Helmet

When buying your bike helmet, you need to ensure that it fits well. It shouldn’t be tight, but shouldn’t wobble or shift about, either. Everyone’s head is shaped differently, so choosing a cycle helmet is always personal. That’s why BIKE24 lets you return helmets hassle-free if they don’t fit properly. You’ll find the manufacturer’s sizing information attached to all bike helmets in our shop, in most cases they will refer to head circumference.

Most cycling helmets have a versatile adjustment system to optimise the fit: Turning wheels on the back of the helmet allow fine adjustment so that the bicycle helmet has a firm grip and does not slip or wobble. The strap length is also relevant for a perfect fit, as you have to fix the helmet to your head using the same strap or straps below the chin. This way, the helmet stays in place even in the worst case scenario and the impact is absorbed exactly where it would be most dangerous. The strap should fit tightly, but not cut into your neck or restrict the movement of your head. A slim finger's width of space is a good guide if you are unsure how tight the strap should be.

How to Determine the Right Helmet Size for the Best Fit

The right size is decisive for the safety of your helmet and thus also for that of your valuable thinking centre. For adults and children, helmet sizes are usually given in cm ranges, which should correspond to your head circumference. For a precise measurement, you can place a tape measure or piece of string on your forehead above your eyebrows, and run it as straight as possible around your head at the widest point.

If you are between two areas, it is usually recommended to choose the smaller one, as it will fit better and protect you better. And for children, too, it is better to buy the right size than to wait for the little ones to grow into the larger helmet. This is the only way to guarantee maximum protection. Especially since you can still improve the fit a lot with the adjustment options on the helmet.

The Right Bicycle Helmet for the Right Purpose

What is the difference between a MTB helmet and a BMX helmet or downhill helmet? Here you will find the answers.

Helmets for MTB trail, enduro, downhill & more

Safety is the most important thing with MTB helmets. That’s why mountain bike helmets cover more of the back of your head and the sides, offering greater protection without being too heavy. Ventilation is important for all bike helmets but isn’t the top priority with MTB helmets. Features that serve the purpose are more important: bike helmets with visor are popular and the visor can often be adjusted, making it compatible with goggles.

Downhill helmets are almost exclusively full-face helmets (also called “integral helmets”), featuring a chin bar and protecting the whole head including the face. They are also popular for enduro racing. The counterpart to the full-face helmet is the open-face helmet – also commonly known as a “half-shell”.

Helmets for Cross Country MTB (XC)

Cross-country bike helmets come with or without a visor, depending on taste. They are lighter and better ventilated than trail or enduro helmets.

The Ideal Road Bike Helmet

Road bike helmets are designed with aerodynamics in mind to minimise wind resistance as much as possible. This means there is no visor, making road bike helmets light and well ventilated. A time trial helmet is a specialised type of road bike helmet, focussing on aerodynamics as the absolute priority to save a good few watts of power on the road.

Dirt, BMX and Skate Helmets

These bike helmets are usually of a simpler construction, yet strong and robust for reliable protection, even for serious falls. Ventilation is usually less effective. These cycle helmets have a characteristically round shape. If jumps are part of your sports activities, the protective surface should be large enough to cover at least the neck, as is the case with dirt helmets.

Helmets for Everyday, City, Trekking and Urban Use

City, trekking or urban helmets combine almost all the features you could wish for in a bicycle helmet. They offer a good compromise between low weight, good ventilation and safety. They come in many different colours, styles and designs. Sophisticated features such as built-in fly screens, LEDs or clever reflective details increase safety in the confusing urban jungle and the chance that you will be able to enjoy many more beautiful bike rides.

Bike Helmets for Men, Women and Children

Compared to cycle helmets for men and women's bike helmets, kids’ bike helmets are obviously smaller. And the designs are often more fun, so children are happy to wear their bike helmet. Technically there is no difference between girl’s bike helmets and boy’s bike helmets in terms of shape, but the designs usually differ.

Adult bike helmets are mainly unisex. However some manufacturers offer women’s cycle helmets, which either have a more feminine design and/or can have special adjustment systems to accommodate long hair or a queue.

Extras and Special Features

Many cycle helmets have extra features as standard or to be retrofitted. Popular extras include:

  • crash sensors that automatically send an emergency call via the smart phone link in an accident
  • integrated chips that give first responders important medical information (NFC medical ID tags)
  • electronic upgrades such as lights for better visibility
  • turn signals that act as direction indicators and can be operated remotely from the handlebars
  • speakers and microphones to provide hands-free communication capabilities via Bluetooth connection to a smart phone

Buying a Bike Helmet from BIKE24

We offer a huge variety of cycling helmets for men, women and children. If you’ve sized your helmet carefully and it still doesn’t fit, you can simply return it.