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Ride Safely with a Bike Helmet

Cycle 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 bike helmet is simple: in a collision, the foam absorbs and spreads the impact energy, protecting the head in a “crumple zone”. This permanently deforms the foam, making a cycle helmet a disposable product: it needs to be replaced after any impact, as it won’t recover to provide protection again. Many manufacturers offer “crash replacement”. After an accident, they might offer you a new helmet at a lower price.

Many countries have testing standards that cycle helmets must meet – otherwise they can’t be sold. This means that all helmets on the market meet safety standards. Some manufacturers go the extra mile, providing even more protection. Some bike helmets, for instance, have a Multi-directional Impact Protection System (MIPS), reducing rotational forces on the head in an accident and minimising the risk of concussion, for example. Helmets also differ according to purpose (e.g. mountain bike helmet, toddler bike helmet etc.).

Really important: Size and fit

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.

You can fine-tune the fit with the adjustment system. This is usually a band around the head that can be adjusted with a small dial or some other mechanism at the back of the helmet. With its help the cycle helmet sits firm and secure on your head.

The right cycle helmet for the right purpose

How does an MTB helmet differ from a skate helmet or downhill helmet? Let’s look into it!

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.

Everyday, city and urban helmets

Everyday cycle helmets usually have a simple design, leaning towards a BMX or skate helmet. Everyday helmets offer a good blend of low weight, good ventilation and safety. Some models also have safety lights and/or reflective elements, giving you good visibility with other road users.

Bike helmets for men, women and children

Compared to cycle helmets for men and women, 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

BIKE24 offers 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.