A helmet features a hard, plastic shell on the outside and foam on the inside. During a bike accident, the materials in your helmet work to spread the force and energy of the impact, and this lessens the force impact on the skull. The foam is there to cushion the impact to the head, while the smooth, plastic outer shell ensures that your head can safely skid across the surface of impact without breaking your neck.
If you are involved in an accident, your helmet will take a huge chunk of the impact, lessening the amount of energy that collides with your head. Whether you are a casual rider who loves the feel of cruising around town or a professional cyclist getting ready for your next off-road adventure, a bike helmet remains one of the top accessories to have.
Owing to recent innovations in helmet design, bike helmets are becoming lighter and more convenient to wear, while also guaranteeing that it further reduces and prevents head injuries. Always remember that the brain is one of the most important organs of the human body and riding a bike puts it at risk.
According to experts, a helmet that offers force penetration of less than 300G to the rider’s head is considered roadworthy and adequate for riders. However, note that there are numerous densities in helmets that protect you better against hard or soft impacts.
Have it in mind that the denser the EPS liner is, the more likely it can safeguard you against hard impacts. A good number of modern manufacturers also inculcate a dual-density EPS liner to help cover the bases since accidents are unpredictable.
Parts of a Properly Engineered Bicycle Helmet
Truth be told, a helmet is the first thing that comes to mind when considering safety while riding a bicycle. Although it doesn’t work to stop an accident, it significantly lessens the impact that can be caused during an accident. Note that a helmet features several parts, each of which is designed to offer comfort and aesthetic value, while also prioritizing safety. Below are the parts of a well-developed helmet;
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This is the most visible and outmost part of the helmet that forms its exoskeleton. Although a good number of helmets these days are made with polycarbonates, ABS, and fiberglass-reinforced plastics, some manufacturers are beginning to use carbon fiber and Kevlar to make the outer shell of their helmets. Note that this part of a helmet is designed to crack slowly and also be abrasion resistant while sliding.
Note that this forms the core of the helmet. Helmet companies are known to use a material called expanded polystyrene, or EPS, to create this part of a helmet. When this material is put to the test, it compresses as it absorbs energy.
This part of a helmet forms the cushioning surface between the EPS liner and the rider. Most often, it is made of foam pads that align to hold the rider’s head in place while quick-drying moisture from sweat. Note that a properly designed foam liner does not give room for any relative motion between the head and the helmet.
A retention system of a properly designed helmet is made up of straps that fasten under the neck to ensure that the helmet stays in place. Note that it helps to secure the helmet to the head, to prevent it from sliding off during an impact.
Most commonly referred to as visors, this part of a helmet covers the viewport of the helmet, while still guaranteeing that the rider can see clearly. This part of the helmet is most often made of hard, shatter-proof polycarbonate, and works to prevent airborne debris from entering the helmet and interfering with the rider’s sight.
Although not a part of the primary safety system, have it in mind that a ventilation system is a top property to look for in a good helmet. Aside from ensuring that the rider is comfortable, air circulation through the helmet also helps to prevent the visor from fogging up due to moisture in their breath.
How to Choose a Good Bicycle Helmet
Whether you are just a casual rider or a professional cyclist, having a helmet that fits nicely will help to protect you during an accident. Here are simple steps to choosing a good riding helmet.
Measure Your Head
This is without doubt the first thing to do to ensure you get a helmet that fits nicely. Just take a soft measuring tape and wrap it around your head about one inch above your eyebrows and ears, and don’t forget to keep the tape level.
A good number of helmets are measured in centimeters; therefore it would be ideal to measure your head in centimeters. However, if you don’t have a centimeter tape, the conversion ratio is 1 inch = 2.54 cm. From the measurement obtained, pick a helmet size to match your measurement.
Try it On
After you have picked your new helmet, you must try it on before making payments. Note that a good helmet is expected to sit level on your head with the front at least one inch (or less) above your eyebrows to ensure that it can protect your forehead.
Most often, you can adjust the fit by using the helmet’s retention system (found in the back, and most often a click wheel or a ratchet system). Ensure that the helmet snugs well around your head because you wouldn’t want any excess space between the helmet and your head. Remember to pay attention to any pressure points as they may be an indication that the helmet does not fit.
Fasten the Helmet
Don’t forget to attach the chin strap and tighten it so that it is tightly fitted but very comfortable beneath your chin. A good and snug helmet should let you fit no more than one finger between the strap and your chin. Experts note that the straps should form a “V” as they lie beneath each ear. With the chinstrap well attached, open your mouth wide. Note that you are meant to feel the helmet press against the top of your head.
It is also recommended you push the helmet from side to side and back to front. If you feel the helmet shifting, try adjusting the helmet using its retention system. Have it in mind that a fitting helmet shouldn’t move more than one inch in any direction during the shake test. Since helmet straps can loosen on rides and during travel, you must carry out the shake test even before every ride.
Agreeably, helmets work to protect your head against head injuries. You must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle because if you have an accident, it is likely you will hit your head, and this leaves you prone to a concussion, contusions, intracranial hematomas, and even skull fractures.
Helmets are considered an energy management device. They are designed with materials that disperse and lessen impact energy from collision or other large impacts. When you hit your head during an accident, a properly engineered helmet takes a huge part of the hit for you.