Although not all countries have a strict requirement for riders to wear a helmet, many have come to include the helmet as an important element of a safe ride. Many cyclists have recognized the importance of wearing one, especially when engaged a more intense biking form. Even if all helmets serve one primary purpose, that is to protect the head and neck of the wearer, you won’t see two of this safety gear to be having the same built. There is always some variations when it comes to the fit, design, weight, and of course, the price. And if you are on the lookout for the best helmet for mountain bike, you’ll need some guidance to make sure that you’ll get your money’s worth.
If you are looking for a new helmet, you’ll need to make sure that the one that you will buy will not only fit you comfortably or suit your personal preferences, but it should also meet the relevant safety standards, as well as suit the discipline you’ll be using the helmet for.
With the constant innovations in technology, manufacturers have managed to build helmets that can survive significant impact and protect the wearer by dissipating the force of impact to a point that the head and the neck won’t be injured or suffer from the collission or crash.
Today, you will see hard helmets used by BMX and dirt jump riders. Majority of road riders prefer lightweight helmets but will also provide the same functionality as expected from a hard helmet. These helmets are usually made with a vacuum formed plastic cover and molded to an expanded polystyrene shell (EPS). Such a feature is intended to protect the wearer for a possible head or neck injury during a crash. Manufacturers offer options for different types of cycling. So you will find one that will best suit casual riding and other types that will best fit commuters, road racing, time trialing, and so on.
For sure you will need to consider the specific safety standards that each of the helmet that will be made available for you to buy. In this regard, one good thing to note is that all helmets that are being sold in the US are required to pass the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (SPSC). This has been U.S. Law since March 10, 1999. Since then, the standards set by the SPSC has been the most-used standard in the U.S. market and the world.
There are other standards followed by other countries, however, such as those set by the Snell Foundation, a non-profit organization that was founded in 1957. The standards were considered to promote better helmets after the death by head injury of the race car driver Pete Snell while wearing an ineffective helmet.
For increased impact protection, many manufacturers have included a system that distributes the force received during impact. MIPS or Multi-directional Impact Protection System is a ‘slip-plane’ technology that is said to reduce rotational forces that can result from an impact.
MIPS is marked by the yellow plastic inner shell located between the expanded polystyrene and the helmet padding. This yellow MIPS liner rotates separately from the rest of the helmet to effectively dissipate forces once impact occurs.
Every helmet will fit differently. To ensure that the one you intend to purchase will provide a comfortable fit, you will need to try wearing several models on your head for some time before finally deciding which will provide you the most comfort when worn for a long time.
Most high-end helmets may be available in different sizes, so it won’t be as difficult finding the right fit when considering one of these helmets. Cheaper helmets, on the other hand, are usually designed with an adjustable dial at its rear so a single helmet can accommodate several head sizes. But then again, you need to remember that there are other features that you need to consider other than size and fit before you can decide if a helmet available is the one that you should buy.
There are several variations to consider when it comes to the design of a helmet’s retention system, as well as to how they are fitted and/or adjusted. In general, they work by pulling together an adjustable webbing system across the back of the inside of the helmet. When looking for a helmet with a good retention system, make sure that you’ll look for one that can be easily adjusted with one hand while you are on the move.
Once again, you will need to try every available helmet to ensure that it will provide the most comfortable fit while making it easy for you to adjust the retention system whenever necessary.
Just like all the other elements of a helmet, you will need to make sure that the straps on your helmet can be easily and are properly adjusted. They should be pulled tight enough to secure the helmet, but loose enough to ensure a comfortable fit.
Like all other things in cycling, getting the lightest possible helmet will require you to spend more.
Aerodynamically designed helmets can help a rider cut more efficiently through the air, hence it will be easier for a ride to maintain speed with a helmet with such a feature. These helmets are most favored by time trial riders. They are usually teardrop-shaped and usually do not have vents. Though this feature may improve airflow over the helmet, it won’t make a long ride a lot comfortable, however.
To ensure that riders will also feel comfortable while providing their gears an aerodynamic advantage, manufacturers have developed more advanced helmets that also come with vents. Such additional feature comes with a higher price, nonetheless.
Other helmets that are made available today come with more advanced features, such as those that allow continuous communication even while on the road, such as those used by motorcycle riders. One of these is the FreedConn Bluetooth Motorcycle Helmet. This helmet offers powerful communication capabilities and Bluetooth connectivity.
There are also other helmets that come with lighting built into the helmet’s shell. Whatever personal preferences that you may consider when choosing the best helmet for mountain bike, always make it a priority to opt for one that offers the best value for your money.