How to buy the right bike helmet?
When it comes to riding in Australia, bike helmets are mandatory. Whether you’re on the road or in the outback, legally you need a helmet on your head. Buying the right bike helmet is very important as the wrong bike helmet can not only be uncomfortable, but might not fulfill the proper requirements of keeping your head safe. The information below will inform you on the necessary precautions that need to be made when buying a bike helmet.
Look after your noggin!
To get the right helmet for your head, it’s best to try a number of different brands. Each brand has different moulds and dimensions for their helmets, so some will naturally fit better than others. A helmet should be firm-fitting but still comfortable. Whilst the helmet is on your head and the straps are undone you should be able to lightly shake your head around without the helmet falling off. If the skin on your forehead slightly moves with the helmet and it is not uncomfortably tight, then this is a sign of a good fit.
With adjustable chin straps and rear head locks, in many instances helmets today can be customised to fit anyone. The most common way to adjust your helmet is to simply turn the knob clockwise to make it tighter, and anti-clockwise to make it looser. Whilst adjusting your helmet, you will see the brace inside the helmet moving. This applies to road or mountain bike helmets and the higher quality brands usually have the adjustment knob at the top rear of the helmet. For BMX helmets, the most common adjustment type is the chin strap.
Check that the helmet meets Australian standards. Most helmets on the market meet Australian standards; however it is possible to buy helmets that do not, especially BMX style helmets. This can be extremely problematic as the helmet may not offer the right type of protection you need whilst riding.
Why Pay More?
The more you pay for a helmet the better quality it will be. Higher quality helmets will be more comfortable, have better adjusting mechanisms, superior design features such as ventilation and insulation, and will look and feel a lot better than cheaper helmets. It is important to buy a good quality helmet as your safety is the highest priority when riding.
Take care of your helmet
For all helmets it is important to take note of the manufacture’s care and maintenance recommendations. Treat your helmet with care and try not to drop it as this can damage the internal structure of the helmet.
If for whatever reason your helmet is dealt a blow, then it will most likely need replacing. Even if you can’t see damage to it, such a knock may have compromised its safety features. Take it into your local bike shop and get their advice.