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What About Helmets

When choosing a helmet many new cyclists look no further than the price and the color. We agree that those are two important points but the most important is that you’re choosing to wear a helmet. There’s a lot of statistical debate whether or not a helmet actually protects a rider but what can it hurt by wearing one? We hear quite often the same complaints. A helmet is hot. Like a cheap styrofoam cooler sitting on top of my dome. It looks stupid. That is particularly true especially when your only concern is the price and the color. There are many different styles of helmets all of which aren’t really intended to make a fashion statement. They’re made to protect your brain bucket because you will, sooner or later, find yourself on the ground for one reason or another.

Besides the color and price of the helmet consider the aerodynamics. It may seem like such a small feature or simply a selling point but when you get down to the core it makes a difference. And that difference is more significant with every mile you put on your legs with each ride. Factor in a strong headwind and the results are measurable. Whether you will recognize the advantage is a matter of each individual.

Take for instance a helmet that doesn’t fit well. A helmet riding high on your forehead catches more wind and relinquishes some of it’s protection while hindering your performance. A good fitting helmet that sits down closer to the brow is important. In today’s world you no longer have to rely on the single chinstrap. Take a helmet that offers a retention system, think of a really comfortable hardhat, and the fit of the helmet changes dramatically. You secure the helmet in the back easily and quickly and though this system in itself could probably hold the helmet in place be sure to use the chin strap as well.

helmets lined up

Ventilation is probably one of the biggest overlooked properties of a cycling helmet. Your head is where your body vents excess heat. If you were to set most cheap helmets and more expensive helmets side by side the ventilation properties would be visually obvious. A helmet with proper ventilation will allow you to actually feel the air move across your head, wicking sweat away through the process of introducing cooler air. And when you’re mashing the pedals under the hot summer sun that often overlooked element is going to pay for itself quickly.

One more thing you should understand about a helmet is it’s lifespan. Hopefully you’ll get bored of your helmet before you truly need a new one. But in the event of an accident, always check your helmet. The styrofoam of a helmet can crack from impact and at that point you should discard it and replace it. It’s done it’s job protecting your dome and now it’s your job to find a suitable replacement.