Unless you are an extremely cautious rider, mountain biking will involve you falling off one or more times. It is therefore imperative that you protect your head. This makes a bike helmet one of the most vital accessories when it comes to mountain biking. Studies show that wearing a properly certified helmet can prevent 85% of the head injuries of mountain bikers.
Contrary to what you may think, being safe on your bike is actually easier than ever. You could even say it is almost too easy as there is an overwhelming catalog of helmets in the market for you to choose from.
This article seeks to give you a number of factors to consider when choosing a mountain bike helmet so you can be sure that it will do its job, which is to protect your head.
Protecting your head from impact is the helmet’s foremost function. To do this, bike helmets are fitted with a liner made of thick polystyrene foam underneath the hard plastic shell. The function of the lining is to absorb the immediate shock of a collision.
Note that we emphasize that they are “BIKE” helmets and therefore helmets designed for skiing, kayaking, skateboarding, or climbing should not be used for mountain biking.
High-end helmets are usually available in a variety of sizes that offer more secure and comfortable fits. Lower-end ones will typically feature a standard universal sizing ring that will fit a range of head sizes. To determine your size wear a flexible measuring tape 1 inch above your eyebrows and then wrap around the widest area of your head.
(3) Helmet Shape
Different manufacturers produce different helmet shapes. So, for example, if your head is oblong-shaped, a Giro helmet is probably best for you which doesn’t ruin or mess up hair. Rounder heads should go for Bell helmets.
(4) Proper fit
Choose a helmet that fits horizontally in your head, not tipped back or forward. The band on the inside is supposed to wrap comfortably around the head, not too loose yet not too tight.
When looking for the best mountain biking helmet, heat management is a vital consideration. A good helmet should have multiple vents to keep the biker head cool and sweat free.
(6)Visors, straps, and pads
The straps and holding systems that hold the helmet in position are another important features to consider. You will need a snug fit that stops the helmet from moving around. A good system allows for height adjustments. Adjustable visors are not a necessity but they are cool to have.
Wear and tear, it causes gradual degradation of the helmets. So it is advisable to replace the helmet after every five years. Upon any significant impact, you should replace the helmet immediately no matter how alright it looks. This is because its integrity may be compromised by some hidden damage that you may not see.
This may sound mundane but a bike helmet is not just a bike helmet. Insist on a mountain biking helmet and do not settle for a road bike helmet. Only mountain bike helmets are designed to protect you from a backward fall and other falls that are unique to mountain biking.