We would recommend that all cyclists whatever their age or type of riding wears a cycle specific helmet to protect their heads in the event of a fall.
A helmet is often the first thing people buy along with a new bicycle. It is a good idea to get your child used to wearing a helmet from a young age so that they stick with wearing one later in life.
Modern helmets not only look great but they offer many air vents to keep your head cool and are easy to fit and adjust making them very comfortable to wear.
With helmets the price differences relate primarily to weight, materials and technology along with fit. Helmets are still constructed using polystyrene pellets that are heated and moulded into shape. The coloured skin used to just be just for show and this is still the case on very cheap helmets. A helmet costing £20 an upwards now incorporates the coloured shell in the strength of the helmet. The plastic skin is heated and moulded to the polystyrene (not just taped on) in a process known as in-moulding. This process enables the manufacturers to spread impacts around the shell of the helmet instead of into the wearer. Most good quality brands like MET, Giro and Bell only sell helmets where this in-moulding technology is used.
There are lots of different types of helmets, the main variants being:
- - Commuter/leisure use helmet – These are usually a universal fitting helmet in respect of size and often come with a peak to shelter your eyes from the sunlight, wind and rain. Some helmets also have built in LED lights at the back to aid road safety and visibility.
- - Children's helmet – more brightly coloured often with fun patterns and designs to make them more appealing to children, with smaller sizes available. Flatter moulding at the rear of the helmet for children sitting back in child seats.
- - Road cycle specific helmet – usually offer more ventilation & are lighter weight. Most road helmets are sized either universally so 'one size fits all' or are sized specifically in centimetres for a more tailored fit. Road helmets do not have a peak.
- - Mountain bike helmet – often have more material to the back of the helmet and usually have a peak to protect the riders eyes from the sun, wind rain and mud alongside a more rugged construction.
- - Full face helmets - are the norm for downhill riding, BMX or more extreme use. They offer all round protection including the chin area.
- - BMX helmet – have less air vents but very tough construction, BMX helmets come in a variety of colours and do not need to be aerodynamic in the way that a road bike helmet needs to be as bmx riders tend to ride for shorter lengths of time.