The simplest answer to the question of what makes a good bike helmet is that a good bike helmet will fit your style of cycling. For example, a mountain biker needs a different helmet than someone who does road biking. This is because the two types of cycling require different movements and therefore they require different features.
Common features of a mountain bike helmet are:
- good ventilation at low speeds
- good rear head coverage
- very secure fit so that it doesn’t move around on tough terrain
Common features of a road bike helmet are:
- very good ventilation
- low weight
A mix of these two helmets is called a sports helmet and combines the most important features of the mountain bike helmet and the road bike helmet. These are the helmets popular amongst skateboarders, commuter cyclists, and others.
Size And Fit
On top of all the above features, the size and fit of the helmet are also important aspects of a good bike helmet. There is no bike helmet that fits all heads so make sure you try it on in the store before you buy or at least measure your head so that you can compare sizes. A good helmet size will be one that doesn’t pinch your head but won’t move easily either.
Most bike helmets have a fit adjustor located in the back. You want to adjust this until the helmet is snug and perfectly level. If you crash and your helmet isn’t fitted properly, you might as well have not been wearing a helmet at all.
Components Of A Good Bike Helmet
Further components of a good bike helmet are:
- single mold construction
Except for the ventilation slits, all of these components are designed to protect your head. Liners are designed to absorb impacts; shells are designed to hold together under stress; single mold construction fuses the parts together for a tough but lightweight helmet. Lastly, the straps of a helmet are designed to be strong so that they don’t snap. Any kind of chipping, fraying, or cracks are signs that your helmet is no longer functional and needs to be replaced.
Ventilation is a nice feature that keeps your head cool but it’s not really a feature that adds to the overall safety of a helmet;however, an overheated head is very uncomfortable.
Shopping for a good bike helmet can be fairly simple. Many safety components come standard but you should always check before you buy. If you have an idea of the type of helmet you need (mountain, sport, or road) the process should be fairly simple and enjoyable.