The wearing of adult bicycle helmets is a controversial subject in many places. Some folks believe that helmets are expensive, un-stylish, and unnecessary.
I used to be one of the people asking these questions, but personal experience has changed my mind forever. Although many people think otherwise or just choose to ignore it, wearing adult bicycle helmets is vital. Safety is the number one consideration when it comes to road use, many people always use safety belts when riding in vehicles, similarly, helmets should be used when riding on bikes.
Adult Bicycle Helmet Types
Buying Adult Bicycle Helmets
So what is the best bicycle helmet? What should you look for in a helmet? As long as it meets the standards set by the national safety and transportation body in your country, the next most important thing to consider is fit!
When you are at the shop trying out helmets, make sure to have an experienced salesperson help you to adjust the straps so that you can tell if it fits before you buy it.
There are many different styles and fits of helmets. There are virtually weightless helmets ideal for racing, like the Advantage 2 helmet by Giro, or full-face helmets ideal for downhill biking like Bell Drop BMX/Downhill Helmet.
If you’re into BMX mountain biking and you are looking for BMX mountain bike helmets, or you just want something a little more stylish check out Bell Segment Multi-Sport Helmet or TSG Evolution Helmet which look simpler and are similar to a skateboarding helmet. If you ride a lot and do high-intensity riding you might prefer something more minimal, with ventilation like the Schwinn Youth Thrasher Helmet.
4 Things to Look for
- CPSC sticker – In the US, adult bicycle helmets must have the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) inside the helmet. Other countries might have their regulatory quality mark.
- The right fit – Your bike helmet should have the right size to fit you properly. Not only will you not want to wear a helmet that is not comfortable, but it also won’t protect your head during a fall! Still at the shop, put the helmet on adjust the straps, and then try to tear it off your head. It should stay in place.
- Ventilation holes – Anyone who has cycled on a roaring hot summer day can appreciate good ventilation on a helmet! Ventilation and sweat control are critical. There are several solutions for making a well-ventilated helmet with good airflow without making too many holes (for example, making larger front vents). For the best sweat control, I can strongly recommend wearing a good helmet Liner) under your helmet, but never a hat or anything thick.
- Rounded shape, bright colors – They might be unstylish, but I would strongly recommend buying helmets with a well-rounded outer shell. In most cases, aerodynamics is not the issue, but safety surely is! Make sure your helmet has a bright color.
4 Things to Avoid
- Style over safety – Many “Aerodynamic” adult bicycle helmets have sharp edges, such as a tail or rigid visors. If you are not participating in the Tour de France you don’t need the noticeably extra speed, and if you crash the “tail” might rotate the helmet (and your head) aside. Don’t give up on safety – for style.
- Dark helmets – When you are on the road or the trail, it is best to have a bright helmet, so that others can see you.
- Narrow straps – Wider and softer straps are more comfortable. Make sure that the straps are wide enough.
- Tan lines – If you are bald, avoid helmets with too many ventilation holes, or wear a helmet Liner.
Did you know...?
Did you know that wearing a helmet increases bike riding safety?
Research findings over the years have indicated that using a helmet can save your life in the event you go into an accident. Adults are notorious for not wearing helmets. Research findings indicate that up to 80% of all bicycle accident-related deaths involve adults; in these cases, as high as 90% of cyclists who are not wearing helmets die from head injuries.
Adult Bicycle Helmet for the Road Enthusiast
While some purists in the road bike cycling community opt for retro caps in the summer or knitted toques in the winter, the stylish nature of helmets made for road cycling has made them an easier sell, then in the world of the urban hipster.
Many adult bicycle helmets come in the colors of teams riding in the Tour de France (such as the Giro Atmos Bike Helmet) are incredibly light, and fit so perfectly that one hardly even notice that they are there. For the most part, one pays more money as the number of vents on the helmet increases, but one can still find several eye-catching headpieces.
Adult Bicycle Helmets for the Rugged Trail
Mountain bike helmets are an absolute necessity, and I can't remember ever seeing a rider on the trail who eschewed a helmet for the sake of fashion. Anything can happen on the trail, and I have bounced my head off tree trunks and low-hanging branches while still in the saddle!
However, even an XC best bicycle helmet is not enough when it comes to extreme biking. Downhill riders usually choose to wear helmets with full face protection, as a downhill mountain biking accident comes with the potential for more serious injury. Hey, I never said all fun was free!
Bikers who like cross-country bicycling have it easier in that they can use road cycling helmets with lots of vents. These adult bicycle helmets are not as well-ventilated as the helmets used for cross-country riding and can be quite hot in the summer. Nonetheless, choosing the right cycling equipment can make the difference between a great day on the trails and a terrible day in the hospital. You can choose what kind of day you're going to have.
For cross country bicycling and down hill biking that are light, comfortable, and well-priced. I am currently using the Mavic Notch Helmet and I can honestly say this is the best bicycle helmet for me, and it worth the money. It has maximum ventilation, is easily adjustable, and I hardly notice it's there when I'm riding!
Places you Can Buy Adult Bicycle Helmets
Due to the crucial nature of adult bicycle helmets, I recommend buying them at stores so that you get ample chance to inspect the build and quality. This also offers the opportunity to test how strong and comfortable the straps are. Alternatively, these can be bought online with eBay, AliExpress.com and JensonUSA.com being my recommended online stores.