Although not a mandatory accessory, the use of helmets as personal protective equipment is very important to ensure the safety of the cyclist at the time of falls. As bicycles are usually associated with the feeling of freedom and pleasure, often wearing the helmet gives the false impression of the privation of experiencing these sensations.
But the correct choice and use of this accessory may be enough to save your life, without taking the pleasure of pedaling!
Having its first uses by registered cyclists in the early 19th century, the helmet as we know it today only emerged around the 1970s, when Bell Helmet Company created the first, lightest and most durable expanded polystyrene (EPS) helmet. Than the materials that preceded it, in particular styrofoam.
In Brazil, this technology came only a decade later, mainly with the introduction of Mountain Bike and the opening of imports.
Nowadays, with the increasing advancement of technology and materials, and with the great expertise that cycling has experienced, we have a huge variety of prices, uses and styles. Of course, this also greatly increased the difficulty of selecting a more suitable model for use.
As always, we need to make some reflections and answer some initial questions so that we can better make our purchase, namely:
What Kind Of Cycling Will I Practice?
Basically, we have 3 types of helmets: the full face, the open ones, that can have a front blade or not, and the aerodynamic ones, besides the infantile ones.
Typically, the “full face” type is used for the more “radical” modalities, such as “downhill” or “free style”. Openers with the front visor are used by Mountain Bike personnel or urban and recreational cycling in general, and are the most common to meet. And the open without a spade are preferred by the speed staff, the road crew. Aerodynamics are used by triathlon and counter-clockers, where every effort to reduce air drag is welcome. And nowadays with the growth of radical urban bike interventions, also known as “urban assault”, it is common to see cyclists wearing helmets “imported” from skaters, which usually cover the neck region more, and give more “style” to the user.
What Is My Available Budget?
Keep in mind that the lighter, stronger and more ventilated the helmet, the more expensive it will be. If possible, search the net for materials and trends for current helmets. To give you an idea, there are helmets that have an inner weave of carbon fiber, making them much lighter and safer. The more air intakes it has, the greater the ventilation, and the greater the comfort in use. However, such high performance helmets will only be justified in a competition. If this is not your case, but your budget allows, buy the best helmet your money can buy. In case of an accident, surely the damages will be well higher than the value of the helmet!
Where To Buy The Helmet?
Look for a bike shop that has many models and brands available, because often the model P (small) of a helmet may be larger or smaller than that of another brand. Try out all the helmets available in your size, until you find the one that “looks” you better in terms of comfort and fit. Try to wear and wear your helmet for a few minutes, because the inconveniences never appear as soon as we wear the helmet. The helmet should never be loose or slack and not too tight.
Here are some tips on how to properly choose and wear your helmet:
Above an example of two similar helmet models, of the same size (P), but visibly with very different dimensions, since they are of different marks. Try all the available models: ideally, it will evenly over your head.
Invest as long as necessary in the selection of your helmet. Look inside the helmet and see if the entire fastening system is loose, ready for placement.
Wear the helmet. Correct helmet position. The helmet should be one to two fingers away above your eyebrows. And when looking up, if your helmet has a visor, the edge of it should not be too visible.
The helmet should be placed as low as possible to increase lateral coverage. So it will fit tightly and will not sway if there is a fall. Also note that the side straps should be in the shape of a “Y”, with the vertex below the ear. Ideally we should have a second person to help us with the tapes adjustments. With regard to the size of the fastening strap, the ideal measure is to open the mouth and feel a small pull of the helmet against the head, which should be very soft. The brace should still be positioned behind your chin, not your chin.
Currently, several helmet models have stabilizing systems that promote fine tuning so that the helmet is not “sambando” while you go through irregularities, for example. It is important to note that it will only work well if all other straps are well adjusted, with their optimum settings as explained above.
Follow below an example of an incorrectly selected helmet (larger size than required).Note that even with fine tuning, it still rocks.
When the whole set is adjusted, you should shake it, trying to knock it back and forth with sudden movements. If the helmet moves more than one finger, or its size is not appropriate, or the straps should be better adjusted.
Another very important thing is that after a fall, replace your helmet, even if it does not show damage or visible damage. Due to the design, its structure deforms purposely to absorb the impacts, hence the need to replace it.
Therefore, never buy a used helmet, and always see if yours is in the expiration date, which usually comes engraved inside the helmet.
Nowadays, the graphics are very attractive, being even specialized for children, children and teenagers, making the use of it even more playful!
We hope this helps to make the use of the helmet become something as natural as riding!
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