The beautiful season is at the door, and every year the bike and cycling passion re-ignores and explodes in its various disciplines; From urban mode, by cycling on the road to mountain biking. Today I will talk about the accessory for excellence, synonymous with safety and not just the bike helmet.
I will try to give you a practical and complete guide to the choice and the conscious use of the bicycle helmet:
- What the Road Code tells about the use of the bicycle helmet
- Purpose, structure and composition of the protective pad
- Different types of bike helmets according to the type of cycling practiced (city bike, road cycling, MTB, …)
- Different types of helmet depending on the cyclist (adult, child, occasional or experienced)
- What features do you observe that make the difference when you buy it?
- When changing the protective helmet
- How to choose the right size for a safe but comfortable helmet fit
- What to do and especially do not do when you wear your bike helmet
- The “finest” of whoever uses it
What the Road Code tells about the use of the bicycle helmet
Unfortunately in Italy , unlike some countries including Belgium, the Netherlands or Australia , the protective bicycle helmet on the road is NOT mandatory . The Road Code (TITLE V – CONDUCTING RULES governed by Article 182 of the Circulation Circus) does not point out and despite the recent pressures to introduce it in revising the code in 2016, there was no room for introducing a Norm in that sense and leaving to common sense the use of this accessory even for under 14. Do not wear a bicycle helmet today is something to be avoided; Both because it is stated that the helmet saves lives and limits the damage caused by the bumps, because because nowadays technology has made giant strides (especially since the boot became mandatory in UCI racing on the road in 2003) and the helmets have always become More comfortable and design that almost does not seem to have them .As well as all civic habits, adapting grapes becomes an inevitable routine (see helmet in the way and belts in the car).
Purpose, structure and composition of the protective pad
Over the last decade, helmets have reached a high standard of safety in terms of protective effectiveness and comfort / fit. Let’s remember, however, that the primary purpose for which they were born is to protect the skull from the bumps . Therefore, all commercial products must be certified and this certification is carried out on tests based on the absorption of the shock itself. This is the main purpose to be accompanied by improved features such as lightness, aeration, aerodynamics, comfort, design, material wear and more.Generally, a bicycle helmet consists of:
- An external cover in materials of varying quality (and cost) as polycarbonate but also carbon fiber that is coated, colored and polished.It is the most aesthetically appreciable and visible component.It is followed by the fact that for such cultists is the part that is also suitable for the most customizations and realizations in series limited to marketing purposes
- An internal cover in “foamed” polyurethane foam materials;Represents the heart of the safety of the helmet itself because it is the part that first deforms in the phase of absorption of a knock and kinetic energy from the same provoked
- Lining, rear fixings and straps whose materials can be of greater or lesser value and therefore create a sense of comfort greater than to stand more to use (typically a strap or inner lining of a pedal can be subject to wear Considerably and therefore this must be taken into account, idem for the insect retina or the wheel for the micrometric adjustment of the closure behind the nape)
- Add on such as the rear light signaling or integrated glasses
All bicycle helmets as such must bear the EN1078 homologation label which ensures compliance with the law on construction, materials and related tests.
Returning to the safety discourse, the helmet protects us in two ways: essentially often avoids wounded wounds on the head and neck because the outer shell is subject to the friction of impact with asphalt, branches and the like; Secondly, it limits the internal damages to the brain by dampening the impact and avoiding that excessive deceleration of internal components shakes, causing more or less serious neurological damage (for those who would like to see examples of damage to this second species Keep in mind the story of the driver Jules Bianchi and Schumacher himself on the ski slopes).
Different types of bike helmets according to the type of cycling practiced
Tell me how to discipline bicycle practice and tell you what type of helmet is for you.It is not trivial, for both technical and aesthetic reasons;Said that the primary function is safety still today to see especially people on the road with little aerodynamic helmets and more suitable for mountain bikes.So let’s see the different types of helmet on the two wheels that are between the pedals:
- Road bicycle helmet / race bike : the words in this case are LIGHTNESS, AERODYNAMICITY but above all AERATION.It is an accessory that you can keep on your head for several hours and the slots (the sockets) become essential to not bake in the hot moments of the year.The same applies to aerodynamics and lightness that can affect performance, especially for non-occasional cyclist looking for safety but also for performance.
- Mountain Bike Helmets : The reduced speeds of the vehicle make the aerodynamic component less necessary than the cycling helmet on the road, while the need for typical typical of hiking and cross country in general is obvious: ventilation certainly and fit Especially visors that protect from mud splinters, stones, rain, but also by small or large branches and obstacles that can be encountered along the way.The mtb helmet also protects the frontal component of the face as well as the lower back of the neck.Every fall, as knows who is riding a bike, is on a stand but statistically in racing bikes usually goes “fashionable” asphalt slipping;Off-road falls occur at lower speeds but is the impact with the ground being atypical since it is not uniform by definition is the same ground on which we pedal.
- Helmet for “extreme” disciplines or anyway as spectacular as a downhill / freeride: do you have in mind the 8 times world champion Tony Cairoli motocross?Your helmet will look more like his.Seriously you will notice that the helmet is “integral” because the bumps are inherent in the sport itself and there is a need to protect the entire facial bow (jaws, cheekbones, head and neck).The shape is also stretched on the front just to give a further margin of protection and to dampen the impact from frontal trauma.These hammocks are worn with a mask on the false line of Alpine ski helmets.
- Helmet for BMX : depends on what meaning bmx we mean;In the case of the Bmx race, we are talking about a motocross-like integral helmet;If we mean the Bmx urban style full of evolutions with jumps, shapes and trick, the BMX helmet has to protect us from head to back through temples and cheekbones, so the whole facial arc.These helmets compared to the “race” are heavier and less aerodynamic.Ventilation is less sensitized as use is not linked to many consecutive hours as it may occur on racing cycling (on the road).
- Urban / City Helmet: Essentially you can use a universal helmet;None of the above features is pushed to the excess unless the safety and cushion to the shocks that it has to comply.They can be very functional “design” objects;Depending on the frequency of use, it may be important to consider air conditioning and the ability to wash its components at its best.
To give you an order of magnitude on prices and models we refer you to the dedicated section of Amazon where you will find quality products (in my humble opinion) from about 30 Euros.
Different types of helmet depending on the cyclist
In addition to the discipline that is practiced, it is important to consider the level of experience and use of the accessory when selecting a helmet: an adult will generally have different needs than a child’s need for safety.
- Adult Helmet: As noted above, the adult must consider his own taste but also the experience he has on the medium, whatever it is.A road expert when approaching the cross country will not be a neophyte but will have more chances of falling off a cyclist cross country every week.It’s as if an experienced skier first put on snowboard: knowledge of the track similar but different ways to fall.
- Baby Helmet: It may seem trivial but the helmet for a baby is of crucial importance.Often, grandparents and parents are still wearing the little ones in the wrong position (too big and heavy on the baby’s front door, I’m thrilled to think about it) and even without protection or with the laced bowl that dangles here and there To every hole on the ground.The commercial baby helmets range from a few months (about 10) to the pre-adolescent age (10 years) and are an integral part of their safety because it allows them to experience in various situations (when they learn without wheels, on wooden bikes No pedals, when they go to school the more fortunate they can do in the countryside, etc.).Obviously it will be important to choose the right size considering the sudden growth of the children themselves;However, it should also be considered that the falls occur at lower speeds and that often the child if the child is only a passenger, therefore it must be safe but also comfortable.
- “Expert” helmet: it is good to point out that there are no expert helmets. My perception refers to the dangers in play. The road expert travels at speeds above the normal MUST have a product to the height to protect the extra danger; Similarly, the casual “casual” helmet probably does not have to be the top of the range.It will have to be lightweight but not ultra-standard and have a good relationship in terms of price quality and especially in terms of durability based on frequency of use.
Cycling helmets: the caracters that make a difference when buying
Let’s go straight away: the helmet is a safety accessory therefore, in addition to the law that it is right to label the CE marking and the EN 1078 standard , it is good to orient yourself to a quality product because it does not serve nothing.The quality is also seen not only at the construction level but also in particular as the use of certain varnishing substances that do not have to release toxic substances on the skin during use.
The hood ordered or bought at the moment should not have swelling or deformation or even worse scratches even light on the outside.The parts must be carefully welded to each other as well as the straps that should not be broken, also pay attention to the rear wheel that has to do its bow adjustment work on the basis of the circumference of the head circumference.
Each head is also in its own right so it is possible, though it should not be so, that some models do not fit because they are not very conforming to the shape of your head; The helmet DOES NOT MUST FLY FRONTALLY (and therefore also on the neck) and not even HORIZONTALLY .The fit should be comfortable but “secured” through the straps with which it fits.Basically there should be no obvious rubbing during use.
Among other features, for example, ventilation (houses indicate the total number of air intakes and a detail on the rear, eg 24 or 32) the weight (indicated in grams and for those who make This is a must, between high and low end models there may be differences in the order of 2/3 hectares on road cycling helmets) and the names of the bodies that have carried out the certification tests.
When changing the protective helmet
The helmet must be changed each time it is deformed ;Typically after a collision that has affected the inside and outside just to suppress kinetic energy.Helmet damage is not only visible (cracks and parts that begin to crash).You can also change your helmet for mere taste but also because you want more performance (eg traveling with a few grams less uphill) and aeration.However, some houses and retailers recommend replacing after 5 years;Unless you treat it as bad as it often happens to me when it tends to get tired or badly tossed me to the ground (ignoring how precious this simple object is), so if you’re okay, the helmet is not worn out Kept in cold and damp places this time is relative but remains a good comparison time, because in a shine the technology improves considerably in terms of both security and reliability as well as design and “style” in general.
How to choose the right size for a “fit” fit but comfortable
What is the right size for my helmet?Good quality bicycle helmets are fitted with a head restraint system at the back of the helmet itself and this allows perfect adjustment and fit in a few centimeters range.The sizes are in fact due to different measures of the circumference of the head.By way of example I expose this Decathlon table but on the market both on line and off line rather than the size often find the direct reference to cm (56-58, 58-61 …)
Head circumference 53-54cm 55-56cm 57-58cm 59-60cm 60cm and beyond
Helmet Size XS S M L XL
The helmet as it is said in jargon must not be either wide or too narrow;In the first case it would slip frontally compromising visibility (and just a buchetta to shake on the racing bike);In the second case it would prevent the oxygenation with its relative nuisances and loss of lucidity.
Always on sizes do not forget the most basic choice to make: the ideal fit of your bike.
What to do and especially do not do when you wear your bike helmet
I do not want to be trivial but these recommendations should be made to avoid misunderstandings, because errors and horrors are seen around, like the following:
Placing the helmet without connecting it is a no sense ;In the event of impact on impact damage, add up those contorted tears resulting from the rubbing of the helmet itself.The mistake that I see most often is to loosen it up if not even remove it and rest it on the handlebars;Branches and fronds are in every corner and the machines usually on an uphill road are side by side much more so since the track is often narrow.If you have hot, throw water from the bottle into the slots.
Do not use it in winter instead of a more protective hood that protects the cold , so much more slowly, it is a mistake to not do !No one prevents you from using a cold cover for the head to be attached under the helmet;It is true that you are already full of stature but why hide.If the helmet is there, do not leave it at home.
Thinking that since I have the helmet I can dare: you protect yourself with the helmet but drive with the brain so do not underestimate, especially downhill, the possible damage of a lack of carelessness.I always remember a dialogue between Valentino Rossi and a group of pro cyclists: the latter told him he wanted liver to go at 300 on an hour on a two-wheel drive.In response he admitted “but I do it on track and in safe conditions, you do it every day on roads open to traffic and moreover no suit and protections”
The “bitch” of the real biker
Now let’s say the truth, we’d all like Kevin Bacon in the movie “Quicksilver” while rummaging for Wall Street doing the courier on his bike;I do not say it is no longer possible but you can enjoy the same taste of being biker even with the helmet (the hair of peace to the soul they are gone or almost).
The helmet has its conveniences though it may not look like this – I tell you my own:
- First of all during a break in a long road ride or at its end after a few hours, the gesture to take it out of the idea of a liberation not so much with regard to the same thread but to the fatigue you did as if to say ” The battle is over, for today I have given. Tired and satisfied. ” Like a tennis player when he supports his “clava” during field changes; That gesture is a release of tension and dispersing it elsewhere. Your helmet is like you: it builds up tension, fatigue, warmth (the heat of the body you know tends to go upwards) and when you give it the tension and fatigue disappear because he took them away.
- During the summer climbs in my rides on the Varesine Precipices I always taste the idea of accompanying me to the fountains and use it often as a bowl to throw fresh water on it together with that pleasant gutter feeling that then follows you for a few kilometers before you start over again the real fatigue.
- Who has never used it as a compartment for objects?The fingers of the gloves and sometimes even glasses , bottles and sleeves.When you stop on the road for a break you do not always know where to put things on the moment and then you have your beautiful briefcase.
The helmet is a nice style item if you match it with the colors of your bike or better still with the uniform and the socks in particular;But when it is compulsory in the Uci racing, the champions tend to “personalize” it with the most varied colors and images: from the symbols of iris (world champion) to pink (who is winning the tour of Italy), golden and Many other silk-screenings with the nicknames of the group’s protagonists;Has thus become a distinctive sign to be recognized.
At the end…
In my opinion it can also be a great gift for friends, children and boyfriends who love cycling and their favorite discipline: the prices, as mentioned earlier, are quite contained and given the personality of the gift (adheres to your body) who gives it Surely it will be an appreciated item while the recipient will remember whenever he wears the helmet.Moreover, it is far from trivial and certainly there is a kind of originality;So boyfriends (and why not boyfriends), parents … look at the size of the helmet of those near you and forget that you have to think about what to give to your loved ones.
The solution is under your eyes … or maybe it’s better to say it over.
Below I propose a number of the most reliable brands you can buy on line, with some indicative notes to give you some first useful item for your choice.
Three models of bike helmets from left to right, Scott, Giro and Poc
Bicycle helmets: the most reliable brands
Helmets Ride : Helpless helmets with a simple and elegant design that are carefully designed by brand engineers.Prices from 60 Euros up to 200 Euros for tip models.
Briko Helmets : offers a wide range of products with various colors ranging from competitive prices, from 15 Euros, without forgetting the quality.
Lazer Helmets : Produces good-value helmets thanks to the advanced Rollsys ARS system that ensures excellent fitability and excellent fitability.Also interesting models with silk screen designs.Prices start at 45 Euros.
Scott Helmets : Ideal for those who prefer mountain bikes and off-road.Often equipped with removable visors.They are equipped with the innovative MIPS brain head system.Prices starting from 25 Euro.
Rudy Project Helmets : perfect for those who love road cycling.Lightweight and aerodynamic, with highly cushioned padding and adjustable micrometric closure.Prices for about 60 Euros.
Poc Helmets: I am very successful among the millenials that prefer BMX and who are looking for an innovative design.Prices starting from 40 Euro.