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Whether you use your bike to commute each day, are a serious mountain rider, or just like to hit the local trails on your day off, a helmet is a must-have accessory. In the last decade, there has been a 37 percent increase in bicycle-related fatalities – all preventable, according to the National Safety Council.
There are many things you can do while on a ride to increase your safety, but few are so important as wearing a bike helmet. Head and neck injuries are prevalent in bike accidents, and helmets can help protect you if you are in one.
Safety, of course, is the number one reason to wear a bike helmet but not the only one. And, not all bike helmets are created equally. What should you look for in a bike helmet, and which ones are the best of the best for 2022?
What are the benefits of Wearing a Bicycle Helmet?
When you see someone wearing a bike helmet, you know they are trying to protect themselves in case of an accident. There are other reasons to wear one, though.
It is not easy for a car or another rider to see a bike coming towards them from a distance. Bicycle helmets improve your visibility in a variety of ways. They are available in bright or fluorescent hues, making the cyclist more visible on the road. Inbuilt reflectivity enhances visibility in the dark, and a few helmets incorporate flashing L.E.D lights, which are useful in low light.
Bad Weather Protection-change to Weather Protection
It may seem like a bike helmet would make you miserable on a hot day, but the opposite is true. They protect your head from the harsh light of the sun. Good ones will also help evaporate sweat and keep you cool.
It Makes a Statement
Kids all over the world complain about having to wear a bike helmet. Parents all over the world appreciate it when adults do. It sets an example for kids who see you riding.
It also tells your friends and family that you are taking precautions to improve your bike safety. If they are cyclists, too, you are leading by example. Make sure to let them know that you always wear a helmet, and you expect them to be safe, as well.
How To Choose the Right Helmet
No two heads are shaped exactly the same, so how do you find a helmet that fits yours? What other things should you look for when buying a bicycle helmet?
Consumer Product Safety Information
When you pick up a helmet, the first thing to do is look for an essential label on the inside. The Consumer Product Safety Committee (CPSC) places a label inside bike helmets that ensure they abide by the most recent safety information. All bike helmets must have this by law. If the one you are looking at doesn’t, give it a hard pass.
Next, make sure it fits you right. It should feel snug when bucked but still be comfortable. If it moves around on your head, it is too big. If you had to force it on or feel like it is squeezing your head, it is too small. If you are between two sizes, always go with the smaller one. If it feels too small, you can wear a cycling cap or beanie under the larger size to make it fit.
Bike helmet sizes are a little like clothes, too. The exact size in a different brand might fit better. Always try one to two brands when buying your first bike helmet so you get the best fit.
It should also fit level and not slide back or forward. The bottom edge of the helmet should sit about two finger widths from your brow line. You should be able to see the edge when you look up.
Finally, don’t just put the helmet on, buckle it too. You should only be able to slide one finger in between the strap and your chin.
Look for a helmet that matches your riding style, as well. The design of a mountain bike helmet is different from that of a recreational one. It extends in the rear because a mountain bike can fall backward. The helmet design is meant to protect the back of your head and cervical neck if you should fall while riding uphill.
MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection. The MIPS system is a low friction layer that fits between the EPS foam and the helmet liner, allowing for 10 to 15mm sliding motions in all directions. This seeks to limit rotational motion transmission to your brain.
Not all bike helmets have MIPS, which will add to the price. You will have to decide if you want this extra protection or not. It is a good option for serious bikers who use their bike to commute and those who ride on rugged terrains.
There are little extras that you might like. For example, a mount – some bike helmets come with a place you can snap in a camera. Some other accessories to watch for include:
Of course, you want to find a bike helmet that fits within your budget. This is one area where you get what you pay for, though. Spending a little more upfront for a quality bike helmet may mean it lasts longer and offers you better protection than a budget-friendly one from a big box store. It is worth the investment.
The Best Bike Helmets for 2022
With so many brands on the market and so many things to consider, which bikes helmets are the best for 2022? Here are some that we think rank at the top.
The helmets for Sixthreezero are just as impressive as the bikes. That makes sense because Sixthreezero takes safety very seriously, and it shows in their products.
The helmets from Sithreezero are unisex and stylish. Some of the features on the Sixthreezero bicycle helmet include:
They also come in various sizes to ensure you get a great fit. A medium is for riders that are eight years and older with 21.6-22.8 inches in circumference. The larger size is for 15 years or older and has a circumference of 23-24.5 inches. Stylish, comfortable, and safe is what gets these helmets to the top of the best of the best list for 2022. All this and at an affordable price, too.
Freetown is another familiar bike helmet brand. Their Lumiere has a design that is right for commuting or adventure riding. It offers a 13 vent cooling system and universal sizing. The adjustable dial takes it from 20.9 to 23.6 inches.
The Lumiere also has MIP technology, complete in-mold construction, and a chin pad. The inside cushioning acts as a moisture-wicking system, as well.
One downside to the Freetown Lumiere is the limitation in colors. You’ll only find this helmet in three colors; white, blue, and dark gray. And, that’s if you are lucky. More than likely, you’ll have to take whatever color you can get.
Bell Super Air R
This helmet has a lot of fantastic features, but ones designed for the serious biker. Someone who bikes for fun may find this one a bit pricey for what they need.
The Bell Super Air R features include a removable skin strap, fusion in-mold polycarbonate shell, and progressive layering. It comes with an adjustable visor and overbore ventilation, as well.
The Float Fit system on the Bell Super Air R is lightweight and has an easy-to-turn dial for vertical adjustment. The Air R also has built-in MIPS technology. The adjustable visor accommodates glasses or goggles, as well. The visor has four positions.
Lazer is one of the pioneers of bike accessories. They have been creating helmets for over 100 years and are still going strong.
Their Blade helmet is an open and well-ventilated product known for its comfort. It comes with a thumbscrew on the top of the helmet, capable of adjusting and loosening the fit. This tight fit is both a pro and a con. Some reviewers state that some of the systems in this helmet feel like they grab the back of your head.
The other downside is the sizing. Although adjustable, they tend to run very small.
Specialized S-Works Prevail II
The Specialized S-Works Prevail II has technology that will appeal to the tech-nerd in most people, but it comes at a price. This is one of the more expensive helmets on the market.
It comes with an accident alert system called the ANGi system. ANGi stands for angular and g-force indicator, which is a sensor on the back of the unit. If it registers a fall, it will sound an alarm and start to countdown. If you fail to shut off the alarm, it will automatically notify contacts via your connected smartphone. It also provides your location.
In addition, this helmet has carbon and aramid fiber layers, so it is rigid but flexible at the same time. It’s a great feature but maybe a bit much for the casual rider. If you go mountain biking, it might be something worth having, though.
Technology like that comes with a significant downside. It can fail. That means you either have to live without it, roll the dice and hope it works or replace the helmet if it stops functioning at a considerable cost.
Bern Hudson is a helmet designed for the casual, urban rider. It is easy to use and lightweight but doesn’t have the advanced features you find on an all-use or mountain bike helmet.
You can enjoy MIPS technology, impact absorption, and a detachable visor. It also comes with additional padding if you need to customize the fit better. It has a dial to further help you fit the helmet and an adjustable strap.
Because it is for urban riding, it can be a little heavier than some other helmets on this list.
Scott Vivo Plus
The Scott Vivo Plus is created by a company specializing in snowboard and ski helmets. Their offering for cyclists has MIPS technology and longitudinal vents to improve airflow.
The Scott Vivo Plus is a little bulkier than some of the other models, but reviewers call it comfortable. It comes with a detachable visor with two positions and its own carry bag.
POC Ventral Lite
The POC Ventral Lite is, as the name suggests, a light helmet option but a pricey one. This helmet costs almost four times as much as some of the others on the list. It comes with a traditional polystyrene foam liner, which is what makes it so light.
It also offers a dial tightening system to ensure a great fit. There are not a lot of features with this helmet, though. If weight is your primary consideration, this might be the right choice for you.
Find out more about the bikes and bike accessories offered by Sixthreezero by checking the website.
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