The importance of wearing a helmet while cycling is paramount; the safety statistics don’t lie. However, when it comes to knowing how to choose a bike helmet, that’s a different story. The trouble is, there are dozens of options out there, and these are likely clouding your vision. In fact, you’re probably thinking to yourself, “Which bike helmet is best?”
If you’re in the market for a new helmet, no sweat. We can help you on your journey toward finding the right bike helmet for you. Keep in mind that there are five key factors that’ll determine the best helmet for your needs, and we go into more detail about these below.
Factor #1: What is Your Preferred Way to Ride?
Because there are several cycling genres, the current market generally offers helmets in three categories:
- Mountain biking
- Because mountain bikers navigate tough terrain, they need helmets that can handle rugged conditions. These will usually provide additional support along the back and sides, as well as a peak.
- Road biking and cyclocross
- Cyclists in these disciplines should invest in helmets that offer adequate ventilation to keep them cool. Plus, depending on their location, they should consider options that feature ample coverage from unpredictable weather conditions.
- Commuter and recreational biking
- Casual or urban cycling typically doesn’t require much in terms of gear. Many helmets offer basic protection and will work great for relaxed rides. They’ll also have good ventilation to get you to your destination without overheating.
You’ll need a helmet that effortlessly complements your specific discipline, regardless of whether you commute to work by bike, or you’re a bicycle racer. Depending on how you plan to ride your bike, as well as understanding what makes a good bike helmet, you may want to look into features such as extra padding and ventilation, mesh bug screens, visors, or even built-in mounts for cameras and lights.
Additionally, believe it or not, your helmet’s weight plays a bigger role in your ride than you think. So, if you’re cycling at high speeds, you may want a lighter and more aerodynamic helmet with good ventilation to keep you cool.
Factor #2: Showing Off Your Style
We get it, your helmet isn’t supposed to be a flashy spectacle, but you’re still wearing it—and, you know, you’re buying a bike helmet, so you might as well love it. To start, think about the overall helmet shape you want; some helmets boast a sleek oval silhouette, while others appear rounder.
Likewise, why not get a helmet that suits your unique sense of style? We know you’ve got good taste, so show it off with a helmet in a color you like. If you’re stumped, you can always go with classic black, or you can opt for a bright color, which can promote optimal visibility. If you plan to purchase through us, you can use the chat feature or get in contact through our social media channels. You’ll be able to speak with our team about getting a KAV 3D printed helmet with a custom design or colorway. We're able to put pretty much any artwork on it for you–the options are endless!
Factor #3: Mull Over The Materials
When considering what makes a good bike helmet, of course, you can’t forget about the craftsmanship. Ideally, your helmet should be made from strong materials—after all, it needs to withstand bumps, skids, and hundreds of hours of wear in all different weather conditions. You also want to ensure the helmet creates the airflow necessary to wick away head sweat. Breathability is also a component you shouldn’t overlook, as it directly contributes to your overall comfort during your rides.
Ideally, you should go with a manufacturer who prioritizes making their products with both comfort and maximum durability in mind. The KAV team takes helmet materials seriously, and we encourage you to explore our site to learn more about our manufacturing processes.
Factor #4: Finding Your Fit
Bike helmets aren’t “one size fits all” items or even “three sizes fit all” items. The proper fit ensures ample visibility and protection, so it’s crucial to get it right. Before buying a bike helmet, you will need to measure your head’s circumference. For the most accurate measurements, the measuring tape should remain level. When you try on your helmet, reflect on how it feels.
Above all, your helmet should be comfortable, no matter if you plan to bike for two miles or two events. It should complement your head’s one-of-a-kind shape—but how do you know if it actually fits? The helmet you buy should sit flat on your head, resting slightly above your eyebrows. On the same hand, it shouldn’t feel too loose or too tight and restrictive. You should be able to move your head in all directions without the helmet sliding around or causing any pain. Plus, the chin strap should feel secure but still provide enough room for you to open your mouth to drink water and eat snacks. We recommend about a finger’s worth of room between your chin and the strap.
By achieving the perfect fit, you can prevent an ill-fitting helmet that doesn’t perform upon impact.
Factor #5: Examine The Brand
By making a purchase, you’re choosing to support a company with your dollar. As such, it’s important to consider an organization’s reputation as well as the causes they back. First, consider product quality. Can you access genuine product reviews and do customers generally like what they purchased? Also, are the helmets tested and certified for safety? Unfortunately, some online sellers do promote counterfeit options, so keeping an eye out for reputable manufacturers is vital.
Further, review the company site for transparency around ethical and sustainable practices. For instance, do they follow net zero manufacturing practices? If the organization values giving back to the community and the environment, they’re prioritizing causes larger than themselves—and that’s definitely admirable!
Additionally, consider whether the company offers warranties on their products. For example, we can proudly say we offer a five-year warranty on our bike helmets. A lot can happen in that timeframe, so we want to make sure you’re covered.
Are You Ready To Find The Right Bike Helmet?
We may be biased, but we think our helmets are worth the hype. At KAV, we care about contributing to a better biking experience. Not only do our helmets exceed Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) standards, we make the helmet purchasing process simple. Our helmets don’t come in various sizes, but rather, in your size. No adjustments or dials are needed, and as a bonus, you won’t experience any pain from trying to secure the wrong gear on your head. KAV also has a crash replacement policy. We understand that things happen—if you crash, we’ll provide you a one-time replacement.Now that you’re armed with insight on what makes a good bike helmet, especially when it comes to buying the best one for you, take that knowledge with you onto the roads and trails. Just remember: you can buy a helmet, but you need to wear it to reap the benefits.