How to Choose the Right Bike Helmet - Quality, Comfort & Size
Riding without a helmet is never a safe affair though it can definitely be done. Having the right helmet is as imperative as having any other riding accessory or motorcycle component. It will provide you protection from a majority of the extreme conditions effectively. This article would act as a perfect guide and let you know how to choose a good helmet.
Fit and Comfort of a Bike Helmet
While choosing the right bike helmet, considering the fit and comfort is highly crucial as an ill-fitting one can compromise the effectiveness in case of a crash. Moreover, you would likely drive your bike wearing a helmet for long hours; hence, comfort is a big factor that comes into account.
It is often recommended that a helmet must fit snugly, and one should ensure that it sits squarely on one’s head. The helmet must not tilt back on the rider’s head. All those searching how to choose a good helmet must keep in mind that an excessively large helmet can be a source of several issues like:
- The helmet can prove to be noisy
- It will move around on the rider’s head when that is the least that one wants
- In worst cases, it might come off during a crash
After placing the helmet and securely fastening its straps, one should move it from one side to another and up and down. If the fitting of the helmet is right, one’s skin must move while moving the helmet. Besides this, one must also feel the exertion of a slight even amount of pressure throughout the head.
One must keep in mind that the helmet loosens up slightly as the comfort liner compresses through usage. A brand new helmet must be tight and comfortable at the same time. It should not be so tight as to make one feel pain and have a headache.
Consider Head Size and Shape before Helmet Purchase
One of the most vital aspects to consider while choosing the right bike helmet of an appropriate size is its shape. The shape plays an important role in selecting a properly fitting helmet. Every helmet manufacturer designs their helmets for fitting a particular head shape. Primarily, these shapes generally vary between round oval, long oval and intermediate oval. Each of these three is described as follows:
- Round oval – These helmets are meant for heads having almost identical side-to-side and front-to-back measurements.
- Long oval – Heads having a longer front-to-back measurement than that of the side-to-side would find these kinds of helmets to be the ideal ones.
- Intermediate oval – Helmets having this shape are the most common ones. Riders whose heads bear a slightly longer front-to-back measurement than its side-to-side one would find these to be an ideal one. If a particular helmet does not have its shape stated, then usually it falls under this category.
After the shape of a rider’s head is determined, it becomes easier for choosing the right motorcycle helmet among the huge collection of helmets available in the market.
If you are wondering how to choose a helmet size, keep in mind that it is quite simple to select one. An accurately sized helmet would fit onto a rider’s head in an appropriate manner. The circumference of a rider’s head from the forehead forms a key parameter to be measured as the measurement of a helmet’s size is done based on it.
Different Helmet Safety Standards to Know
Before diving into the various standards, one must note that it should not be assumed that a particular standard is superior compared to the others. These standards are not mutually exclusive, and several helmets exist which come certified with several standards.
Illustrated below are some of these helmet standards. If you are searching for how to choose the best helmet, you should be aware of these standards. The point is to show how they compare and where they are applicable:
DOT Helmet Standard
DOT stands for Department of Transportation, but the standard is the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard #218, Motorcycle Helmets or FMVSS 218.
ECE 22.05 Helmet Standard
Economic Commission for Europe is the full form of ECE, which was formed in 1958 under a United Nations agreement. The 22.05 portion here is a reference to the particular regulation that the testing standards are described.
Accepted in 47 countries, this standard is similar to the DOT standard in many ways. For instance, the ECE standard, similar to that in the DOT standard, requires peripheral vision through a 105° from helmet midline. In addition to this, the environmental conditioning of helmets that are to be tested is also needed, similar to the DOT standard. There are certain labelling requirements that are applicable as well.
Snell Memorial Foundation M2010 or Snell Helmet Standard
Formed in 1957, the Snell Memorial Foundation is a non-profit, private organisation aimed at improving helmet safety. Going beyond the government standard-setting approach, it is available for assisting manufacturers with the development of helmets by providing prototype testing.
The DOT and Snell are two of the most common certifications found on most helmets in the United States. Having mentioned that, there are other safety standards like the ECE and Japanese safety standard or JIS, which are meant to meet the requirements of other countries.
Why is Ventilation Important in Helmets?
A properly ventilated helmet enables the air travelling past to channel through its interior portion. This further helps to wick moisture off the rider’s scalp and hair, thereby making one feel more comfortable.
In addition to making one feel significantly comfortable for a long ride, there are several advantages associated with possessing a well-ventilated helmet. Firstly, it helps keep the rider’s head cool when the temperatures are high and one is riding for a long time.
Secondly, helmets do tend to absorb sweat and give off an odour. Options with good ventilation features would prevent that from happening. This would also reduce the number of times it needs to be washed by the user. Thirdly, ventilation to the front portion of a helmet helps in the reduction of misting and keeps the rider’s visor fog-free.
Generally, while pondering over how to select a bike helmet, an important characteristic to consider is its ventilation system. A helmet’s ventilation system is available in various forms, but mostly, they feature air channels that travel the length of its interiors. In addition, some variants also incorporate air flaps, which allow ventilation through the sides and top of a helmet.
Know More about the Prices of Various Helmets
If you are constantly pondering over how to choose a helmet, you can rest assured that you would be able to select variants from all price brackets with the market flooded with numerous helmet brands and variants.
However, one must always draw a comparison between the prices of the leading helmet makers before finally settling down for a purchase.
Listed below is a rough price range of some of the most reputed helmet manufacturers from the different categories:
- Steelbird – From ₹869 to ₹5149
- Studds – From ₹990 to ₹2265
- Vega – From ₹998 to ₹2114
- Steelbird – From ₹899 to ₹9379
- Studds – From ₹915 to ₹1850
- Vega – From ₹890 to ₹1340