How to Choose the Safest Helmet
Motorsport is certainly one of the most adventurous activities. No mater if it’s a sports bike, cruiser or any other automotive, riding on two wheels provides a phenomenal experience that provides utmost enjoyment and satisfaction. However, before getting into the traffics with cars or planning for a getaway weekend excursion on the backcountry roads, it is of immense importance that you invest in some essential equipment, the riding gear.
Body protection is vital when riding on your sports bike. That said, nothing could be more important than a helmet. So to say, a helmet is a must have and necessary part of any driver’s gear. Simultaneously, finding the best helmet is quite daunting. This is due to the myriad of options available out there. Therefore, trying to choose the perfect one can be tricky.
To begin, there are many factors to keep in mind when searching for the perfect helmet. Some of the primary considerations include, but are not limited to brand, price, safety certification, shelf life and the type of racing you plan to engage in among other factors. A careful, cautious and prudent choice ascertains the best and perfect helmet.
Picking the Best Helmet – Factors To Consider
As mentioned before, there are several factors to consider when searching for a helmet. They include:
What the helmet will be used for
Many people purchase helmets for varying reasons and at different stages. Therefore, you should ascertain that you understand the primary goal why you need the helmet. For instance, beginners should desist from high-end and expensive helmets loaded with endless features. Amateurs should get off the ground by adapting to the bike first. After which, you can decide whether riding on two wheels is your thing or not.
For individuals whose riding is every day’s transportation as they commute to work or take regular weekend trips, high-end helmets are a perfect choice. The helmet should be more comfortable, reduce wind noise and offer better dynamics. If you plan on joining a group of riders, a helmet with enhanced communication medium is essential. This is because communication during group riding is a key element.
As mentioned before, there are various helmet options to choose from. Each helmet presents varying features. Some of the crucial features to look into include the following:
- Helmet weight. A majority of helmets range typically between 1400 to 1800 grams. A properly fitting helmet should have its weight properly distributed around the head and shoulders. To mention, having a helmet with its center of gravity off can result in imbalances resulting in neck strain as it may feel heavier on one side.
- Helmet construction. The materials that make up the helmet influence several factors including its weight, safety rating, and comfort. Fiberglass, polycarbonate and carbon fiber just to mention, are some of the common materials used to make helmets.
- Optional features. Current innovations have led to the development of helmets with various technological advances. Some of the optional features to look out for include an integrated sunshade, communication provisions and wind reduction measures serving to enhance your riding experience.
Helmet safety ratings
The safety ratings of any helmet are hugely dependent on its certifications. Based on the type of racing you plan to engage in, you should find a helmet of a specific certification. This is because the environments and types of crash situations differ with different races.
Due to this, sanction bodies have established specific certifications for helmets. Some of the recognized certifications to note include the following:
- The DOT – established by the Department of Transportation in the United States which sets a minimum level of protection for helmets.
- The ECE22.02 – it sets standards for protection for Europe based helmets.
- The Snell2010 – was established after the death of a sports car racer from head injuries among other certifications.
Always ensure that you purchase a safe helmet to ascertain safety in case of a crash.
The helmet size and shape
Ascertaining that your helmet is perfect regarding its size and shape is of immense importance. A perfectly fitting helmet plays a major role in protecting head injuries during an accident. It not only contributes to safety but also enhance the overall comfort.
That said, the first step should be determining the helmet size. Doing this is quite easy. Begin by wrapping a measuring tape around your head. Ensure the tape is above your eyebrows, ears and at the largest point at the back of the head.
Proceed by comparing your head size with your preferred helmet. You should also remember to try the helmet before purchasing it. Note that a properly fitting helmet may not fit with ease initially but will loosen with time. If slightly big, check the pads that allow for adjustment.
Concerning the shape, determine your head shape before engaging in the search process. Head shape is of immense importance as head size. Manufacturers include three common head shapes when manufacturing helmets. Long oval shape, intermediate oval, and the round oval are the common head shapes and helmets available.
Your type of bike
Surprisingly enough, the type of bike you ride can guide you on helmet choice. Just to mention, some of the common bike types associated with specific helmet types include the following:
- Adventure touring. Riders of this bike prefer modular helmets as they allow riders to raise the face shield.
- Cruiser. Breeze styles are better enjoyed with a half shell helmet.
- Old school bike. An open face helmet offers more protection compared to half shell helmet for old school riders.
- Sportbike. Full face helmets are a routine for sportbike riders. Reason being that they offer elite protection ascertained by a solid chin bar and a flip-up shield.
To many, this should be one of the first considerations when searching for a helmet. However, price doesn’t directly translate to a better helmet.
Price is dependent on the material used in its construction. Therefore, you should not base your choice on price. For instance, carbon fiber helmets cost more compared to polycarbonate helmets.
Choosing the suitable and safest helmet is a matter of serious concern. It requires an in-depth consideration of a myriad of factors. Besides the crucial factors mentioned above, helmet design should also be looked into.
This incorporates the field of vision, the internal lining, ventilation and face shield material.