The context. The bicycle helmet is compulsory for children up to 12 years old. It is optional for adults. However, it is strongly recommended to wear one for sports practice due to the frequency of falls (mountain biking) or the speed (road trips, competition). For daily trips, especially in urban areas, the wearing of helmets is the subject of debate. The helmet would be useful in the event of a low-speed fall without a collision, whether with a conventional bicycle or an” electric bicycle ” . This often happens when you avoid a pedestrian at the last moment, or take a curb. In the event of a collision with a car, the protection provided by the helmet does not seem to match the severity of the impact.
What is a bicycle helmet made of?
A helmet consists of a one-piece outer shell, most often made of PVC. It can be made of poly carbonate, which is lighter but also more expensive. The inner shell is the most important element because it absorbs shock. It is made of polystyrene. Some models also incorporate MIPS technology: it is a plastic coating supposed to provide additional protection by absorbing the rotational forces exerted on the head during an impact.
How to choose your bicycle helmet?
It makes no sense to buy on the Internet without trying the model. You must go to the store to choose the right size bicycle helmet. We must therefore first find a brand that offers choice, which is not easy … The helmet must fit the shape of the skull without tightening. After adjusting the helmet using the dial on the back of the helmet, shake your head to check that it does not move. Make sure the straps adjust easily. The helmet should be easy to put on and adjust, otherwise you risk leaving it behind. Comfort is important. If you ride a lot in hot weather, helmets with vents will provide welcome ventilation. Those with little or none, such as helmets also intended for skateboarding, may be difficult to bear.
Apart from basic safety and comfort, some helmets include lighting, or even flashing lights to indicate a change of direction! This equipment entails an additional cost, and does not exempt from ensuring the correct regulatory lighting of the bicycle. A visor can be useful to protect from the sun and insects. Rain covers are sometimes delivered with the helmet: useful for cyclists who go out in all weathers!
There are folding helmets, which are more convenient to carry. We have also tested in the past a model of inflatable helmet, which is worn folded up at the neck and deploys in the event of an impact. Please note, these helmets are not designed like conventional helmets and do not necessarily provide the same protection.