We’ve all made the excuses on why not to strap the helmet on.
“It looks stupid.”
“It will mess up my hair”
“It smells bad.”
“I’m just going down the street.”
This may seem like a valid excuse at the moment, but we have to recognize them for what they are… Excuses. I will try not to turn the blog into a scared straight program, but here’s a terrible statistic from the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute to motivate you to protect yourself:
In 2009, there were 573 cycling fatalities. Of the 573, 91% were not wearing a helmet. To me, that’s frightening. So even if you’re rolling down the street while your toddler wobbles back and forth on his training wheels, consider putting that helmet on.
There are other factors in how well your head is protected while cycling. It is important to make sure the helmet fits properly. This means that it’s not sitting on the back of your head, is not too loose, and is buckled correctly. Refer to this guide if you have questions:
Another issue to keep in mind is the manufacture date of your helmet. Inside each helmet there should be a small sticker indicating the date that it was manufactured. Now here’s the controversy. If you were to perform a google search on how often to replace your bike helmet, you will find many opinions about how the Styrofoam in helmets will start to degrade in a certain amount of time. According to the Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute, there is no exact amount of time a helmet is good for, however most manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every 3-5 years. If you use your helmet a lot, start looking for a new one a little closer to the 3 year mark, if it sits in a climate controlled environment away from UV light most of the time, the lifespan will be a bit longer. UV and sweat are factors that add to the Styrofoam breaking down. Make sure you inspect your helmet regularly for cracks caused by accidental drops or storage.
If you’re unsure of how old your helmet is, bring it in and we will help you determine the age and safety. We can also recommend specific helmets to you for your riding style. Here are some examples of differing helmet styles available at Marty’s Reliable Cycle.
Kask “Mojito” Helmet. A low profile, yet fairly traditional road style helmet. Excellent ventilation and adjustability. Perfect for the well rounded cyclist who likes to ride on the road or trails. This is the helmet I personally use, and I love it. MSRP $199
Specialized “S3” This can double as an XC mountain bike helmet or a road helmet with a detachable visor. Amazing ventilation on the trail or in the paceline. MSRP $160
Giro “Air Attack.” This is for the rider interested in saving watts and shaving seconds. The Air Attack is designed to be very aerodynamic and comes with an optional magnetic eye glass shield. MSRP $199
Marty does some modeling on the side…
Mountain Specific Helmet
Bell “Super” This is an All Mountain style helmet with additional coverage at the back of the head. A large visor will keep the sun and elements out of your face while you fly down the trail. It also comes with a permanent GoPro mount to record gnarly footage. MSRP $125
Whatever your budget, style, or head size is, we can recommend a safe helmet that fits properly. The rest is up to you.
P.S. Don’t forget to sign up for the Lewis Morris Challenge