Are Some Bike Helmets Safer Than Others?

Mountain bikes go with helmets. You don’t just ride your bike even immediately without wearing safety gear.

Note that mountain biking comes with many risks and dangers, and it’s important that you do your best to ensure utmost safety so that you can enjoy the outdoors and get home in one piece.

You might have also noticed that there are many bike helmets you can choose from in the market. It’s confusing to choose which one’s the best, right?

Well, that’s true. But the first thing you should always consider when buying one is to ensure its safety features.

That’s what this article will dive deep into as we are going to discuss the things that will affect the safety of bike helmets.

We are also going to answer some of the most frequently asked questions so that you can have a clearer understanding of bike helmets.

What are the features that affect bike safety

MIPS

MIPS is an acronym for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. This is one of the most popular top features that premium mountain bike helmets have these days.

What is great about this is that it ensures that your head won’t move during impact on crashes and falls. What happens instead is that it allows your helmet to move by absorbing the vibration and impact from the ground.

This has already saved countless lives around the globe. It is also scientifically proven to be effective in lowering the damages you might get if you were to use a different kind of helmet that doesn’t have MIPS.

Exhaust vents

Exhaust vents are another important factor that affects safety. Although it is better to have as many vents as possible if you want to ensure utmost breathability or if you want to stay cool at all times.

Having many vents do have some serious drawbacks. One of which is that it provides a larger exposure to your head. This means that branches, twigs, or other debris can hit your head and enter your helmet.

Although this doesn’t happen most of the time, there are some instances that it has. Just weigh things out and balance breathability and protection.

Visor

The visor also affects the safety rating of your bike helmet. Make sure that the helmet you are choosing has a bendable visor.

Premium helmets today also have a breakaway feature where it breaks off from your main helmet body upon impact. This lowers the vibration you absorb on your head because it cuts its connection to the body.

The visor of a bike helmet can also do a great job in protecting your face because it protrudes from your head. This is very effective on face plants because your skin’s face doesn’t directly come in contact with the ground.

Chin guard

The chin guard is a vital part of full-face helmets. Chin guards protect your jaw and prevent any serious damages, such as broken jaws and dislocated chin.

However, this is more than just about protection, but this is also where breathability depends on. The Virginia tech helmet lab is among the few companies out there that ensure highway safety for bicycle helmets and cycling helmet in general.

Virginia tech helmet lab does this in hopes of lowering the cases of head injuries and bicycle crashes annually, knowing that head injury is the main cause of serious health conditions among cyclists.

Choose one that has breathable vents on the chin guard, especially if you are into enduro mountain biking. You need to be capable of easily breathing air so that your lungs won’t collapse on high-speed sections and steep uphills.

Strap

The bike helmet strap is what keeps your helmet to your head, so make sure that it does a great job of sticking to one another. This means that they should not have any loose ends. They shouldn’t also disconnect easily without your action because this can pose a serious risk to the rider.

There are also two main kinds of straps. There are the traditional buckle straps where you just have to push them into one another. And then there are the new magnetic straps, such as Fidlock.

Most premium bike helmets today have a Fidlock strap that automatically sticks to each other on both sides.

You don’t have to worry, though, about security because these are ensured to stay connected at all times, which is ideal for trail and highway safety. It’s even already used in global international races, proving its reliability.

Note that you always need to wear helmets with high helmet ratings to prevent brain injury, skull fracture, and other cycling injuries. You can avoid all these when wearing a helmet with high safety ratings, such as the bern watts no helmets.

Liner foam

The liner foam is another factor affecting safety. This should be effective in absorbing sweat so that the helmet won’t slide off your head and face and get dislodged. There are already many sweat-wicking liner foams out there.

Another thing to remember when choosing a helmet is to choose one that has an extra liner foam padding, like the ones you find in youth helmets. It’s also much better if there is another size available so you get the right fit for your head.

Shape

The shape of the helmet says a lot about how it is going to protect your head. We recommend that you choose one that has an elongated and protruding shape so that it can better protect your face if ever you fall to the ground.

It’s better to have a wider distance from your face to the ground. It’s also best if you choose a helmet that has a slender shape at the bottom because this makes it lighter on your head.

It also lessens the stress placed on your neck, which lowers down the chances of injury. The shape is one of the top considerations that the consumer product safety commission and many insurance institute organizations factor in.

An insurance institute, as well as Virginia tech, also ensures that helmet wearing is highly required for cyclists to lessen the severity of injuries.

Related: What Makes a Good Mountain Bike Helmet?

Budget Helmets vs Premium Helmets: Which is Better?

It is better if you choose premium helmets because these are ensured to be made from high-quality materials. You are also assured that it went through many stress tests that prove it can withstand strong impacts.

You might think that you have saved a lot of money by buying a budget helmet. But in reality, you are not.

In fact, you’re just wasting money because these helmets don’t last long. In fact, they can easily get damaged. This then means that you need to buy a new one. Not to mention that you’re putting your life in danger.

Hence, many professional cyclists, including insurance and safety companies like Virginia tech, strongly believe that premium helmets are the way to go if you want to ensure safe cycling.

Related: How Much Should I Spend on a Mountain Bike Helmet?

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AUTHOR
Jomar Teves
A writer by day, a tech enthusiast by night, and a mountain biker at the weekends. After four years in business school and working for multinational clients, Jomar believes he can improve the world through his writings. Jomar has six years of experience as a writer and has a degree in entrepreneurial marketing. Some of his works have been published on Blokt, Clutch Points, and iTech.