‘A guide to buying the best helmet for your noggin’
When we talk helmets there are 3 types of consumers:
- Those who only care about the price
- Those who don’t care as long as the helmet looks good and
- Those who want the most expensive helmet with more safety features than a late 90’s Volvo.
The question is, what does this mean for you next time you’re looking for a new skid lid?
Not much to be honest but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be still paying attention; it could save your life.
Helmets come in all shapes and sizes and everyone prefers a certain fit. One of the most important factors when purchasing a new helmet is comfort and coverage. No one wants to be itching their head every few hundred meters, so make sure you’re getting something with a bit of ventilation.
You’ll find the lower priced helmets often don’t allow for much air flow. The reason behind this is “Foam density.” Many helmet companies use lower density foam in their budget helmets to keep prices down. This means they need to use more material to pass the safety standards thus leaving less room for air vents and reduced air flow.
The flipside to this is too much air flow and if you have one of these once winter rolls around you may find your super “cool” helmet is a little too cool. We can help you combat that by providing you with under helmet garments skull caps or cycling hats.
Some companies do offer a helmet option with adjustable airflow that you can change on the fly. However, these helmets throw cost-effectiveness out the window.
Price vs safety, where do you draw the line? It’s true a $50.00 helmet passes the same standards as $500.00 helmet… but does it exceed those standards?
Let’s look at what it means when a helmet exceeds the safety standards and what you should be looking for:
- Does the helmet offer any form of anti-rotational brain injury system? These systems are not required to pass the standards test but they provide the most effective form of serious brain injury protection. MIPS is the most common, but you’ll also find a host of other versions that offer similar protection. These systems are based around mimicking what happens when you knock your head. The inner helmet section rotates slightly when impacted to relieve pressure on your brain doing all the work. MIPS is proven to reduce brain injuries and it could mean the difference between walking away from a crash or simply surviving a crash.
- Helmet composition is our second point of interest. We touched on it briefly earlier but here’s a more in-depth analysis. Many people don’t realize that high end helmets use multiple layers or various foam densities. They provide protection on different levels and allow a helmet to move in certain areas and protect in others. These foam layers much like a crumple zone on modern cars, allow the helmet to bend so it doesn’t break. Picture a helmet made of concrete, while it will be exceptionally hard and resistant to breaking, your head would turn to mush inside it in the event of a crash. Therefore, we want a combination of hard and soft foam in your new helmet choice. Each brand will market this differently but always look for dual or multiple densities when purchasing.
- Finally, lets talk technology. Did you know some helmets will alert your loved ones via TXT msg if you fall off? There are also helmets that you can inflate internally to remove them from your head comfortably. This reduces your chance of neck injury after you’ve already taken a spill. These safety features while great, also add excessive price to helmets. Putting them in the realm where not everyone can afford them.
What does this all mean? Well to put it simply, don’t skimp out on the brain bucket you choose.
You only get one head and it only takes a split second for a crash to change someone’s life forever.
We recommend talking to your local bike shop.
The Angry Butcher recommends getting a helmet the covers the following;
- MIPS or relevant alternative. Your brain will thank us!
- Dual density foam. Remember no one wants a concrete helmet.
- Something Comfy. It’s going to be on your head a lot, make sure it feels nice.
- Get something pretty. Helmets can look good, don’t be afraid to try on every helmet in the store to make sure you feel good in it.