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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

So many helmets, so many choices.

Bike Helmets: How to Choose

Few people would choose to ride in a car with no seat belts. So why hop on a bike without a bike helmet?
Helmets simply make sense in all riding conditions. At least 21 states and Washington, D.C., even have laws requiring them.
Here are some tips for choosing a bike helmet model that is well-suited to your needs.

Which Type? Sport, Road or Mountain?

Cycling helmets come in 3 basic styles: sport (also called multi-use), road and mountain. All types are designed to protect a rider's head from impact while being lightweight and comfortable. The differences:
  • Sport (multi-use) helmets ($35-$60): An economical choice for recreational, commuter, road and mountain bikers; also popular with skateboarders and inline skaters.
  • Road bike helmets ($60-$250): Preferred by roadie enthusiasts for their low weight, generous ventilation and aerodynamic design.
  • Mountain bike helmets ($35-$200): Designed to ventilate well at low speeds; distinguished by their visors, enhanced rear-head coverage and a firm, secure fit for tackling rough terrain. Often used by cyclocross riders, too.
Shop REI's selection of bike helmets.

Find the Right Size

A good fit is vital. Multi-use helmets usually offer a single, adjustable size. Most others come in small, medium, large or extended sizes.
To find your size, wrap a flexible tape measure around the largest portion of your head—about 1" above your eyebrows. Or, wrap a string or ribbon around your head, then measure the length of string with a straight-edge ruler or yardstick.
Look for a helmet size that matches your measurement. On REI.com, the size range is listed under the "Specs" tab on each product page.
General sizing parameters for adults:
  • Small: 20"-21.75" (51cm-55cm)
  • Medium: 21.75"-23.25" (55cm-59cm)
  • Large: 23.25"-24.75" (59cm-63cm)
  • Extra-small, extra-large: Below 20" (51cm), above 24.75 (63cm)
  • One size fits all (men): 21.25"-24" (54cm-61cm)
  • One size fits all (women): 19.75"-22.5" (50cm-57cm)
Most kids' helmets are one-size-fits-all with a range of 18"-22.5" (46cm-57cm). Some adults with smaller heads can wear these comfortably.
Between sizes? Opt for the smaller size.
For the complete article, click here.

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