Helmet & Lights - The Dynamic Duo
When you're about to ride your new bicycle for the first time, you should consider getting some apparel and gear that will not only bring you comfort but also keep you safe. First things first, and buying the perfect bicycle helmet should be the very first thing you do after buying your bicycle.
When buying a helmet there're a few things to pay attention to:
Certification markings: Look for the certification mark of an accredited certification & testing organization such as the CSA (Canada) or CPSC (USA) to be sure it meets the applicable standard for safety and performance.
Fit: Proper fit is essential for safety. Everyone’s head it shaped differently so try on different helmets until you find one that is comfortable. It important that you pick one that fits comfortably and snugly.
Attachment system: Front and rear straps should meet just below each ear when tightly adjusted. The chin straps should be snug without pinching.
Stability: When the straps and comfort pads are adjusted, the helmet should not move forward, backward or come off. It should sit level on the head and extend down to about 3-cm above the eyebrows. When you are done adjusting your helmet shake your head to make sure that it does not bounce around. It is one of the most important items that you can purchase and the goal is to protect your head and in turn prevent brain injury.
Ventilation: Look for vents that allow heat to escape, providing coolness and perspiration control.
Eye care: Visors provide cyclists with additional protection from the sun and rain.
Visibility: Brightly colored helmets and reflective strips make the rider more visible in traffic.
Replacement: Bike helmets act as shock absorbers, protecting the head by cushioning the impact. The helmet is not designed for multiple impacts. Replace a helmet after it has been in a crash.
Reputable brands: Be wary of potentially counterfeit helmets. Tips an item may be a fake, include products priced well below market value or items that have spelling mistakes, poor graphics, or missing contact information.
Where to buy: Good deals on bike helmets can be found online as well as offline, but if you're new to biking and you're buying your first helmet or if you are looking to upgrade to a better model, it's the best to visit your local bike shop, if they have a large selection of bike helmets. If they don't, find one that does.
Getting good advice and trying on various helmets are important because if you don't have a very comfortable fit when wearing the helmet, chances are you will not use it every time you go biking.
Follow these simple tips and you too can enjoy cycling for life!