The helmet for bicycle represents a real guarantee for the safety of those who go on two wheels, extremely vulnerable category of road users. This guide describes the security and design features to look for in a bicycle helmet at the time of purchase.
Types of bicycle helmets
The bike helmet is a protective device that provides support and protection to the head in the event of accidents or falls. There are two main types: “banded helmets” and helmets “bowl”. Helmets “banded” consist of a series of curved elements ranging from the nape to the front, welded together to form a durable yet lightweight and support that let the air circulate.
The “bowl” helmets are made of a single piece completely surrounding the skullcap, and may have different forms. Very popular are those of the form roughly hemispherical shaped like real protective shells, and those that have an elongation in the back that allows for better aerodynamics. The latter resemble helmets used by professional cyclists and particularly by the sprinter, and have a good air penetration coefficient.
Helmets “bowl” can have a shell of variable thickness and strength, ranging from helmets with microguscio, lighter and generally a little less resistant to those with hard shell that offer the best safety performance in the face of greater size and weight.
Another category of bicycle helmets is represented by those styles destined to those who go mountain biking on trails gravel roads, or practice the disciplines of freeride or downhill. It is in this case extremely durable helmet with chin strap and visor to ensure effective protection of the face, with a highly durable and robust (like, for instance, to helmets used by practitioners of motocross). This last category probably won’t affect most consumers will opt for more manageable and practical models for everyday life.
Bicycle helmets are made of lightweight materials but extremely durable; these accessories are mainly polystyrene, thermoplastic materials (polycarbonate, ABS…) or in composite materials such as fibreglass, kevlar or carbon. The latter are quite expensive, but much more resistant and lightweight.
Bicycle helmet safety
The bike helmet is of paramount importance to the safety of people used to ride my bicycle, whether professional cyclists that of amateurs or those who use this ecological means simply to get to work or for leisure.
The first step in promoting the safety of bicycle users came from the UCI (International Cycling Union), which several years ago made mandatory the use of the helmet during all sporting competitions on two wheels. This arrangement was soon transposed also by the European Union which, in 1997, issued the directive EN 1078 (amended in 2006) in order to regulate the approval of helmets for cycling.
Also in Italy, in recent years, there has been an increasing focus on the safety of road users on two wheels. Through awareness-raising and information campaigns, much has been done to persuade cyclists to wear a helmet, even if only for short trips. Especially in the cities, people travelling by bicycle should be aware of falling back into a high risk category: it is estimated that, pedaling through the streets, every day a cyclist in Italy loses his life, and at least 40 have to resort to emergency care due to falls or accidents.
It is thus not by chance that, in the latest proposal to reform the rules of the road, was also included the obligation for all cyclists to wear a helmet, just like for two-wheeled vehicles. Subsequently, this proposal was amended by narrowing the only obligatory use of helmets for cyclists under the age of 14 years.
Choosing a helmet to the bike must be carefully thought out, since these accessories for cycling are a real guarantee on life that, in the unfortunate event of an accident or fall, can really make a difference.
There are numerous types of helmets for cycling and it is not improbable, if you are not experienced in this area, end up “getting lost” in this vast world. You can choose between very different styles of helmets colors and shades are extremely variable, with holes for ventilation more or less abundant and variously distributed on the surface. No doubt the aesthetic factor is important when choosing a helmet, but we must also consider the safety features of the product, its weight and bulk, not forgetting to evaluate the material with which it is produced.