“I’m Not Lance Armstrong; Why Do I Need a Good Helmet”
First of all, it’s a good thing you’re not Lance Armstrong. Word on the street is he has been going through a tough time with his revoked tour wins, lawsuits and what not. So, while you may not be Lance Armstrong, everyone not only needs a good helmet, but also needs to know what makes a good helmet: Fit, ventilation and application are only some of the things to take in account when purchasing a new helmet. Hopefully, this article helps. I am also willing to help Lance too, if he needs it, but I can’t offer any legal advice.
“To Wear or Not to Wear, That is the Question”
Let me just get this out of the way: everyone needs a helmet. They are a lot less expensive than a hospital visit (insert Obama-Care joke here.) If you are concerned about looking “cool,” I would stop to consider if football players ever wonder if they look cool before other two-twenty plus pound men smash into them. I would bet they are probably more worried about brain damage. If they’re not, they (and you) would do well to start.
As far as protection goes, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) approves all helmets manufactured or imported to the United States. Companies such as Trek, Specialized and Giant all do rigorous testing on their helmets for safety. In other words, be safe and wear one.
“Guys, You Have Been Lied to: Size Does Matter”
When has anyone seriously benefitted from something called “One Size Fits All?” That sounds like a phrase “Mad Men’s” Don Draper pitched to a company to cut manufacturing costs in the ‘60’s. Lower-end helmets usually subscribe to the “One Size Fits All” mentality. I always suggest trying on different helmet shell sizes before you buy. Different companies and models all have different shell fits. See which one works best for you.
“I’ll Take the White Helmet; It Will be Cooler in The Summer”
Ventilation is what makes a helmet cool (as in temperature, not like The Fonz.) That is why if you have a well-vented black helmet, it will feel cooler on your head than a white helmet with fewer vents. So, the above quote; not true at all. I’ve always preferred the Johnny Cash “Man in Black” look myself, but at least now you know you’re not limited to color choice to keep your head cool.
“A Good Retention Strap is Hard to Find”
Who wants to be messing with a retention strap while trying beat your buddy’s top descent time on Strava (you know who you are.) Gone are the days where your only option was buying a helmet where you have to keep adding or subtracting padding until it fits your pea or beach ball sized head. Most companies have moved to different retention straps to dial in the perfect fit for your head. Higher end helmets generally have better, more comfortable retention straps that help to stay on your head.
“What Kind of Helmet Should I Get”
If you are a roadie, get a road helmet. They are lighter and usually more vented then their mountain counter parts. If you are pulling cactus needles out of your legs regularly, get a mountain helmet (or stop picking fights with cacti.) Mountain helmets have more protection on the sides and back of the head. These are just two of several uses not including triathlon, downhill, and BMX among others.
Remember, you can always come into any of the shops if you have any questions over which style or fit will suit you the best. I personally use my road for everything (heresy, I know!)
“This is the End”
Hope this helps with your helmet hunting. This is the helmet I currently own. Come to the shop and ask me why I like it. Just don’t get the same color as me, please. I like to feel special.