Why a proper fit helmet from a professional is important
Your new bike is ready for its maiden voyage. You have everything perfect. The right ride setup with the right people. Today is going to be epic. This isn’t the time when most riders think about their helmet.
That is a problem in the cycling community, oftentimes we make do with the protective equipment that we have instead choosing to upgrade for style and performance. With that increased performance potential, you need improved protection.
Helmets are often an afterthought. After spending thousands of dollars on a new bike purchase it is easy to try to save money where you can. When I think about helmets though, I’m always reminded of what the oldtimers would tell me about riding motorcycles in my youth. “If you’ve got a $10- head then you can wear any helmet, but if you value your brain you’re going to need to spend some money.” Prophetic words that have proven true and saved my life multiple times. Turns out those old timers were onto something.
Like shoes, helmets are made for a shape. In this case the head. Heads come in all shapes and sizes, and thankfully helmets do too. If you have the wrong helmet for your head or your riding style the results can be catastrophic.
Proper helmet fit is essential for it to protect you as designed. Most bike helmets are made to live through one serious crash ONLY! When they have been damaged they need to be disposed of as the foam structure can be damaged even if you cannot find it on inspection. Once the foam structure is compromised, the helmet is no longer safe.
Bike shop professionals can assist you in the process of finding a helmet that will fit your head type, and provide you with the protection that you need for your riding style. With technology constantly improving protection and performance, they can also educate you about new options on the market.
If you have already had your helmet fit to you by a bike shop professional and you don’t know if a new helmet would benefit you yet, then ask. Your local bike shop professional is there to help you get the most out of your ride. Helping their customers to ride safely and stay healthy is their concern. Even if you didn’t buy your helmet there, many bike shops will still inspect your helmet to ensure it is right for you, and if not assist you in finding what you need.
Helping everyone is a great way to build community and create new customers. Local Bike Shops know this as well as any business, and have the added benefit of being a fountain of knowledge about local riding and riders.
Need a helmet with MIPS? Not sure if your cross country helmet will cut it at the local lift assisted mountain? Having trouble finding a helmet that doesn’t seem to rub your head wrong on long rides? These are all questions that you are going to find lots of opinions about online. While it may be tempting to take the advice of an anonymous person online if it supports you saving a few bucks, those potential savings come with risk. If that risk is the health and safety of your brain, maybe you should think twice before clicking on Buy Now.
This isn’t a blog post about economics and the importance of the Local Bike Shop. Many riders have already made up their mind about how and where they are going to spend their money. Playing it smart isn’t always about finding the best deal, or the cheapest NOS helmet. Making sure that your brain is outfitted with the best possible safety equipment for your riding style is pretty smart in my book. In any sport we have to trust the professionals and prepare for the worst so we can perform our best.
In case you are wondering, MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System. It has been proven to reduce brain trauma by decoupling rotational forces on impact. Sounds trick? Maybe it is time you talked to your LBS professional. They would be happy to help you find the helmet that best fits your unique riding personality. Keeping you safe, keeps our riding community strong.