It’s smaller than a breadbox, but can keep your brain from turning into mashed potatoes in the event of an accident–the bicycle helmet. First, let’s start with the proper fit and features of a safe helmet when buying one.
The helmet should fit snugly, but not be tight. There shouldn’t be more than one inch of movement in any direction, and it shouldn’t pull off, no matter how hard you try. (I bet THAT would be entertaining for onlookers to watch.) It should cover the top of your forehead without tilting forward or backward. Fasten the chin strap below your chin–not along your jaw. A smooth shell helps the helmet skid easily on rough pavement to avoid jerking your neck. “Cool looking” helmets may be a gimmick, so stay away from sharp ribs or snap points. Excessive vents mean less protection. The “aero” helmet, (the ones with the ‘tail’) are NOT noticeably faster and could snag or knock the helmet aside and cause injury. Next, there are organizations that rate helmet safety, so look for stickers from: the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), or Snell Memorial Foundation.
When should you replace a helmet? Good question. Always, ALWAYS replace a helmet after a crash. Impact damage may not be visible. Most manufacturers recommend replacement after five years, but that depends on usage and reasonable care. So, if your helmet comes with an owner’s manual, read it. (I know, I know…it’s boring.) If your helmet was made before 1990, it’s recommended that you replace it, no matter what its condition.
How do you care for your helmet? Another good question. Avoid using chemical solvents for cleaning. Using a soft cloth or sponge with mild soap and water does a great job. Get this one…DO NOT store your helmet in an attic, garage, car trunk, or other areas where heat can accumulate. High temperatures can cause bubbles to form on helmet parts, so you shouldn’t use them if bubbles are visible. Don’t lend your helmet to others. Even though you might trust the borrower, you don’t know what kind of treatment it will get while in their care.
So, save the mashed potatoes for dinner and keep your noggin safe and secure with a helmet that’s specifically made for you and your family’s safety.
Categories: Bike Rack Accessories