When cycling, your helmet is an absolute must for safety. Particularly so for mountain bikers tackling rugged terrain!
You should base your choice of cycling helmet on 2 criteria: your usage and your head size.
Helmet Based on Usage
There are different kinds of helmet depending on the kind of cycling you do: city, countryside, all terrain or road. Each discipline has its own kind of helmet.
All helmets comply with the same safety requirements to guarantee the same level of protection.
CITY OR HYBRID BIKES HELMETS - May be more suited to being stored in a basket or on your handlebars as it is likely to be made from ABS, a sturdy plastic that means the helmet can be used often. Certain helmets also have a place for attaching a VIOO Clip, a small light that shows other road users where you are.
ROAD BIKES HELMETS - Will be lighter, well ventilated and well fitting. The very best helmets are the ones with the best balance of these three criteria (the helmet may be slightly lighter if it doesn't have many options for holding it in place).
The number of vents isn't the only factor to take into account: they also need to be carefully located
KIDS HELMETS - Will be suitable for all children up to the age of about nine. From the age of 10, an adult helmet will be needed.
Cycling helmets for kids aged 1 to 3 are more compact and shorter at the back, which makes them more suitable for child seats. This type of helmet can also be used by children riding a balance bike.
From 3 to 9 years, kids' helmets resemble adult helmets. It's best to get a helmet with an adjustment wheel at the back so that you can achieve the best possible fit on your child's head.
MOUNTAIN BIKES HELMETS - Has the same characteristics as a road cycling helmet. There are however a few additional requirements: it needs to cover your whole head in order to protect you from branches and any falls, as the risk of taking a tumble is much greater in this discipline.
A visor will also protect you from mud
Your Head Size
Your helmet needs to be the right size for both comfort and for effectiveness in the event of an accident. It's not rocket science - you need to measure your head size.
But whatever the measurement, you should always try on your helmet before buying! Everyone's head is different and the type of helmet (longer, rounder, more curved, etc.) will affect how comfy you feel. This is why, if it's a better fit, it might be best to get a helmet that isn't necessarily the usual style for the kind of activity you are doing.
ADJUSTMENT - Adjusting your helmet correctly will make it more comfortable.
If you want your helmet to be a good fit, use the adjustment wheel at the back of the helmet, if you have one.
DIVIDERS - You should also think about the dividers (on the straps by your neck). When correctly adjusted, they will stop your helmet from moving about.
SIZE - Your cycling shop probably has a measuring device for you to use but, if not, measure your head size or your child's at home using a flexible tape measure. This measurement will tell you whether you need to look at S, M or L helmets (you'll find size charts in your local store).