How To Choose The Right Helmet: Dummy’s Guide
First time hitting the street on a two wheeler? Suddenly, even that Mini Cooper looks like it could do you some serious damage. After all, its driver is sitting in a metal box. While you chose to go for convenience and speed and…well, trouble. Or are you throwing caution to the winds and getting some track action. You could be graduating the sucky school of dubious riding and hitting dirt tracks. Mysterious motorcycle men would be stuff of normal life and metal chain wielding tough guys would be seen frequenting your neighborhood. You could be motorcycle veteran but what does your helmet tell you? Does it say you are a dummy? If it does, then the opinion is probably coming out of its flimsy visor that smashes into smithereens faster than Charlie Brown’s heart. So which is the right helmet for you? Read on to find out.
TYPE OF THE HELMET
A full helmet may feel a bit too much to a beginner who is not used to having their heads covered with a giant globe. An open face or a three quarter helmet safeguards your noggin without checking out important things like catching a quick bite or redoing your makeup. Also for daily commuters, these helmets that are much lighter owing to absence of visor and China. There is the ever-present danger that a flying bug might find lodgings inside your mouth. Such riders are also prone to more facial injuries in a crash. For daily commute, you may resort to wearing goggles for faring better with wind related elements.
To a commoner, why would a helmet be anything but. The whole point of having one is to protect the whole deal, eyes, nose and brains included. The modern design of full face helmets take into account the weight, comfort, visibility, and aerodynamic profile. The helmets are essentially made to feel like they don’t exist over your head, all the while protecting your head from ninja style destruction.
These lids cover the head to offer a quiet environment over a ride without tuning down important sounds like horns and close vehicles. Safety does the steering of the architecture here. Wind resistance causes the helmet to rock causing strain at the neck.
An un-funny tub for your head, if ever there was. This “shorty” is convenient but just about an excuse for helmet. It protects only the top of your head from impact. It is the beginner’s step for helmet haters. Wind rocking problem disappears with the absence of chinbar and shell on the back of the neck. But wind, rain, bugs, grime all are party to your face.
This is a labor of love for helmet wearers who have money to shell out and convenience to consider. These flip-up helmets are as convertible as a Camaro and essentially offer the same option. The chinbar and visor part can be pivoted upward to give you a three quarter helmet experience. There has been a debate about how safe are these movable helmets. Some people argue that they are as good as full face helmets. DOT does not test for chinbar strength so that hasn’t been certified. Communication and avoiding it too become easy.
There are thrilling motorcycle sports that require helmets to take a different approach on their blueprints. Now that roads and streets are common amenities, riding off track has become the novelty. Motocross helmets have a chinbar that juts out and may be devoid of a visor to deal with off-road challenges. Off road racing needs unhindered peripheral vision. So visors become superfluous. These helmets have a stronghold on expelling hot air. But wind buffeting is not remedied as much as street helmets.
Dual Sport Helmet
These helmets combine street and motocross helmets into one. They look very similar to full-face helmets but sturdiness matches off-track helmets. They are characterized by closable vents.
Head shape differs amongst people. Some have round heads, some have oval. The best way to identify the shape of your head is to check in the mirror or have your loved one look at it from the top (they would have to really love you for that). Round and intermediate oval are the most common shapes for helmet.
The right helmet must fit like a glove. It must be snug. Cheek pads are detachable and interchangeable in many brands. If they are too thick, switch them out for more acceptable thickness. Once you fasten the chinstrap, the helmet must not have room to slip from its position.
If you commute frequently, you want to consider a hi-viz helmet done in gaudy Day-Glo colors. It makes the rider more noticeable in the crowd. For those of you, who fancy themselves as classy, check out matte black or fiery graphics.
Also check out our best helmet guide for more on helmet buying tutorials.