The bike is a great vehicle: it provides freedom and exercise, and it is also often the fastest way to get around town. At the same time, cyclists are exposed and unprotected, and if you have an electric bike, it is easy to reach high speeds. Wearing a helmet is a simple precaution in the event of an accident. There are many cycling helmets for women to choose from – which is the best for you depends on how and where you ride. Below, we go through some things to consider when choosing a bike helmet.
No, even if modern brain research does indeed show that there are clear anatomical differences between women and men – both in terms of how the brain works and the shape of the head.
The simple answer is that it depends. Start by thinking about what kind of cycling you mainly do. Do you use your bike as a means of daily transport for grocery shopping and commuting to work? Do you ride for exercise, such as road biking or racing – or do you compete and have high ambitions? Maybe you ride MTB, downhill, or BMX? No matter what kind of cyclist you are, there is a helmet designed for your specific type of cycling. Some helmets are designed to contribute to higher performance, while others focus on comfort and convenience. The type of cycling you do should influence your choice of helmet.
For a bike helmet it is vital that it fits well. It is not uncommon to see cyclists with their helmets pushed far back on their heads. This may feel airy and comfortable, but at the cost of less protection. In a collision on a bike, you often continue forward, which is why your helmet should fit to protect the forehead. The chinstrap should be tight enough to feel the helmet move a little when you frown, but not so tight that you can’t fit two fingers between the chin and buckle without it being too tight.
Start by defining what type of road cycling you do: do you compete, or do you mainly cycle for exercise? In both cases, it’s important to have a well-ventilated helmet that is as aerodynamic as possible, but if you are doing triathlons, for example, aerodynamics are especially important. In that case, a TT helmet that reduces turbulence and air resistance is a natural choice.
Mud, trees, roots, potholes, rocks and a sudden OTB: mountain biking is often technically and physically demanding, and full of surprises. Crashing is part of mountain biking and something you can do in any direction on rugged terrain, which places slightly different demands on the helmet. It should therefore protect all sides of your head, and not least the back of the head.
A downhill helmet is a robust full-face helmet, which means it protects both the head and face. It resembles a motocross helmet and is designed for higher speeds, when the effects of a possible crash become greater. A full-coverage helmet is warmer, so look for a well-ventilated helmet that provides proper airflow.
Potholes, curbs, motorists, e-scooters and pedestrians who don’t look out: the cycling hazards in city traffic are many, while a bike is often by far the fastest way to get around town or to and from work. Wearing a helmet when cruising through traffic is a must.
If you cycle all year round, it may actually be worth getting two cycle helmets. Having a cool, well-ventilated helmet is nice in summer, but when the temperature drops, your ears will get cold quickly. In that case, it may be tempting to wear a cap under your helmet – but don’t do it. This can cause the fit of the helmet to deteriorate, making it less protective. This is especially important if you choose a helmet with the Mips safety system. A thin liner under the helmet is fine, but if it isn’t enough, it is better to get a warmer helmet for safety and comfort.
So what exactly is the Mips safety system? Well, it’s a system for helmets that are designed to help reduce rotational motion to the head in oblique impacts. But what is rotational motion? Let us explain.
When looking for a helmet, it’s good to look for various safety features and other details specific to the type of cycling that you do, but above all, make sure the helmet is certified according to the applicable standards in the country where you live, such as the EU directive on general product safety and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).