With the exception of the Northern Territory, bicycle helmets - or lids - are a legal requirement in Australia. Seeing as you have to wear one, you might as well make sure it is the best you can get for you personal requirements. Comfy, safe and cool.
Australia has some pretty high standards on helmet safety and this is a good thing as, at least in theory, this means that substandard helmets should not be on the market. Before you consider a helmet, it must meet the AS/NZS 2063:2008 standard and this is indicated by a sticker from the manufacturer or distributor.
The very first thing to be sure of is a good snug fit - this is hugely important. If the worst happens and you have an accident, the last thing you want is the helmet moving from its proper position or worse still, falling off. If you cannot try one out in person then be sure to measure your head circumference a couple of centimetres above your eyebrow line and purchase an appropriately sized helmet.
The AZUR L61 helmet above is great value and offers high levels of safety and comfort. It is one of our best sellers for a good reason.
All good helmets have an adjustable internal tightening mechanism or retention system, which can then be further adjusted to ensure an absolutely perfect fit and hold - but not so tight as to be uncomfortable. The same goes for the chin strap, which needs to be tight enough to firmly secure the helmet onto your head... without choking you! From time to time we see people cruising around with a bike helmet, but the chin strap is not buckled up. This renders the whole exercise pointless as if there's an accident, the helmet will go flying.
Ventilation is also important as cycling is clearly a physical activity (yes, even on an e-bike you still have to do some work!) and as much of our body heat is lost through our heads, it is important to have ample air flow. For those of us with long hair, make sure there's a way to accommodate a ponytail without interfering with the fit of the helmet. The same goes for glasses and sunglasses - can your helmet accommodate the arms of your glasses.
When it comes to storing your helmet, make sure it is kept away from hot places, such as locked cars on hot days. Excessive heat can cause deformities and if you see any evidence of such the helmet should no longer be used. Also, never use solvents to clean your helmet, with a damn cloth and mild detergent being your best friend here. Many helmets have removable pads and these can be washed once they become dirty.
Helmets also do not last forever and ultimately will need to be replaced every six or so years as they will weather due to UV light, sweat and other contaminants. It is also hugely important to realise that bike helmets are designed to absorb one single impact and that's it. Once the internal structure is damaged the helmet must no longer be used and for this reason it is also important to know the history of the helmet and as such we would never recommend buying a second hand helmet or even accept one as a gift, because you may not know its history and how many knocks it may have had. Much of the damage might not be evident to the naked eye.
So, whether you call it a helmet, lid, stack-hat, headpiece, skullcap or anything else, the fact is that you need one, so make it a good one. At Dyson Bikes we're always on hand to assist you with your decision making, so get in touch and we'll get your head covered.
Our current range of helmets can be found right HERE!