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Cycling clothing guide: helmets

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Helmets are made from expanded foam polystyrene, similar to the type of stuff coffee cups are made from covered with a moulded hard plastic shell.

They must fit properly if they are to give any protection.

Find a shop that has a good selection of helmets and try on plenty of types and makes until you find one that fits perfectly.

If you are able to move the helmet backwards and forwards when the chin strap is fastened then it is too big.

If the helmet is too big it will be uncomfortable and it will also give you much less protection and may even slip off.

Cycling helmet

Tighten the chin strap until you can just barely open your mouth all the way.

If the fit is right, the helmet will sit quite low on your brow but high enough not to obstruct your vision.

Helmets for children tend to be relatively larger than adult ones in order to be fully effective.

This means that your helmet may look as if it is perched on top of your head!

Apart from the fit, the other main factor to consider is ventilation.

Make sure there are plenty of air channels running from front to back, but not so many that they weaken the helmet.

It may not feel hot when you try it on in the shop but it certainly will after a few miles of hard pedalling in the summer months!

The protective foam polystyrene becomes less effective as the helmet becomes older.

So it's wise to replace any helmet that has been damaged in an accident, however slight.

For these reasons some manufacturers or shops will inspect your helmet after an accident and may even offer a free replacement.



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