Bicycle Helmets and Your Safety

We know cycling has some inherent dangers and probability tells us if we ride a lot, we will fall from time to time. Math is math. We also know that a great deal of effort goes into protecting cyclists and other athletes from head injuries. Most if not all of us have had a fall and a bump on the head. We just wanted to talk about that a bit.

First and foremost, head injuries are not to be taken lightly. Had injuries have been making headlines across a variety of sports, reason being, we understand head injuries better than we used to and we understand the consequences and we know how to protect ourselves more effectively. Even mild head injuries can lead to symptoms years down the road such as problems concentrating, memory issues, balance and coordination, depression and the list goes on. We’re not doctors so we’ll not dive into the mechanics of brain injury. The point is, if you hit your head, tell someone, get checked out and take it seriously. Also, be careful.

Replacing your helmet is also important. As much as it might be “hip” in some circles if your helmet looks like this…

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It’s not going to protect you, taping a baseball mit on your head might even be better.

Modern helmets are simply better. A lot of people are unaware that helmets should be replaced regularly. Some manufacturers say every five years, some say every three. Given it’s your brains and your life you’re protecting with said helmet, I would err on the side of safety. Replace your helmet every three years whether you’ve crashed or not. Helmets can be damaged by sitting in hot cars, UV rays or “someone” in your house forgot to mention it was stepped on or used as a soccer ball. Inspect it regularly for cracks and discoloration. If you’re not sure what to look for, please come see us, we can assist. If you crash and hit your head, replace it immediately, helmets are designed for ONE IMPACT. Better safe than sorry.

Another point to make, because every blog deserves a tiny rant once in a while, why are we willing to spend $500 or much more on shoes but the most expensive helmets top out at about $300? Yes, there are issues with scale of manufacturing and materials used for shoes vs helmets but it should be questioned. Personally speaking, I would happily spend $800 or better for a helmet that was quantifiably safer and good for more than one crash. This is clearly a case of the manufacturers listening too closely to what the pro’s want and what’s actually good for real cyclists, humans AND the industry as a whole. So that’s done, moving on.

Thankfully, bicycle helmets have come a very long way. Manufacturers are actually paying more attention and with all the recent attention paid to head injuries, even third party companies are developing technology for helmet makers to utilize in their designs. Enter “MIPS” a company in Sweden completely dedicated to studying head and neck injuries and developing technology to reduce the effects of rotational injury due to angled impacts. If you would like a deeper dive into MIPS, click here to view their site. We’ve always looked for the most reliable, safe and well designed products and helmets are certainly no exception. We currently carry helmets from POC using MIPS technology and we expect to see MIPS on more brands very soon.

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As a bicycle retailer, we take your safety seriously. We have always curated products based on safety first. The term “scary light” gets thrown around a lot and we feel it’s a term that shouldn’t exist. Your safety and your experience on the bike are paramount. Every time we touch a bike, we are thinking about your safety on the road or trail. Literally every component on your bike contributes to your safety. Keep your helmet fresh and keep it in good condition. Let us check it out if you’re curious. Fitting a helmet properly is also critical, let us make sure it’s perfect, that’s why we’re here.

If we’ve made you nervous, don’t stay inside and never ride your bike again. Just be smart and safe. There are millions of other unsafe things going on everyday. A meteor might hit you in the head next week so go ride your bike and have fun!

 

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