If there is one vital piece of mountain biking equipment, it is your mountain bike helmet. The purchase of your helmet should be at least as important as buying your bike. Whether in the city or off-road, you have no business being on a bike, without a mountain bike helmet.
Although accidents cannot be eliminated, wearing a helmet will reduce the risk and severity of a head injury by up to 88 percent.
It is therefore worth spending as much as you can afford on the best mountain bike helmet. Your life may depend on it! It is an investment in your safety, and will be used for a long time.
If you are a novice rider, buy your helmet from a store that specialize in biking equipment. Ask a knowledgeable sales person to advise you. A quality mountain bike helmet is of little use, if it isn’t fitted properly.
The helmet should be placed evenly on your head, and rest about 1″ or 2.5cm above your eyebrows. Ensure that the helmet doesn’t tip forward or backward, but rests straight on your head.
Your mountain bike helmet should fit snugly. Utilize the different foam pads inside the helmet to get the tightest and most comfortable fit. Pull the chinstrap as tight as possible, and adjust the side straps so that they rest just below the ears. The chinstrap should never be on the point of the chin, but moved back.
The helmet should pull down when you open your mouth wide, although there should be just about enough room to allow you to eat. If not, tighten the chinstrap. Make sure that both buckles are on the jaw and under the ear.
The mountain bike helmet should not feel loose, or move more than 1″ or 2.5cm in any direction when you shake your head from side to side. If it does slip, check and adjust the foam pads or side straps. If you physically move the helmet, the skin on your forehead will move with it, if it is a proper fit.
The airflow over the head is the means of ventilation in a mountain bike helmet. Larger side vents also improve ventilation. There is usually a sweat band on the inside of the helmet to control sweat, and ensure comfort.
Manufacturers are constantly striving to design lighter, better ventilated mountain bike helmets. This may compromise reinforcement, and affect safety. Be sure to look for a sticker that states that the helmet meets the necessary safety standards.
The best indication of this is the CPSC logo, or in Europe the CE logo, or alternatively SNELL certification. Helmets with the ANSI standard are not recommended.
Never wear a mountain bike helmet that has been in a crash. Even if the damage is not visible, you should always replace it with a new helmet.
One example of exceptional mountain bike helmets, is the Giro range. Their E2 is sleek, light, and comfortable. The unique Wind Tunnel Ventilation system, offers all the channels and vents you need for a cool ride.
The Giro Rib Cage, and in-mold technology ensures superb reinforcement. The snazzy Point of View Visor features an inventive internal clutch mechanism. Adjustment is secure. You won’t be distracted by irritating rattling on the trail.
Giro also offers an infant mountain bike helmet, the ME2. Kids adore them! The strap guides are simple, and the buckle won’t bite young skin. The helmet features a microshell with a built in bug net.
Young riders love looking and feeling cool with Flume, the youth version of the mountain bike helmet. They can choose between Lavender Space Girl, Yellow/Black Flames, or Silver/Blue Flames.
Take your time when fitting a mountain bike helmet. It may take 20 – 30 minutes to get the correct helmet fit. Examine all the different types and styles. Experiment with pad and strap positions.
You will find that mountain bike helmet that was made for you, that will hug your head snugly, and will enable you to tackle any trail with confidence and a feeling of security.
For more information visit Best-Mountain-Biking.com
Rika Susan of Article-Alert.com researches, writes, and publishes full-time on the Web. Copyright of this article: 2006 Rika Susan. This article may be reprinted if the resource box and hyperlinks are left intact.