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Guide to helmet safety

At Reid, we’re passionate about helping you stay safe while cycling. This article joins a series of helpful articles with useful information to support your enjoyment of riding. Here’s Reid helmet safety guide.

Heading out the door to cycle to work, carve up the local trails or get some longer distance road rides in, we all reach for a helmet. However, hardly do we ever consider its condition, unless it smells terrible.

The humble helmet, often neglected, is the one piece of kit designed with the sole purpose of keeping your brain safe while riding. Having said that, have you thought about whether it would protect your head if you crashed?

The basics of the ‘skid lid’ are the same for all cyclists:

» It should be the right size;
» It needs to fit well;
» It needs to be in good working order;
» In some countries, it’s the law

When to replace a helmet

The Snell Foundation, a helmet certification agency, recommend replacing your helmet at least every five years even if it’s not damaged because:

“Glues, resins and other materials used in helmet production can affect liner materials. Hair oils, body fluids and cosmetics, as well as normal ‘wear and tear’ all contribute to helmet degradation.”

In practice, how often you ride and how careful you are with your helmet will determine how regularly you need to replace it. If you crash or give it a solid knock, always replace your helmet. Even if you think the helmet came away unscathed, give it a good visual inspection inside. This is to make sure there are no cracks in the polystyrene (the main protective element of the helmet). It may not look damaged but if there’s any doubt, throw it out and get a new one.

 

Which Type of helmet? Sport, Road or Mountain?

Cycling helmets come in three basic styles: sport, road and mountain. All types are designed and tested to meet the Australia and New Zealand standards that make sure it will protect your head from impact. Each type explained:

Sport helmets

An economical choice for recreational, commuter, road and mountain bikers. This style of helmet is typically well priced and often come in a wide range of colours and/or prints. A great everyday helmet, although ventilation for hot days or longer rides is limited.

Mountain bike helmets

Designed to ventilate well, even at low speeds, usually have a visor and generally cover more of the rear to ensure they keep their snug fit while riding over rough terrain and protect from more angles (branches and the like!). Also popular with road cyclists and commuters for the added sun protection.

Road bike helmets

This style of helmet is designed for speed and keeping cool, with generous ventilation, an aerodynamic design and light weight materials. While you can get really good helmets for under $50, the price can get up there if you’re looking for every little advantage.

Reid SSCX

Bonus: Skate helmets

Designed for the everyday, recreational rider whether you’re commuting or out for a weekend roll. The Skate Helmet is a simple design, with in-mould construction and adjustable fit. It also comes in the widest range of colours to match your ride. These look great with our vintage bikes!

Are all helmets equal?

The Reid helmet range sold in Australia and New Zealand markets is subject to extremely strict testing. As wearing a helmet in Australia is required by law, Australian-designed helmets must adhere to some extremely high quality and safety standards.

How does a helmet prevent brain injuries?

Brains can be injured when the brain tissue keeps moving inside your head and then stops suddenly when it hits your skull. Helmets allow the brain extra TIME and SPACE to slow down by absorbing some of the force and thus reducing injury. Read more on how helmets work.

So, stay safe and wear a helmet each and every time you ride. Even if it’s a short 2-minute trip! Check out our Reid helmet range here »

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