Choosing a lid/helmet is the most important part of your gear but can be the most fun. I say that but I ended up trying about 15 helmets on before I settled with my Bell RS-1 Desert Camo. I replaced the clear visor that came with it and added a bit of sexiness with a dark smoke visor . It was worth the purchase as it adds to the ‘racing’ look and keeps the sun out of my eyes as the helmet did not come with a internal visor – as most models do now.
Buying a full face helmet will offer more protection but even the safest helmet will fail you in a crash if it’s too loose and comes off. According to EU research this happens in 12% of accidents 😦 For this reason, it is very important that the helmet fits correctly otherwise it will move around and cause discomfort especially in your neck. It needs to be snug so the padding does not move against your skin and make sure the helmet doesn’t cause any pain/tension on your head.
When you try a helmet in a shop you should keep it on for long as you can, I think I left mine on for a good 20 minutes. I felt like a idiot but I didn’t want to purchase something that was uncomfortable or not safe. Removable liners are another nice feature to look out for, as these can get pretty dirty especially if you ride everyday. Being able to put it in the washing machine could make bike life more enjoyable.
With our fantastic weather in the UK (haha) visors can steam up so check to see if yours comes with a anti-fog pinlock feature. If it doesn’t you can purchase one just for few golden nuggets and most shops will fit them to a visor for you! I would also consider ventilation features, as in hot weather you need good airflow to keep cool but need to close it off when weather turns nasty.
Read reviews if you can to see how other people feel about the product and look at wind noise levels. It took serval rides before I could feel the padding in my helmet adjust to my head shape and size. Lastly, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE check that the helmet passes either British or EU safety standards.Look at the SHARP website to see which standards are met and the results of a independent crash test, those with a higher star rating are safer.
People can get caught out at bike festivals with fake helmets and I would always purchase one at a proper shop – never buy online unless you have tried on before hand! Happy lid buying everyone 🙂
What lid do you guys wear?