The Windy City is a great place to be a bike rider. For many cycling is the ideal way to commute to work. Riding a bike is also a great way to get into shape. When you are riding a bicycle in a busy city like Chicago, you always should wear a helmet. It is not the law in Chicago, but is common sense. While you may not like the way it makes you look, it is a crucial piece of safety gear that you would be a fool not to wear. Keeping your brain protected is more important than keeping your hair looking perfect. Here is a guide to bike helmets for cyclists.
The Importance of Wearing a Bike Helmet
Of course, the primary reason that you should always wear a helmet is for the protection of your head. If you are in even a minor accident while riding your bike, you could experience traumatic brain injury if you are not wearing a helmet. You never, ever want to go for even a quick ride down the block without wearing a helmet.
Other reasons to wear helmets include visibility and protection from the elements. A bike helmet in a bright color and with reflective materials will make you much more visible to vehicles on the road. In addition, a helmet can help to give you some protection from the rain if it starts to come down when you are riding.
Parents have an even stronger incentive to wear a helmet. Parents who always wear their helmets when they are cycling are setting a good example for their children. Kids imitate their parents, and that is a great thing when it comes to wearing helmets. Kids are much more susceptible to brain injures if their heads hit the pavement during a crash, which makes it imperative that they wear their helmets at all times.
How to Fit a Bike Helmet
It is crucial that you get a helmet that fits you properly. A poorly fitted helmet will not give you proper protection in the event of a crash. The key to getting a properly sized helmet is to first measure your head. Take a tape measure and wrap it around your head just above your ears. The front of the tape measure should cross your forehead an inch over your eyebrows. This measurement will give you a number that will correspond to a size of helmet. All the best helmets made from manufacturers like Bell, Giro and Bontrager are fitted to provide you with a snug fit.
When you wear your helmet, make sure that it sits low and fits snugly on your head. You should always fasten the straps and tighten them. You want to have the strap tight enough so that you can just barely fit one finger between the strap and your chin.
When to Replace a Bike Helmet
If you are still wearing a helmet from the 1970s or 1980s, it is time to upgrade it. The newer models of helmets are much safer than the older versions. If you have a newer model of helmet, it is a good idea to buy a replacement every five years. The effects of the elements, sunscreen bug spray and sweat will degrade the structural integrity of the helmet over time. Also, if you are ever involved in a collision where your helmet hits something, you need to replace it immediately.
We have a great selection of helmets from all the top manufacturers like Bell, Giro and Bontrager. If you need a new helmet, we will fix you up with the perfect helmet for your needs. Check out our helmets online or come in and see us today at our store.