About 70 to 80 percent of cases of bike accidents occur with head injuries. Nevertheless, a survey shows that only 43 percent of bike riders in the United States wear helmets regularly when riding a bike. And, there are some people who want to use the same helmet for different road conditions where there are structural differences in different helmets!
If you are a cyclist, you must wear the perfect helmet according to the cycling category, road, track, and trails. Because a perfect helmet can protect you from bumps, crashes, and other potential injuries. Yeah, you can use a mountain bike helmet for road biking, but that will not be the right choice based on the tour.
In this article, I’ll describe road bike helmet’s characteristics, benefits, and more. If you want to know more details about the helmet, read to the end. Hope you will get the answers to many of your questions.
Difference Between Road And Mountain Bike Helmets
To an inexperienced person, road bike and MTB helmets may seem similar. But if you want to be a cyclist or have already been one, then you need to know the difference between the two helmets. Now I’m presenting the subtle differences between the two helmets through the chart below.
|Parameter||Mountain Bike Helmet||Road Bike Helmet|
|Major Concern||Besides safety, protection from unwanted mud, dirt, or low stalks on the road gets more priority.||Since a rider gs enough sweat while riding a bike on the road, safety, as well as ventilation facilities get more priority.|
|Visor||Almost all mountain bikes have an adjustable visor.||Visors are not so important in road bike helmets.|
|Lower Cut||Lower-cut style in the back enhances safety.||There is no lower cut on the back of the road bike helmet.|
|Air vent||There are relatively few holes for air to enter.||Air vents are much more than mountain bikes|
|Ventilation||Comparatively lower ventilation facilities than road helmets.||Have Increased ventilation facilities.|
|Weight||Heavier than a road bike helmet||Comparatively lightweight|
Can You Use A Mountain Bike Helmet For Road Biking?
Yes, it is safe to use a mountain bike helmet for road biking. Anyway, when using a mountain bike helmet on the road, you may encounter some difficulties, which is why you do not want to use it. But a good cyclist never wants to compromise on safety and convenience. So naturally, he/she wants to use the right helmet.
Both helmets are made for riding bikes in different environments and are rich in features accordingly. But if you have to ride both types of roads and have a tight budget, you can take a mountain bike helmet, as these are the best for providing safety. But what to do when the bucks are not talking loud and sound!
However, I am going to describe briefly the difficulties that a mountain bike helmet can cause in road biking.
When making a mountain bike helmet, manufacturers give special consideration to protecting a rider from low stalks or anything like that on the trail. Therefore, these helmets cover so much of the head and face. But when you are riding on a road, this feature will cause discomfort.
👉 Low Ventilation Facilities
During road biking, a rider sweats a lot in the heat. This is especially true when the tarmac is hot in the summer. But a mountain bike helmet comes with low ventilation facilities. This can make road biking much harder.
Mountain bike helmets must include a visor. Although these provide a lot of benefits on the trail, the situation is quite different during road biking. Because the Visors can hold more heat than you would expect.
Any biker feels more comfortable wearing a light helmet. To make mountain bike helmets safer, companies make them with more safety equipment. For these good reasons, MTB helmets are a bit heavy, which is not desirable in road biking.
Can You Use A Dirt Bike Helmet On The Road?
You can use a dirt bike helmet for road biking, but you shouldn’t. Many people commonly used dirt bikes on certain trails, on personal property, or on other off-road. In all these places, you do not have to face any challenges.
But the environment of road biking is different and here you may have to ride at a relatively fast speed. Since the companies make helmets for different environments, dirt bike helmets for road biking will cause some difficulties. Below I am simply describing those facts.
👉 Less Protective
Dart helmets come with average protection capabilities, whereas road bike helmets provide better protection for the rider. Although dirt bike helmets are quite comfortable. But safety is a major concern for a rider during road biking.
In addition, the risk of an accident on a road ride is much higher. That’s why you shouldn’t use dirt bike helmets while road biking.
👉 Soft And Low Padding
The padding of dirt bike helmets is very soft and low. These are comfortable but not protective. On the other hand, a road bike helmet requires strong padding with improved grip, which is more protective and important for road biking.
👉 Not Good For Speedy Riding
When you want to ride fast on the road, the shape of your helmet needs to be aerodynamic. But the shape of a dirt bike helmet is not aerodynamic and can shift when pushed by strong winds, which is an extremely uncomfortable and risky situation for a rider.
- The above problems may seem trivial to you. But all combined conditions can make your road biking performance disappointing. So a rider should avoid dirt bike helmets while road biking.
Types Of Road Bike Helmets
There are usually 3 types of road bike helmets available out there. Each of these types has its own characteristics and is the best as needed. Below, I am describing these.
1. Traditional Helmets:
The traditional helmets are fully vented. These helmets have two key features: ventilation and lightweight. Thus a traditional helmet will guarantee a rider a relatively comfortable ride for riding in hot weather.
2. Semi-Aero Helmets:
You can consider semi-arrow helmets as modern ones. These helmets with reasonable weight and advanced ventilation systems can provide the necessary safety and comfort to the rider. If you are an average rider, semi-arrow helmets are ideal for you.
3. Aerodynamic Helmets:
Usually, the manufacturers make aerodynamic helmets keeping in mind the needs of the racers. These helmets are somewhat heavier and have fewer ventilation facilities than traditional helmets.
If you are a racer, you will need to use an aerodynamic helmet. However, the use of this helmet by ordinary road riders can be a bit difficult.
How Long Does A Road Bike Helmet Last?
A rider must use a good-quality helmet for a safe ride. But can you use a good helmet for your whole life? No, a helmet has a protection period, and then you need to replace it.
Most helmet manufacturers recommend using their helmets for 3 to 5 years. This means that you can use a helmet for about 5 years under normal conditions. But some problems can reduce the durability of your helmet. Below, I’ll explain the significant problems.
If you have an accident and your helmet crashes, change that helmet. Even if the helmet looks good after such kind of occurrence, please change them. Because that helmet will not save you in an accident later.
Repeated drops greatly reduce the longevity of a helmet. Helmets can often fall out of hand because of carelessness or storage. If these things happen, again and again, it will damage your helmet long before the expiration time.
👉 Not Well Cleaned
If a helmet is not cleaned well, then obviously it will affect its lifespan. So you need to clean your helmet carefully using a soft cloth and hot water. Find out from the manufacturer’s instructions what type of cleaner to use when cleaning these.
👉 Incorrect Storage
Heat or direct sunlight can damage your helmet. You may see bubbles or uneven surfaces if this happens. So when storing, make sure that it is away from heat or direct sunlight. That means ensuring the proper helmet storage.
👉 Gradual Degrading
Regular use can slowly erode the components of your helmet. Particularly sweat or cosmetics destroy helmets from the inside. In addition, overuse also damages the top of the helmet too.
So, How Often Should You Replace Your Road Bike Helmet?
Usually, the bike helmets are in good condition for 3 to 5 years, after then you should replace them. However, this time may be more or less depending on the level of use, temperature, weather, care, and many more facts.
According to Barry Miller (Virginia Tech’s Helmet Lab Outreach) – ‘Replacement times are determined by where and how you use your helmet.’
Above I have mentioned many reasons foe the helmets may get damaged quickly and need of replacement. Since the helmet is a very important element for your safety, replace it as soon as any such kind of trouble arises.
How To Select A Road Bike Helmet?
A helmet is not just for style, but it is necessary. And the road bike helmet plays an important role in your safety during an accident.
In addition, helmets can affect performance during biking. Helmets support you in adverse weather and can keep you riding. So there are several things to keep in mind when choosing a helmet.
Things You Should Look For When Purchasing A Road Bike Helmet
Below, I’m describing key factors you need to pay special attention to when selecting your helmet.
The most noticeable thing in choosing a helmet is its materials. Companies often use ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) to make helmets because these are tough and durable. But Carbon fiber is also one component that contributes to making helmets strong, durable, and light. Many companies use Aramid/Kevlar in their helmets, which contribute to increasing the strength of the helmet.
👉 Helmet Type
The type of rider you are, your helmet needs to be the same. If you are a normal rider, then a traditional road helmet or a semi-arrow helmet would be ideal for you. But if you are a bike racer, then you should use an aerodynamic helmet.
You want to use a road bike helmet to ensure your safety. So before buying, make sure that it can provide optimum protection. In general, the quality of helmet shells should be perfect to provide better protection.
Road bike helmets usually have advanced ventilation which helps you to ride the bike even in the sun or heat. However, make sure that your chosen helmet has air vents to increase the airflow inside.
Road bike helmets should be light. Cause, a heavy helmet can be a burden to you at times. Helmet makers using light materials of a simple design are most suitable for a road bike rider.
The right size helmet is very important for a rider. Using a helmet of the wrong size can be uncomfortable and cannot provide the necessary protection.
Helmets need to be fitted properly to provide proper protection and comfort. If a helmet fits too tightly, it will be difficult to use for a long time. If it fits loosely, it will be inconvenient to use. So choose a helmet that fits well.
Many bikes have a dial to adjust horizontally or vertically. That feature helps the helmet fit well with your head. This adjustability of the helmet adds an extra advantage.
The padding on the inside of the helmet gives you safety and comfort. Manufacturers typically use EPS foam, expanded polystyrene, and even carbon fiber in this segment. And, removable padding is more useful for cleansing the inside of the helmet.
👉 Color and Design
You may get helmets of different colors and designs available in the market. So any can select the color according to their taste. A nice-looking helmet can satisfy you emotionally. But beware of that luster, pay deep attention to the safety, size, materials, and ventilation features.
👉 MIPS Feature
Advanced road bike helmets come with MIPS (Multi-Directional Impact Protection System). These types of helmets can make you more secure because they will protect you no matter from which angle you fall.
How To Determine Road Bike Helmet Size?
Choosing a helmet according to the measure of your head is the most accurate job. Measure the circumference of your head above 1 inch from the eyebrows using a measuring tape. According to this measure, you can select your helmet. Below, I am presenting a chart of the circumference of the helmet according to the size.
|Helmet Size||Circumference (CM)|
Although most producing companies follow this measure, in some cases you may notice some exceptions. So it is best if you can measure when buying a helmet.
How Should A Road Bike Helmet Fit?
A survey reveals a helmet can reduce the risk of 69% head injury and 37% death. But for this, your helmet must be good in quality and fit well with the head. From a well-fitted helmet, you must understand the things below.
- After using the helmet, you will notice comfort and its pressure will spread evenly on all heads.
- The helmet will not be smaller or larger than the size of your head.
- It will hold your forehead tightly, but not so strong that you will feel uneasy.
- The helmet cannot turn up and down or side-to-side.
How To Clean A Road Bike Helmet?
You need to clean up your helmet regularly to use it for a long time and to stay safe. Because, firstly we dislike dirty helmets, and secondly, there is a potential risk of being infected by different organisms.
When cleaning a helmet, it is necessary to keep an eye on the 3 parts of the helmet, shells, straps, and padding. I will explain the entire process in 3 steps.
Step1: Collect Necessary Accessories
Helmet cleaning does not require too many accessories. If you have a toothbrush, a hand towel, and cleaner, you can clean the helmet in a short time. However, in the selection of cleaner, you will always follow the recommendation of the manufacturer. If you do not get a cleaner according to the instructions, you can use your body wash or hand wash.
Step2: Clean Straps And Paddings
- Mix the cleaner in your sink or a bowl with the required amount of water.
- If the straps and paddings are possible to separate, do it and soak them in the mixed water.
- After soaking well in the cleaner, rub them with a toothbrush. You can also clean these parts with a washing machine.
Step3: Clean The Shell
- Soak the shell in the cleaner for a while to clean it.
- Rub all the shells well using the toothbrush.
- Now wipe the shell with a hand towel and keep the helmet in a dry place.
- Do not put heat or direct sunlight to dry the helmet when cleaned.
- Clean the helmet after every ride for good maintenance.
How Much To Spend On A Road Bike Helmet?
The price of a road bike helmet can range from $35 to $350 or even more. Also, the Helmet prices can vary because of materials, processing methods, and companies.
Expensive helmets come with advanced ingredients and modern features. But if you are an average rider, you can buy a quality road bike helmet for $150.
Why Are Road Bike Helmets So Expensive?
Road riding is riskier than riding anywhere else. Because of this, the best technology, advanced material, and effective designs are applied to create helmets for road riding.
For this, a road bike helmet is more expensive than other helmets. In addition, higher protection, smooth appearance, and additional features make these helmets more expensive.
Road rides are very fun, but there are risks as well. That is why a road biker must wear a perfect helmet. You can use your mounting bike helmet for road biking if you wish. Although mountain bike helmets will give you the best protection, these helmets in road biking will cause some difficulty.
A road bike helmet will provide you with a lot more benefits than a dart bike helmet or a mountain bike helmet. Anyway, you must be careful when choosing road bike helmets. Keep in mind that, a proper helmet will give you the desired safety.