Are Expensive Helmets Worth the Purchase? | Dr Lachlan Soper
An injury is a very plausible threat when cycling is a frequent activity of yours, which is why protecting your head is very important. Heading off on a bike ride without a helmet is extremely dangerous. One wrong turn, too hard of a break, or a collision with another biker could mean a very serious injury.
But will any old helmet do? When choosing a helmet for cycling, it’s important to choose one that will protect your head properly in the case of an accident. There are differences between cheaper and more expensive helmets and these differences could potentially save your life.
While all helmets have to conform to the safety standards that have been approved by the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission or Australian Standards Commission), no matter what the cost, there’s a reason cyclists spend a pretty penny on helmets. Here’s why expensive helmets are worth the purchase:
Where Is The Value?
As mentioned before, all helmets no matter the price must conform to the safety standards that have been approved by the CPSC or ASC. To ensure all helmets meet the required level of protection, they are subjected to to test the construction quality, energy absorption ability of the helmet in cases of impact, retention system effectiveness, the field of view, as well as chin strap quality. This means that technically, according to these standards, a cheap helmet and an expensive helmet aren’t really different terms of safety.
However, the added value in the expensive helmets lies within its comfort, weight, and ventilation properties. The finish and fashion trends can also play a factor in its value. Depending on the helmet type and materials, some of these can vary.
Comfortabliy while cycling is important. Expensive helmets tend to have a better fit and feel more comfortable during your ride. Cheaper helmets sometimes don’t have certain features such as having more than one tightening mechanism, which makes it more difficult to have the correct fit. Shape also factors in to having a good fit and feeling comfortable, but cheaper helmets will have basic shapes. While narrower helmets can be more expensive, they’ll also feel much more comfortable for some.
Quality of Protection
More expensive helmets offer a better quality and level of protection. Cheaper helmets often use glue to join the outer shell with the inner padding, but expensive helmets mold both shells together during the construction. This assures endurance and quality while reducing weight. Although both will protect your head while riding, a cheaper helmet is also going to be made with cheaper materials so the quality, and perhaps longevity, will lack.
Materials and Weight
The biggest difference between cheap and expensive helmets is the difference in weight, materials, and ventilation. Expensive helmets are often lighter and will give the rider better comfort for long distances. Cheaper helmets’ outer shells are made of polycarbonate, but this can feel quite heavy while cycling. The expensive helpers are made of the lighter materials such as carbon fibre, which feels lighter and provides the rider with better durability.