Categories
Buying Guide Clothing Kids Safety

How to choose a bike helmet for a child

The most important factor in choosing a Bike Helmet for a child is understanding the size. Once you which size helmet your child needs (discussed in a previous article here), you’ll need to decide which helmet is the right one for them. In this article, we discuss the factors that can determine which helmet you should buy for your child and why.

First of all, understanding the type of riding your child will be doing needs to be taken into account. Will they be riding their own bike, or are they going to be riding with you in a bike seat or trailer? If your kid is going to riding along in a bike seat or trailer, a helmet with a smoother, flat back will prevent it from being pushed forward on their head during a ride.

If not, you may want to consider what they’ll be using their helmet for. If in their spare time there’s a chance of them heading down the skatepark or out on a scooter then consider a skater-style helmet such as THE……. with it’s additional coverage. If it’s just days on the trails riding alongside friends and family, a traditional bike helmet like the……. will be the way to go, offering a lighter, more adjustable and breathable option. This tends to be the more common choice for most parents.

Next up you can take a look at the buckle options available. It may not seem like something you need to worry about, providing it keeps your kid safe and secure in their helmet, but it can be a big deal. A standard buckle is the classic tried and tested option, simply clip it into place and rest assured your child’s helmet is secure. Be careful not to pinch them when fastening it however as it can put them off wearing a helmet in the future if it’s a painful experience. Magnetic buckles offer a wonderful pinch-free alternative and are becoming more common on kids’ helmets.

Adjustability plays a big part in which helmet you might opt for, different manufacturers use slightly different internal adjustment systems. The most common being a traditional dial adjuster at the back of the helmet. Some will come with different size internal padding, with these you can simply swap out in removable internal pads for varying thickness pads to find the best fit. In addition to internal adjustment systems quite often you will find strap sliders, these allow you to adjust where the ‘V’ of the strap sits below the ear. Proper adjustment is essential to prevent the helmet from tilting forward or back.

Visors offer additional protection in a way that may have not even crossed your mind. Keeping the suns’ harmful rays out of kids’ eyes not only protects their eyesight, but also makes their ride a far more enjoyable experience. After all they want to see where they’re going and take in all the fantastic sights along the way!

Multiple Impact Protection System – MIPS
MIPS is offered on several of our kids’ helmets now. It’s a fantastic additional safety feature that in the worst-case allows energy from an impact to be absorbed by the helmet no matter what direction the impact is from. Studies show that MIPS can decrease risk of brain injury by up to 30%.

Some kids’ helmets even come equipped with built in lights ensuring your child stays safe and seen when riding their bike! While not all helmets feature a light most will have some reflective details for maximum visibility.

Shop our range of Kids Helmets from brands such as MET, Specialized and Troy Lee Designs to make sure your child is protected for every ride. If you need further assistance with finding the right helmet for your child visit one of our stores located in Southampton, Winchester, Chichester and Swindon.

Categories
Buying Guide Safety

What Size Bike Helmet Does My Child Need?

Cycling is fun for all the family and getting the kids involved is one of the best ways to make sure they live an active, healthy lifestyle while enjoying endless fun. Ensuring your child wears a helmet for every ride, no matter the duration is incredibly important. Making sure their helmet fits correctly is equally as important. Not only is an ill-fitting helmet uncomfortable to wear, but it also doesn’t offer the level of protection a correctly fitting helmet will.

How to measure your child for a bike helmet.

Here we’ve put together some simple steps to ensure you find the right size helmet for your child using some very basic tools! All you need is a fabric tape measure or, if you don’t have one, you can use a piece of string.

  1. Wrap the tape measure (or string) around your child’s head, about an inch above the eyebrows. Make sure the tape measure is level all the way round!
  2. Take the measurement (in cm) from here. If you used a piece of string mark or cut where the string overlaps and measure the length with a ruler.

Checking the helmet fits

Now you have the measurement of your child’s head you can determine which helmet your child needs. All of our Kid’s helmets have a handy size chart to tell you the size range in cm. Once you’ve got the helmet just run through these basic checks to ensure it’s the perfect fit!

  1. Pop the helmet on. It should cover most of the forehead with just enough space for your middle and forefinger together directly above the eyebrows. 
  2. Adjust the dial on the helmet to ensure there isn’t too much side-to-side or back-to-front movement. If your child can shake their head without the helmet moving, great job just make sure it’s not too tight. If you can fit a full finger between the back of their head and the helmet, then it’s too loose.
  3. Then, adjust the straps to ensure they fit evenly and snug. Make sure your child can still open their mouth comfortably and that the straps are properly placed around their ears.
  4. Gently push the helmet backward, and then for forward to ensure it’s nice and secure.

Adjusting as they grow

It’s good practice to check on the fitment of your kid’s helmet from time to time. As they ride the straps may loosen and you want to make sure they’re always properly protected. Equally, as they grow you may find you need to adjust the straps and dial to accommodate for this. Just remember all the steps above and you’ll keep riding happily and safely!

Shop our range of Kids Helmets and make sure your child is protected for every ride.

Categories
Buying Guide Protection Safety

Bike Helmets – How to Find Your Size

How to fit a cycle helmet

No matter what type of cyclist you are, whatever age, safety should be your top priority. The humble bicycle helmet is the one bit of safety gear that transcends all cycling disciplines and skill levels. For such a relatively simple thing it’s undoubtedly one of the most important and can quite literally be a lifesaver. Even with the best will in the world sometimes accidents happen, and when they do it’s crucial that you have the right helmet that fits correctly. Here’s are guide on how to get the perfect fit when choosing a helmet.

Measuring up

Before you start to look around for a new helmet we recommend you measure your head (or the head of the person you’re buying for). Almost all helmet manufacturers size their helmets based on the circumference of the wearers head. This measurement is taken from just above the eyebrows and around the back of the head at its largest point.

When it comes to taking the measurement you’re going to want to use a fabric or flexible tape measure. If you don’t have a flexible tape don’t worry. You can use something like a piece of string to mark the length then measure against a ruler or non flexible tape measure.

You want to have your measuring device about 2 inches above your eyebrows and around the widest part of your head to take your measurement.

Try a few out

When selecting your new helmet we recommend trying a few out. The one that you initially think looks good might not feel the most comfortable. Comfort is incredibly important, you’re going to be wearing your helmet everytime you ride so you want it to feel right. Some helmets may be the same size as others on the packaging or label but feel completely different when they’re on, so it may take some trial and error before you find the perfect fit for you.

If you can pop in to your nearest Hargroves Cycles then trying out a few options isn’t a problem. For our online customers we now offer free returns with helmet purchases so you can get the helmet that fits you best.

If you aren’t sure which brand to choose or which cycling helmet is best for your riding style, then check out our other Helmet Buyer’s Guides.

Adjustment

Most helmets will have a couple of points of adjustment to aid with comfort and more importantly to keep you safe. Once you have found the right helmet adjust the straps and rear adjuster until the helmet feels secure but isn’t too tight.

Make sure the the helmet covers the majority of your forehead. If you put your index and middle finger together and sit them above your eyebrow that should be where the helmet should sit.

Next, twist the adjuster at the back of the helmet if there is one. The helmet should feel comfortable and neither too tight or too loose.

Do the same with the chin strap. The chin strap should be comfortable on both your face and chin and shouldn’t cut or dig in anywhere – the helmet is too small or the strap is too tight if this happens. The V of the straps should also sit around your ears – if these are on top of your ears, then you’ll need to adjust the straps again or get the next size up.

Test the Fit

Once the helmet feels comfortable it is time to test the fit. Push the helmet forwards and backwards as well as side to side. If the helmet can move in any direction more than about an inch, it needs to be adjusted again or it could be too large. The helmet should be able to move a bit, if it doesn’t move at all it’s probably too tight. If everything seems ok then you should be good to go. We do recommend checking the adjustment of your helmet regularly to make sure things haven’t loosened overtime. 

If your helmet gets damaged or is involved in an accident you should always replace it as the safety of a helmet can be compromised by any damage it has sustained. 

Categories
Bikes Buying Guide Protection Safety

MTB Helmets 101: What’s the differences and why you should care

We all know that a helmet is one of the most crucial bits of kit to remember for any ride. If you have been involved in an incident that meant your lid was used for its intended purpose, at whatever level of collision, you will know all too well the importance of this often lifesaving bit of kit.

It is widely regarded that a helmet – without a collision – should be replaced every five years, as the spongy protective EPS layer gradually loses its volume. At Hargroves Cycles, we stock a large number of helmets, but what is the difference between them? And why should you care about wearing the right helmet for the right discipline?

Mountain biking, in particular, is a broad church. There’s a huge gulf in requirements between easy trail riding and breakneck DH racing, and as such there are a wealth of helmet options than sometimes be a little bit bewildering. First, let’s look at the technology underpinning MTB helmets.

MTB helmet tech explained – MIPS

MIPS is the industry leader in helmet technology. They’re not a manufacturer of helmets, so much as a third-party technology supplier used by other brands to make their products safer. Like how The North Face and Berghaus use Gore Tex in their waterproof jackets.

MIPS stands for Multi-directional Impact Protection System and it pretty much does what it says on the tin. The way we crash on bicycles is not a simple case of linear impacts, we crash in all sorts of unpredictable ways and thus, the impacts to our noggins can come in at all sorts of angles. MIPS helmets reflect that and protect you from it in a way that older helmets that just use foam do not.

Having MIPS in a helmet often adds a little bit to the price tag, with some major brands releasing their top-end lids in a ‘with MIPS’ and regular version. Look out for MIPS’ bright yellow branding if you’re ever unsure as to whether a helmet is equipped with this brain-saving tech.

ANGI

From an industry-wide technology to one pioneered exclusively by a single brand, ANGI is Specialized’s way of measuring the linear and rotational forces that typically occur during a bicycle crash. Big S is putting ANGI (Angular and G-Force indicator) into its top-end bike helmets as a sort of extra safety system. The sensors communicate with an app on your phone and, should the worst happen and you end up eating some dirt, the app will notify your emergency contacts that you’ve taken a tumble. The benefits of this when you’re out riding solo away from civilisation are obvious. For more, visit this FAQ on Specialized’s site.

Another emerging safety tech is the rise of better helmets with detachable chin bars. The first full-face helmets were pretty uncomfortable to ride for any length of time at any level of intensity because they didn’t really breathe well and ended up feeling like riding with a swampy bucket on your head. Many riders opted to have two different helmets, only wearing the full-face when they absolutely had to – and for only short periods of time – and favouring their open-face option for any sort of all-mountain riding.

A detachable chin bar eliminates some of that rigidity by allowing you to switch your full-face lid to an open-face one when you don’t need that maximum level of protection. It adds massive versatility to helmets offering full-face protection, without compromise on the safety aspects.

The MET Parachute MCR is a perfect example of this growing sector.

Best helmets for MTB

So which are the best MTB helmets for different disciplines?

For enduro, we’d recommend the aforementioned MET Parachute. It sits at the top of the category with its magnetic chin bar removal system, MIPS protection and – like all MET helmets, it’s beautifully styled with that Italian flair for design.

Looking to save some cash but still get maximum protection? Look no further than the Giro Switchblade. It’s also packing MIPS protection and comes with 20 vents around the helmet body to keep you cool. The chin bar is removable.

Looking to explore some trails without the competitive element or extreme speeds of enduro? We love the Specialized Ambush for trail riding and all-mountain exploration. It comes with the ANGI technology discussed above as well as a really clever integrated fit system.

Similar in performance and protection offered is the MET Roam, winner of a 2018 Design & Innovation award. The Italian brand describes it as an all-mountain helmet and it really is versatile – we’ve seen it used in everything from trail-riding to gravel racing.

Looking for the thrill that only comes from pelting full-tilt downhill? You’ll be wanting a proper full-face helmet to do that, and you could do much worse than the category-leading Specialized Dissident. Present in the range for almost a decade, the Dissident has had a lot of facelifts in its time, but has preserved that essential commitment to being “the lightest, most-ventilated and technically advanced carbon fibre full-face mountain bike helmet out there.” 

Now that you know everything there is to know about the types of MTB helmet we stock, why not come down to one of our shops and try one for size? Our friendly staff will help you find the right style, size, make and design for the type of cycling you do.

Categories
Buying Guide Safety

MIPS Helmets : Everything You Need To Know!

While modern technology means bikes are becoming lighter and faster, the technology around protecting riders is following suit and is constantly finding new ways to keep cyclists as safe as possible, should the worst happen.

An obvious way to protect the head against injury from a bike accident, is a helmet, and if you’re in the market for a new one, chances are, you’ve probably come across the term ‘MIPS’ once or twice. In this post, we’ll be exploring exactly what ‘MIPS’ means and does, and how this exciting technology is helping to limit the injury to the brain in bike crashes…

The Multi- Directional Impact Protection System or ‘MIPS’ for short, is the technology that was developed by scientists from The Karolinska Institute and The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. The system, which is based on the brain protection your brain already has (a layer of cerebrospinal fluid between the brain and the skull), is designed to protect the brain during crashes, from any angled impacts to the head.

In a bike crash, the head can experience two kinds of forces – linear and rotational. Most helmets are designed to tackle linear forces, but MIPS technology focuses more on rotational forces, which is when the head hits the ground at an angle. When this happens, the head rotates quickly and then comes to a sudden stop, which causes the brain to experience a high level of strain, and this can result in various types of brain injury. The cerebrospinal fluid in the head is the body’s primary defence method, and as we mentioned earlier, this is what the MIPS technology is based on. MIPS’ Slip Plane technology means that an extra layer is present within the helmet, which allows the helmet shell to rotate independently around the head during an angled impact, therefore redirecting some of the force the brain may otherwise experience – pretty cool ay?

MIPS helmets are becoming more lightweight and cost effective, so it’s no wonder big named brands like Giro, Bell and Fox are all starting to roll out helmets with the exciting technology inside!

Here are just a few of our favourites!

Giro Montaro MIPS Helmet

mips giro montaro

 

Regardless of whether you’re on technical descents or long climbs, the Giro Montaro MIPS helmets are there for wherever your ride takes you. Not only does this lid have impressive cooling power, it’s also fitted with hydrophilic, antimicrobial pads that can absorb up to ten times their weight in sweat – pretty cool stuff! With the added benefit of full goggle integration, the Montaro really does offer it all…

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/giro-montaro-mips-helmet-2016.html”]Shop Giro Montaro MIPS Here[/button]

 

Bell Super 2 MIPS Helmet

bell super 2 mips

 

Need a helmet that is going to keep up with your heart-pounding trail rides? Look no further than the Bell Super 2 MIPS. With uncompromising comfort and ventilation, you’ll be charging up the climbs. You’ll love all of the technology is loaded with – a breakaway mount, and an upgraded TAG fit system that makes dialling in fit easier than ever, just to name a few!

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/bell-super-2-mips-helmet-2016.html”]Shop Bell Super 2 Here[/button]

 

Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Seca MIPS Helmet

fox rampage pro

 

If you’re looking for the pinnacle of performance from a mountain bike helmet, the Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Seca MIPS helmet is an obvious choice. Using their 40-year history of design and engineering excellence, Fox has added bike-specific functionality for even better performance. With it’s lightweight yet luxury interior appeal, this lid continues to show up on the podium season after season!

[button style=’red’ url=”https://www.hargrovescycles.co.uk/fox-rampage-pro-carbon-seca-mips-helmet.html”]Shop Fox Rampage Pro Carbon Seca Here[/button]

 

Of course, these are just a few of our favourite MIPS helmets, but make sure to check out our other lids here!