My Weight Loss Progress

Friday, March 25, 2016

Learn to ride a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live.

---Mark Twain, American author and humorist, at

Buying a Bicycle Helmet

I went to Walmart and got myself a pretty new helmet. I would have settled for an ugly helmet if it fit comfortably.  After trying on several, this one is the one I liked best. It's lightweight and fits me comfortable. It's also available at this link Bike Helmet from Amazon.

I am not promoting this particular helmet for anyone else. the important thing is to find one that sits snugly on your head, is lightweight enough to forget it's there, meets safety standards, and did I mention feels comfortable? 


My problem with helmets has always been that they are too big or too small, no matter how I adjust those straps.  They either pinch my neck or slide around on my head. However, when I shopped this time, I found that many of the helmets now have a back strap with a little wheel. All you have to do to adjust it around the head is turn the little wheel until it feels just right, snug enough not to slide around, and loose enough not to pinch.  

Here is an example of the wheel from the Dazed Dad blog. You just turn it a little to tighten or loosen it.

With the front-to-back bit comfortable, it's easy to adjust the ear straps to fit. Notice on this little boy how they go around the ear, adjoining below it. Again, the trick is to be loose enough not to pinch or feel choky, but tight enough to keep the helmet from sliding all over you head. It should go with the head if you move or fall, not be lagging behind where it can't protect you.


After finding two or three with a good fit, I tested for weight and visibility. I don't like the helmet to hang so low I feel as if I have to peer out of it.  From there, it was simply which one felt lightest on my head. It may not be the actual lightest one, but it felt light to me--comfortable and not putting extra strain on my neck and shoulders.


If football players wanted to protect their brains from injury they’d wear astronaut helmets. After all, astronauts have massive IQ’s, so wearing their protective headgear seems like a smart choice.
― Jarod Kintz, This Book is Not FOR SALE

After I bought the helmet, I had an internal debate with myself. Should I have gone to a bike shop and made sure I got a really good one?  Would it be worth the extra money?  Maybe Walmart is not the best place to buy a helmet.

I found the results of the following study to be reassuring:

BHSI submitted samples of six helmet models to a leading U.S. test lab: three in the $150+ range and three under $20. The impact test results were virtually identical. There were very few differences in performance among the helmets. Our conclusion: when you pay more for a helmet you may get an easier fit, more vents and snazzier graphics. But the basic impact protection of the cheap helmets tested equaled the expensive ones.The results are a testimony to the effectiveness of our legally-required CPSC helmet standard. Although our sample was small, the testing indicates that the consumer can shop for a bicycle helmet in the US market without undue concern about the impact performance of the various models on sale, whatever the price level. The most important advice is to find a helmet that fits you well so that it will be positioned correctly when you hit.


If looks are really important to you, rest assured that I found comfortable helmets in a pretty teal and a purple & pink stylized design as well.  It's all a matter of taste, and I happen to like this one best for fit and comfort, and I happen to think it looks just fine.  If you're really into getting one that is unusual or extra cute, check out Chic helmets.  Be aware that these helmets do not all meet U.S. Safety Standards, but the helmet cover is kind of a fun idea. On the bigger American-style helmets it might just look funny to cover it.

One last thought: 

She who succeeds in gaining the mastery of the bicycle will gain the mastery of life.
Susan B. Anthony

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