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Bike Helmets - How to Choose

muddy fox helmet
Bike Helmets
There are a range of cycle helmets for adults at Argos, ranging in price from £9.99 to £39.99. They also stock children's cycle helmets from £7.99.

How to Measure Your Head

It is important that bike helmets are properly fitted, ie not too big or too small. It should touch the head at the front, back, sides and top. You can measure your correct size as indicated in the adjacent picture, using a tape measure. Some stores provide disposable paper measuring tapes for this purpose.

If your head measurement is between two sizes or close to the next size up, you will need to try on each size of bike helmet to test which one is the best fit. This is because head shapes vary and the circumference of your head is only a guide to the correct fit.

Wiggle Cycles stock the largest range of bike helmets for men, women and children that I have ever seen in one place, either online or in store.

The Wiggle Mega Sale is still running, so these new codes offer some big savings on some already 'Mega' deals.

measuring head
How to measure your head.

How to Wear the Bike Helmet

The helmet should sit firmly on your head and be level. The fitting pads supplied should be used to ensure a perfect fit. Also note that the straps must go either side of your ears and not cover them. The strap adjusters will help you to get the straps in the correct position.

You should ensure that the helmet neither obstructs your vision in any way, nor covers your ears. You can check that the strap is at the correct tension by putting the helmet on, fastening the strap and the open your mouth. You should be able to feel the straps pulling under your chin, and you should not any excessive forward or backward movement when you pull the helmet back and forth across your head.

This diagram shows the correct position for a helmet.

This diagram shows an incorrectly positioned helmet.

Safety Standards

Ensure that any bike helmet you buy conforms to the current safety standards. It should have a "CE" mark and meet one of the following standards:

  • BS EN 1078:1997 (European Standard)
  • BS 6863:1989 (The British Standard, in the process of being replaced by the European Standard)
  • SNELL B.95 (The US Standard)

Remember that if you are involved in an accident, you will need to replace your bike helmet even if it appears undamaged. You may not be able to see the damage, but the effectiveness of the helmet will have been compromised, because the expanded polystyrene that takes the force of the impact can only arbsorb energy once.

Do not attach stickers to or paint the helmet, because you may weaken it.

Some features to look out for include:

  • Meets safety standards (as detailed above)
  • Supplied with fitting pads for a good fit
  • Pinch guard on straps to prevent the skin being nipped when fastening
  • A vented and aerodynamic design
  • An adjustable headband for the perfect fit
  • A (removeable) peak to protect your eyes if you are cycling in the sun
  • Adjustable straps.