Buying a cycling helmet can be puzzling for cyclists. The prices you find in the market make you wonder what the difference is all about. Cycling helmets come in many shapes and sizes. They are all built to safety standards that differ in small variations from country to country.
The helmet you get is going to be safe and protect you from head and brain injuries regardless of its price. Differences in cycling helmet prices are based on how well the helmet fits, its weight, quality of the internal padding, and airflow in and around the helmet among other factors.
Size of the Helmet
The size of the helmet you get determines its pricing to some extent. For common one-size-fits-all helmets, the pricing will be low. Higher end cycling helmets come with a number of features that make them fit a single or two sizes of head circumference.
A cycling helmet’s size is important because it determines how snugly the helmet will fit. One-size-fits-all helmets may move around on your head and take away some of the protection they should be giving you. They are also ungainly and may come too low onto your eyes to block your view.
Weight Differences by Cycling Helmet Prices
For any cyclist, the weight of your helmet is a major consideration. You want to be light on the bike at all times, whether you are in a race or just out on a fun ride. Heavy helmets are cumbersome and may weigh you down. Cheap helmets tend to be heavier than higher priced ones. These helmets at the lower end of the price range may thus cause you discomfort during rides. They might also end up giving you neck pain at the end of your ride!
Does Helmet Price affect Ventilation?
The shape of your cycling helmet is closely linked to its size and price. For a few bucks, you get a basic helmet that has little thought in its design. Cycling in the helmet may leave you with improper streamlines and ventilation.
Cyclists are surprised to find out that spending a little more on their helmet can help them get better airflow in and around their helmets.
For rides in the sun or on hot days, ventilation into the helmet is a godsend. It keeps your head cool and less sweaty. Airflow around your helmet can make the difference in most road rides and races. On any day, a streamlined helmet is better than one that is not.
In ventilation of cycling helmets, vents that can be closed are to be found on the highest priced helmets. They are easy for cyclists to open when they want more cooling with some loss in streamlining. Once the vents are closed, the helmet achieves its best streamline and airflow performance.
Quality of internal padding moisture wicking
Sweating is inevitable when cycling. With a vented helmet, there is less sweat accumulation in your helmet. The cycling helmet price also determines the type of padding used in the inner surface of the helmet. Cheap helmets have low-quality padding.
The extra coins you chip out for a helmet get you padding that is soft on your head and wicks moisture away from your head. This affects how comfortable you are in the helmet. Imagine having a vented helmet with moisture-wicking padding just by spending a little more on your helmet!
Other Helmet Features affected by Price
Other features of your cycling helmet affected by the price are the softness of the helmet straps and suitability to road disciplines. The cheaper helmets have straps that are less comfortable and not easy to use. With more expensive helmets, you get harnesses and buckles that are built with your use in mind. The straps are also much softer without loss in strength.
Helmets that come at higher prices are designed with specific road disciplines in mind. A mountain biking helmet has features that make it comfortable and great for mountain rides.
Road cycling also has helmets designed by manufacturers to give better protection in the event of a road crash.
These manufacturers have spent a lot in research and development, thus the higher price on their discipline-specific cycling helmets.
You should remember to replace your cycling helmet every 3 years. In the event that you are involved in a crash, replace the helmet earlier. Most cycling helmets are designed to withstand a single crash only. When you often ride in the sun and expose the helmet to more heat, consider replacing it earlier too. Direct sun and heat cause faster degradation of the materials used to make cycling helmets.
Read more: How to care for your helmet