How to Choose the Right Bike Helmet

Don't wait until you've had a crash to buy your first bike helmet. If you don't already own one, go shopping now and use these simple suggestions to make the right purchase.

You will need

  • Retailers
  • Diligence

Step 1 Find the sticker Find the sticker that certifies that your helmet meets established safety standards. This will usually be a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sticker or an American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) sticker.

Step 2 Choose color Choose a bright, highly-visible color for your helmet to help drivers see you. This is in addition to, not in lieu of, reflective gear and other safety lights.

Step 3 Examine vents Examine the vents on your helmet. Large vents reduce your level of protection, but some venting is necessary to keep your head cool.

Step 4 Check the fit Put the helmet on and make sure there are no gaps between the padding and your head. It should sit level and cover your forehead from a couple of inches above your eyebrows.

Step 5 Fasten the straps Fasten the straps so that the helmet is snug but not tight. Shake your head around and then try to pull the helmet off; you should not be able to.

Step 6 Wear it Wear your helmet every time you ride, even if you are just going down the block. It can’t protect you if it is not on your head.