Buying a Cycle Helmet
The most important part of buying a cycle helmet for your child is to ensure that it fits correctly. Even the best helmet won't offer sufficient protection if it is free to move around. With that in mind we've put together the following guide to help you select the right helmet for your child.
How to Determine the Right Size?
Children's cycle helmet sizing comes in all sorts of different size, such as small, 52-56cm, youth and so on which can make things challenging, especially when buying remotely. But the critical dimension is head circumference and all helmets sold in the UK will have this measurement. Furthermore every helmet we stock has its size listed in the details so you will always have a consistent data point.
1. Firstly you will need to measure you child's head using a soft tape measure (not the metal retractable ones). If you don't have a tape measure you can order a paper one from us - it's free!
The correct place to measure is around the forehead, but with a slight angle down toward the back of the head, which corresponds to how the helmet will sit on the head.
2. Take a note of this measurement and compare it the helmet dimensions on the site. Let's say your measurement is 52.5cm and the helmet you are interested in is 49cm - 53cm then you can be confident that it will fit. However it's likely that your child will grow out of it soon although that might not necessarily be an issue of course. Unlike clothes, where there is no impact of "he'll grow in to it", if your child's helmet is too big it won't be able to do the very job it is designed for.
3. Select your helmet and wait for it to arrive. Once you've received it, do a test fit with your child, focusing on these three areas.
Overall Fit. Can you adjust the helmet so it sits still on your child's head.
Chin Straps. Can you tighten the chin strap so that you can just get a finger in the gap.
Weight. Is the helmet light enough for you child to hold their head up properly.
What is MIPS and do you need it?
You may have seen that some of our helmets have MIPS in their title and you may rightly be asking, what is it?.
A MIPS helmet, or multi-direction impact protection system to give it its full name, is a helmet built to protect the head from the rotational impact from a crash. A MIPS helmet is made from the same impact absorbning material as a regular helmet (hence why a MIPS helmet often looks identical to it's non MIPS equivalent) but it has an additional "slip plane" layer within which allows the outer layer to rotate by up to 5mm with respect to the inner layer.
This prevents rotational forces being imparted to the head, whilst still offering the same level of protection from a direct impact. By absorbing these rotational forces, there is less chance of concussion from a fall.