Regardless of an individual's cycling style, wearing a helmet should be an essential part of any ride. The key to getting the most out of a helmet is to find one that fits properly and is appropriate for its intended use.
Understanding the Basic Components of a Helmet
Before committing to the purchase of a helmet, it is important to understand the basic parts of most helmets and how they affect comfort, weight, function, and durability.
*Liner: This is the polystyrene foam that coats the inside of most helmets. In case of impact, the liner absorbs the brunt of the force and is the last line of defense for a rider's head in an accident. When shopping for a helmet, look for a liner that rests comfortably on the head. A liner should be perfectly intact and free of dents, chips, or other damage.
*Shell: The plastic outer covering, or shell, is what gives a helmet its color and style. More than just for decoration, though, the shell also adds valuable safety, as it keeps the helmet together on impact, offers puncture-resistant protection, and allows the helmet to skid in case of a crash; this helps prevent head and neck injuries in an accident. The shell should not have any cracks or chips.
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