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By bike, it is better to arrive with a helmet to arrive whole! With the good weather awaiting us, it is tempting to get back in the saddle for these daily journeys, to follow in the footsteps of La ViaRhôna, or for the more daring, to climb the Ventoux. For this reason, the helmet has become obligatory in the collective imagination. In 2024, bicycle helmets don't just protect you, they do it with style, comfort and a healthy dose of technology.

Choosing your bike helmet with Muule: safety and adaptation to your needs

To protect you effectively and sustainably, Muule gives you the essential criteria to take into account when purchasing a bicycle helmet in 2024. What is the importance of MIPS technology? What to choose between an ABS or EPS shell and what are the differences?

So many questions that need to be clarified, without forgetting a selection of the best bicycle helmets carefully selected to ensure your safety on the road today!

When choosing a bicycle helmet, it's crucial to prioritize safety, but that doesn't mean neglecting comfort and technology. In 2024, innovations in cycling equipment have reached new heights. Here are the features we think are essential to look for in a bike helmet this year.

Bicycle helmet in travel/gravel bike use

Advanced impact reduction technology:

In 2024, two technologies particularly stand out for their ability to protect us against the most dangerous impacts: the MIPS system (Multi-directional Impact Protection System) and SPIN technology (Shearing Pad INside).

MIPS – Multi-directional Impact Protection System: The MIPS system is designed to help reduce rotational forces that can be transferred to the brain during oblique impacts. These forces are often responsible for severe brain damage because they involve a twisting movement of the brain inside the skull. The MIPS equipped helmet has a low friction layer located between the outer shell and the inner liner. In the event of a collision, this layer allows the helmet to slide slightly relative to the head, thus mimicking the natural protective mechanism of the human brain. This sliding motion significantly reduces the rotational energy reaching the brain, thereby reducing the risk of damage.

MIPS technology

SPIN – Shearing Pad INside: SPIN technology, on the other hand, uses gel pads designed to move in all directions upon impact. These pads work on a similar principle to MIPS, providing protection against rotational movements. The advantage of SPIN pads is that they are integrated directly into the structure of the helmet, without requiring additional mechanisms or layers. This not only reduces rotational forces but also improves the overall comfort of the helmet, as the pads adapt better to the shape of the head.

These two technologies, MIPS and SPIN, represent a major step forward in bicycle helmet design, meeting the strictest safety standards while maximizing comfort. By choosing a helmet equipped with one of these technologies, cyclists can ride with the confidence that their equipment is designed not only to protect in the event of an accident but also to minimize the consequences of oblique impacts, even those which are often the most feared.

SPIN system

The materials: both light and robust

Impact reduction technologies, such as MIPS and SPIN, are vital to rider protection, but they are only part of what makes an effective helmet. The quality and type of material used for the helmet shell also plays a crucial role in overall protection. There are 3 types of hulls that dominate the market: ABS, EPS, and In-mold hulls. Each of these materials offers different benefits in terms of safety, weight and durability.

ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) hulls: ABS hulls are known for their high impact resistance and rigidity. This type of plastic is very durable and resists scratches and small punctures well. Helmets made with ABS shells are often heavier, which can be a disadvantage for some cyclists especially on the road, but they offer the strongest protection against direct impacts.

EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) shells: EPS is the most popular choice for the majority of bicycle helmets due to its ability to absorb energy during an impact. When the EPS shell is struck, the material compresses and dissipates the energy of the impact, reducing the force that reaches the head. EPS helmets are lighter than ABS, offering a good balance between weight, comfort and protection. However, they are generally less durable and may require replacement after severe impact. These shells are most often used for disciplines that require lightness such as road cycling.

In-mold Shells: In-mold technology combines a polycarbonate outer shell with an EPS liner during the manufacturing process, fusing the two together. This process makes it possible to obtain an extremely light helmet. In-mold helmets offer excellent impact resistance while being lighter than those made only of ABS or EPS. The fusion of materials also allows the formation of more complex structures for better ventilation options and a more elegant design. However, just like EPS helmets, In-mold helmets may be less durable against daily wear and tear compared to ABS helmets.

So which case to choose?

It all depends on the activity you are doing. For active activities such as mountain biking, an ABS helmet offers the necessary robustness. If you are not looking to save weight and you have a reduced budget, it is also a good compromise for use in the city. For road cyclists, bikepacking cyclists, or simply those looking for a good balance between protection and lightness, EPS or In-mold helmets are the most suitable.

Ventilation and thermoregulation

Ventilation in bicycle helmets is a major component. The barrier to wearing a helmet for some may be the fear of overheating. To ensure that this no longer becomes a constraint, brands have stepped up their efforts in recent years to offer sophisticated designs that incorporate specially designed airflow channels to maximize ventilation. These channels guide cool air from the front of the helmet to the back, allowing hot air and moisture to escape efficiently. On the most ventilated helmets you can find up to 20 carefully placed ventilation channels which in no way alter the solidity of the structure. Depending on your use (more or less intense) and the season, it is important to consider the number of ventilation channels of the helmet that you will choose.

POC ventilation system

Comfortable adjustment systems

Adjustment mechanisms must be simple to handle to allow for a precise and comfortable fit. Systems such as adjustable dials or ratchet systems ensure a perfect fit and allow optimal 360° adjustment of the helmet. Magnetic buckles like the Fidlock system provide real practicality and significant ease of use, particularly for city helmets that we tend to handle several times during the day.

Smart Connectivity

Many headsets now include connected features. This may include integrated LED lights for better visibility, fall sensors that alert emergency contacts like the RECCO system, or even locks integrated directly into the helmet, which will lock a helmet to a bike like the HIPLOK system at Abuse .

While most hardshell jackets have this type of adjustment, this is not necessarily the case for SoftShell models.

In any case, you must keep in mind that the higher the level of accessorization, the more it will have an impact on the price of the jacket.

Integrated LED light

Compatibility with other equipment

IF you are used to using glasses or headgear under your helmet, make sure that the helmet is compatible with this equipment. Some helmets are specially designed to fit perfectly with other accessories, generally to avoid taking any risks, it is advisable to choose the same brand of helmet and goggles to ensure a perfect fit.

Security certifications

Finally, even though it may seem obvious, always take a look at the helmet's safety certifications. Standards such as CE in Europe, CPSC in the United States, and AS/NZS in Australia and New Zealand tell you that the helmet is reliable in protection.

Selection of bicycle helmets

To finish this article, Muule invites you to discover its favorite 2024 selection of bicycle helmets, all selected among the best on the market:

Omne Air Mips AVIP

This helmet will not leave you indifferent to its level of protection, it is a must for any cyclist. The optimal density of the EPS lining and the greater thickness of the protection zones offer significant comfort and protection. In terms of efficiency, we can say that we are doing what is best. Its Mips Integra technology greatly improves protection against rotational impacts, while the numerous carefully placed vents let air in and prevent heat build-up.

Strong points :

  • Narrow, ergonomic shape

  • Lightness: it feels like you have nothing on your head

  • Its 360-degree waist adjustment system and straps with molded anchors provide perfect support and comfort.

Omne Air Mips AVIP

City Stride Mips Hiplok

The German brand wanted to hit hard with this ultra-complete helmet in terms of protection and equipment. Usable in town but also in more sporty activities, this helmet features the MIPS system combined with Hardshell technology. Result ? A helmet at the top of safety with a system that reduces rotational impacts and a bi-material shell which benefits from very high impact resistance. In terms of equipment, this City Stride is loaded with options. There is an LED light, an integrated anti-theft device and a very ergonomic Monomatic closing system.

Strong points :

  • Level of options

  • Ease of use

  • Versatility

City Stride Mips Hiplok

Ventral Air Mips

Designed for intensive cycling activities, the Swedish brand has developed this helmet for weight and optimal ventilation. Without forgetting the brand's DNA: the high level of protection. The Ventral Air 's MIPS system has been optimized, allowing it to be more ventilated and breathable while ensuring the absorption of head rotational forces during certain impacts. It is a helmet that surprises with its ability to offer a real refreshing effect, these ventilation channels are among the most effective on the market. Ideal for long summer outings in the mountains!

Strong points :

  • Exceptional level of ventilation

  • Lightness

  • Security

Ventral Air Mips

Uvex Rush Visor

The Rush Visor is the helmet par excellence for those looking for a bicycle helmet that can be used at all times and all year round for trips around town. Its modern and dynamic round shape is not only aesthetic, it also allows maximum coverage of the neck. Its molded In-Mold construction is very current in terms of the level of protection. The major advantage of this helmet is its retractable visor which gives you additional protection against the elements. The visor is completed by many other features, including an LED light, an ergonomic tightening buckle with reflective elements.

Strong points :

  • Modern look

  • Versatile category 1 visor

  • Exemplary comfort thanks to 3D IAS 3.0

Uvex Rush Visor

Article written by Colin de Muule on May 15, 2024.

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