Helmets have come a long way since the first leather helmets used in the late 19th century, which frankly didn't offer much protection. Modern day helmets are required to conform to very high standards in order to ensure their safety. Most helmets now feature a lightweight, solid polycarbonate outer shell and comfortable, inner retention system for a snug fit, with more expensive models featuring aerodynamic and advanced ventilation properties. Giant are a strong believer in the MIPS protection system which is why you’ll find all of our performance helmets now include this added protection.
The fundamental way a helmet works is, upon impact, the hard shell spreads the force over a broad area to protect your skull, while the softer liner absorbs the energy of the impact so less force is transmitted to your head. A bicycle helmet has proven time and time again to reduce or even prevent serious head injuries and even death. According to statistics, most fatal injuries incurred among bicycle related accidents happened when the rider was not wearing a bicycle helmet.
Helmet choice is a personal matter as we all have different shapes and sizes of head. But there are several things to consider when choosing your helmet:
- Does it fit snugly and stay properly in position on your head?
- Is it comfortable?
- Does it meet the latest legal standards?
- Is it suitable for the type of riding you'll be doing?
You can view our range of helmets here.
Different Types of Helmet
The style of helmet that you need will depend largely on the type of riding that you intend to do. Let’s take a look at the features of the different options available:
Road helmets are designed to be lightweight and well ventilated. The best road helmets will allow good airflow to your head through specially shaped vents, like the Rev which features 21 specifically placed vents to ensure optimum ventilation. The retention system should be easy to adjust, even when riding and the chin straps are usually fixed to the helmet body in front and behind the ears and should sit comfortably out of the way. Road helmets don’t have visors, mainly as this can impede vision. The lack of visor means riders still have good visibility when riding in a low, aerodynamic position.
Road helmets usually compact, lightweight and feature many vents for optimum ventilation
More expensive, performance level helmets will have aerodynamic qualities to help air flow over the helmet, ultimately making the rider faster. The Pursuit is an example of an aero helmet.
Aero helmets are designed to minimise drag as much as possible
Like road helmets, off-road helmets are designed to be lightweight and well ventilated, however one significant difference is that they cover much more of the head. Comparing the two styles of helmets, you’ll be able to see that off-road helmets sit much lower around the back and the side of the head - as off-riders tend to come off the bike more due to the technical aspect of off-road riding, this type of helmet offers that little more protection.
Another significant difference is that off-road helmets usually feature a visor or peak at the front of the helmet. Off-road helmets have this as aerodynamics aren’t as important when riding off-road and it can help keep rain, sprayed up mud or low branches off the riders face. Some helmets, like the Rail SX MIPS also have extra features such as a google retainer strap on the rear so riders don’t lose their goggles!
You can see that off-road helmets sit much lower on the head and offer slightly more protection
Leisure / Commute Helmets
Realistically, you can wear any helmet for leisure rides or for commuting and there isn’t a specific design for this kind of riding. Some people will opt for a visor which can help keep the sun from your eyes whilst others will prefer the sleek look and lightweight of a road helmet.
It is worth noting though that some helmets include certain features that are of great benefit to commuters or casual cyclists. Take the Compel for example - this helmet offers great value and also features an integrated mounting plate to attach an LED light to for extra visibility.
Helmets designed for kids tend to vary too depending on the age group the helmet is aimed at. For example, helmets designed for younger children will likely sit lower on the head and offer more protection around the rear than those designed for slightly older children.
A really important factor to consider when buying a helmet for your child is that they actually want to wear it! Make sure they like the style of it and that it is comfortable. The Hoot ARX helmet comes in a choice of colours so there’s sure to be one that every child will like! We also now offer kids helmets that include MIPS for that extra piece of mind.
The ARX helmets come in a variety of colours so your child can choose to match (or clash) with their bike!
Giant's Helmet Crash Replacement Policy
We really understand the importance of cycling helmets so if your Giant or Liv branded helmet is damaged from a cycling accident, Giant will offer a replacement helmet if the accident and claim is made within the first year of purchase. Every helmet in our range is covered by our 12 month crash replacement policy so you can ride in total confidence.
Giant will aim to provide a free helmet, which is either like for like or the latest equivalent model. Should neither be available Giant will provide store credit to the value of your original Giant or Liv branded helmet purchase. To find out more, click here.