While browsing through bike helmets online, is the helmet color at the back of your mind?
Then it might have also occurred to you that a black helmet may be much hotter to use. After all, that’s what the majority of riders tend to think. But really, are black bike helmets hotter? Or is there much more to helmet colors than you might have considered?
We’ve compiled this extensive guide to answer all such questions. Go ahead and give it a read.
Are Black Bike Helmets Hotter?
To be precise, yes, black bike helmets are indeed slightly hotter as they have a greater UV absorption rate. But in most cases, the temperature increase is negligible and is offset by the cooler air flowing above the helmet. Notably, the more the speed of the bike, the greater the airflow will be.
It’s also worth noting here that since the foam under the helmet isn’t a good heat conductor, the exterior will be hot to the touch.
Black vs. White Helmet
First off, whether white or black is a warmer helmet color has been much debated throughout.
But some simple scientific logic can help you understand the reality— white helmets have a lower heat absorption rate than black ones. This ultimately allows a white helmet to stay cooler even though its capability of heat radiation is lesser.
Does Bike Helmet Color Matter?
At first thought, it might seem that the color of a bike helmet just adds visual interest. But there are quite a few important aspects associated with the color that ultimately determine the effectiveness of a particular helmet.
Then again, we’d like to reiterate that the color won’t have a major impact on the heat transmission to a rider’s body, thanks to its inner foam lining.
Indeed, it’s practically proven that the color of a helmet can affect the lifespan of the helmet material.
As mentioned earlier, dark-colored helmets can absorb greater heat; hence, continuous UV exposure might deteriorate the quality of the material. That’s why lighter-colored helmets are a more long-lasting choice for riding in regions with a warmer climate.
Visibility is one of the most important factors when it comes to riding on busy roads, and the helmet color does impact the visibility to some extent.
As bikes are smaller than other vehicles like trucks and cars, they’re not very easy to spot on busy roads. So, while you’re out on your bike, it’s essential to be equipped with high visibility gear so that other motorists can spot the bike easily. That’s why many riders choose to go for fluorescent shades like fluorescent orange or yellow that are much easier to spot.
Since an easy-to-spot helmet color enhances the visibility of a bike on the road, this can help lower the risk of road accidents.
Notably, a 2006 study revealed that wearing white helmets could lower the risk of an accident in comparison with wearing black helmets by 24%. The study also claimed that lighter-colored helmets could help reduce the risk of accidents by 19% compared to darker ones.
At the same time, the scientists did add a point of caution that the findings might not be applicable under all settings as the study was carried out in New Zealand.
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What Color Of Bike Helmet Is Best?
Aside from having a fulfilling ride, safety is the other priority when you’re out on your bike. As such, high-visibility colors such as fluorescent shades and white are regarded as the best colors for bike helmets.
Note that among these colors, solid white is less visually attractive in daylight compared to fluorescent colors. However, it stands out more visibly during the nighttime.
How About A High Viz Helmet?
The high-visibility helmets that we just discussed are regarded as the brightest and most easily visible ones. Called high viz in short, these helmets go well with other high visibility bike gear and are a great choice in terms of both style and safety.
That said, the choice of a bike helmet would also depend upon your budget. And you must also consider the time of the day when you need to ride. Considering both these factors, if you need to ride during the day and night, a white helmet will be a perfect choice.
However, if you need to ride mainly during the daytime and aren’t faced with a tight budget, a high viz helmet such as a fluorescent orange product will be suitable.
How Can I Make My Bike Visible at Night?
To improve the visibility of your bike, you can add more lights to it. For instance, you can add a bright headlight and make sure others can always spot the front side while riding.
Rear lights and brake lights are other smart additions in this regard. You may even choose to add LED lights to the frame and a disc on the wheel spokes in case you wish to boost the visibility.
Why Does My Bike Helmet Make My Head Itch?
Firstly, riding in warmer weather for a long time can lead to the accumulation of dirt and sweat in the inner lining of a bike helmet. And this can ultimately come in contact with the scalp to cause irritation or itchiness. Moreover, tight helmets can become breeding grounds for bacterial growth as the airflow is restricted, causing more dirt and heat to be trapped therein.
On that note, we’re about to wrap up our guide.
Hopefully, you’ve been able to understand the true significance of bike helmet colors now. It’s time that you choose a good helmet for yourself. Again, do remember to consider your budget and riding needs before zeroing in on suitable helmet color.
Till next time, take care!