One of the most important pieces of equipment besides your bike is a helmet. Helmets are required for all rides and races. This includes coaches, parents or anyone riding with the team. If you don’t have a helmet, you’ll be sent home.

Here is a great article on: How to Choose a Bike Helmet

A few things to note:

  • Some riders ride with a road bike helmet and others ride with a mountain bike helmet. Either is fine.
  • Make sure you adjust your helmet properly. This article has some tips. If you’re not sure, then ask a coach to check for you.
  • Helmets with chin bars are not allowed in races. Besides you’ll get way too hot.
  • Know when to replace your helmet. If you had a big crash, then replace it. Helmets are meant to absorb a single impact. If your helmet is old (4 to 5 years), you should replace it. Pollution, UV light and weathering may weaken key components over time.
  • The team can lose points at a race if a parent or coach is found riding at a race without a helmet. Please don’t be that parent.

Here are some more details about helmets in the NorCal Edition of the NICA Rulebook

A. Student-athletes must wear an approved helmet at all times. See below for the list of approved helmet standards. Under no circumstances should a student be on their bicycle without a helmet fastened to their head, even when riding a very short distance. Students must also keep their helmet on when walking or running on the course with a mechanical (see Rule 2). In addition:
Helmet straps must be adjusted to the extent that two fingers can be pushed under the strap, whereas three fingers would be difficult.
Helmets should not have any cracks or dents from previous falls or mishandling.
Helmets should be the correct size with little to no side-to-side or front-to-back movement.
Full-face helmets are not allowed without written permission from the Rules and Appeals Committee.
The helmet rules are not applicable to riders warming up on bikes that are securely mounted to stationary trainers.

B. Approved Helmets meet one of the following standards:
a. Snell Memorial Foundation Standard “B” or “N” series.
b. American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standard F-1447.
c. European Committee for Standardization (CE EN1078) standard for bicycle helmets.

All coaches and team assistants must comply with all helmet rules at all team practices, team events, and League races. In the event a coach is seen riding without a helmet, a 25-point penalty will be applied to his or her team’s score.

Parents shall comply with all helmet rules at all races. Parents riding bicycles without helmets will receive two warnings. After a third infraction, the parent’s student-athlete will be penalized 25 points at the race where the infraction occurred. Parents must wear helmets for the following reasons:
To set an example for the student-athletes;
As a part of risk management due to limited emergency
resources on site;
It is often difficult for race officials to visually differentiate between parents and coaches; and
NICA is concerned about the safety of all our participants and spectators.