Wearing the right cycling safety gear

Reduce your risk of head injury – wear an approved helmet. Here's how to choose the safest helmet and clothing to protect yourself when cycling.

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Bicycle helmets

When riding, you're required by law to wear an approved bicycle helmet securely fitted and fastened on your head.

Look for the sticker certifying the helmet meets Australian and New Zealand standards (AS/NZS2063), displayed on the helmet to ensure it has passed stringent safety tests.

Protect your head – it's the law.

Choosing the best helmet

There are three types of helmets:

  • Soft shell – a foam shell with a fabric cover
  • Micro shell – a foam shell with a thin plastic cover
  • Hard shell – a foam shell with a thicker plastic cover.

It is recommended that you choose a brightly coloured helmet to heighten your visibility.

Your helmet must:

  • be approved and conform to Australian and New Zealand standards
  • be a good fit
  • have a number of ventilation holes or openings
  • be layered with thick, energy-absorbing hard foam
  • not hinder vision
  • be lightweight for comfort
  • have adjustable straps
  • not have been damaged or involved in a crash.

Correctly fitting your helmet

A helmet must be correctly fitted to maximise its effectiveness in the event of a crash.

  • Position the helmet on your head and tilt it forward until the front of the helmet is two fingers above the bridge of your nose.
  • Fasten and straighten the helmet buckles and straps, and adjust for a snug fit.
  • One finger should be able to fit between the buckle and your chin while the helmet is firmly in place on your head.
  • Avoid wearing anything under the helmet such as a hat or beanie as this may affect the correct fitting of the helmet on your head. It may also hinder ventilation causing you to become dehydrated.

Replace your helmet

Damaged helmets can be dangerous. Replace your helmet if:

  • the helmet has been damaged or involved in a crash
  • the helmet polystyrene is cracked
  • the straps are worn or frayed
  • the helmet does not properly fit your head.

Choosing the right clothing

Increase your visibility

Wear bright clothes during the day and a reflective vest at night. If you don't have a reflective vest, dress in colours that reflect the light from cars such as white or fluorescent green.

Increase your comfort

On long journeys, consider wearing cycling pants and a bright coloured cycling jersey as these are made for cycling comfort.

Stay cool

Select clothing that allows good airflow between fabric and skin - this will keep you cool as you ride.

Be prepared for bad weather

Take a good weatherproof jacket and waterproof pants to help keep you dry in case of rain.

Protect your eyes

Wear sunglasses or clear lens glasses to stop bugs, dirt and rain from flying into your eyes, particularly when you're riding in the country. Sunglasses will also protect your eyes from the glare.

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