Purchasing a helmet is often the easy part but making sure it fits properly and has been adjusted correctly is the most important part of buying a helmet and wearing it each time you ride.
The Proper Helmet Fit: Helmets come in various sizes just like hats, sizes can vary between manufacturers and checking the manufacturers sizing chart is important prior to ordering your new helmet.
To select and properly fit a bicycle helmet follow the fitting instructions below, it may take some time to ensure a proper fit and will be easier if you have someone to help you adjust the straps.
Step 1 Size:
Measure your head for approximate size, to measure your head using a material tape or similar measure around the head with the tape approximately 2 – 3cm above the eyebrows and in line with the top of your ears. Select the correct helmet according to the sizing chart and place on top of the head, make sure the helmet doesn’t rock side to side, sizing pads come with some helmets; use the pads to securely fit to your head. Mix or match the sizing pads for the greatest comfort. Remove the padding when your child's head grows, if the helmet has a universal fit ring instead of sizing pads adjust the ring size to fit the head.
Step 2 Position:
The helmet should sit level on your head and low on your forehead, one or two finger widths above your eyebrow.
Step 3 Buckles:
Centre the buckle under the chin, on most helmets the straps can be pulled from the back of the helmet to lengthen or shorten the chin straps. This task may be easier if you take the helmet off to make these adjustments or have someone help you.
Step 4 Side Straps:
Adjust the “V” slider on both straps to form a “V” shape under and slightly in front of the ears, lock the slider if possible.
Step 5 Chin Strap:
Buckle the chin strap and tighten the strap until it is snug enough so that no more than one or two fingers fit under the strap.
Step 6 Final Fitting:
- Does your Helmet fit right? Open your mouth wide… big yawn…! The helmet should pull down on the head . If not refer back to step 5 and tighten the chin strap.
- Does your helmet rock forward into your eyes? If so unbuckle, tighten the back strap by moving the slider back toward the ear, buckle and retighten the chin strap and test again.
- Does your helmet rock back more than two fingers above the eye brows? If so unbuckle, shorten the front strap by moving the slider forward. Buckle and retighten the chin strap and test again.
- Roll the rubber band down to the buckle, all four straps must go through the rubber band and be close to the buckle to prevent the buckle from slipping.
When to replace a Helmet:
Replace any helmet that has been involved in a crash or is damaged.
The Helmet should fit now:
Buy a helmet that fits your head now and not one your head will grow into…!
The Helmet should be comfortable:
If it feels small put in thinner sized pads or purchase a larger helmet, ideally select a helmet brand and size that fits well prior to any adjustments, if you buy a helmet that you find comfortable and attractive then you are more likely to wear it.
The Helmet Must cover your forehead.
The chin strap must be tight and properly adjusted.
The helmet should not rock backwards or forwards.
Model Safe Behaviour:
Everyone, adult and child should wear bicycle helmets each time they ride, helmets are the single most effective way to prevent head injuries resulting from bicycle crashes, wearing a helmet each ride can encourage the same smart behaviour in others.
Buy a new helmet that has been tested and meets the uniform safety standards issued by the CPSC, ASTM, SNELL or ANSI or other credible certifying bodies.