Choosing the Right Size Helmet
In order to get the best possible protection from your helmet, it is crucial that your helmet fits properly. When purchasing a helmet, you must ensure the helmet fits snuggly with the chin strap fastened and that there’s sufficient peripheral vision.
How to fit a helmet
In order to know which size helmet to try on, using a tailor’s measuring tape, measure your head at it widest part, this point is approximately 1 inch above your eyebrows. Take a number of measurements around the circumference of your head and use the largest one when checking the helmet manufacturer’s sizing table.
Now that you have determined which helmet size is closest to your measurements (always round up to the larger size when in doubt), it is time to try on the helmet. If you wear a balaclava, be sure to check your helmets fit with your balaclava on.
When fitting your helmet, use the chin straps to position the helmet and then pull the helmet from the back of your head forward and down.
If your helmet slips on with no resistance it is too big and if it does not slip on at all it’s too small. Your helmet must have resistance when you pull it down, in order to get a snug fit. With a helmet the snugger the fit, the better. Bear in mind that the inside padding will compress over time and you will still want it to fit snuggly. A helmet that is too big, is not going to offer optimal protection.
When properly positioned, the helmet should be worn low on the brow, eyes near the center of the eye opening, touching the top of the head with uniform and firm pressure all around – tight without excessive pressure points
Now make sure the chin strap is correctly fastened and that it is adjusted to fit snuggly across the throat. It must not choke you but there should be no gap between your chin strap and your throat.
It’s now time to check the overall fit of the helmet. With the helmet on and correctly positioned on your head, check how the inside padding fits. It must be snug against the cheeks and temples but not too tight so that it is uncomfortable. The padding at the back of the neck should conform to your neck and not push the helmet forward.
Now you need to check movement of your helmet. Grabbing your helmet on either side with your hands, move it from left to right and then up and down. Your skin should pull as the helmet moves, if the helmet moves with out pulling on your skin, it’s too loose.
The last check, is to see if you can pull you helmet off with your chin strap properly fastened. You should not be able to pull it off your head with the chin strap fastened, if you do check that the chin strap is correctly fastened, if it is, you need a smaller helmet.
Go racing and live in the knowledge that you have put your safety first by not only choosing a quality helmet, but by ensuring it fits properly.