If you are purchasing a helmet for the first time or had helmets in the past that never quite felt right, we have compiled this helmet fitting guide to help you get that perfect fit!
How to measure helmet size
The first step is to check your head size. The helmet fitting guide below shows where to measure, a fabric tape measure gives the best results (and is way more comfortable than a metal tape measure!):
An existing helmet can be an indication on helmet size but it’s always worth rechecking as a big change in hair style, weight loss or gain can affect the measurement. Also, if your helmet is sized large for instance this can be different from one brand to another, similar to shoe and clothes brand sizes. The helmet measurement can be in centimetres or inches.
When selecting a size, the lower price helmets will typically have sizes extra small through to extra-large and will have the dimension range they cover listed alongside. A helmet that has such sizing might have six sizes to choose from, so one helmet size tries to cover several dimensions. A higher specification helmet will have one-centimetre increments covering the range of sizes so might have twelve sizes to choose from. This will allow a much better, much more tailored fit. If you find issues getting a good fit, the helmets with more sizing options are the ones to try.
Trying the helmet on
Once you know how to measure helmet size and you have selected one to try, it’s time to check if the fit is correct. The helmet should be put on by grasping the chin strap halves in each hand and pulling gently away from each other and then pulling the helmet over your head.
If the helmet slides down on the head with no resistance, or if it wobbles around when put on, it is likely to be too large. Obviously, if it will not slide down over the head at all, it is too small, you shouldn’t have to force it! Just move to the next size up. Many people who have not worn helmets are reluctant to pull down if they meet some resistance as the helmet goes on. However, if it is just snug going on, continue to pull the helmet on. We have never known anyone get stuck inside a helmet! Keep in mind that padding tends to mould to shape after extended use, so we recommend a snug fitting helmet. Helmets that are too large will not function as intended and in extreme cases may come off during an accident.
Checking the fit
When correctly positioned, the forehead padding should sit just above the eyebrows, with your eyes near the centre of the eye opening. The interior should touch the top of the head with uniform and gentle pressure all around, pressing your cheeks in slightly – it should be tight without excessive pressure points. A common analogy is that it should feel like wearing a fleece / woolly hat, you can tell it’s there but not uncomfortable. If you have lots of forehead showing below the front padding you need to try a bigger size.
To fasten the chin strap, thread the end of the strap through both d-rings, loop the strap end back through the inner d-ring and pull it comfortably tight against the throat. If the helmet has a seat belt buckle type fixing it needs clicking together. If it is loose, it will require shortening behind the buckle. Some more affordable helmets have a ratchet type mechanism, tighten by pushing together. Make sure the chin strap is snug against the throat.
Test the fit
Correctly position the helmet on your head and stand in front of a mirror to check for horizontal and vertical movement. Look for gaps between the temples and the fit pad. Check the back of the helmet where it contacts the neck. Is it pushing the helmet away at the rear causing it to roll down over the eyes in front?
After this visual check, grab the helmet in your hands – one on either side – and while holding your head steady gently rotate the helmet, first from left to right and then from front to back. If the skin on your brow moves with the helmet as it is rotated, the fit is proper. If the skin on your brow does not move when the helmet is rotated in either direction or you can pull the helmet down in front of your eyes, the fit is too loose and a smaller size needs to be tried.
Check how the helmet fits in the cheek area. The helmet should squeeze the cheeks slightly, but if the padding squeezes the cheeks causing excessive pressure it is too tight. If the cheek pads do not contact the skin or you can rock the helmet from one side to the other, it is too loose. Some manufacturers make cheek pad inserts to change the fit. Try various sizes until you find one that fits correctly.
With the helmet properly positioned, and the chin strap fastened, try to remove the helmet from your head. Grasp it securely and make a serious effort to roll it off your head in both the forward and backward directions. If you can remove the helmet or can roll it backward far enough to expose your forehead or forward far enough to block your vision, the helmet itself either fits too loosely or the straps are not properly adjusted.
If you cannot remove the helmet and it does not roll either backward far enough to expose your forehead or forward far enough to block your vision, you have a proper fit. Keep in mind we recommend fitting the helmet with a balaclava if you intend to wear one in competition.
Important to know
We hope this helmet fitting guide helps you find a helmet that fits like it should. Here at Demon Tweeks we realise that buying a helmet by mail order can mean sometimes the helmet might be the size as measured but may not fit as required. If this is the case, we will happily swap if returned in perfect resalable condition. If you are in the UK we will collect and redeliver for free. This gives you peace of mind when ordering. Unfortunately, we are unable to do this for overseas customers, but we will still happily swap for you. We will also happily refund one helmet if you buy two as you are undecided on the brand, colour, style etc. We are also open Monday to Saturday if you can get to our store to try.
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