I’ve heard it said “I don’t need a helmet.” Well, that may be true in a past tense meaning. In other words, you haven’t had a crash and hit your head while riding a bike. Yet. And therefore, you haven’t needed a helmet up to this point in your life.
The issue with helmets, as with any safety equipment, is not whether you think you need them. But that you have them when you do need them. A crash is not a planned event. It is something that happens unintentionally, and hitting your head can have drastic consequences at any speed.
That being said, having a helmet and having it fit properly are two very different things. Wearing a helmet without buckling it up is like not buckling your seat-belt and just draping it over your shoulder. Pointless. In addition, improperly wearing a helmet on the back of your head is going to do very little for you when you hit your forehead.
So what is a proper fit?
First of all, helmets should sit level on your head, covering both the back of your head and forehead evenly. Secondly, most newer helmets have a click or dial tensioning system enabling a quick and secure fit to various head sizes.
Once you have the helmet level and the fit is secure, the next thing to pay attention to is the straps. Straps need to be comfortable, not too tight and not over or on the ears.
Using the adjustment yolk, tighten or loosen the straps as needed to stay close to the ear without touching it. As you can see in the images above, the front strap is nearly vertical, staying far back from the front of the face and close to the ear. The back strap is nicely behind the ear. If this back strap is too tight, it could start to pull the helmet backwards, exposing the forehead. If your helmet has this tendency, try adjusting the back strap.
In addition, there is a little bit of a gap between the chin/throat and the buckle. A general rule to consider is put two fingers between the buckle and your chin. If they fit snug, it’s a good fit. Not enough room for two fingers? The strap is too tight. More than two fingers means the strap is too loose and the helmet will tend to slide out of place.
If you have any questions about how to get your helmet to fit properly, come by the store and we’ll help you out! Or if you don’t have a helmet and need one, we have a variety of styles and sizes that you may like.