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  • Writer's pictureDr. Bonnie Verhunce

How to Properly Fit Your Bicycle Helmet

You can get your bicycle helmet in different sizes, just like a hat. Once you’ve got the proper size, there are a few steps to take to ensure it fits your head correctly for the safest ride.

1. Measure your head to get an idea of the appropriate size, and ask the specialist at the bike

shop for a helmet. Place the helmet on top of your head and ensure it doesn’t move from side to side. Most new helmets include sizing pads to help make sure it fits securely. You can move and exchange the pads to make it as comfortable as possible. For children’s helmets, you may wish to remove the padding as he or she grows. If your helmet includes a “universal fit ring”, you will be able to adjust the ring for a good fit.

2. Ensure the helmet rests in a level position on your head, and that you can place one or two fingers between your eyebrow and the helmet.

3. The left buckle should be centered under the chin. You can usually pull the chin straps from the back to either shorten or lengthen them. You may wish to do this with the helmet off to make it easier.

4. You’ll want the straps to create a V shape in front of and slightly below the ears.

5. Buckle the chinstrap fairly snugly, and tighten so that you can place one finger under the strap. If you open your mouth wide, the helmet should pull down on your head. If it doesn’t, you need to tighten the chinstrap.

6. If the helmet slips back more than two fingers above your eyebrow, shorten the front strap and test it again. If it slips forward towards the eyes, tighten the back strap and re-buckle. Finally, all four straps need to go through the rubber band to prevent the buckle from slipping. Keep in mind: • A well-fitted helmet can reduce your risk of injury by up to 85%. • Choose helmets that are certified by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. Older helmets may also have a seal from ASTM, Snell, or ANSI. These are also acceptable; just be sure it has the seal. • If you have a crash or a damaged helmet, or if you have outgrown it, replace it. • Your helmet should feel comfortable. • It should cover your forehead. • It must be worn every time you ride to really protect you.

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