Helmets cover the most important thing we have, and everything cyclists can do to improve their protection is a positive thing when you realise that an Australian Government study on Australian Cycling Safety found that cyclists constitute 3 percent of all road accidents and 15 percent of all road hospitalizations.
Wearing an approved, properly-fitted helmet can be the difference between surviving a crash or not without trying to be too dramatic.
It’s obviously very important to wear a helmet, and required by law, but there’s no point having a helmet on your head if it’s not properly fitted and secured.
Here is a quick and easy step-by-step guide on how to properly fit a bicycle helmet.
Measure your head circumference
Helmets come with a number of dimensions. It’s not the case that one size fits all, so understanding the diameter of your head will help you find the right helmet size.
Instead of trying to cram into one, if you are on the borderline of a helmet size range, go up a size. Fitting a slightly larger helmet is simpler and safer than trying to squeeze into an poorly fitting one. It is also worth taking into account that you could be wearing a cycling cap, skull cap or headband to keep you comfortable in the colder months. It will not have the additional space to accommodate these things if your helmet is too small.
Loosen the adjustable ratchet system, chin strap and ear strap before putting your helmet on. You can gradually tighten all of these once the helmet is on to get the perfect fit, but start with them at the full extension.
Put the helmet on making sure it’s straight and level. Be aware of any tilting front to back, or angle left or right. And of course, make sure it is on the correct way.
Tighten the straps
Once you are happy with the position of the helmet, tighten the helmets adjustable ratchet system. Depending on the brand of helmet this could be at the back, on top or another location. Be sure to know where it is and how it operates.
The helmet should be tight enough to stay on without the assistance of the chin strap and shift as you move your head around. As a visual, if you were upside down the helmet would stay on your head without the assistance of the chin strap.
Now it’s time to size up the chin strap. Connect the chin strap and adjust the tightness so that one finger can fit underneath but no more. If the chin strap is too loose, the helmet could come off in the event of a crash, too tight and it will make for a very uncomfortable ride.
The final step is to adjust the ear strap so that no part of the strap is rubbing on your ear.
Enjoy your ride!